Jeep is expected to launch the updated 2021 Jeep Compass in the states somewhere later down this year. Along with some refreshment on the inside as well as outside, the 2021 Compass will get an updated engine that Jeep promises is more efficient and energetic than the engine it replaces.

After the cancellation of Auto Shows around the globe, owing to the deadly pandemic, the automobile industry has finally started gaining some traction. Automakers have slowly started pushing their new launches and updates and Jeep is one of them. The American giant recently pulled the plug off the refreshed Euro-spec 2021 Jeep Compass through an online virtual presentation. Interestingly, for European Consumers, the mid-cycle refreshed Compass will be manufactured locally in Italy's Melfi plant for the first time. The plant already makes the Renegade and would also commence production of Jeep’s very first plug-in hybrid models later this year. 

2020 Jeep Compass

Most importantly, the Euro-spec Compass brings in a slurry of changes for the 2021 model year. Not much happening on the visual aesthetics but the updates are mostly on the mechanical side, highlighted by an all new engine. The updated 2021 Compass shall also cross the Atlantic somewhere later down this year with similar configuration. Jeep’s legendary off-roading heritage, subtle looks and easy driveability have already been pushing the Compass out of showrooms in large numbers. However, a peppier engine and enhanced athleticism is what its customers have always been desiring for. However, does the mid-cycle refresh seem promising enough to fix the problem? Let's have a look at.

Trims and Prices

Compared to the on sale 2020 Compass’ nine trim levels, the 2021 Jeep Compass will be offered in five trim levels initially. The range includes- Sport, Longitude, Mighty Eagle, Limited, and S. A Trailhawk and all new 4xe plug-in hybrid will join the family later. Standard as front-wheel drive, all the trims can also be paired with an all-wheel drive system. Speculations have it that the same configuration will also make its way to the States. No official details or confirmations yet but we expect the updated model to kick in around $23,000, a marginal bump over the 2020 model..

Engine and Transmission

Perhaps the biggest highlight of the 2021 Jeep Compass is its all new engine. Gone is the 2.4-liter unit which powers the 2020 Jeep Compass and comes in a Renegade borrowed 1.3-liter T4 turbo. Though the 1.3-turbo makes 177 hp and 200 lb-fts in the smaller Jeep, its retuned for 150 hp in the 2021 Compass. Torque remains the same though. Even in comparison to the present 2.4-liter unit, power output drops by 30 hp but torque increases by 25 ft-lbs. 

The 2021 Jeep Compass borrows its new engine from the smaller Renegade

Regardless of trim, the 2021 Jeep Compass will offer buyers two transmission options to pick from. While the 6-speed manual remains the same, there is an all new dry dual-clutch automatic transmission. However, the 150 hp power output shall only be available with the “S” model in the beginning. The other models will feature an even more frugal 130 hp configuration of the same 1.3-turbo motor. A plug-in hybrid version which will pair the 1.3-liter turbo to an electric motor for a combined output of 240 is also expected to join the lineup soon.

Models

2021 Jeep Compass

2020 Toyota RAV4

2020 Mazda CX-5

2020 Ford Escape

Base MSRP

$23,000 (est)

$25,950

$25,190

$24,885

Engine

1.3-liter turbo Inline-4

2.5-liter Inline-4

2.5-liter Inline-4

1.5-liter turbo Inline-3

Transmission

9-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual

 

8-speed shiftable automatic

6-speed shiftable automatic

8-speed automatic

Horsepower (hp @ rpm)

150 hp @ 6400 rpm

203 hp @ 6600 rpm

187 hp @ 6000 rpm

180 hp @ 6000 rpm

Torque (ft-lbs @ rpm)

200 lb-ft @ 3900 rpm

184 ft-lbs. @ 5000 rpm

186 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm

190 ft-lbs @ 3000 rpm

The smart engine-swapping move by Jeep comes in as a response to customer complaints about the 2.4-liter motor. Despite packing significant 180 hp, the engine feels out of punch and is not the most inviting to drive in its segment. Jeep says that the new turbo engine with its peppy character and improved torque shall bring in the jist that customers want. To put this into some context, the same engine feels quick, responsive and eager to be revved in the Renegade. However, the compass is both larger and heavier than its smaller sibling. How these equations bring a change in the engine’s character in the Compass would be a thing to watch out for. 

