The Jeep Compass will enter 2023 with more than the “mid-cycle facelift” it got for the 2022 model year. The best news is an entirely new set of hardware beneath the Compass’ utilitarian yet modern body style. Stellantis ditched the noisy and lethargic 2.4-liter four-banger of the outgoing Compass and gave it some turbocharged muscle instead, injecting some much-needed adrenaline into the 2023 Compass lineup. Accompanying the new powerplant is an eight-speed automatic that turns all four wheels via a standard 4×4 drivetrain.
With its new engine, transmission, and driveline, the Jeep Compass is better equipped to handle the compact SUV onslaught led by the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-30, and Chevy Trailblazer, to mention a few. Let’s take an in-depth tour of what makes the 2023 Compass the most exciting small SUV to emerge from the Jeep factory.
Turbocharged & Direct-Injected Gas Engine
Under the hood of the 2023 Jeep Compass is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with double overhead camshafts (DOHC), direct fuel injection, dual independent camshaft timing, and a unique cooled exhaust gas recirculation system or C-EGR. The engine has a cast-aluminum alloy cylinder head, a sand-cast aluminum block, hollow camshafts, and cast aluminum pistons to deliver a 10:1 compression ratio. It gulps fuel using a 2,900-psi high-pressure common-rail direct-injection system that atomizes the gasoline more efficiently for better combustion, more power, and lower emissions, said Jeep.
The new turbocharged 2.0-liter engine ekes out 200 horsepower and 221 lb-ft. of torque with the help of a low-inertia, twin-scroll turbocharger with an electronic wastegate. It has 23 more horsepower (and more torque) than the old 2.4-liter mill and more power than the turbocharged Honda CR-V and Chevy Trailblazer. However, it could have trouble catching up with Mazda CX-30’s lively 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G turbocharged lump that pumps out a whopping 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft. of torque on a diet of premium gas.
Moreover, the new Compass’ turbo engine is similar to what you’ll find in the non-hybrid Dodge Hornet GT, but the vibrant new Dodge has 265 horsepower and 295 lb-ft. of torque.
Transmission & Driveline
All 2023 Jeep Compass variants have an eight-speed automatic and a standard Jeep Active Drive 4×4 drivetrain. Meanwhile, the trail-rated Compass Trailhawk has a Jeep Active Drive Low four-wheel drivetrain with a 4.71:1 first gear ratio, a 4.398 final drive ratio, and a 20:1 crawl ratio for superior traction over loose or rugged terrain.
Both drivetrains feature Jeep’s Selec-Terrain system with up to four drive modes (Auto, Snow, Sand/Mud) and an additional Rock mode for the Trailhawk. In addition, the Trailhawk receives hill-descent control for better off-road smarts. All Jeep Compass variants have a fully disconnecting rear axle and power transfer unit (PTU) to help save fuel.
Special Edition Packages
Typical of Jeep, the 2023 Compass will arrive with several unique styling packages. For instance, the Jeep Compass Limited with the High Altitude package has gray exterior accents, body-color fender flares, a dual-pane panoramic sunroof, bespoke 19-inch aluminum wheels, and LED lighting.
Furthermore, the Altitude Package is available with the Compass Limited and has 18-inch black alloy wheels, gloss black exterior badges, piano black interior accents, and a black roof. Finally, the Compass (RED) starts with the Compass Limited and adds red mirror caps, leather-trimmed bucket seats, and a 10.1-inch Uconnect 5 infotainment touchscreen, among many other features.
The 2023 Jeep Compass is available in five trim variants, with base prices ranging from $31,590 for the entry-level Compass Sport and $37,340 for the range-topping Compass Trailhawk. The more potent engine and drivetrain combination is a welcome addition that should add more zest to the Compass’ list of merits.
Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.