2014 Jeep Compass Limited 4×4
2.4L L4 DOHC 16-valve - 6-Speed Auto
172 @ 6000
165 @ 4400
10 / 7
642 - 1,517
In many countries around the world, the word “Jeep” is used as a synonym for “SUV”. The main reason behind this fact is that every Jeep branded vehicle known to mankind has had the ability to tow a boat and go off-road.
The 2014 Jeep Compass Limited 4×4 is price-wise placed between the Patriot and the Wrangler, while size-wise it is just a bit smaller than a CR-V or RAV4 which brings it head to head with the Kia Sportage and VW Tiguan. Prices start at $17,245 for a 2.0lt Sport 4×2 and go up to $27,795 for a 2.4lt Limited 4×4. Our test vehicle was also equipped with the new 6-speed auto, power sunroof, upgraded audio system with navigation and the tow prep package and was priced at $32,730.
The compact SUV segment has become really popular worldwide and it is because of that, Jeep created the Compass. The mystery here is, does the Compass pack enough toughness and ability to proudly show-off its Jeep badge? We shall soon find out.
It is based on the DaimlerChrysler/Mitsubishi GS platform and its good looking front end is directly inherited from its big brother, the Grand Cherokee. The rear pillar-mounted door handles give it a two door profile look and at the same time allow the side lines to be sculptured and intense. The base ground clearance is 8.1” (206mm) which is rather good while adding the Freedom Drive II Off-road package ups it by a whole inch. The 19.5 degree approach angle is not impressive but the rugged overall feel is there so this baby Jeep is still game.
The interior is exactly what you would expect to find in an entry model Jeep. There are many brand trademark elements present that scream “I am a Jeep”. The steering wheel, the circular vents, the chrome rings around every gauge or dial are just some of them. The dashboard is made of hard durable plastics while the door panels and other parts of the vehicle you normally touch, feel softer and of higher quality. The layout is very simplistic and attention to practicality and ergonomics has been given. The steering wheel is thick but unfortunately not adjustable for reach. The seats are very comfortable and supportive and at the same time the leather upholstery feels very upmarket. The ideal driving position can be found easily and visibility overall is adequate. The rear view camera option is not standard even on the Limited which can prove to be rather inconvenient some times.
The rear seats come with adequate room for three adults while the one sitting behind the passenger seat can recline the front seat and use it as a footrest but in reality that is for loading very long items. The rear 60:40 split folding and reclining seats in the fully upright position leave 642lt of cargo space behind them while folding them down fully increases the cargo volume to 1517lt. Both numbers are not class leading but are very generous. In case you need to lug around more stuff that require a trailer, worry not as the towing capacity by default is 1000lbs unless you add the tow prep package which doubles that number to 2000lbs. Finding a home for smaller items is not a problem as small storage compartments are found all over the place which is nice to have and if you ever get stuck in the dark, pull the dome lights out which are rechargeable flashlights.
The 4-cyl 2.4lt DOHC power unit produces 172 BHP and 165lb-ft@4400 of torque and combined with the all new 6-speed automatic gearbox allows the Compass to move around with enough agility and does not leave the driver begging for more power. Throttle response is good, the engine pulls well from low revs but does feel a bit rough and noisy near the red line. Vibrations that reach the cabin are negligible and the automatic gearbox is jerk-free most of the time. Not really useful on this occasion but always good to have is the sequential mode. Weighing a modest 3,354lbs may help the engine seem lively but also keeps fuel consumption numbers to wallet friendly levels. During our test, we averaged a combined 10.8lt/100km which is on par with the class average.
For 2014, the Compass comes with freshly tweaked suspension which remains independent all-round. MacPherson struts in front and multi-link in the rear endorse the Compass’s on-road handling ability. It shoots straight on the highway at speed, while in the corners it feels like a hatchback car. Push hard and you will be warned by the front squealing tires that they are about to break loose. Any understeer tensions can be easily corrected with the hydraulic power steering which has good weight to it and more feel than Joan River’s face. If you reach the end of the civilized world, just pull the switch that locks the centre diff and start tackling unpaved terrain. The Compass won’t say no to reasonable off-road challenges and as long as the ground clearance is enough, it will keep going. The Brake pedal is progressive and the brakes are very effective as the compass came to a complete stop from 100km/h in just 41m.
While reviewing the Compass, I never felt that the handling was too numb and neither did I wish it was more comfortable over bumps. As such, I am happy to report that the Compass not only handles well but it is also refined and relaxing to travel in. Jeep engineers have done a good job finding the perfect median to tune the suspension for this occasion.
The minor quality issues I spotted may have been issues affecting only my test vehicle but that horrible looking radio antenna will be the same on all Compasses. Believe it or not, that is the only real negative comment I have to say about the 2014 Jeep Compass Limited 4×4. Oh, and the “no rear view camera”.
No rear view camera
Minor quality issues spotted