History of the Jeep Compass

While the Jeep brand has always been reliable in its consistency, it has also branched out into a number of different models with design changes to meet the needs of a larger audience. When you search for Jeeps for sale in Miami, you have your choose of quality models, such as the Jeep Cherokee and the Wrangler.

The Jeep Compass hasn't always gotten the press of these other popular models, but it has been a steady presence since it was introduced in 2007. If you haven't already explored the Jeep Compass at your local Miami Jeep dealership, here's everything you need to know about this model:


The Jeep Compass was originally introduced as a concept vehicle at the 2002 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It was introduced as a compact crossover SUV with the same 3.7-liter, Power-Tech V6 engine in the Jeep Liberty. By the time the Compass was produced, it would receive a different engine.

The concept Compass had a two-door body with all-wheel drive, but it was updated to four doors by the time it was produced. 


It would be another four years before Jeep unveiled the production model of the Compass -- again at the North American International Auto Show. 

The production model kept many of the same design features from the concept model, but there were some key differences. The Compass had a slicker design than what Jeep fans were used to, and it was built like a hatchback. It wasn't trail rated on introduction, but it was designed for those who drove primarily on paved roads and needed better fuel efficiency. Four-wheel drive was available, but it operated on a single-speed system.

Later models of the Compass would get more of the Jeep power that brand fans expected, including trail rating starting in 2011. 

Compass Models

The 2007 Jeep Compass was the first in the line, and it included both Limited and Sport models in two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive, with either automatic or manual transmission. It had impressive gas mileage with 25 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. The 2007 model featured a 2.4-liter engine with 172 horsepower.

Consumers were underwhelmed with the early design of the Compass, both on the inside and the outside. Only 18,579 units were sold in the first year.

Sales more than doubled the following year for the 2008 model, which was largely the same. In fact, until 2011, the Jeep Compass remained relatively unchanged. Sales dropped off to just 11,739 units for the 2010 model, and the Compass underwent a redesign for the following year.

For the 2011 model year, Jeep took the Compass back to its roots and updated it to look more like the Grand Cherokee. It got a more rugged look while also getting more power under the hood. The Jeep Compass looked and performed more like what Jeep fans would have expected in a Jeep.

The 2011 model got an improved steering and suspension system, offering improved handling and allowing the Compass to drive over more terrain. It also got more option packages, including the Freedom Drive II and the All-Weather Capability Group. The Freedom Drive II included a continuously variable transaxle, a raised wheel height, tow hooks, skid plates and other accessories for off-road driving. The All-Weather Capability Group included all-terrain tires, engine block heater, tow hooks and other accessories for driving in any weather conditions.

Design changes included an upgraded interior with a new steering wheel with integrated controls, nicer upholstery and a backlit control panel. On the outside, the 2011 model got a new hood, grille, front fenders, fascia, head lights, and more.

Most of the same features have been included on recent Compass models, though some additional technology has been included and some minor tweaks made. The 2014 model saw the addition of a six-speed automatic transmission, front-seat mounted side airbags, stability control, and more. It also has gas mileage of up to 30 mpg on the highway. 

The 2015 Jeep Compass offers a High Altitude package for extreme outdoor enthusiasts, as well as a few design updates. 

Throughout the years, three typical models have been available: The Sport, Latitude and Limited. Sport models were the base models, and included features like cloth seating, power windows, and an advanced sound system.

The Latitude was the midrange model, and the Limited was the high-end option. Each model added progressively nicer features, such as leather seating and remote start.

Special Editions

The Jeep Compass has had two special editions: The 70th Anniversary Edition and the Altitude Edition. The 70th Anniversary Edition was a nicer version of the 2011 Sport model. It had alloy wheels, seats with leather trim, a sunroof, keyless entry, and an alarm. 

The 70th Anniversary Edition was an option for all Jeep models, and it was offered only in 2011 to commemorate the milestone for the automaker.

The Altitude Edition was offered in 2012 and built around the Latitude model. It added features like a sunroof, alloy wheels that were painted black, and seats with leather trim, similar to the 70th Anniversary Edition. 

The Altitude Edition was introduced as a special edition for the Jeep Grand Cherokee only, and the name was chosen by contest. However, because the package was so popular, it was offered to all Jeep models except for the Liberty. All models stopped offering it after 2012 except the Jeep Grand Cherokee.


You will continue to see the Jeep Compass on Miami Jeep lots at least through the 2016 or 2017 model year since the Compass is included in the automaker's five-year plan that expires in mid-2016. The Compass and Patriot are both scheduled to be replaced at that time by another vehicle in the same class. However, additional details about this replacement model have not yet been made available.


Now is the time to shop your local Miami Jeep dealership to test drive the Compass and snap up one of these reliable and affordable models before they are no longer available. You'll get a great deal on a great SUV, and you'll own a piece of Jeep history. 



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