Denver and Jeep go together like mountains and snow. The 2011 Jeep Compass can finally be put in the same sentence with Denver drivers. For 2011 the Jeep Compass has been refreshed with updated styling and four-wheel systems to more closely resemble the Grand Cherokee.
The Compass has been criticized in the past because of its lack of performance. For the 2011 model year, the new Compass gets some badly needed updates to the suspension and engines. Even with all the changes, the Compass isn’t out of the woods yet and needs to keep pace with other vehicles in this increasingly popular category of crossover utility vehicles.
The 2011 Jeep Compass comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder power plant that can handle Denver’s high altitude. But the weak link is the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that exhibits an annoying “motorboat” sensation in which engine rpm is seemingly unrelated to vehicle speed. The five-speed manual would be a better choice.
The upgraded, 2.4-liter inline-four increases horsepower to 172 with 165 lb.-ft. of torque for 2011. Optional on all models and standard on the Limited, the 2.4-liter engine uses dual Variable Valve Timing, which helps to optimize performance and fuel economy. Fuel economy for the Compass 4X4 is an EPA estimated 20/23 city/highway. In my week with the Compass, I didn’t get anywhere near these numbers; others might without a lead foot.
This could be the end of the trail for the Jeep Compass. In a press conference on November 4, 2009 Chrysler LLC, now 25% under Fiat ownership, announced that both the Patriot and Compass would get modifications for 2011, but will be discontinued by 2012, to be replaced by a single Fiat-based model. We will keep you informed as soon as details are announced.
Click here for the full report on the 2011 Jeep Compass.