Can Jeep Compass off-road?

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Can a Jeep Compass off-road without hardy front and rear axles? In this post, we will guide you through offroading in your Jeep Compass, with enough information (what it takes) to help you customize your Jeep Compass for offroading.

When it comes to off-roading, the Jeep brand is what comes into the mind of many people. Some of the top Jeep models that are iconic off-roading vehicles include the Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Gladiator, and the Jeep Cherokee. But did you also know the Jeep Compass is trail rated and can drive in most terrain?

In this post, we will highlight some of the features of the Jeep Compass that make it an amazing off-roading vehicle, and the limitation it has when off-roading so that you can prepare your Jeep compass and understand its capabilities when taking it off-road.

Can Jeep Compass off-road - Jeep Compass off-roading Image

Can the Jeep Compass off-road?

Yes, the Jeep Compass can go off-road, but it’s not suitable for extreme off-roading in Jeep Trails like the Moab trail or the Rubicon Trail.

Some of the features that make the Jeep compass safe for off-road is its Select terrain system that includes customization features such as traction and stability control, ladder chassis, and auto-selectable driving options in snow, sand, and mud.

It’s also important to mention the ground clearance of the Jeep compass regarding its off-roading capabilities, the Jeep Compass has a trail-rated badge which is a badge of honor that also includes ground clearance tests.

It’s important to understand the limits of your Jeep Compass when it comes to offroading based on the ground clearance and Approach, break, and Departure Angles:

Jeep compass ground clearance

Jeep Compass ModelsGround Clearance in Inches
Jeep Compass Sports ground clearance8.1 inches
Jeep Compass Latitude ground clearance8.1 inches
Jeep Compass Altitude ground clearance8.1 inches
Jeep Compass Latitude Lux ground clearance8.1 inches
Jeep Compass Limited ground clearance8.1 inches
Jeep Compass Trailhawk ground clearance8.6 inches
Jeep Compass (RED) Edition ground clearance8.1 inches
Jeep Compass High Altitude ground clearance8.1 inches

For offroading on gravel trails, you will need at least 6.6 inches to 8.7 inches, for Overlanding you will need at least 8 – 9 inches, and for serious offroading on tough graded Jeep trails & rock crawling you will need at least 10 inches.

Jeep Compass Approach, Break Over, and Departure Angles.

Jeep Compass Approach Angle16.8 Degrees
Jeep Compass Break-Over Angle22.9 Degrees
Jeep Compass Departure Angle31.7 Degrees

For serious offroading on tough graded Jeep Trails, you will require at least 30-33 degrees of approach angle, and 25-3- degrees of departure angle.

Ground clearance is an important factor to consider on an off-roading vehicle, this gives it the ability to maneuver obstacles on the road without damaging the undercarriage. (We will explain later in this article how to prepare your Jeep compass for off-roading by protecting the undercarriage).

Jeep Compass Off-roading Features.

The Jeep Compass has borrowed some of its iconic features from the Jeep Wrangler that makes it a unique off-roading SUV, compared to other SUVs in its price range, the Jeep Compass is more capable for off-roading with its off-roading features such as a Select Terrain system, and Trail rated features that we will explain below:

Jeep Compass Select Terrain System

The Jeep compass select terrain system allows you to select a driving option based on the type of terrain you are driving on, some of the driving options include Snow, Sand, and Mud.

Selec-terrain driving options are not meant for serious off-roading, however, on mild off-road conditions, you can use Selec-Terrain driving modes to optimize your Jeep Compass steering and throttle. The Jeep Compass is equipped with a 4-wheel drive system that improves its traction when on snow, Sand, and Mud.

We tested the Jeep Compass on an off-road vehicle with potholes, and to our amazement, the Jeep Compass was able to pass through the obstacles, but not with some challenges.

For example, when passing through obstacles, we noticed some slippage on the wheels, that didn’t touch the road, however, the problem was solved by the wheels which were in contact with the road, and the Jeep Compass would automatically sense the wheel with the most traction and deliver more power to the wheel with most traction, and that’s how we were able to pass through potholes with one wheel in the air.

