2007 – 2017 Compass (MK49)
Jeep debuted the production version of the Compass at the 2006 North American International Auto Show in January. The first Compass was assembled on May 30, 2006, in Belvidere, Illinois, where the Dodge Neon was produced.
The Compass did not carry the “Trail Rated” badge found on other SUVs in the Jeep family for the 2007-2010 model years, but received the “Trail Rated” badge for the 2011 model year. This indicates that the Compass targets first-time Jeep buyers and those who drive primarily on paved roads.
The Compass and Patriot are both based on the DaimlerChrysler/Mitsubishi GS platform. These vehicles are differentiated by their styling and marketing: The Patriot is a traditionally styled 4-door Jeep wagon, while the Compass has a softer hatchback look, similar to the Dodge Caliber.
For 2011, Jeep redesigned the Compass to more closely resemble the Grand Cherokee, while keeping its own identity. The 2011 Jeep Compass also receives a revised suspension for better handling, a revised interior with more standard equipment, and more option packages including a Freedom Drive II Off-Road Package which includes a continuously variable transmission fitted with a low-range setting, all-terrain tires inside 17-inch aluminum wheels, skid plates, a four-wheel-drive system, and an increase ground clearance of a full inch.
A special edition Compass model commemorated Jeep’s 70th anniversary in 2011, and included various upgrades, special interiors, badges, wheels, and was available in only three exterior colors: Bronze Star, Bright Silver, and Black.
The Compass uses a 172 hp (128 kW) 2.4 L World I4 gasoline engine. The 2.0 L World engine is available on the 4X2 Sport model with 158 hp (118 kW). A 2.0 L l-R4 TDi 103 kW (138 hp; 140 PS) Volkswagen-designed diesel engine was available for the European and Australian markets, replaced in 2011 by the 2.2 L Mercedes-Benz OM651.
The Compass also features two electronically controlled four-wheel drive systems. Freedom Drive I and Freedom Drive II, Freedom Drive I is a full-time four-wheel drive system with locking capabilities; Freedom Drive II is based on Freedom Drive I but by using the vehicle’s CVT transmission it is capable of a 19:1 gear reduction simulating a low-range usually found in vehicles with dedicated transfer cases.
The base model version has front wheel drive (FWD). The Trail Rated version of the Compass has passed the same testing of off-road ability as other Jeep vehicles in terms of traction, ground clearance, maneuverability, articulation, and water fording.