2018 Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 is the right Jeep for us

For American consumers, Jeep Brand offers the widest range of off-road capable vehicles that feature varied levels of rugged out back capability – coupled with everyday driving civility – and price points starting under $20,000 (Renegade) and topping $50,000 (Grand Cherokee).  Truly, from Renegade to Compass then Cherokee, Wrangler and Grand Cherokee – there is a Jeep for everyone for every purpose.

2018 Jeep Compass

We think of ourselves as ‘senior’ empty nesters, with an adventuring spirit and penchant to go (with little notice) to outback locales others often avoid.  We need a rugged mid-size or smaller SUV that fits that bill but is also a capable and comfortable everyday driver with a moderate price point to fit our fixed income budget.

Having experienced them all as media – for our purposes and budget – our choice would likely be the all-new Jeep Compass 4x4 in the Limited (or Trailhawk) trim level well fitted out with specific functional and convenience optional features.

Following a recent week-long test drive of a 2018 Jeep Compass 4x4 Limited in and around Central Texas, we think we found the Compass that would work for us.

 2018 Jeep Compass
As tested – 2018 Jeep Compass Limited 4x4
Powertrain and Mechanical

All Jeep Compass models are powered by the 2.4L Tigershark I4 engine with stop-start feature. It produces 180 horsepower with 175 lb.-ft. of torque.

Our test vehicle was the 4x4 configuration paired with the nine-speed AutoStick automatic transmission to push power to the rest of the drivetrain. Equipped with Hill Start Assist, the Jeep Active Drive full-time four-wheel system, with rear axle disconnect and 3.73 final gear drive, delivers the power to the standard 18-inch wheels.

The SelecTerrain drive mode system with center stack dial control has four traction control settings: AUTO, SNOW, SAND and MUD that the driver can use to adjust drivetrain performance to meet terrain conditions.

The Compass suspension is AWD tuned with MacPherson Strut with coil springs front and Chapman Strut with coil springs rear. Steering is electric power assist rack and pinion with four-wheel ABS disc brakes, Electronic Roll Mitigation and Electronic Stability Control.

We noted that the Compass is tow rated to 2,000 pounds when properly equipped.  However, there is not room for much gear after trailer weight – so we wouldn’t bother.

 2018 Jeep Compass
Exterior

Our test Compass Limited – in a handsome Granite Crystal Metallic Clear Coat with Black roof –  included Remote and Push Button Start, Keyless Proximity Entry, Power Adjustable and Heated Manual Folding Outside Mirrors, Automatic Headlamps, Quad Halogen Headlights, Daytime Running Lights, Fog and Cornering Lamps., Electric Parking Brake, ParkView Backup Camera, Deep Tint Sunscreen Glass, Bright Chrome Roof Rails and Rear Window defroster, wiper/washer.

2018 Jeep Compass
Interior

On the inside, the Black and Ski Gray interior featured sport bucket seating with console in luxury leather trim and perforated leather inserts with Ruby Red accent stitching and embossed Jeep logo. The heated seats were power eight-way driver and manual six-way passenger seat- that folded forward. Rear seating was 60/40 split-folding with armrest and cupholder.

Other interior features included Dual Zone Automatic Temperature Control with humidity control and filters plus rear heating and A/C ducts; Ambient Interior Lighting on front door handles, overhead console, front map pockets and front cup holders.  A 7-inch color TFT LCD display provides vehicle information to the driver.  Auxiliary power is provided through a 115V outlet plus 12V outlets in the front center stack and rear cargo area.

A couple of other notable features we found useful were the four Assist Handles at the seating positions (including the driver) and the three-level height adjustable cargo load floor with underfloor cargo tray providing storage flexibility in the 27.2 cubic feet behind the second row seating.

2018 Jeep Compass
2018 Jeep Compass
Infotainment

Infotainment on the Limited is provided through an integrated in-stack Uconnect 4 system with 8.4-inch touchscreen display, voice command, Bluetooth streaming audio, SiriusXM radio and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capable.

Optional Equipment

A ‘primo’ selection of optional equipment – making it nearly perfect for our purposes – had been added to our test vehicle.  They included:

Advanced Safety and Lighting Group – LaneSense Lane Departure Warning, Full Speed Forward Collision Warning with Active Braking and Advanced Brake Assist, B-Xenon HID Headlights with LED Signature and Automatic High Beam Control and LED Tail Lamps.

Safety and Security Group –  ParkSense Rear Park Assist System, Blind Spot and Rear Cross Path Detection and Rain Sensitive Intermittent Windshield Wipers with Deicer.

2018 Jeep Compass
2018 Jeep Compass
Navigation Group – Uconnect 4C NAV with GPS Navigation and 8.4-inch display and SiriusXM Guardian, Traffic Plus and Travel Link.

Plus:

  • Upgraded wheel package to 19 x 7.5-inch Aluminum Wheels with polished face and Black painted pockets mounted with 235/45R19 All-season tires delivering ground clearance over 8.2-inches.
  • Added a Power Lift Gate and Compact Spare Tire.
  • Majorly enhanced the entertainment system with a nine-speaker (including subwoofer) Beats Premium Audio system.

Fully fitted out with what we want and need,  the delivered price for our test 2018 Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 was just $34,955. 

Absolutely a great price for a comfortable and well-featured compact SUV that would easily have handled the snow and ice at Detroit a month ago and made short work of the weather in Chicago this month.

Trail Rated Trailhawk
Trail Rated Trailhawk

Now, if you are a serious off-roader, you would want your Jeep Compass to be ‘Trail Rated’.   The choice then is the 2018 Jeep Compass Trailhawk 4x4 which sports the Trail Rated badge certifying its off-road capability including more aggressive water fording and rock climbing.

NOTE: Learn more about ‘Trail Rated’ here https://www.jeep.com/compass/capability.html.

The Trail Rated Trailhawk features a one-inch higher off-road suspension and is equipped with Jeep Active Drive Low mode with a 20:1 crawl ratio, unique front and rear fascia, distinctive 17-inch wheels mounted with All-season On/Off-road tires, skid plates for fuel tank, transfer case, transmission and front suspension, tow hooks front and rear and signature red trim accents throughout.

NOTE: Learn more about Jeep Active Drive 4x4 systems here https://www.jeep.com/4x4.html.

Additionally, it’s 9-speed automatic transmission comes with a lower 4.334 final drive gear ratio, the Selec-Terrain adds Rock Mode and Hill-descent Control and you get a full-size spare tire.

It will set you back (MSRP) $28,695 plus any options and delivery.

2018 Jeep Compass
2018 Compass Lineup

Compass for 2018 is offered in four models.  The Sport and Latitude come in 4x2 (FWD) and 4x4 configurations starting at (MSRP) $20,995 and $24,295 respectively for the FWD.  The 4x4 drive is $1,500 more on each.  Trailhawk is 4x4 only at $28,595 and the top-of-the-line Limited price is $27,595 for the 4x2 with the 4x4 $1,500 more.

Learn more about the 2018 Jeep Compass compact SUV line here https://www.jeep.com/compass.html.