We know what you’re thinking: Didn’t Chrysler just update both of its compact Jeep models for the 2011 model year? Indeed it did, but the automaker has a few more tricks up its sleeve for the 2014 Jeep Compass and 2014 Jeep Patriot.
By far, the biggest news for 2014 is the advent of an automatic transmission that actually utilizes gears. Since their inception, the Compass/Patriot twins have been stuck with continuously variable transmissions (CVT), but that’s no longer the case. For 2014, both models are available with the same Hyundai-sourced 6-speed automatic found in 2013 Dodge Dart models fitted with 2.0- and 2.4-liter I-4s. The CVT remains available – and, in fact, is required when ordering the Freedom Drive II off-road package, which adds a low-range transfer case and helps earn the vehicle Jeep’s lauded “Trail Rated badge. Don't look for much other change underhood, as both the Compass and Patriot soldier on with the same 158-hp, 2.0-liter I-4 and 172-hp, 2.4-liter I-4 as before. We would have hoped Chrysler could have squeezed in the upgraded Tigershark versions of these engines used in the Dart, as they offer 160 hp and 184 hp, respectively.
Instead, further revisions to the Compass/ Patriot ranges are mostly limited to cosmetic upgrades for the 2014 Compass. Mid-grade Latitude and top-tier Limited trim levels now boast plated upper grille trim and silver grille inserts. Limited models also gain projector halogen headlamps and new 18-inch aluminum wheels, but all Compasses receive smoked tail lamp bezels, a plated tailgate accent, and painted mirror caps. Jeep promises material/trim modifications within the interior, including a satin chrome finish for the center stack and shift bezel, along with vinyl-wrapped armrests and center console lid. Latitude models receive a new sport mesh/vinyl seat trim with light grey accent stitching, while Limited models are now available with perforated leather seating in Saddle Brown.
Pricing has not been fully announced for the complete Compass and Patriot lines, but Jeep notes the 2014 Patriot Sport should start at $15,995 without destination, which is identical to the base price for a comparable 2013 model. Expect finalized figures to emerge closer to spring, as Jeep says 2014 Compass and Patriot models should reach dealers by the second quarter of 2013.