These are a Few of Our Favorites Things; About the 2016 Jeep Compass
Numerous reviewers bash the 2016 Jeep Compass in Miami for multiple, yet misguided, reasons. Some people say it provides a rough ride, others suggest it can’t off-road as effectively as other Jeep models. Well, I’m not here to bash this vehicle. Instead, I’m here to provide a few of our (the consumers) favorite things about the Compass. First, it looks good for a small SUV — a lot like a baby Grand Cherokee, to be honest. Secondly, obviously, it can’t perform like the other Jeep models. The Wrangler is a whole different animal compared to this vehicle, but when it comes the Compass’ segment? It actually provides the above-average off-road capability. Finally, it comes at an attractive and almost irresistible price, which just happens to be a primary reason it’s doing so well with sales.
It’s a Baby Grand Cherokee
The design of the Compass looks like a baby Grand Cherokee. While that means it looks good, there is something else that’s important to note: the design looks like it’s worth far more than the price it’s going for, resulting in upscale luxury looks — on the inside and out.
The seven-slot grille is more subdued and elegantly designed than on the other Jeeps, and the headlights are almost the exact same slim and rectangular shape as the front-fascia. The hood has a raised center and sides, which cradles two valleys that helps round out the front-end of the Compass. The sides are left relatively plain, and the back has two taillights that are sitting in the center of each back corner. This wrap-around effect enhances the elongated rear-quarter panel, where the upswept beltline is also more pronounced. The back window is curved slightly and comes with an overhang, and just like the sides, the back is left relatively simple.
While there are some slight differences, if you look at the front of the Compass in pictures (without any props that might indicate its smaller stature), it’s actually very easy to mistake it for a Grand Cherokee. Especially when the grille has the chrome crosshatch pattern in the slots.
Above-Average Off-Road Capability
Just like the Grand Cherokee, the looks of the Compass match it’s intended performance. There is a reason the Compass and Patriot were released side-by-side — and the Compass looks more like the Grand Cherokee and the Patriot looks more like the Wrangler. The Compass, just like the GC, is meant for more on-road travel, and the Patriot for off-road travel. Even though they are built similarly, the Patriot has better approach and departure angles, making it more effective at off-roading.
With that in mind, it’s infuriating to hear reviewers bash the Compass for its lack of off-road skill, simply because it isn’t on par with a Wrangler. For what it’s worth (literally) the Compass provides the opportunity to have a bite-size Grand Cherokee rife with interior luxury and comfort features, and above-average off-road capability. Now, I’m not saying it dominates the competition in off-road prowess. But, it’s a cheaper way to get a fraction of Jeep’s legendary off-road capability, which is still better than most competitors in the small SUV market.
But, in order to get this type of capability, you need to grab the Freedom Drive II Off-Road Group, which is available on either the Sport or Latitude trim. It gives the Compass a Trail Rated badge — which should speak for itself — and provides a 4×4 system that gives the Compass ultimate traction and control on harsh terrain. Deep snow, mud, and sand just become a minor nuisance when this system is equipped. Hazardous roads? You can drive on them without a worry in the world.
The CVT2L transmission provides an Off-Road mode which also makes traversing the woodland trails a breeze, seeing as the Compass will come with a 19:1 crawl ratio that provides the torque multiplication required for slow crawling and climbing steep grades.
While it’s going to cost you a bit extra for this type of capability, the good news is that it comes equipped on the base-level Sport trim, which has a bare-bones starting price of $19,695. You could grab a 2016 Honda CRV, but that’s going to cost you $23,745. So, for less than the starting price of the main competitor, the 2016 Jeep Compass can come with a system that gives it the prestigious Trail Rated badge. Where’s the proof that the Honda CRV can conquer the Rubicon Trail, anyway? Also, you are getting a much more upscale look when compared to the lower price, and having looks that are similar to the Grand Cherokee helps provide a sense of familiarity.