The all-new 2017 Jeep Compass compact crossover looks like a smaller version of the company’s flagship Grand Cherokee. (Manufacturer photo)

The all-new 2017 Jeep Compass compact crossover looks like a smaller version of the company’s flagship Grand Cherokee. (Manufacturer photo)

Jeep Compass is a compact crossover, doubles as family car

Compact crossovers are the darlings of the current automotive market and Jeep has introduced an essentially all-new one, but with a familiar name: Compass. It will be arriving at local dealerships within the next three months.

The 2017 Jeep Compass replaces not only the previous Compass but also the Jeep Patriot SUV. Jeep is calling it the most capable compact SUV ever manufactured. “Capable” in this case refers to off-road capability, a hallmark of the Jeep brand.

Off-road capability of the new Compass doesn’t match that of the Jeep Wrangler, whose capability is largely unmatched. Instead, Compass offers beyond-the-norm capability for a compact crossover that can also serve as a family car with a gentle but stable ride on the highway in any weather, ample carrying capacity for passengers and cargo, and good fuel economy.

When equipped with an optional tow package, towing capacity is 2,000 pounds.

Entertainment, communication and navigation systems have been brought up to the minute for the 2017 Compass by a new fourth-generation Uconnect system. Four versions are available, with 5-inch, 7-inch or 8.4-inch touchscreens.

Available advanced safety features include forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring and rear cross path detection.

The 2017 Compass is available in Sport, Latitude, Trailhawk and Limited trim levels. There are 4×2 and 4×4 versions of the Sport and Latitude models. The Trailhawk is enhanced to provide extra capability, including customized settings for five different driving conditions: Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud, and Rock Mode with Hill Descent Control. The top-of-the-line Limited model includes the most features as standard equipment. Trailhawk and Limited models are 4×4 only.

A black roof is standard on Trailhawk and Limited, optional on Latitude, with any exterior body color except black. Otherwise, a body-color roof is standard. For Limited buyers who’d prefer a body-color roof, it’s an available option.

Base pricing, including a $1,095 destination charge, ranges from $22,090 for a Sport 4×2 to $30,090 for a Limited 4×4.

All models are powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 180 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque. There are three transmission options, depending on trim level: a six-speed manual, six-speed automatic, and nine-speed automatic. City/highway/combined fuel economy ratings are as follows:

4×2 with six-speed manual: 23/32/26

4×4 with six-speed manual: 22/31/25

4×2 six-speed automatic: 22/31/25

4×4 with nine-speed automatic: 22/30/25

This is an overview of the 2017 Jeep Compass based on an introductory event held by the manufacturer. Although the vehicle was driven during the event, automotive reviews that include driving impressions and other opinions appear only after a vehicle has been given the standard weeklong test-drive.

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