2018 Jeep Compass Introduction
Jeep Compass, a front-wheel or all-wheel-drive compact crossover, is all new for 2018. Based on the sub-compact Renegade, the all-new 2018 Compass looks more like the midsize Cherokee, although it’s narrower (and slower).
Compass is powered by an aging and underwhelming 2.4-liter engine making 180 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque, mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, 6-speed automatic, or 9-speed automatic that isn’t as smooth as the new GM 9-speed.
But it handles well, and has a steady and comfortable ride on the standard 16-inch wheels and tires.
Compass is EPA rated at 26 Combined miles per gallon with front-wheel drive, 1 less mpg with all-wheel drive.
We most like the offroad Compass Trailhawk, which feels more like an authentic Jeep. It’s not serious about off-roading like the Wrangler or Cherokee, but the Compass Trailhawk beats other crossovers on the trails. It has higher bumpers for clearing rocks and climbing and descending ridges, along with one inch added ground clearance and more rugged all-terrain tires. Its 9-speed transmission locks into first gear with a 20:1 simulated crawl ratio, so you can go very, very slow, an important feature in rugged terrain.
Competitors include the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Nissan Rogue, Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain. Compact crossover is a tough game. That’s why the Trailhawk stands out.