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The Bold New 2017 Jeep Compass: Full Test Drive

Updated on October 21, 2018
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Cameron Eittreim has been a licensed Bail Bondsmen for five years, and he is the author of American Bondsmen ISBN: 978-1-365-49244-0

Full In-Depth Review

Introduced in the 2007 model year, the Jeep Compass was a small little SUV that was actually based on the Dodge Caliber of the same year. Why Jeep decided to produce an "SUV" that was actually based on a compact car is beyond me, and the thing did not even come equipped with the 4-wheel drive at all. Nevertheless, Jeep sold this car for almost a decade before changing it to the current model that we are testing.

As soon as I laid eyes on the 2017 Jeep Compass I had to give it a drive, it is everything that the first model should have been. The styling is aggressive and yet still very much Jeep like, and if you cannot afford a Jeep Grand Cherokee this is the next most affordable option. I went ahead and rented a 2017 model in Laser Blue because quite frankly blue is my favorite color.

Exterior Impressions:

Upon first looking at the 2017 Jeep Compass the little SUV has quite the aggressive stance. I was immediately impressed with the big bright headlights and the signature waterfall grille. The whole car looks like a baby Grand Cherokee, which is actually great if you already like the styling of the bigger model. The compass comes in either a two-tone paint scheme or a single tone but either way, you will still get the black flares that run through the bottom of the SUV.

My unit came with the 18-inch rims, which look great but you can also opt for 19-inch rims if you want to add accessories to it. The Jeep isn't as extreme looking as say a fully loaded Rubicon, but it still gets the point across that it was designed for the outdoor enthusiast. The roof rack which is an option is also very functional, and Jeep actually has licensed accessories that you can order such as a bike rack and even racks for a kayak. The Jeep was definitely designed for the outdoor enthusiast.

Interior Impressions:

The interior was a pleasant surprise, and I can tell that Jeep really went the extra mile in the design. From the jump, the black interior with leather was very attractive, but the two-tone stitching on the seats that match the cars exterior color is also very attractive. The LCD instrument cluster and the huge LCD touchscreen are really nice touches, and the AC controls are all right within reach. Driving at night time the Compass has what almost seems like ambient lighting, all of the gauges and buttons are so well lit.

Interior room is above average, I loaded a front-facing car seat in the back seat and I still had room for two adult passengers. The panoramic sunroof really adds to the flare, and there is plenty of cargo space for groceries and a stroller. Road noise wasn't too bad, I can tell that a lot of detail went into the over interior design. Even when equipped with the panoramic sunroof the interior noise is still minimal, and the design of the interior feels nice and sturdy.


This little Jeep showed me some strong performance, much more impressive than the former model to say the least. I got onto the freeway with no problem what so ever, acceleration was great. The engine is a little noisy it would seem, but these Chrysler engines usually are kinda noisy so I was already used to it. The transmission seems to make it through gears fairly well, I didn't have any problem accelerating and I definitely didn't have any problems downshifting. Usually, these CVT transmissions can seem very clunky but I didn't have any real issues with it.

Final Word:

I was immensely impressed with the 2017 Compass, it is such a far cry from the original model that it is amazing. I have driven a lot of different Jeep models and for the value, this specific one is great, especially if you are looking for a rugged mini SUV and you want a legendary American nameplate like Jeep behind it. Obviously, if you have a bigger budget I would go for the bigger Cherokee, but if a mini SUV is in the cards the Jeep Compass takes the cake.


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