CHICAGO — Jeep is freshening its Compass compact crossover with a more spacious interior, larger display screens, more storage space and a flood of safety technology.
The updated Compass, scheduled to go on sale this fall, debuts Wednesday at the Chicago Auto Show.
The Compass is part of a larger revamp to Jeep’s lineup this year, including the three-row Grand Cherokee L and the luxurious Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer SUVs. The redesigned two-row version of the Grand Cherokee is coming later in 2021.
The adventure brand is moving upstream with the Wagoneer models, dipping its toe into electrification with the Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid and making a play further downstream for those wanting more economical options with the updated Compass.
It’s an ambitious launch schedule, but there is little overlap among the upcoming products, Jeep global CEO Christian Meunier said on a call with reporters.
Jim Morrison, Jeep’s North America vice president, called the Jeep slate a “product guy’s dream.”
“It’s extremely fun to have that incredible cadence of [the Wrangler] 4xe, [Wrangler Rubicon] 392, then Grand Cherokee, then Grand Wagoneer and then 4xe Grand Cherokee,” Morrison said.
He added: “It’s very busy, and sometimes you don’t get to sleep, but sleep’s overrated.”
The reworked Compass already has debuted in most regions.
It starts at $26,490, including shipping, for the base 4×2 Sport model, $500 more than the outgoing version. The top Limited and Trailhawk trims, which only come in 4×4, are priced identically, at $32,890 with shipping.
The latest Compass features the Uconnect 5 infotainment system, which can be accessed on the crossover’s standard 8.4-inch touch screen or optional 10.1-inch high-definition display. Uconnect 5 runs on an Android-based operating system and has processing speeds five times faster than those of its predecessor. It enables two Bluetooth phones to connect simultaneously, aiding those who carry multiple phones and allowing passengers to interact with the system in addition to the driver.
The Limited and Trailhawk trims have an available 10.25-inch frameless digital cluster that’s among the largest in the segment.
The top two trims and an available High Altitude package will offer highway-driving assist technology that combines lane-centering and adaptive cruise control, but the feature won’t be available immediately. It requires the driver’s hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
Advanced safety features such as full-speed collision warning with active brake and pedestrian/cyclist detection; active lane management with lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist; and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-path detection are now standard across all trim levels.
The reimagined interior offers a wireless charging pad and heated rear seats for the first time.
Meunier said Compass sales have been hampered by the microchip shortage. U.S. sales in 2021 through June were down 29 percent to 34,154, ranking the Compass 11th in the compact crossover segment, according to the Automotive News Research & Data Center.
Although the model’s sales were down in the U.S., Meunier said the Compass is gaining traction globally and is the brand’s top seller worldwide this year.
“All together, Compass is doing great,” he said.
Read More: Auto News