The 10 best and worst things about the 2017 Jeep Compass

A breakdown of the good and bad on the Jeep Compass.

All-new 2017 Jeep® Compass Trailhawk
All-new 2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk –FCA

The Jeep Compass name might be familiar, but it’s an all-new crossover for 2017 that shares nothing with its predecessor. While many crossovers pretend to be off-road worthy, most aren’t truly up to the task. The Compass, however, is a Jeep and has genuine off-road chops.

Here are the 10 best and worst things about the 2017 Jeep Compass.

The Best:

1. Safety
The Compass gets high marks for safety. It is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 2017 Top Safety Pick with their highest score of Good in all crash tests and a Superior rating for available front crash prevention technologies. It also received high safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with an overall four out of five stars.

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2. Capability
The Compass comes in 4×2 or 4×4 variants, but if you want the most off-road-ready version, go for the Trailhawk. It gets an extra inch of ground clearance, better approach and departure angles, and skid plates for handling rugged terrain. It also adds Rock to the drive mode selector options, making it even more off-road capable.

3. Trim Range
The Compass comes in four trim levels: The Sport is the base model with minimal features, while the Latitude offers a step up. Your top trims go in two directions. There’s the Trailhawk, which is for those interested in more off-road adventure, and the Limited, for those who want a more upscale experience.

4. Pricing
Jeep keeps it affordable with the base Compass Sport priced from $20,995 with front-wheel drive. Add four-wheel drive and the Sport starts at $22,495, which is still a good value. The top trims both stay under $30,000. You can get the four-wheel drive Trailhawk from $28,695 or the Limited with two-wheel drive from $27,595.

Boston.com Dealer Specials:

5. Infotainment
All Jeeps feature the Uconnect infotainment system, which is praised for its easy-to-follow menus. The standard system has Uconnect 3 with a 5-inch display, AM/FM, Bluetooth streaming audio, voice command, and handsfree calling. Upgraded systems feature Uconnect 4 with either a 7-inch or 8.4-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

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6. Ride Quality
Crossovers, especially those designed to go off-road, can be jarring and loud during highway driving, but the Compass delivers a smooth, quiet ride on pavement. Even in wind and rain, the cabin remains quiet and the suspension system keeps the ride smooth on rough surfaces.

The Worst:

7. Underpowered Engine
The Compass has a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 180 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque that just isn’t enough. Even with only the driver on board, the Compass doesn’t have strong acceleration. It labors even more with a full load of people and cargo.

8. Passenger Room
This is a crossover, so it doesn’t have the roominess of something larger like a Jeep Cherokee, but the Compass still feels cramped for its size. There’s room for five passengers, but realistically this is best for only four people unless you’re in a pinch.

9. High Cargo Floor
Although cargo capacity is good at 27.2 cubic feet, the cargo floor is too high. This doesn’t matter when you’re loading small, light packages like groceries, but it’s a big deal when it’s time to load heavy or bulky items. The cargo floor of the Compass sits at 31.1 inches, which is a challenge, especially if you’re already on the short side.

10. Optional Packages Add Up
There are a variety of enticing packages for the Compass with great features many people will want, but the cost of adding those packages adds up quickly. The Cold Weather package, which includes heated seats and a heated steering adds $795 while the Leather Interior comes in at $1,595. Add navigation and that’s another $995 and suddenly your affordable Compass is pricey.