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2013 Jeep Compass Overview
For 2013, the Jeep Compass returns for a final bow. As it is expected to be discontinued in 2014 (along with its platform-mate the Patriot) there have been few changes to this year’s model.
The Compass comes in 3 trims and with 2 engines. The base trim is the Sport, which sports a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with 158 hp and 141 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard. If you plan to use your Jeep for, well, Jeep-like activities, you’d be advised to opt for the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that makes 172 hp and 165 lb-ft of torque and comes with AWD. For its price point, it's feature-rich. A CD/MP3/AM/FM system is standard, along with fog lights, powered doors and windows and heated door mirrors. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard, with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) available.
The next level is the Latitude, which offers the same engines but adds steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and ditches the manual transmission. The top trim is the Limited, which classes it up with a leather interior and power seats and is available only with the 2.4-liter engine. The Sport and Latitude come with 16-inch wheels standard with an option for 17-inchers; the Limited comes with 18-inchers.
Outside, the car is still an uncomfortable alliance between the “classic” Jeep look and a standard hatchback. Although it's modeled after its bigger sibling, the Grand Cherokee, it doesn’t have its pizzazz.
The cabin is roomy enough for 4 adults, but it’s not the most comfortable ride, and cargo space is limited. The interior doesn’t have the class of the Cherokee, but it is functional and clean, without feeling chintzy. It’s also a capable party wagon: Optional tailgate speakers for the Latitude and Limited add fun to the pre-game parking lot. Another unique feature is a removable/rechargeable dome flashlight that could be handy for unexpected situations.
Safety features include side curtain airbags, antilock brakes and stability control. There is some concern about rear visibility during lane changes.
There have been complaints about power and performance; some feel the CVT is sluggish. The vehicle is more suited for city driving, unless you opt for the Freedom Drive II package, which adds off-road capabilities more in line with the Jeeps you know and love. With that package, the Compass earns Jeep's Trail Rated badge.
The Compass has not been a popular model, and there have been a lot of consumer complaints about engine noise, the suspension and performance. It’s no wonder, then, that the Compass is being put out to pasture.
by Stephen Moramarco
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