The 2016 Compass is offered in five different levels--Sport, Altitude, Latitude and High Altitude. All are available as front-wheel-drive and a full-time active 4-wheel-drive system. The Compass spans a wide range of ability from compact car up to a surprisingly able off-road capable SUV.
Sport and Latitude models of the Compass include a 158-horsepower, 2.0L 4-cylinder engine, while the 2.4L four makes 172 hp and 165 pound-feet of torque. The standard transmission is a 5-speed manual transmission. A Continuously Variable Transaxle (CVT) is available with the 2.0L engine while a new 6-speed automatic with manual mode is optional with the 2.4L engine.
The most noteworthy option in the Compass--and what sets it apart from other small crossovers--is the availability of the Freedom Drive II Off-Road Package. It includes a special version of the CVT with a true low range that engages in off-road mode, plus many of the features you'd find in traditional SUVs, like skid plates and tow hooks, as well as fog lamps, a raised suspension, all-terrain tires and a full-size spare.
The Compass otherwise has a layout that bears some commonality with small cars and its compact size combined with relatively responsive handling, great maneuverability and ease of parking altogether make this a good city vehicle. Rear seatbacks are split 60/40, and they flip forward to a flat floor. Manual-transmission models include Hill-Start Assist, while active front head restraints, anti-lock brakes, side-curtain airbags and seat-mounted side airbags are included in all models.
Base Sport versions of the Compass come about as well-equipped as small-car models in this price range with cruise control, alloy wheels, illuminated cupholders, Bluetooth and fog lights among the standout features included here. Altitude models add heated front seats, 18-inch alloy wheels and some body-colored trim. Latitude trims offer heated mirrors, remote keyless entry and a leather wrapped steering wheel. High Altitude Compass models come with leather seats, remote start, a power sunroof and a power-adjustable driver seat.
Options include a Premium Sound Group that adds audiophile Boston Acoustics speakers that includes a subwoofer and liftgate-mounted speakers. Automatic climate control, a back-up camera system and SiriusXM with Travel Link service is optional in the upgraded audio option.