2009 Jeep Compass
2009 Jeep Compass. Click image to enlarge

Related articles on Autos
Autos’s Bring It On! home page

Manufacturer’s web site
Jeep Canada

Share this story on Facebook

Join the official Autos Facebook group

Review and photos by Paul Williams

Discuss this story in the forum at CarTalkCanada

Find this vehicle in Autos’s Classified Ads

Photo Gallery:
2009 Jeep Compass

Ottawa, Ontario – Well, here’s a surprise: the Jeep Compass’ tire pressure was delivered to us 25 per cent below specification, so no wonder the ride was soft and the handling sluggish! Inflating the tires to the recommended pressure resulted in sharper handling, and even though the Compass is by no means a performance vehicle, it’s cornering is now much more acceptable.

Less surprising is that the weather here in Sibottawa remains frigid, with road conditions sometimes bad enough that drivers might want to give up and take a bus (oh, wait, they can’t do that because the bus drivers are on strike). After a couple of weeks of clear skies and very cold temperatures, the snow is back and getting around can be nerve wracking.

2009 Jeep Compass
2009 Jeep Compass. Click image to enlarge

Fortunately, our 2009 Jeep Compass Limited is equipped with “Freedom Drive 1” full-time all-wheel drive, and Michelin X-Ice winter tires. Freedom Drive 1 is an electronically controlled system that, as described by Jeep, “is an active full-time 4×4 with selectable 4WD LOCK.” In normal driving, most of the torque is directed to the front wheels, until sensors detect imminent slippage. In that event, torque is directed to the rear wheels to compensate, to a maximum of 40/60, front/rear. Additionally, the four-wheel lock option (activated by a lever between the front seats), splits torque 50/50 between front and rear wheels when required. This can be useful in particularly challenging conditions where you’re slowly trying to extricate yourself from deep snow or mud. Furthermore, the stability control system can be deactivated via a button on the centre stack (experienced drivers may use this feature to permit some degree of wheelspin in certain situations).

Optional with Freedom Drive 1 is the continuously variable transmission (CVT2) that is the Compass version of an automatic. Used in the interests of fuel economy and saving weight, the CVT gearbox operates smoothly and produces very low (fuel-saving) engine speeds on the highway. But it does tend to moan when accelerating (CVTs aren’t known for contributing to a sporty exhaust note). You can also select a five-speed manual transmission.

Pages: 1 2 All

Connect with Autos.ca