This week let’s look at Jeeps 2007 Compass Limited 4X4 SUV. It is the best of the bunch all things considered. You won’t see any noticeable change from ’07 to ‘08 so you may want to take advantage of year end ’07 clearance sales as they make room for the 2008s.
The low end model comes with front wheel drive for this very car-like sport Ute and it looks the part of a road car not expected to go off road. But then as we all know only a very small number will ever get off road anyway – and not all that far either. The idea of being able to go off road is romantic and adventuresome but our busy lives and family demands prevent us from taking the time.
This Jeep Compass has a lower profile than most in class so it is easy to get in and out of, which helps to explain why it is expected to appeal to women more than before and 50/50 sales split of men and women is the target. I wonder how the gay community figures into those statistics… even split?
Parts – US/ Canadian 67%. Mexico 18%
Assembly – Belvidere, Illinois, USA
Class: – Special Purpose
Cars: – Commander, Compass, Grand Cherokee, Liberty, Patriot and Wrangler.
More roll and sway in the mountain turns on the Crest Test in spite of the rear stabilizer bar, and the steering is a bit loose for my liking. More expensive products will employ variable power assist depending on the speed you’re traveling. That is good but it adds a lot of cost that doesn’t really fit into this price class vehicle. So you travel more slowly which is fine for what the vehicle is. When I travel over the mountain winding roads and want to enjoy a performance car my mind immediately shifts gears to Corvette, Nissan 350Z or a host of other sports coupes.
It is very responsive and I found once you’re rolling you can accelerate to 80 in a short burst. It felt initially to be a turbo but it’s isn’t. And it does it all on 87 octane gasoline.
There is an annoying hesitation starting out and jerky throttle generally at all speeds. No immediate explanation why you get power surges and the throttle is so sensitive but it’s not a deal killer. I began to get used to it but I’d prefer it didn’t happen. I’ll give you cowboys and cowgirls an example. Ever ridden a horse that is real touchy and the slightest movement of the rains or any other parts of your anatomy cause them to twitch and they want to bolt… yep, that’s the Compass.
Wonderful look and I had several comments about how much people liked this Compass.
Fit and Finish:
Very good for the Jeeps of just 10 years ago. I have to say I’ve driven lots of Jeeps over the years and I appreciate the improvement in how they are put together today and noticeable for the past decade.
Price to value ratio is very good.
Conveniences and comfort:
Very good. It is well appointed. Seats are comfortable and the ride on the highway is smooth. I appreciate the sliding console armrest that is becoming more common and a thoughtful addition by a few car makers including Jeep.
The lift gate is one piece and is very easy opening and closing. It is a sign of careful engineering. It doesn’t take all that much but if you have to struggle with putting a lift gate or tail gate up and down you can bet there are lots of other stupid engineering elsewhere in the automobile, train and planes… and they should “Throw the Engineer from the train”. Mamma can stay.
This is, as you’ll see, the best priced of the competition and since I’ve driven them all I would opt for the Compass, because it is after all a Jeep. I was particularly happy with the Liberty I tested on an Elk hunting trip but I appreciate the added roominess of the Compass. There are several options packages and you’ll want to consider those, not only for convenience but for resale.
Jeep Compass $16-22,000, Mazda CX-7 $24-28,000, Acura RDX $33-36,000, Chevrolet Equinox $22-29,000, Hyundai Tucson $17-24,000, Toyota RAV4 $21-27,000, Honda CR-V $21-28,000, Suzuki Grand Vitara $19-25,000, Kia Sportage $16-23,000.
Nice styling, easy fold flat rear seats, visors extend for good side coverage and comfy ride with good seats.
Jerky throttle and only fair fuel economy numbers.
2.4 liter 4-cylinder 172 horsepower engine, 5-speed manual transmission, advanced front air bags, side curtain bags, electronic stability program, traction control, 4-wheel ABS power disc brakes, roll protection, rear stabilizer bar, theft deterrent system, power windows and locks that are speed sensitive, power fold away mirrors, cruise control, remote keyless entry and illumination, rear window wiper/ washer and defroster, sliding sun visors with mirrors, 12 V outlet and 115 V outlet, air conditioning, heated front seats, heights adjustable driver seat, leather wrapped tilt steering wheel with audio controls, outside temp display, stereo with CD player, passenger fold flat seatback, rear 60/40 reclining and folding seat backs, removable interior rechargeable light, 18” aluminum alloy wheels, halogen headlights, fog lights and deep tint sunscreen glass.
Options: continuously variable transaxle with autostick, auto dim rearview mirror, outside temp and compass, universal garage door opener, information center, tire pressure monitor and 18” aluminum wheels.
$2.63/ Gal avg. August 24, ‘07
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23 City and 26 Highway MPG
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