Carry-over 2.0-liter and optional 2.4-liter four-cylinder engines are relatively fuel-efficient, but not especially lively; six-speed automatic transmission has replaced the buzzy CVT in most applications.
While the writing has been on the wall for years when it comes to both the Jeep Compass and Patriot, the single model that’s supposed to replace both is finally here. It’s called the Renegade. Somehow, though, the decision has been made to have the Compass stick around a little longer. A welcome change was the six-speed automatic transmission that finally replaced the painful-to-hear-operating continually variable transmission (CVT) in nearly every application. That did a lot to improve the Compass’s drivability in day-to-day situations. The six-speed auto is available with both the standard 158-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder and the optional 172-horsepower 2.4, with either front- or optional Freedom Drive I four-wheel-drive. The only spot now for the CVT is with the Freedom Drive II 4×4 off-road package where it acts like a mechanical low-range box but without the added weight or complexity. Other tweaks include all-terrain tires on 17-inch wheels, skid plates, tow hooks and, most importantly, one inch more ride height. Either engine can be connected to a five-speed-manual transmission. There are some other changes to help distinguish the various models on the outside, including different grille treatments, blacked-out headlight bezels and available 18-inch aluminum wheels on top-end models. Inside, there’s available leather seating, while different combinations of colors and materials highlight the three different models. The starting-point Sport includes the usual power-functioning items plus air conditioning, heated outside mirrors and a removable and rechargeable flashlight. Options, some of which are standard on the Limited, include all-terrain tires and a premium sound system with twin speakers that drop down from the liftgate (when it’s in the raised position) for picnics or tailgate parties.