2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk 4×4 Test Drive

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“2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk 4×4”
All-New Global Compact SUV
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San Antonio, TX- Past examples of the Jeep Compass family were less than stellar, but that all changes with the all-new 2017 Jeep Compass family of compact SUVs which comes based on FCA’s “small-wide 4×4 global architecture, (the same as the Jeep Renegade), delivering best-in-class off-road capability along with desirable on-road performance characteristics.

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This latest iteration Jeep Compass will be manufactured in Brazil, China, India and Mexico for consumers in over 100 countries worldwide. The new Jeep Compass family will be available in four available models: Sport, Latitude, Limited and the “King-of-the-Hill” trail-rated Trailhawk edition.
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Drive configurations consist of 4×2 and 4×4. There are two advanced intelligent 4×4 systems: Jeep Active Drive – a full time 4×4 system; and Jeep Active Low – a class exclusive full time 4×4 system featuring a 20:1 crawl ratio. Both systems include the Jeep Selec-Terrain system that provides up to five modes: Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud, as well as a Rock mode, which is exclusive to the Trailhawk model. Selec-terrain also includes Selec-Speed Control with Hill Descent Control for Trailhawk models.
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There will be 17 powertrain options available globally, but North American market Jeep Compass models will draw their motive force only from the 2.4-liter, SOHC, 16-valve Tigershark inline four-cylinder with Multiair2 and multiport fuel injection and Engine stop/start. The transversely mounted front engine develops 180 horsepower at 6,400 rpm along with 175 pound feet of torque at 3,900 rpm.

Three transmissions are available: a six-speed manual for 4×2 and 4X4 models; a six-speed automatic for 4×2 models, with the 9HP48 nine-speed automatic for 4×4 models.
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The 2017 Jeep Compass replaces both the old Compass and Patriot models with a new more refined design with sculptural elements, closely related to the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Up front, the iconic seven-slot grille displays a fresh look featuring a Gloss Black field with individual chrome surrounds for each of the seven slots. In profile, the roofline is fast, with a sharply raked windscreen and reverse sloping rearend. “B” and “C” pillars are blacked out, with an upward sweeping reverse sail panel. Fenders are muscular and pronounced as is the shoulder line, and front and rear overhangs are short. The rear styling emphasizes the wide stance of the Compass. A unique trim travels over the cabin’s glass area and curves down beneath the rear window.
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Moving inside, the interior showcases premium sculptural elements. The trapezoidal center stack bezel sports a color and finish complementing the interior chosen. The center stack houses the 5.0-, 7.0- or 8.4-inch
touchscreen displays, and integrates functional features. including gear-shift selection, Selec-Terrain controls, electronic parking break, engine
stop-start (ESS) controls, climate and volume control knobs, and easily accessible media charging and connectivity ports within the cubby bin. Ahead of the driver is a 3.5- or 7-inch LED driver information display instrument cluster. The steering wheel comes with integrated audio, voice and speed controls. Thoughtfully designed storage solutions abound throughout the cabin.
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Connectivity is courtesy of FCA’s Uconnect system that includes new Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and there are in excess of 70 available advanced safety and security features including: Forward Collision Warning-Plus, LaneSense Departure Warning-Plus, Blind-spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path detection, ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines, electronic stability control with electronic roll mitigation and seven standard air bags.
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During the national press launch, my test 2017 Jeep Compass was a Trailhawk model with a Laser Blue metallic exterior finish and the interior done in Black with Ruby Red accents. The base price was set at $28,595., while options and the Destination Charge elevated the final sticker total to $31,970.
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SUMMARY: The 2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk is a breath of fresh air compared to the models that it replaces in the Jeep family. It was designed to deliver confidence-building off-road capability and maneuverability as well as comfortable on-road travel for five occupants and their gear, all of which it does with aplomb. It literally shines off road; conquering water fording, hill climbing and descending, rock crawling and uneven articulated surfaces without breaking a sweat.
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Steering is precise and immediately responsive. On road ride quality is smooth and steady, and the Compass remains flat and stable even in more spirited maneuvers.
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For those seeking a compact and highly capable SUV, the new Jeep Compass fills an ideal niche between the entry level Jeep Renegade and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. It is most attractive, fuel efficient and affordable. Pricing ranges from $20,995. For a Sport 4×2 model to $28,995. –(add $1.500 for 4×4) to $28,995 for a Limited 4×4, which is not as off-road astute as the $28,595. Trailhawk. Add $1,095 for Destination to all Compass models.

In the final analysis, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the new Jeep Compass and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it for its good looks, efficiency, capability and affordability.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk 4×4

Base Price:                       $28,595.
Price as Tested:                  $31,970.

Engine Type and Size:             2.4-liter, SOHC, 16-valve Tigershark inline four-cylinder with Multiair2 and multiport fuel injection and Engine stop/start.

Horsepower (bhp):                 180 @ 6,400   rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.):               175 @ 3,900   rpm

Transmission:                     9HP48 Nine-speed automatic.

Drive Train:            Transversely front mounted engine / Jeep Active Drive
4×4.

Suspension:         Front –            Independent MacPherson strut, coil springs, flat front steel crossmember, high-strength steel double shell lower control stabilizer bar.
Rear – Chapman strut, high-strength steel links, isolated steel rear cradle for 4×4 and not-isolated for 4×2, coil springs, and stabilizer bar.

Brakes: Power vacuum-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front) with ABS and ESC

Tires:            Falken Wildpeak H/T 215/65 R17 BSW All-season mounted on 5-“V”-spoke with joining reverse loops –machine face outer and black painted inners.

Wheelbase:                  103.8  inches
Length Overall:             173.4  inches
Width:                       73.8  inches with mirrors folded /80 inches open
Height:                      64.6  inches w/o rails – 64.8 with.
Approach angle:              30.3 degrees
Breakover angle:             24.4 degrees
Departure angle:             33.6 degrees
Water Fording:               Up to 19 inches
Tow capacity:                Up to 2,000 lbs.
Curb Weight:                3,327 lbs.
Turning Circle:               35.3  ft.
Fuel Capacity:                13.5  gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates:          22  mpg city / 31 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient:             Not listed.
0 – 60 mph:                   Not tested.

Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.

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