Jeep is perhaps best known for building SUVs that are ready to take on the trails as soon as they roll off the dealership lots. You have the Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and, of course, the venerable Wrangler. But they also want to make inroads in the highly competitive crossover segment.
Wanting a bigger slice of that lucrative market is the recently-facelifted Compass, and it's more than likely it will land in the country. But before that, what's new for the 2021 model?
From the outside, Jeep concentrated on making the Compass look tougher. It gets a slimmer pair of headlights, along with a tweaked seven-slot grille featuring a diamond-studded pattern. Not only that, it gets an LED arrangement standard at the front and rear, replacing the bulb-type lights in the current model.
Further beefing up the 2021 Compass is the new front bumper. It's more angular than before and has more defined corners. The crossover also gets tweaks to the foglight housings and air intake, which is now housed in one panel. The apron is also more prominent, giving the Compass a bit more presence. New colors and wheel options wrap up all the exterior updates.
While the exterior updates are relatively minor, the same couldn't be said for the interior. Jeep changed almost everything inside the Compass, and we think it's for the best. The new dashboard has a different shape with a two-tier look, slimmer air-conditioning vents, a rearranged center stack, and a larger touchscreen. The new digital instrument cluster brings the Compass to the modern age, and it can be personalized to suit the driver's preferences. As for the door panels, those are also redesigned for the 2021 model year.
Now for the engine, and it's a new mill powering the Compass. Replacing the 1.4-liter turbo is a smaller 1.3-liter. The compact engine is still turbocharged and puts out 150 PS and 270 Nm of torque. While it makes 12 PS less than the 1.4-liter, torque is up by a healthy 20 Nm, so performance should be about the same. Aside from the engine, Jeep also gave it a new transmission. The 2021 Compass now uses a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox from Aisin, which we hope will shift smoother than the Fiat-made seven-speed DCT.
So, why did we say the 2021 Compass will arrive here? That's because Jeep Philippines sources that model from China, and the facelifted crossover just made its debut over there. With that, what we see there is likely what we'll get here. As for the launch date, that's all up to the local distributor, but a mid to late 2021 debut is possible.