We also tried to drive off-road with its autoselect mode driving option activated, the Jeep Compass would automatically sense the terrain condition and adjust automatically, most of the automatic features were based on improving the stability and traction of the Jeep Compass, its transmission, and throttle actions which would adjust automatically, in most off-road conditions, and with a beginner in the driver’s seat, we would recommend driving in autoselect mode.

The mud driving option doesn’t necessarily mean you can go Jeep Mudding on a Jeep Compass, you will need features such as Mud tires, and a higher ground clearance for you to drive through extreme mud conditions, however on our tests on driving the Jeep Compass through mud that you will encounter on a rainy day in an off-road vehicle, the Jeep Compass would pass through with minimal slippage, due to its improvement in traction on the wheel without slippage.

With the sand driving option activated, The Jeep Compass can adjust the wheels to improve the traction on the wheels with slippage, control wheel spin in wheels stuck in the sand, and make mechanical adjustments to get you unstuck – We recommend activating the sand option when driving on sandy terrains such as on the beach.

The Jeep Compass also features a Snow driving option, for serious Snow Wheeling, we would not recommend driving on a Jeep Compass, this is because you would need Snow tires, and a high ground clearance that will prevent your Jeep Compass undercarriage from coming into contact with the snow. However, this driving option will get you out of mild snow terrains.

Jeep Compass Trail Rated Badge

The trail-rated badge on the Jeep Compass is a test given to vehicles that pass the most difficult terrains based on five major factors that include: Water fording, maneuverability, traction, and ground clearance. These tests were done on the Jeep Compass and it passed due to its power and endurance.

Other Jeeps with a trail-rated badge include the Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Gladiator, and the Jeep Cherokee.

How to prepare your Jeep Compass for Off-roading

If you frequent off-road terrains, we recommend making some adjustments to your Jeep Compass, to protect its undercarriage, and also improve its power and traction off-road. This doesn’t necessarily mean going to Moab, but getting you through some difficult off-road conditions you will encounter now and then, some of the adjustments we recommend include:

Jeep Compass Undercarriage protection.

You can install Jeep rockers on your Jeep Compass, Jeep rockers run from the front wheel to the back wheel of the Jeep Compass, and protect the parts that may come into contact with off-road obstacles, getting them scratched or damaged. The undercarriage is the most exposed part of your Jeep that are susceptible to damage when off-roading and the skid plates will protect your Jeep Compass when such a situation arises.

Jeep Compass off-roading Tires.

We also recommend upgrading your tires based on your terrain, if you drive through the city and frequent off-road terrains during the weekend, all-terrain tires are a good option. If you are always on an off-road road, we recommend upgrading to off-road tires with off-road tire treads that will improve your traction and handling.

Jeep Compass suspension system (Ground Clearance)

Upgrading your tires goes hand in hand with upgrading your suspension system with a lift kit, a lift kit will improve your ground clearance and also allow you to upgrade your Jeep compass tires with bigger and more rugged tires required for off-roading.

We recommend reading through our article on 10 Jeep Mods for off-roading on a Jeep, for more information on how to improve your Jeep Compass and make it off-road ready.

Final Thought.

The Jeep Compass is meant for daily driving and not off-roading, however, some of the features of the Jeep Compass will get you through some of the basic off-road conditions.

You can improve your Jeep compass off-road capabilities by upgrading your tires, and suspension and protecting the Jeep Compass Undercarriage, we recommend consulting with a reputable technician when upgrading your Jeep compass to improve its off-road capabilities, some of the upgrades if not done properly will cause more harm to its factory settings.

Check out the video below on the capabilities of the Jeep Compass when it comes to offroading, and some of the features that make it ideal for offroading, the Video is specific for the Jeep Compass Trailhawk, which has a high ground clearance of 8.6 inches, and has a trail rated badge:

Sharing is Caring! pass this article to some of your friends who also have a Jeep Compass, and also check our Jeep Parts and Jeep Accessories section for more posts related to the Jeep Compass.

James Ndungu - Jeep Runner Writer

Author: James Ndungu

James is an Automotive Service Writer, I4WDA certified trainer, Jeep enthusiast, and shop owner specializing in Jeep parts, accessories, and Electric Vehicles Charging Station Installation services. His interest and first-hand experience in electric vehicle charging technology motivated him to achieve certification through the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP).

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