The 2020 Jeep Compass 4×4 makes me wish we had big rocks to climb.
But don’t worry — with hurricanes and flooding around every corner in South Florida — this is the car I need. It’s a compact crossover with the big shoulders of the Jeep brand. It sits above the Renegade and below Cherokee, which is a nice sweet spot in which to be.
In fact, it has select terrain traction management that makes me smile. You can choose from auto, snow, sand, mud and rock, with the latter coming with the Trailhawk version.
So, all you snowbirds who are coming here for a few weeks of R&R or moving permanently can have lots of traction when you are going back to the old stomping grounds.
The “high altitude” version, which is the luxury trim for this car, has all the bells and whistles you would expect from a Jeep. It’s handsome, too. It’s all black on the nameplates plus the grill and tires.
One of the things that got my attention is that Fiat Chrysler likes to name its engines — this one is called the Tiger Shark. Vroom — I want to drive. It’s a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 6 to 9 speeds depending on the version you get. The car delivers 180 horsepower, or 175 pound-feet. That will get you 0 to 60 in 8.4 seconds.
Its efficiency is 23 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. You get all that for between $22,000 and more than $29,000 depending on the trim. Now if you get every detail in the ultimate package of features, it will run north of $30,000.
The Uconnect infotainment system is one I love. It’s displayed on an 8.4-inch touchscreen, which includes both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as the Garmin-based navigation system.
One of the things that really stood out was how quiet it is, particularly on the highway. It’s comfortable and quiet, which is essential in these difficult times. Sometimes you just want to hear some, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel.
So, give me my Jeep Compass High Altitude edition, because sometimes I need me some 4×4.