By on March 21, 2017

2016 Jeep® Compass 75th Anniversary edition

Thanks to the weird and inexact science of pinning down a model year for a new introduction, Jeep finds itself playing a game of “hide the Compass.” The old Compass, that is.

You know the one. Barely updated over its decade-long lifespan, hated by TTAC but loved by consumers? That Compass. Certainly not the larger, second-generation model, with its new platform, upgraded looks and carryover engine. That global model is the one Jeep wants everyone to know about and, of course, buy.

Unfortunately, the model year conventions found in some overseas countries means the global model launching this spring carries a 2017 designation. As does the final cohort of the old Compass.

If you weren’t there for the funeral, the Jeep Patriot and Compass twins walked the Green Mile back on December 23. There’s still plenty of stock left (Jeep sold 2,737 units in February), but the new Compass looms large. Trying to pin down an exact on-sale date has proven difficult, though Jeep lists “late spring” as its dealership debut.

That leaves Jeep with the odd problem of having two wholly different models with the same name and model year. Unlike other models that soldiered on alongside a next-generation sibling as a fleet or value option — older-generation Impalas, Malibus, and the Canadian fourth-generation Golf and Jetta come to mind — this overlap is just temporary. No need to affix a “Classic” or “City” to the name.

To solve this annoying issue, Jeep has taken an obvious approach. Get the old model out the door and out of the way while calling absolutely no attention to it. The automaker’s website lists no 2017 Compass, though it does herald the 2017 “All-New Compass.” The now-defunct Patriot remains.

As for when the “All-New Compass” drops the 2017 prefix, well, that’s another unknown.

While Jeep has already shoved the old Compass behind the curtain, there’s still deals to be had on remaining models — not that you’ll read about it on the website. Automotive research site claims there’s good deals to be had for buyers who aren’t concerned by the old model’s obsolescence.

“Most versions still feature $3,500 cashback, plus a $500 bonus for financing at non-promotional rates,” writes Alex Bernstein, the site’s senior pricing analyst. “There’s even a $1,000 lease conquest bonus for anyone coming from a non-Chrysler lease. Alternatively, you can choose 0% financing for 60 months plus $1,000 cashback.”

Bernstein claims he’s seen a local dealer asking $14,500 for a 2017 Compass, based on an original MSRP of $22,285.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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19 Comments on “Jeep Tries to Hide the Compass’ Ugly Older Sister as New Model Bows...”

  • avatar

    FCA does not lack for inventory, that’s for sure.
    There’s a new store being built in my town, scheduled to open in two months, and the back lot is already FULL of inventory.
    The dealer principal does own another FCA point, but still…

  • avatar

    I looked at both the Patriot and “senior” Compass back when my Lancer Ralliart Sportback chucked up its timing belt. I. Just. Couldn’t. My wife kept thinking that I wanted a Jeep, but after having driven numerous samples of both of these, I couldn’t see myself in one, and couldn’t really afford a Wrangler (not that a two-door Wrangler, which is what I would have wanted, would have worked for us). But plenty of folks buy them, and the extra incentives are likely to make them decent deals for those that do.

    • 0 avatar

      You know the Lancer and Patriot/(old)Compass are all built on the same shared platform.

      ‘The GS platform (also known as “Project Global” by Mitsubishi) is a compact car platform co-developed and shared by Mitsubishi Motors and DaimlerChrysler.

      After dissolution of the DaimlerChrysler / Mitsubishi partnership in 2004, DaimlerChrysler made substantial changes to the platform[1] subsequently naming it the JS platform for mid-size cars and PM/MK for compact cars.’

  • avatar

    Hmmm… it’s ugly enough to be timeless. And I don’t drive much..

  • avatar

    Couldn’t Jeep just call it a 2018 model in North America? Elsewhere in the world, the new one could use its chassis code temporarily (Renegade’s is BU, not sure what the Compass’s is), à la Jetta III or Stanza Altima.

    Also, I just realized that the old Compass is so old that it has competed against four (out of five) generations of Subaru Impreza – and every generation of WRX in North America. Yes, back when this one could still be bought new:

    As in – back when the Impreza had frameless windows.

    • 0 avatar

      They could. They didn’t. God and Sergio’s Sweater Collection know why.

    • 0 avatar

      “(Renegade’s is BU, not sure what the Compass’s is)”


      “Also, I just realized that the old Compass is so old that it has competed against four (out of five) generations of Subaru Impreza ”

      To be fair, Subaru mostly just rearranges sheetmetal.

  • avatar

    We’ve had a 2011 compass for three years now and it’s really been fine. It’s sluggish to drive (even with the 2.4) the CVT trans has a terrible feel, there were rattles that needed to be addressed with some insulating tape lol and it needed a rear wheel bearing (worn out, not damaged) at 65k miles which is way too soon for a newer car. However the 4wd works great in the snow and it’s got a great sound system for road trips, plus all that other crossover appeal stuff. My girlfriend loves it as a daily and so far it’s been completely reliable. Being a FCA product I feel like it’s a ticking time bomb but for the money it’s been pretty good. This is probably the strongest endorsement for a compass I’ve ever read haha

  • avatar

    Back in 2008, I test drive the original Compass. Afterwards, I told the salesman how ugly it was, and he had a classic response, “That only matters when you’re walking up to it.” LOL!

  • avatar

    ““Most versions still feature $3,500 cashback, plus a $500 bonus for financing at non-promotional rates,” writes Alex Bernstein, the site’s senior pricing analyst.”

    Yeah, but you can get that same deal for a newer Cherokee.

  • avatar

    Another Jeep shipped out from making America great again. Ho hum. I know, I know nobody cares on this site.

  • avatar

    Why couldn’t they do what Toyota did with the Camry and call it a 2017.5 model? I believe Toyota did that to differentiate the Camrys that had a structure upgrade to pass the small overlap test.

    Anyway, if someone is contemplating on spending for a new car they should be knowledgeable enough to know the difference. The .5 Camrys did look the same, these Jeeps are not even siblings.

    • 0 avatar

      That is actually what they did. But the thing is, as far as the DMV, parts catalogs, and pretty much anything other than pure marketing, there’s no such thing as a “0.5” model year.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I have seen lease deals on these for less than a Patriot ($119 vs $169 per mo.) even though they are essentially the same vehicle. They must be wanting to clear them out or people are willing to pay more for the Patriot since it looks more rugged and XJ Jeep like plus has a tad more cargo room.

  • avatar

    They should do a buy one get one free deal…You buy a new model and get the old one free. Do it for 2 days and see what happens.

  • avatar

    Dump them into the rental fleets and be done with it.

  • avatar

    My E Class Mercedes was rear ended 2 weeks ago and they gave me a Compass as a rental. I’ve always heard the talk and read the abysmal reviews, but Oh. My. God.

    It truly is completely horrible. There are no redeeming qualities. It does nothing well, or even close. Even my wife, who does not really notice/comment on cars said it was “The worst tin-can POS she has ever driven in her life”. Agreed.

    After 4 days, I could not take it anymore. I took it back and got a Sonata. The Sonata is a nice car and absolute heaven after being in that Compass.

    But I still can’t wait to get the Mercedes back…

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