The 2018 Jeep Compass compact crossover SUV is powered by a 2.4-liter inline-4 engine with an output of 180 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. The Sport and Latitude trims start with a six-speed manual transmission in either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. A six-speed automatic transmission comes for all front-wheel drive models while a nine-speed automatic transmission comes for all all-wheel drive models. The acceleration delivered by the Trailhawk model had little urgency and that was quantified by the 0-60 mph time of nine seconds. When opting for the automatic transmission, it hesitated to shift down when power was needed. The characteristic of its engine is more inclined to off-road driving, in which it is quite equipped to do so. Its handling showed stability when cornering considering the all-terrain tires it came with. The tall ride height may have contributed to more body roll, but it was well controlled. The steering never felt cumbersome nor lifeless and the vehicle turned at will. The brakes were average at best, but this might only be specific to the Trailhawk. The response when pressing the pedal was delayed and almost abrupt. This setup may be preferred for off-road scenarios. However, it did not translate well on the road because it took 144 feet to stop from 60 mph.
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The base Sport trim comes standard with a push-to-start button, Bluetooth, two USB ports and an infotainment system with a 5-inch touchscreen, and a six-speaker sound system. The Technology package adds automatic climate control, satellite radio, 115V power outlet, Apple Carplay, Android Auto, and a bigger 7-inch touchscreen. The Cold Weather package adds heated front seats, heated steering wheel, wiper de-icer and remote engine start (for automatic transmission only). Next, the Latitude trim adds a power liftgate, automatic headlamps, keyless entry and ignition and a nine-speaker Beats sound system. The Popular Equipment package adds a digital instrument cluster, power-adjustable driver seat, auto-dimming rearview mirror, satellite radio, 115V power outlet, Apple Carplay, Android Auto and a bigger 7-inch touchscreen. The Advanced Safety & Lighting package adds xenon headlamps and several advanced safety and driver aids. The Safety and Security package adds rain-activated wipers and more advanced safety and driver aids. The Navigation package adds navigation and a bigger 8.4-inch touchscreen. Lastly, the Altitude trim comes standard with the bigger 8.4-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.
The 2018 model was tested by the NHTSA and it achieved four stars in the frontal crash test, five stars in the side crash test and three stars in the rollover test. Overall, it earned a four-star safety rating from the NHTSA. With the 2018 model being similar to the 2017 model, the IIHS gave the highest scores for crashworthiness and crash avoidance and mitigation. Thus it earned a 2017 Top Safety Pick recommendation from the IIHS. The standard safety equipment for the base trim is a rearview camera only. Advanced safety and driver aids come in packages and they include automatic high beams, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and rear-park assist.
The 2018 model has a length of 173 inches, a width of 73.8 inches, a height of 64.8 inches and a wheelbase of 103.8 inches. The base trim comes standard with 16-inch wheels and has the option for roof rails, body graphics and darker tinted glass. Higher trim levels have the option of bigger wheels as well as a sunroof. The Altitude trim has a black-themed styling with its black wheels, badges, roof and front and rear bumpers. The Trailhawk trim comes with wider 17-inch wheels wider in all-terrain tires. It also has a higher ride height, skid plates, tow hooks and specific exterior parts.
Being a smaller SUV in Jeep’s lineup, getting inside the cabin resembled more of stepping in rather than stepping up. The doors opened wide and entering felt smooth without needing to adjust. The legroom and headroom were generous enough for its size and did not feel tight. Five people can be accommodated inside by the two rows of seats. The cushion of the seats was supportive but despite the firmness, they weren’t fatiguing to the lower body during long trips. The leather upholstery isn’t the most premium but the overall fit and finish has been improved. The ride quality was not distracted by bumps and cracks on the pavement. They were dampened sufficiently and did not transmit harshly to the cabin. Road and wind noise were kept at bay and tire noise may be louder during off-road scenarios.
There is 27.2 cu-ft of space behind the second row of seats, and folding those seats down opens up 59.8 cu-ft of space for loading cargo.