The 2015 Compass is offered in five different levels--Sport, Altitude, Latitude, High Altitude and Limited. 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 what's essentially a city-friendly tall small car up to a surprisingly able off-roader.
Sport and Latitude models of the Compass include a 158-horsepower, 2.0L 4-cylinder engine, while the 2.4L four in Limited models (and optional on the others) makes 172 hp and 165 pound-feet of torque. The Sport comes standard with a 5-speed manual transmission, while a new 6-speed automatic with manual mode is fitted to the other Compass models save one: Those Compasses with Freedom Drive II utilize a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). EPA ratings estimate the 2.0L models at 23 mpg city, 30 mpg highway and 23/28 mpg for the 2.4L.
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 and fog lights among the other 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, while at the Limited level you get leather seats, 4-wheel disc brakes, a 6-way-adjustable driver's seat. High Altitude Compass models come with leather seats, remote start, a power sunroof and a power-adjustable driver seat. Top-of-the line Limited models can be distinguished on the outside by their 18-inch alloy wheels, spoiler, bright exhaust tip and additional rear-fascia brightwork.
Options include a navigation system with SiriusXM Travel Link and a UConnect Bluetooth hands-free calling interface are highlights from the options list.