2017 Jeep Compass Review: Baby Grand

– Cleveland, Ohio

Jeep sells nothing but SUVs, and for the most part, they’re excellent SUVs. The exceptions have been the Jeep Compass and Patriot, two crossovers that shared their mechanical bits with the Dodge Caliber. Jeep has continued selling them since the Caliber went kaput in 2012 because, well, Americans are crazy for crossovers, even not-so-good ones. Still, the Compass and Patriot barely deserved to be called Jeeps. They’re almost gone, though the Patriot is still actually on sale as a 2017 model, replaced by this new Compass that shares only those seven letters with its predecessor.

The 2017 Compass is everything the old one wasn’t: handsome, capable, fun, and functional. Now firmly seated in Jeep’s lineup between the smaller Renegade and larger Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, the Compass completes an all-SUV lineup that’s excellent with no exceptions.

 

 

Pros

Rugged good looks. The Compass is a handsome compact SUV. More so than the odd-looking Cherokee or boxy Renegade, it captures the same tough-but-sophisticated persona as the brand’s best-selling Grand Cherokee. And it looks good in every trim, from the base Sport to the go-anywhere Trailhawk to the top Limited trim shown here.

Actual off-road chops. The selling point of any Jeep, from the Wrangler on down, is getting more off-road acumen than your typical SUV or crossover. The Compass, for instance, has a standard ground clearance of 8.2 inches, which is higher than other crossovers its size and more on par w...