The Jeep Compass is classified as a compact crossover SUV which was introduced in 2007. The Compass is considered to be an entry-level sport utility vehicle, along with the Jeep Wrangler and Patriot. This is one of Jeep’s first crossover SUVs. A concept vehicle with the same name as this one was introduced four year prior and it debuted at the 2002 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. This vehicle features a 2-door body design as well as all-wheel drive and a 3.7 liter V6 engine. The new Compass did not have the same 3.7 liter Power-Tech V6 engine as the Liberty, but its overall styling was heavily influenced by it.
The production version of the Jeep Compass debuted at the 2006 North American International Auto Show in January and the first one to ever be manufactured was on May 30, 2006 in Belvidere, Illinois. This vehicle did not have the “Trail Rated” badge which came with some of the other SUVs from Jeep in the 2007-2010 model years, though it did receive this badge for the 2010 model. The Compass targeted first-time Jeep buyers who drove on mostly paved roads and both the Compass and the Patriot are heavily based on the Daimler/Chrysler/Mitsubishi GS platform. All of these vehicles have different exterior styles as well as individual marketing.
In 2011 the Jeep Compass received a fairly significant facelift to make it look more like the Grand Cherokee, though it still kept many of the exterior features which are all its own. This model Compass had a revised suspension which enhanced its overall handling as well as a revised interior with more option packages and standard equipment. One of the packages that was offered with this vehicle was a Freedom Drive II Off-Road Package which includes a continuously variable transmission fitted with a low-range setting long with 17” aluminum wheels and all-terrain tires.
There was also a special edition of the Compass which was made to commemorate Jeep’s 70th anniversary in 2011 and included a number of different upgrades along with badges, special interiors, wheels, and can be purchased in three different exterior colors, including Bronze Star, Black, and Bright Silver. The Compass has a 172 horsepower 2.4 liter World I4 gasoline engine in it. This engine is available only on the 4×2 Sport model. There is also a 2.9 liter I-R4 TDi 103 kW 138 horsepower 140 PS Volkswagen-designed diesel engine available for both Australian and European markets. This engine was eventually replaced by the 2.2 liter Mercedes-Benz OM651 engine in 2011.
The Compass has a number of other impressive features, including two electronically-controlled 4-wheel drive systems, the Freedom Drive I and the Freedom Drive II. The Freedom Drive I is a full-time 4-wheel drive system which comes with full locking capabilities. The Freedom Drive II is heavily based on its predecessor, though it uses the vehicle’s CVT transmission for a 19:1 gear reduction which simulates a low-range and is common in vehicles with transfer cases.
There are three different modes available for the Jeep Compass, including the Sport, Latitude, and Limited. The Sport was the base model for this vehicle and included features like 17” allow wheels, a single-disc CD player with four speakers, cloth upholstery, manual door locks, and roll-up windows. The latitude was Jeep’s mid-range model and features things such as keyless entry and power windows. The higher-end Limited edition featured leather-trimmed seats as well as an optional sunroof and remote started. This car has undergone few changes over the years but is still considered to be one of Jeep’s more popular models overall.