2019 Jeep Compass Review

Compass

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2019 Jeep Compass Overview

Jeep is synonymous with rugged, all-terrain driving. Jeep brought that ruggedness to the subcompact SUV market with the Compass. Jeep manages to offer the Compass with the proper running gear to ensure it earns the vaunted “Trail Rated” title.

The Compass competes in the same segment as its sibling, the Renegade. But where the Renegade has the blocky styling and circular headlights akin to the iconic Wrangler, the Compass has the rakish headlights and streamlined seven-slat grille that gives the the appearance of a scaled down Jeep Grand Cherokee.

That styling continues in the cabin, blending form with functionality. Inside, the Compass provides 27.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats. With the 60/40 split-fold rear bench lowered, that figure grows to 59.8 cubic feet.

Trims for the 2019 Compass include Sport, Latitude, Altitude, Limited, and Trailhawk. Standard equipment on the Sport includes 16-inch dark steel wheels, push-button start, power-adjustable heated side mirrors, dual-zone temperature control, rear cargo area tie-down loops, and a height-adjustable rear cargo load floor.

The Compass Sport also features a 3.5-inch black-and-white digital driver’s display and a standard 7-inch touchscreen that runs Jeep’s intuitive Uconnect 4 infotainment system. This is one of the best infotainment systems on the market. It's now standard across the entire lineup for 2019. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard.

Move up to the Latitude and you'll get 17-inch aluminum wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, premium vinyl trim, SiriusXM satellite radio, and ambient LED interior lighting.

The Altitude trim features 18-inch aluminum wheels, gloss-black exterior accents, and a two-tone color scheme for the exterior.

The Limited features 18-inch aluminum wheels and adds bright chrome roof rails, power-adjustable heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals, leather seating, heated front seats, and a larger 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment screen.

If you want luxury, go for the Limited trim. But if you want the most capable version of the Compass, go for the Trailhawk. As the only “Trail Rated” variant, it features raised ride height for added ground clearance, unique 17-inch wheels wrapped in all-season on-road/off-road tires, and upgraded four-wheel drive running gear. The Trailhawk looks different from the rest of the Compass lineup thanks to its more rugged front and rear fascias, unique red accents, and anodized red tow hooks (two front and one rear).

A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine powers the 2019 Compass. It makes 180 horsepower and 175 pound feet of torque. A 6-speed manual transmission or available 9-speed automatic transmission routes power to the front wheels. Four-wheel drive (4WD) is also available.

The Compass provides several four-wheel drive systems for traversing varying forms of terrain. Jeep Active Drive is the most basic 4WD system, operating much like all-wheel drive (AWD).

The Trailhawk trim comes standard with Active Drive Low, a full-time 4WD system with an active on-demand clutch. The Trailhawk also features Hill Descent Control, which is like cruise control for the trail.

The Compass features the Selec-Terrain system. Using a dial in the center console, it can adjust power delivery and manage wheel slip. It features Auto, Snow, Sand, and Mud drive modes, while the Trailhawk also provides Rock Mode.

Fuel economy for the FWD Compass with the manual transmission is 23 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, 26 combined. Adding 4WD to the manual-equipped Compass returns 22 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, and 25 combined. With the automatic transmission, the FWD Compass returns 22, 31, and 25 combined. The 4WD Compass with the automatic transmission returns fuel economy of 22 mpg city, 30 highway, 25 combined.

When equipped with the available Tow Prep Package and 4x4, the Compass can tow up to 2,000 pounds.

Standard safety features include electronic roll mitigation, hill-start assist, a tire-pressure monitoring system, and a reversing camera with active guidelines. The Compass is available with driver-assistance features such as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, adaptive headlights, and forward-collision warning and avoidance.

For 2019, the Limited is available with the High Altitude Package. It adds unique 18-inch Satin Gloss Granite wheels, a dark accent grille, and headlight bezels. Inside, this package adds the 8.4-inch screen with navigation system and standout gunmetal interior accents.

The Jeep Compass embodies many of the great attributes of larger Jeeps, but in a subcompact SUV package. From the economical Sport to the upscale Limited trim, you can enjoy the small-yet-capable crossover.

Updated

From open-wheel racecars to specialty off-road vehicles, George Kennedy has driven it all. A career automotive journalist, George has been a contributor, editor, and/or producer at some of the most respected publications and outlets, including Consumer Reports, the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Autoblog.com, Hemmings Classic Wheels, BoldRide.com, the Providence Journal, and WheelsTV.

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