Considering a 4-wheel-drive-equipped, 5-passenger compact crossover that totes a few extra bells and whistles? You might want to look into the 2012 Jeep Compass Latitude 4WD. This midlevel Compass trim, of course, mirrors the handsome profile and 62.7 cubic feet of total cargo area flouted by its siblings, along with standard Freedom Drive I 4-wheel-drive (4WD) traction. This not-quite-ready-for-off-road 4WD system allows cruising in economical front-wheel drive (FWD) under normal conditions and will automatically divert torque from the front wheels to all 4 wheels when the going gets slick. With available crawl-speed gearing added to the standard continuously variable transmission (CVT), terrain-taming becomes a little more doable, however.
Further empowering this little crossover’s profile are 17-inch alloy wheels, a roof rack and heated power-adjustable mirrors, while premium cloth upholstery, heated front seats, a reclining and split-folding rear seat, and a fold-flat front passenger seatback adorn the welcoming cabin. A leather-wrapped tilt-adjustable steering wheel mounts audio and cruise controls, while front and rear floor mats help maintain the altogether pleasant interior ambiance. Manually adjustable air conditioning helps keep things cool, while an MP3-capable single-CD player with 4 speakers pumps out the tunes.
Again, the optional UConnect voice-command multimedia system is bolstered by Bluetooth hands-free technology, while an available trailer-towing package offers a hitch and wiring as well as added engine oil cooling.
Further available packages, meantime, include the Sun and Sound Package with power sunroof, satellite radio and 9 Boston Acoustics speakers, including 2 fold-down liftgate speakers, and the Altitude Package, with 18-inch aluminum wheels, performance tires, roof rails and several upgraded exterior trim pieces. The Media Center 430, meanwhile, includes a 6.5-inch display, single CD/DVD player and 40GB of music storage, while the Security and Cargo Convenience Group offers an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a security alarm, a trip computer and a universal remote garage door opener.
For those with some serious trailblazing adventure on their minds, the Compass Latitude can be delivered with the Freedom Drive Off-Road Group sporting upgraded 4WD with low-range gearing, skid plates, all terrain tires, engine oil cooling, descent control and hill start assist.
Powering the 2012 Compass Latitude 4WD is a 2.4-liter variable-valve-timed (VVT) inline 4-cylinder engine that combines with the standard continuously variable transmission for 172 hp and 165 lb-ft of torque. Mileage is a less-than-becoming 20 mpg city/23 highway, and towing capacity remains 2,000 pounds with the proper equipment.
Notable standard safety features aboard this value-laden Jeep crossover include 4-wheel antilock brakes (front disc, rear drum), traction and stability control, front and rear head airbags, and front head restraint whiplash protection. Additionally, the Latitude 4WD boasts standard front fog/driving lights, with supplemental front side-mounted airbags and a security alarm optional in the Security and Cargo Convenience Group.