When Denver buyers are looking for an SUV with off-road capabilities they think of Jeep. What they haven’t thought of when going four-wheeling is the Jeep Compass. Up until now the Jeep Compass has been a relatively non-issue when it comes to outdoor enthusiasts.
That has all changed with the 2011 Jeep Compass. The Compass can be ordered with the Freedom-Drive II Off-Road package ($1,600) that includes a full-time active 4WD system, a 19:1 low-range mode, engine oil cooler, hill start/descent control, 17-inch aluminum wheels, all-terrain tires, transmission and oil pan skid plates, tow hooks, a locking differential, and a full-size spare tire.
It’s a serious off-road package, enough to make this the first Compass to earn Jeep’s Trail Rated badge. Also included as part of the package are a one inch higher ride height, a new front fascia that allows for a 29.6-degree approach angle (stock is 20), fog lamps, a manual seat-height adjuster and a trailer tow wiring harness.
We took it up it up to Grand Lake recently and needed to ford an 18 inch stream to get to a church camp last week. With the heavy snows this past winter, the summer runoff is at record levels. We used the Compass to shuttle other members who couldn’t cross the rushing water covering the road with their vehicles. The Compass impressed those of us who remember when the Compass was relegated to trips to the grocery store.
Jeep says this package is recommended for “moderate off-road situations that include steep grades, occasional wheel lift and rock or log climbing.” While most Denver Compass buyers will never take their vehicle off-road, the new 4WD system gives the Compass something it’s been lacking from the beginning; it’s now a true Jeep.
Click here to read about how the 2011 Jeep Compass performs at Denver’s high altitude.