Jeep has long associated itself with traversing even the most rugged and hostile terrains on the planet. The Compass may never see much off-roading beyond the dirt roads of rural country lanes, but it still upholds the Jeep mantra of tackling whatever is in front of it — even if one or two tires come off the ground in the process.

The 2019 Jeep Compass slots in between the Renegade and the Cherokee. In fact, you might mistake it for the Cherokee if you glance at it too quickly. If you find yourself at a Jeep dealership, check out what the Compass has to offer. We’ve gathered this quick summary of all the pertinent statistics for you here, but nothing compares to trying the model on for size yourself.

Performance Specifications

The 2019 Compass directs the power of a 2.4-liter inline-4-cylinder via a 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic, or 9-speed automatic transmission. The four-cylinder is capable of 180 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque. Of course, the Compass can be purchased as either a two-wheel or a four-wheel drive variant. The 2019 Compass is capable of towing up to 2,000 pounds.

Choose from the following colors on your brand-new Compass: Spitfire Orange Clear Coat, Olive Green Pearl Coat, Laser Blue Pearl Coat, Jazz Blue Pearl Coat, Diamond Black Crystal Pearl Coat, Billet Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Redline Pearl Coat, Granite Crystal Metallic Clear Coat with Black Clear Coat Roof, or White Clear Coat.

Trimlines and Safety Features

Jeep offers the following trim levels on the 2019 Compass:

Sport: Front-wheel drive is standard on this base model and all others, excluding the TrailHawk trim which takes 4-wheel drive as standard. Starting out around $21,845, the Sport trim features cloth seats, push-button start, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and dual-zone climate control. This base model rides on 16-inch wheels.

Latitude: Jumping up to just over $25,000, the Latitude model gives you keyless entry, alloy wheels, a 6-speed automatic (if you choose to stay with the front-wheel drive variant), and satellite radio. An optional sunroof is just one of the features the many additional packages offered for this trim level. Choose from cloth or simulated leather seating to customize your experience.

Upland: Available as only a front-wheel drive variant, the Upland model is painted either white, gray, or black. Customers who choose this model will, however, benefit from TrailHawk front fascia and blacked-out tow hooks up front. You could almost consider the Upland trim more of an appearance package than anything else.

Altitude: Also another appearance-centered trim, the Altitude package features two-tone paint schemes and a unique gloss-black exterior look. Interior accents center upon piano black inserts designed to extend the Compass’ classy appeal.

Limited: Inching closer to the $30,000 mark, the Limited model brings together coziness for long road trips and the technology to back it (and you) up. Perforated leather seats are heated for you and your passenger’s comfort, and are just the tip of the iceberg on this trim. You’ll also enjoy a heated steering wheel, and a complete set of 18-inch wheels will eat up the road faster than you can say, “Road trip!”

TrailHawk: A Wrangler by any other name, the TrailHawk trim level puts together the Jeep Active Drive Low four-wheel drive system with the available 9-speed automatic for a more enjoyable off-roading experience. Starting at just over $29,000, the TrailHawk also allows drivers to select the terrain they’ll be traversing, using the Selec-Terrain System. Whether it’s snow, sand, mud, rock, or just normal pavement, there’s a terrain setting for it. The TrailHawk rides on 17-inch wheels and features unique exterior styling accents that make it unmistakable.

High Altitude: Though it can’t rival the TrailHawk for off-roading capacity, the High Altitude trim pretty much has anything else you’d ever want to outfit the Compass with. The model itself is priced slightly above the TrailHawk, nearer to the $30,000 mark, and features a Beats sound system and GPS navigation.

Optional packages available for the 2019 Jeep Compass include the Sport Appearance Plus Package, Popular Equipment Group, Cold Weather Group, Technology Group, Safety and Security Group, Premium Lighting Group, Advanced Safety Group, and Two-Tone Paint Group. Each one has its own charm (and price). Check out Jeep’s website for more information on what features each of these packages offers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded the 2019 Compass a 4 out of 5 overall safety rating. There was one recall already on the model, for “insufficient coating on rear brake caliper pistons.” The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rated the 2019 Compass “Good” in all categories of their crashworthiness testing.

Fuel Efficiency

The 2019 Jeep Compass puts up quite respectable fuel efficiency numbers for a four-wheel drive capable SUV. Models equipped with a manual transmission that are two-wheel drive will see around 23 city and 32 highway EPA-estimated miles-per-gallon (mpg). Both two-wheel drive automatic transmission variants and four-wheel drive manual transmission variants dip down a point in both measurements, while the automatic four-wheel drive models achieving 22 city and 30 highway mpg.

How the 2019 Jeep Compass Compares

Jeep is one of those brands that commands a large following, bringing together folks who love the outdoors and going where most people haven’t gone yet. The question is: will the Compass steer you in the right direction, or lead you astray after you purchase it?

Here to lend some expert advice are Edmunds.com, U.S. News, and the folks at Kelley Blue Book (KBB). U.S. News reviewers appreciated the Compass’ affordable pricing and had good things to say about the cabin, but felt the handling wasn’t stellar. The biggest concern for the 2019 model, however, is the outgoing variant. Dodge the immediate depreciation and opt for a gently used car to “get a virtually identical vehicle.”

Interestingly enough, though, all three independent reviewers recommended the Latitude trim. Edmunds named it the best trim for on-road use, while the TrailHawk dominates off-road. “Limited storage capacity” holds the 2019 Compass back in some ways, but the integrated technology doesn’t require much of a learning curve. KBB experts noted the Subaru Crosstrek and Honda CR-V post slightly better fuel efficiency ratings and the Mazda CX-3 and CX-5 siblings handle better. At the same time, there aren’t many all-wheel drive compact SUVs that can off-road like the TrailHawk Compass can. Tame for the streets but savage almost anywhere else, the 2019 Jeep Compass is a strong pick for anyone who loves to off-road. Plus, sometimes you just gotta have a Jeep.

The Good

  • Manual transmission still available on select models
  • Variety of available trim levels and features
  • Strong TrailHawk trim level with respectable off-road capabilities

The Not-So-Good

  • Below-average reliability rating
  • Single engine available
  • Maybe better off-road than it is on-road?

The Last Word

The 2019 Compass represents the Jeep name well, combining standard off-road capabilities with a ruggedly durable, modern interior cabin space. Travel to your nearest Jeep dealership for a look at the 2019 Jeep Compass and decide for yourself.

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