By Frank S. Washington
DETROIT – In the wake of almost one foot of snow, the 2014 Jeep Compass Limited 4X4 was a welcomed relief.
The test vehicle was equipped with the brand’s Freedom Drive 1 system. It was an all-the-time four-wheel-drive system with a lock mode. In other words, in addition to the regular snow, this Jeep had the capability of handling deep snow.
In the mush and the muck that was left from heavy snowfall that was followed by frigid weather, the test vehicle did not have any problems getting around the streets here. Not once was the lock mode used.
Remote start and heated front seats were much appreciated features when temperatures dipped below 20 degrees. A lot of effort went into creating a passenger cabin that was comfortable and visually pleasing. In other words, the interiors on all trim lines of the Compass have been upgraded.
The seats were comfortable, the UConnect screen dominated the interior but the template materials covering the dash could have been a little bit better but they didn’t look cheap. Gauges in front of the driver had a refined look; you could tell that the design staff gave them a lot of attention.
Saddle brown leather seats with accent stitching were part of the package on the Limited trim lines. Jeep said the armrest and center console lid are now wrapped in vinyl and the instrument cluster overlay graphics have been updated. A new satin chrome finish adorned the center bezel, shifter bezel and cup holders. And a new bin applique with badging round out the interior design upgrades.
The back seats were comfortable and the floor was deep enough to give the seats the feel of chairs. Legs went down to the floor seemingly in a 90 degree angle. The Jeep Compass could carry four full-size people in comfort for long distances.
The 110 volt socket was surprising. Though the USB and auxiliary jacks in the face of the control frame around the UConnect screen seemed a little pedestrian, there is nothing that can be done about it until the electrical architecture is changed with the next generation of subcompact Jeeps.
Powered by a 2.4-liter four cylinder engine that made 172 horsepower and 165 pound-feet of torque, the Jeep Compass Limited was a pragmatic vehicle. Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, the engine was relatively quiet for a four cylinder.
Transmission shifts were smooth and silent; we didn’t use the manual shift capability. Fuel economy for this variable valve timed engine was 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.
There have been subtle changes made to the sheet metal of the Jeep Compass.
The grille has been enhanced with a plated upper grille trim and mold-in-color Billet Silver grille texture. The Limited model had projector halogen headlamps with a black inner bezel and chrome fog lamp bezels.
The Compass also featured painted mirror caps, taillights with a new “smoked” inner bezel, a plated chrome insert on the tailgate trim applique, new available 18-inch aluminum wheels and a new plated chrome insert with recessed “Jeep” badge on the tailgate trim applique.
In addition to the heated seats and remote start, the test vehicle had a backup camera. There was also a navigation system, Bluetooth, satellite radio, voice commands and tire pressure monitoring were among the vehicle’s equipment.
With a base price of $27,795, the 2014 Jeep Compass Limited 4X4 was a very pragmatic buy. Add on options and freight charges and $30,075 seemed really reasonable for an all-weather utility vehicle.
Frank S. Washington is editor of AboutThatCar.com.