Positive Compass Review

Date 2006/10/6 7:46:39 | Topic: Compass

SFGate.com posted a positive review of the 2007 Jeep Compass this morning, citing its gas mileage and handling as two of its best features. The article also talks about the performance of the "Continuously Variable Transaxle II" (CVT) transmission.
So Jeep pointed this Compass in a different direction, and we also approached it in that vein -- accepting it as a car-based vehicle intended for highway driving, albeit with its Jeep styling.

We were left with two overriding driving impressions:

1. The Compass handles surprisingly well on the road.

2. The four-cylinder (2.4 liter, 172 horsepower) "world engine" delivered surprisingly good mileage (27.3 miles per gallon in our mostly highway testing), but labored in acceleration when mated to the test car's continuously variable transaxle.

A few years ago, the CVT would have been a hard sell in this corner because it was a new take on the transmission, an expensive-to-replace component. Many minivan owners had troubles with past Chrysler transmissions.

A second reason to hesitate: The CVT is different. It doesn't feel like what we're accustomed to driving.

Outside of one early shift (first to second), the six-speed unit is seamless. You simply don't feel or hear it shift, either via the seat of your pants or by a change in engine speed. On various starts, we applied steady pressure to the gas pedal, keeping the revs first at 2,200 revolutions per minute then trying it at 1,500, 2,000, and 2,500 revolutions per minute. The tachometer would make one drop of about 300 rpm on that first shift, then return quickly to the chosen number and remain steady as the Compass accelerated gradually.

Be sure to check out the entire article.


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