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Jeep Compass Latitude 4X4 – DIFFERENCE IN ATTITUDE

Car Reviews

Jeep Compass Latitude 4X4 – DIFFERENCE IN ATTITUDE

Jeep Compass Latitude 4X4


Jeep.  Ask anyone and the word no doubt will conjure up an image of the original Army green World War II Jeep, covered in dust and mud with no doors, the windshield folded flat on the hood.  It’s a legendary name that evokes toughness, durability and reliability.  

And that’s exactly what the folks at Jeep want you to envision when shopping for any of their models.  

The current Jeep Wrangler, the direct descendant of the Willys MB that is a must-have actor in any World War II movie, sits on the bucket list of many car buyers, even if they never actually own one.  Take off the doors and remove the roof and it immediately becomes one of the truly fun vehicles to tool around in.  You can even lay the windshield down while you’re roaring around off-road and pretend – please! – you’re  fighting the bad guys.  

If you’re budget-conscious, however, and want a vehicle that carries the Jeep name but don’t need one that can scale a rugged mountain road, that’s okay too; in fact, Jeep’s Compass might just fit that bill.  A couple of weeks ago I was given the opportunity to test drive a Red Hot 2024 Jeep Compass Latitude 4×4.  I took it for a long drive to Dallas and back but didn’t venture off-road (I have I-45…) since it’s not really built to do much more than handle a ranch road or the potholes in downtown Houston. 

It arrived with a $35,010 MSRP price tag, about $5,000 more than a base model.  Like all Compass models, it was powered by a 200 hp, 2.0-liter direct injection turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.  EPA estimated fuel economy for the Compass is 24 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.  

This is a good-looking crossover with, of course, the nine-slot Jeep grill.  The interior features a standard 10.1-inch digital infotainment touchscreen, the new five-times-faster Uconnect 5 with standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a wireless charging pad.  I’m a tall guy that found the driver’s seating position somewhat cramped, making that four-hour excursion to Dallas a bit fatiguing.  But, I suspect most car shoppers will find the Compass perfectly comfortable for long trips.  

If you’re looking for a Compass you can confidently take off-road, I’d suggest looking at the Trailhawk trim, which starts at $33,895; that’s only about $3,000 more than the Latitude.  The Trailhawk is the only Compass that is TrailRated, which means that it’s the only trim that Jeep feels comfortable employing off-road.  The Trailhawk includes as standard equipment Jeep’s Active Drive Low 4×4 that features a class-leading 20:1 crawl ratio, giving the vehicle the right gearing for getting up (and down) a steep, rocky path.  It also provides a one-inch factory lift which gives the Trailhawk enough clearance to allow you to ford some shallow creeks.  

Pair that spec with aggressive off-road tires and Jeep signature red front and rear tow hooks and skid plates and you have a good chance of getting out of most rough spots. Hill-descent Control is provided, giving any driver a sure way of getting down a steep trail. The Trailhawk has a 30-degree approach angle, 24-degree breakover angle and 34-degree departure angle.  This is the vehicle that takes all the old things we love about the JEEP brand and marries it perfectly with some of the best improvements technology has to offer.

Steve is a veteran automotive journalist and former head of Ford Public Relations in its South Central region. He’s a native New Yorker who fell in love with a Texan (and Texas) over 20 years ago. Steve’s been living here happily ever since. His current automotive ‘want’ is an early 3-Series convertible, while his daily driver is a 2006 Toyota Tacoma.

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