With the new engine, the 2021 Jeep Compass should be more frugal and energetic

The new 1.3 T4 engine also has blocks and heads made of ionized High-Pressure Die-Cast Aluminum Alloy for reduced weight and increased performance. Interestingly, Jeep has also reworked the turbocharger in the new 1.3 T4 engine. The turbo now uses ECU-driven spools to eliminate any visible turbo lag. The 2021 Compass also gets a “sport mode” and re-aligned steering column for better performance and maneuverability. The refreshed Compass certainly seems too promising on paper which we can’t wait to get our hands on, once it hits the stores.

Fuel Economy and MPG Figures

With a heavy-duty character comes a heavy diet as well. Now because of their off-road muscle and potent, Jeeps are not really known for their fuel-efficiency. However, thanks to the changing market norms, especially in the compact segment, it's hard to survive without decent fuel economy. The Compass’s present 2.4-liter engine particularly struggled with the issue. Apart from its lethargic nature it is also not promising in the economic battle. Jeep has tried to resolve that as well with the smaller new 1.3 T4 engine. Jeep says that the new engine is 30% more frugal than its predecessor.

Models

2021 Jeep Compass (est)

2020 Toyota RAV4

2020 Mazda CX-5

2020 Ford Escape

MPG (city)

27

26

25

27

MPG (highway)

33

35

31

33

MPG (combined)

30

30

28

30

Fuel tank capacity (gallons)

13.5

14.5

14.8

14.7

Range (city/highway/combined)

311.0/400.0

377.0/507.5

370.0/458.8

396.0/441.0

 If calculations are done right, the 2021 Jeep Compass should deliver around 30 mpg combined. These figures should be in line with the segment best Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape’s numbers. An increased fuel-economy could certainly intensify the Compass’s sales volume, which we can only wait to see through.

Design and Exterior Highlights

From what we know so far, the 2021 Jeep Compass would also visit the tailor shop for a refreshed outfit. Though the design form and dimensions shall remain the same, a new styling should be no surprise though. A redesigned front and rear face with new bumpers and possibly sleeker lights are very likely.

We might get to see some mild exterior updates on the 2021 Jeep Compass

In the teaser video Jeep also highlights the new honeycomb mesh in the seven-slot grille, but you need to work your eyeballs to identify the distinction. Apart from these, the 2021 Jeep Compass will also sport 5 new exterior colors and 6 new rims. Rest everything should mostly remain business as usual though. 

Model

2021 Jeep Compass

2020 Toyota RAV4

2020 Mazda CX-5

2020 Ford Escape

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3300

3370

3541

3299

Length (in.)

173.0

180.9

179.1

180.5

Width (in.)

73.8

73.0

72.5

74.1

Height (in.)

64.8

67.0

66.2

66.1

Ground Clearance (in.)

8.5

8.4

7.5

N/A

Wheelbase (in.)

103.8

105.9

106.2

106.7

Change or not, the exterior form factor of the Jeep Compass was never sort of a complaint though. Unlike the very crossover-ish Mazda CX-5 or the new Ford Escape, the Compass beautifully resembles a toned-down embodiment of the larger Grand Cherokee. It looks modern and compact for sure and that too in a very proportionate way, but importantly it aptly reflects its family’s strong DNA. That's exactly where the Compass edges past its rivals. 

Interior, Seating and Cargo

If you are hoping for some drastic changes on the inside of the 2021 Jeep Compass, you surely have something coming your way to rejoice upon. With initial images, leaks and rumors coming in, the 2021 Jeep Compass might get a redesigned cabin. The dashboard could feature a new layout, along with an all new central-tunnel.

A neat and Upscale cabin comes standard with the Jeep Compass

We expect to see some upgraded materials on the inside as well. A new steering wheel along with redesigned (probably full digital) instrument cluster could also be on the cards. If these speculations turn true, the 2021 Compass could well foray into a new era, rubbing shoulders with its larger siblings in terms of quality.

