July 23, 2024
Wheels

Compass gets big changes in 2024

Jeep offers value in entry price, along with proven 4-wheel drive capability

The 2024 Jeep Compass is an affordable 4x4 that delivers off-road capability across the entire lineup.

The 2024 Jeep Compass is an affordable 4x4 that delivers off-road capability across the entire lineup. The all-new Compass consists of five models: Sport; Latitude (Altitude package available); Latitude LUX; Limited (High Altitude package available); and the top-end Trailhawk.

With a base price of $25,900, the Compass is especially attractive to value-minded consumers who want the iconic status of the Jeep brand and appreciate the standard 4x4 system that allows them to go about anywhere they want in just about any weather conditions. The Compass has a top-end range of $33,895 for the Trailhawk version.

Comfort/convenience

The Compass offers passengers unexpected comfort and functionality with distinct styling inside and out. Some of the highlights for the 2024 model include a next-generation Uconnect 5 infotainment system with operating speeds that are five times faster and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability.

The interior of the Compass is filled with soft-touch surfaces and offers driver/passenger great visibility. Look for standard 10.1-inch Uconnect 5 high-definition touchscreen radio and an available full-color 10.25-inch frameless digital TFT gauge cluster, one of the largest in the class. The dashboard holds a tablet-style touchscreen and just enough physical buttons to make the SUV feel convenient without being retro.

You get about as much space inside the Compass as you would with just about any other car in the segment. I found the front legroom to be especially good, and adults should feel pretty comfortable in the back, too. Headroom is standard throughout the cabin, though it may be a little lacking for taller folks. The standard manual driver’s seat means it may take some effort to find a comfortable position, but once you find it – it’s worth the effort.

Performance

The 2.0-liter, direct injection, turbocharged, inline four-cylinder engine delivers best-in-class standard horsepower and torque, as well as premium on-road manners. I found it to be plenty of power on demand.

Jeep replaced the previous 2.4-liter four-cylinder with this new 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder, and it got rid of a 9-speed automatic I felt was in obvious need of replacement. Today’s Compass is much more efficient and powerful, paired with a tight 8-speed automatic transmission.

The turbocharged four-cylinder unit generates 200 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque. Properly equipped, the 2024 Compass can tow up to 2,000 pounds with regular trailering.

Safety

Jeep engineers have introduced the most technologically advanced Jeep Compass ever in the 2024 models. Featuring an array of advanced safety and security features, including an available semi-autonomous driving system, parallel and perpendicular park assist, Traffic Sign Recognition systems, and a 360-degree Surround View camera, the Compass is safe and sound.

Standard safety and security features on all trims include Drowsy Driver Detection, Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning with Active Braking, Pedestrian/Cyclist Automatic Emergency Braking, Active Lane Management, Blind-spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path detection. Next-generation technologies offered on Compass include an available 10.25-inch frameless full-color thin-film transistor digital cluster – one of the largest in the segment, standard 10.1-inch digital infotainment touchscreen, the new five-times-faster Uconnect 5 with standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and an available wireless charging pad.

Final Thoughts

With the entry price being below $25,000 for the base trim, the Compass should garner lots of attention. Add in the standard 4x4 system and you have a winner. Like any Jeep, the SUV excels at off-road driving, thanks to its high ground clearance and standard 4x4 drivetrain. While the Trailhawk is particularly laser-focused on off-road capability, the rest of the lineup is still best being on the pavement.

• John Stein is a freelance journalist based in Chicago. He has more than 25 years of experience driving, testing, and writing about the automotive industry, its latest innovations, and vehicles.