Jeep finally gives the Compass crossover the makeover it deserves

Jeep’s all-new Compass crossover has made its North American debut during the Los Angeles Auto Show. Previewed in Brazil a few weeks ago, the Compass replaces both the first-generation model and the aging Patriot.

The 2017 Compass is instantly recognizable as a member of the Jeep lineup yet it’s not a carbon copy of an existing off-roader. Up front, it receives a tall front end with a thin rendition of Jeep’s signature seven-slot grille. Squared-off wheel arches create an unmistakable visual link with the Renegade and the bigger Cherokee, while the back end receives an elegant strip of chrome trim that underlines the rear window and wing-shaped tail lamps with LED inserts.

At launch, the Compass lineup will include four trim levels named Sport, Latitude, Limited, and Trailhawk, respectively. The latter is billed as the off-road focused member of the family, and it lives up to expectations with trim-specific bumpers that increase the approach and departure angles. Red tow hooks, new alloy wheels, and a sprinkling of gloss black trim further differentiate the Trailhawk from its less capable siblings.

The Compass ushers in four new versions of Jeep parent company Chrysler’s Uconnect infotainment system. The software is displayed on a screen that’s 5, 7, or 8.4 inches wide depending on the trim level. Save for the base model, every Compass is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. A fully configurable information screen built into the instrument cluster is also offered.

Power comes from Chrysler’s proven 2.4-liter Tigershark four-cylinder engine, which generates 180 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive models come with a six-speed automatic transmission, and four-wheel drive variants ship with a nine-speed automatic unit. Interestingly, a six-speed manual transmission is available regardless of which drive configuration is chosen.

Jeep designed the Compass as a global model. To that end, it will be assembled in China, India, Mexico, and Brazil, and it will be sold in over a hundred markets around the planet. Additional information such as when we’ll see it in U.S. showrooms and how much it will cost will be published closer to its official launch date.

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