2017 Jeep Compass

2017 Jeep Compass

Episode 3639
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

With the expanding Jeep lineup recently adding the subcompact Renegade, one might have thought the aged Compass’ was on its way out. Well not so fast, as Jeep has just released an all-new compact Compass, making for a two-pronged small  SUV attack from the brand. Plus, this Compass claims to have shed its “near Jeep” reputation. So is the new Compass for “real”? Let’s all be the judge of that.

If you thought there wasn’t enough room in the Jeep lineup for another crossover between the Renegade and the Cherokee, well you’re wrong, as that spot is now filled by the reborn 2017 Jeep Compass.

And while that might not exactly cause mass cheering around your workplace or ours, it will certainly create some buzz in plenty of the over 100 countries that it will be sold in. 

The Compass still rides on a front-wheel-drive based chassis, though no longer the Dodge Caliber’s; rather, the Fiat derived Jeep Renegade’s. 

There’s a choice of two all-wheel-drive systems, Active Drive and Active Drive Low. Trailhawk editions come with Active Drive Low, which adds low range and Rock mode with Hill-Descent Control to the standard Selec-Terrain.

The Compass’ exterior design is without a doubt much more SUVish in appearance than the compact wagon of before; drawing more cues from the larger Grand Cherokee than chassis-mate Renegade.

The front end is still tall and chunky looking, with the shortened 7-slot grille stretching fully between the black-trimmed headlights. A black-painted roof is optional, as are LED tail lights. 

And, for those Jeep Easter Eggs we’re not supposed to fully understand, there’s a lizard molded into the cowl, and a Loch Ness monster on the rear window. 

We do understand FCA’s Tigershark 2.4-liter I4; our only engine choice for now. Here it produces 180-horsepower and 175 lb-ft. of torque. Walking up the trim levels will move you from 6-speed manual, to 6-speed automatic, and ultimately 9-speed auto. 

The interior appears almost upscale, more so in Limited trim; with little Jeep quirkiness to be found. Front seat space is ample, made more so by a very low console for an almost airy feel.

Seat cushions felt firm initially; but after a long day in the saddle, they proved to be very comfortable.

Rear seat space is good on headroom, adequate on legroom, but the cushions are harder and flatter.

Even base models feature a UConnect touchscreen center dash, but upgrading to navigation gets you a much larger 8.5-inch version. 

A handy power lift gate is optional. Behind it is a good 27.2 cu-ft. of cargo space. Split, nearly flat folding rear seats expand that to a respectable 59.8 cu-ft.  

As for driving; well, The Compass never really feels overpowered, merely adequate. 

And that 9-speed still seems to be a powertrain weak link. It seldom felt like it was in the right gear at the right time, and was rather slow to make any changes.

We found the ride to be, somewhat surprisingly, very smooth, even with the Limited’s 18-inch wheels. Interior noise levels suffered a bit from wind noise around the windows. The kind that makes you keep checking to see if they’re all the way up. 

Always wanting to prove their off-road merits, Jeep arranged for backwoods time in Northern California. We hit some real trails, not just specially created obstacles as many carmakers like to send you through. We’re not talkin’ hardcore stuff here, but this little Compass Trailhawk is clearly more capable than anything else in its class.  

But, our advice is that unless you plan to do lots of off-roading, skip the Trailhawk and stick with still-capable lesser trims and save some money. Or, spend about the same and go for luxury with Limited trim.

It will take adding a few option packages, but comprehensive safety systems are available; including Full-speed Collision Warning Plus with Advanced Brake Assist. 

Regardless of drivetrain, Government Fuel Economy Ratings are all very close to the front-wheel-drive manual’s 23-City, 32-Highway, and 26-Combined. Our mileage loop was right on at 25.9 MPG.

The Energy Impact Score is 12.7-barrels of annual oil consumption with 5.6-tons of CO2 emitted. 

Compass base pricing ranges from a Sport at $22,090 to Limited at $30,090. But be advised, there are some 2017 Compass carryovers from last generation on dealer’s lots. Trust us, the new one is the one you want.   

With crossover and SUV sales showing no sign of slowing down, FCA’s Jeep brand could probably put just about anything out there and be successful with it. That’s not what they did with the genuinely all-new 2017 Jeep Compass. It’s miles better than its predecessor. And, with Jeep more and more a global brand, this small and capable family runabout is certain to have loads of appeal both home and abroad. 