Models

2021 Jeep Compass

2020 Toyota RAV4

2020 Mazda CX-5

2020 Ford Escape

Passenger Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

39.2/56.7/41.8

39.5/57.8/41.0

39.7/57.1/41.0

40.0/57.6/42.4

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

38.5/55.1/38.3

39.5/56.4/37.8

39.0/54.8/39.6

39.3/56.0/40.7

With no dimensional changes whatsoever, the overall space inside the 2021 Compass should also remain the same as the present model. It might not be as roomy as its rivals like the Toyota RAV4, but it's not cramped either. Seating for five is no fuss at all in the Compass. Importantly, its seats and window-line have a very nice height to them which helps enhance the airiness inside. 

Infotainment and connectivity

For infotainment lovers, the 2021 Jeep Compass wraps some great optimism. It is said that the 2021 Jeep Compass might get FCA’s new UConnect 5 system. FCA showcased the new infotainment system earlier this year for the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica minivan. If speculations tick the right boxes, the refreshed Compass would take its already decent connectivity suite to a whole new level. 

The 2020 Compass comes already loaded with Apple Carplay and Android Auto

The UConnect 5 system runs on an Android based platform which offers seamless app integration and enhanced responses. Not only does the ney system allow over-the-air app updates but also supports multiple user profiles and several customization schemes. In terms of integrated connectivity, the system comes standard with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus Alexa on demand. FCA also says that it is developing the UConnect 5 to make it compatible with even the upcoming 5G networks. 

2021 Chrysler Pacifica UConnect 5 infotainment

Above all, the new system can also be configured with a touchscreen ranging from 8.4-inch to 12.3-inch. What it means that we might get to see some larger infotainment screens on upcoming Jeep models. Even in the updated 2021 Compass we might see the 8.4-inch that is now only available with the higher 2020 Compass models, coming in as standard across the trim-line. 

Safety Features and Ratings

For its class, the 2020 Jeep Compass is a tad behind its competitors in terms of safety. While it does come with an active suite of advanced safety features, it still receives an overall 4-star from NHTSA and an overall “good” rating by IIHS. The 2020 Compass did perform well on most of the individual safety tests, it was let down by its “moderate” headlights. We hope that Jeep updates the headlights on the 2021 Compass in order to obtain top scores in the safety tests. Some of the safety features that are available with the 2020 Jeep Compass range are listed below:

  • Electronic stability control with anti-roll (ESC)
  • Anti-whiplash front head restraints
  • Side-impact bars
  • All-wheel disc brakes with 4-channel ABS
  • Driveline Traction Control System (TCS)
  • Forward Collision Warning-Plus forward collision mitigation
  • Brake assist with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) 
  • Occupant sensing airbags

Verdict

If you are looking for a small and compact SUV that looks great, rides comfortably and has some off-roading prowess for your frequent hill-runs, the Jeep Compass is a perfect choice for you. It carries the typical DNA of its legendary manufacturer, is also easy to maneuver and comes aptly loaded with tech and safety features as well. However, if you are willing to wait for a few months, the refreshed 2021 Jeep Compass would probably have even more delicacies to offer. 

Also Read:

Here's why the Toyota RAV4 is America's favorite compact-SUV.

When it comes to driving dynamics, its hard to beat the Mazda CX-5 in the compact-SUV segment.

2021 Jeep Compass FAQs

Is Jeep Compass a good car?

The Jeep Compass is certainly a very good car in its segment. It has all the attributes that a true compact-SUV should have. It's comfortable, efficient enough for its character, it rides well and is easy to maneuver as well. It comes also packed with most of the gizmos that you would look out for. Importantly, it can take you to places where most of its rivals can’t.

Is Jeep Compass worth the price?

For the overall package that the Jeep Compass has to offer, it does seem fairly proceed to the point. Classic yet subtle upscale looks, premium interiors with all the bells and whistles along with some significant mud-slinging traits, the Compass is one nicely packed machine. 

Is the Jeep Compass reliable?

Yes, the Jeep Compass is a very reliable car to own. Data and reports from various surveys have shown that the Jeep Compass has a reliability rating of 4 out of 5. It also has an annual repair cost of $526, which is lower than the average of its class. Repairs and workshop visits in the Compass are significantly lesser, compared to most of its rivals. Putting together into context, the Jeep Compass is one of the most reliable compact- SUVs that you could own today.