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2014 Jeep Compass

By Gary Witzenburg

On Sale: Spring 2013
Expected Pricing: $16,000 to $25,000

When Jeep introduced its car-like Compass compact crossover CUV for 2007 a lot of critics questioned why. It was essentially the same vehicle as the more Jeep-looking Patriot, but it was styled more like a compact car. We thought there would be room for two different takes on the same mechanicals, and apparently Jeep still does, since both Compass and Patriot will continue for 2014 with significant improvements.

Most important, the new Jeeps will offer a new compact, lightweight 6-speed automatic transmission for the first time, replacing its previous continuously variable Transmission (CVT). While CVTs are generally more fuel-efficient than conventional automatics, that one was both slow and noisy as it let the engine rev far ahead of vehicle speed under hard acceleration.

The 2014 Compass is expected to deliver up to 30 mpg on the highway with its standard 158-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder, five-speed manual transmission and front-wheel-drive.

Compass will get Jeep's tough Trail Rated designation when equipped with available packages.

The 2014 Compass will be nicely freshened inside and out with new standard side airbags and a new available backup camera.

Launched as a 2007 model, Compass was upgraded for 2009 and substantially revised for the 2011 model year.

Two 4x4 systems will be offered: Freedom Drive I active full-time 4x4 with a lockable center coupling for deep snow, sand and other low-traction surfaces, or Freedom Drive II. The latter will deliver Trail Rated capability with a second-generation CVT with low range (CVT2L) that engages when the off-road mode is activated, a 19:1 crawl ratio, all-terrain tires on aluminum wheels, a full-size spare, skid plates, tow hooks and a manual seat height adjuster.

The 2.0-liter inline-4 that comes with Sport and mid-range Latitude models will deliver 158 horsepower, 141 pound feet of torque and 30 mpg on the highway with the five-speed manual.

The 2.4-liter four-cylinder with dual-variable-valve-timing standard on Limited models generates a stronger 172 horsepower and 165 pound-feet of torque. Mated to the 5-speed manual and front-wheel drive, it will deliver 23 mpg in the city, 28 on the highway.

The new 6-speed automatic will be optional on Sport and standard on Latitude and Limited, except those with Freedom Drive II, which requires the off-road-capable CVT2L.

Standard features on the Sport model will include a new acoustic laminated front windshield, six airbags, Electronic Stability control with Roll Mitigation, ABS with brake assist, Hill-start Assist, anti-lock front disc/rear drum brakes, air conditioning, power windows, door locks and fold-away exterior mirrors, illuminated keyless entry, 60/40 fold-flat rear seat, cruise control, Sentry Key engine immobilizer theft-deterrent system, illuminated cup holders, a removable and rechargeable flashlight, floor mats, a tilt steering column, projector fog lamps, rear window wiper/washer and 16-inch steel wheels.

Latitude models get all that plus the 6-speed automatic, heated cloth front seats, a driver's seat height adjuster, a fold-flat front passenger seat, rear seat recline, a 115-volt power inverter and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and speed controls.

Limited upgrades to the 172 hp 2.4-liter engine, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, leather-trimmed seats and parking brake handle, power six-way driver seat with manual lumbar adjust, Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC), AM/FM/six-disc CD/DVD/MP3/HDD/SiriusXM radio, bi-function projector halogen headlamps, 18-inch aluminum wheels, automatic temperature control and a universal garage door opener. In addition to Freedom Drive I and II, the 2.4-liter engine and the six-speed automatic, available options (depending on the model) include the backup camera, a power sunroof, Uconnect Voice Command with Bluetooth and iPod connectivity, premium nine-speaker audio with liftgate speakers, navigation with SiriusXM Travel Link and a Trailer-tow Prep Group.

Substantially improved for 2014, the Jeep Compass will carry on in its role as a small, affordable, relatively fuel-efficient car-like CUV with available Jeep Trail Rated capability.


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