Reviews

2014 Jeep Compass Walk Around

Imagine the Jeep Grand Cherokee and downsize it a bit in your mind, and you'll have the Compass. We think it looks even nicer than the Grand Cherokee, because it's a tidier size.

The fact that the 2014 Jeep Compass looks like a small Grand Cherokee elevates it in the beauty department. The hood flaunts a power bulge, above quad reflector headlamps and a chrome-trimmed seven-slot grille. Cladding protects the sheetmetal during off-roading, which the Compass is capable of undertaking. Roof rails and a spoiler are standard, along with 17-inch aluminum wheels on most models (18-inch on the Limited).

All of the pieces fit aesthetically, to create a Jeep that's smooth, rugged and unmistakable.

Up front, the Compass Sport has a body-color grille with chrome inserts. Other models get a bright mesh grille insert. Lower bodyside cladding is standard on all Compass models, which also feature bright side roof rails.

Appearance of the Compass was updated for 2014. Grilles on Latitude and Limited models were enhanced, with plated upper grille trim and mold-in silver-color texture. Halogen headlamps on Sport and Latitude models now have black inner bezels. Limited models have added projector halogen headlamps, along with chrome foglamp bezels. Taillamps have a new smoked-look inner bezel.

Interior

We love the simplicity, efficiency, and clean style of the Compass interior and its lack of gimmickry.

The four main instruments are perfectly placed and easy to read; it gets no better. Speedometer and tachometer, plus smaller temperature and fuel gauges. There's digital information below the speedometer, including mpg, range and tire pressure. A button on the steering wheel makes it easy to scroll through the data.

Well thought out door handles, grab handles, door pockets, armrests, door speakers, center console with cubbies, ceiling scoops for headroom, and a nice tray inserted in the dash over the glove compartment make life better. The shift lever is up on the console out of the way, under the pop-up DVD loader. Just about the only item missing is a dial to tune the satellite radio stations; buttons get there, but only after driver distraction.

The one-piece rear liftgate is light, easy to raise and lower. It has panels for structural integrity, and the rear bumper has a non-skid rubber surface for grip when someone needs to step on it to get to the roof.

For 2014, the Compass Latitude has new sport mesh/vinyl seats. Armrests and the center console are now wrapped in vinyl.

The perforated leather upholstery in the Limited is beautiful and expensive feeling, and the bucket seats are comfortable. Fabric seats also are pleasing. The standard 60/40 folding rear seats drop flat in a heartbeat, and that's sweet. Yes, the center rear passenger has to straddle the tunnel with his or her legs; but legroom back there is good, at 39.4 inches. Rear door pockets are small, but speakers with the premium sound system are big.

The standard space-saver spare tire is neatly stored under the floor. Overall there's less cargo space than one might expect, although 54 cubic feet with the rear seats folded isn't bad. Maybe that expectation is because overall the Compass feels bigger than it is.

* The advertised price does not include sales tax, vehicle registration fees, other fees required by law, finance charges and any documentation charges.

* Images, prices, and options shown, including vehicle color, trim, options, pricing and other specifications are subject to availability, incentive offerings, current pricing and credit worthiness.

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