  • Engine: 2.4 liter
  • Horsepower: 180
  • Torque: 175 lb-ft.
  • EPA: 23 mpg city / 32 mpg highway
  • Energy Impact: 12.7 barrels of oil/yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 5.6 tons/yr
2024 PHEV Roundup 1

2024 PHEV Roundup

You Don’t Have To Go Full EV To Live The EV Lifestyle

Episode 4338
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

You’ve heard us say many times that PHEVs– plug-in hybrid electrics– rather than BEVs– pure battery electrics– are a sound choice for many folks thinking about owning an electric vehicle. Well, buyers do seem to have gotten the message, as while recent sales of all-electric BEVs are down, PHEVs are suddenly skyrocketing. So, we thought we’d give you a close look at the range of PHEVs that are available today.

An EV when you want it, a fuel-efficient hybrid when you don’t; that’s the reason that PHEVs are so appealing, and why we feel they’re the perfect starter vehicle for this time of transition from internal combustion to all-electric. So, buckle up for an alphabetical rundown of all the mainstream PHEVs that are currently available.

BMW has many plug-in options, starting around $46,000 with the 2.0-liter I4-based 330e sedan and its 22 miles of EV range. There’s also a 750e sedan with more than 30 miles of EV range, and an xDrive50e X5 utility with closer to 40 miles of EV range, plus a high-performance XM with 738 horsepower. For partner Mini, a small 1.5-liter I4-based setup is available in the Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 utility with 18 miles of EV range, going for around $42,000.

Ford has been in the plug-in game for some time, and currently gets a great 37 miles of EV range out of their 2.5-liter I4-based setup which is available in both the Escape for about $36,000, and in its upscale Lincoln Corsair counterpart which goes for around $55,000.

Hyundai offers a pair of plug-in SUVs, the Santa Fe priced at around $43,000 and the Tucson which goes for about $40,000; both use a 1.6-liter I4 turbo engine. It shares with their corporate cousins over at Kia. The Sorento, which starts around $51,000, and the Sportage, beginning at $40,000, along with Kia’s Niro at $35,000. All get more than 30 miles of EV Range.

For the high-rollers, Land Rover has a six-cylinder P550e plug-in option for both the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport with 51 miles of range, starting around $119,000.

Mazda is very new to the plug-in game, with their inline-six based setup just recently becoming available in the new CX-70 and CX-90 SUVs, both with 26 miles of electric-only range, starting at $41,000.

Mercedes-Benz has offered quite a few PHEVs over the years, though currently their lineup only consists of the $70,000 GLE450e SUV with a 2.0-liter I4 and 48 miles of EV range; and a $128,000 3.0-liter I6 S580e sedan with 46 miles of range. Though a high-performance 671 horsepower AMG C 63 S E Performance will be blasting onto the scene soon.

We’re very familiar with this second-gen Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, having had both generations as part of our long-term fleet. The current Outlander PHEV goes for $41,000 and gets 38 miles of EV range from its 2.4-liter I4-based setup.

Stellantis has a wide array of PHEVs available across their many brands, starting with the 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar-packing Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. It arrived way back in 2017 and currently delivers 32 miles of EV range for $40,000.

More recently, they’ve added the technology to the Jeep brand with 4Xe versions of the Jeep Wrangler for $52,000 and the Grand Cherokee at $61,000. And their most recent setup has just arrived in the compact crossover segment with 33 miles of battery in both the $45,000 Alfa Romeo Tonale and the $42,000 Dodge Hornet R/T.

All of this started with the Toyota Prius of course, which you can now get a Prime version of for $34,000 with a 2.0-liter I4 and 40 miles of range. The RAV4 Prime goes for $45,000 getting 42 miles. Plus, there’s a trio of Lexus PHEV’s rolling with bigger batteries on board, the NX450h+, the RX450h+, and the TX550h+, starting around $58,000.

Volkswagen PHEVs stick to their premium brands, starting with the $58,000 2.0-liter I4-based Audi Q5 55TFSI e quattro SUV with 22 miles of battery range.

Bentley adds electric-motor assistance to a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 for both the $206,000 Bentayga SUV, which gets 18 miles of EV range, and the $217,000 Flying Spur sedan, which stretches it to 21 miles. That same setup is available at Porsche in E-hybrid versions of both the $93,000 Cayenne SUV and $110,000 Panamera sedan, getting up to 19 miles on battery power.

Finally, Volvo has had a plug-in version of their turbocharged 2.0-liter I4 since the T8 arrived with the XC90 back in 2016. Now with a Recharge label, an updated version is available in just about every vehicle in their lineup; the S60 and S90 sedans, XC60 and XC90 SUVS, and yes even in the V60 wagon, starting around $53,000 with up to 40 EV miles.

So, there you have it, the Bs-to-Vs of PHEVs. They really are an easy way to live the EV lifestyle today, without going all the way.