Press Preview: 2017 Jeep Compass Limited

The good folks at Fiat Chrysler Automotive are friends of the Phoenix Automotive Press Association, and I was one of a handful of journalists invited two weeks ago to attend a launch event locally for the new 2017 Jeep Compass.  If this face looks like a close tie to its larger and more upscale sibling the Grand Cherokee, that’s intentional.

Scott Brown, based in Los Angeles as the West Region Manager, brought a handsome Compass for our group to see & experience – along with a team of subject matter experts who could educate us on what sets it apart from its predecessor as well as from the competition.

The hot “CUV” or compact utility vehicle segment is hot, and about to get even hotter.  The Jeep ‘fomula’ comes through strong with the new Compass,  according to engineer Jim Lyman who’s the Global Model Lead with 26 years’ experience with the company.  The segment accounts for a staggering 6.5 million units sold globally per year – and it’s still growing.  The key to positioning the Compass is in its “something for everyone” strategy:  17 different powertrain configurations, 4 different price classes, but all with Jeep’s known strengths in trail-rated traction articulation and all-terrain capability.

Cosmetically the Compass is a cut above the model that preceded it, now with bi-xenon HID headlamps, standard keyless entry, and additional soft-touch interior materials.  A great deal of development has gone into improvement of driving dynamics, too, with a fully independent front & rear suspension and “active drive” 4×4 system.  Standard power comes from a 2.4 liter, 180-horsepower gasoline engine and 3 transmissions are available including – and this I appreciate – a 6-speed manual.

While it’s sure to look nice prowling the parking lot, Jim ensured us that this Compass is also designed to inspire confidence in other terrain situations.  (Just so you know, it’s capable of fording up to 19 inches of water and pulling 2,000 pounds!).

Base price comes in at $21,000 with the top-line, as-shown here version coming in at $34,000 in Limited trim.  My time was short during this brief introduction event, but this little CUV will come my way in a couple of weeks when James has it for a week on test, so I’ll follow up with my driving impressions at that time!  Many thanks to FCA for the inside scoop!

PAPA group

Two-toned (panda-themed?!) interior

Here are a couple other random pics from the past few days — including this shot of my TL and Jason’s Mazda 6 when Jason stopped by to stay with us for one night.

I received a gift of some Jay Leno’s Garage detailing supplies from a friend.  I didn’t know Jay was getting into his own line of car care stuff, but I’m excited to give this stuff a whirl.

Heartfelt messaging on some silos in southeast Gilbert, Arizona.

Legend GS ready to take on the streets for this week’s National Acura Legend Meet in Sacramento, to be driven by my friend Alex who’s flying in from Florida today.

The coupe is going, too.  It’s only about 800 miles each way from Phoenix.

Phoenix attractions:  I stumbled across a page online that outlined some of the history of Phoenix, Arizona and it identified this home along 10th St & Buckeye Rd as one of the oldest in existence in the area.  It dates back to 1879.

You can tell it was built with ‘river rock,’ which seems out of place today given the home’s location in the middle of the urban grid, but at that time it was probably a plentiful construction supply.  Not sure who owns this place or what its future holds.  It’ll probably sit there another 138 years just like it has so far.

Have a great rest of your week!

11 Responses to “Press Preview: 2017 Jeep Compass Limited”

  1. Brad Heffran Says:

    That new Compass looks pretty sharp! It’s a pity that FCA continues to struggle with reliability, coming in dead last in every quality study.

    • Are they? That’s a shame for sure. If you had to go the CUV/SUV route, which way would you go? HR-V, CR-V, RDX?

      • Brad Heffran Says:

        Out of those three? RDX. I think Honda nailed the new CR-V, both inside and out. But, they stuck a CVT in it, and I’m just not a fan of those transmissions. Honda does probably the best CVT in the business, but it’s still a CVT. 🙂

  2. Cool exploration of the Compass.Would love to see an HRV, Crosstrek, Compass shootout for off-road adventuring.

    Let us all know how those Jay Leno products work out.

    Good luck with the NALM trip. Safe travels!!

    • I know, I’m actually itching to get my hands on an HR-V manual to tool around in for a bit. It will be some time before I get a chance to put those JL detailing supplies to the test, but I’ll report back when I do. Thanks – more to come on the NALM adventures!

  3. The new Compass looks ten times better than the previous generation. Are they still hiding heaps of “Easter Eggs” in the design of the new car? I was also unaware that Jay had his own line of detailing products – guess you learn something new everyday!

    • Yes! The engineer who spoke with us specifically talked about the fact that they are putting tons of Easter Eggs into the design. I’m sure someone out there will discover them all soon enough 🙂

  4. It’s always baffled me how Jeep has such a loyal following yet as Brad accurately points out also has one of the industry’s worst reliability ratings. Does this mean more ppl base vehicle purchase decisions on image and style over everything else?

    I find Jay Leno’s decision to market a line of car care products interesting I’m curioys if he’s involved in the product development side or just selling naming rights. But more importantly is it better than Zaino?

    And now that you’ve stumbled on one of the oldest homes in Phoenix it’s easy to see why no one lives there… no garage!

    Hope your having a “cool” week.

    • Thanks Hy! I’ll have to report back on how Leno’s products perform. I’m sure he’ll be hard pressed to compare to Zaino quality. Checking in from our last day out here in Sacramento. FINALLY the clouds have parted and we have a full day of sunshine for our BBQ along the river.

  5. Compass looks soooooooo much cooler than the predecessor! Looking forward to James’ thoughts on it as well. Pleasure stopping in PHX to see the new digs. Will be back soon! 😊

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