For 2012, there are three trims available: the base Sport, Latitude and Limited. Four-wheel drive versions come with a 2.4L 4-cylinder engine that offers 172 horsepower and 165 pound-feet of torque. All Compasses come standard with a 5-speed manual transmission. An automatic continuously variable transmission with manual shift override control is optional. Front wheel drive is standard on both trims while 4-wheel drive is optional. A 2.0L 4-cylinder engine making 158 horsepower and 141 pound-feet of torque is available only on the Sport with front-wheel drive.
The Compass offers a ground clearance of 8.5 inches, along with a 21-degree approach angle and 32-degree departure angle, both good for negotiating steep inclines. The rear seats split 60/40 and fold forward to expand cargo space. The front passenger seat folds forward to create a table-like surface or expanded cargo space for long items. Also, the center armrest slides forward three inches for shorter drivers, and it includes a cell phone flip pocket.
Freedom Drive I returns for 2012, with its active all-wheel drive that can be locked into 4-wheel drive at the push of a button. The optional Freedom Drive II system features low-range gears, tow hooks, skid plates and a one-inch suspension lift for more serious off-roading.
Active front head restraints are standard across the lineup, as are side curtain front and rear air bags, antilock 4-wheel disc brakes with brake assist, electronic stability control with roll mitigation, traction control and hill start assist. Supplemental front seat-mounted side air bags and rear passenger air bags are optional.
Standard equipment on all trims includes 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, air conditioning and auxiliary audio jacks. Accessories such as a power driver-seat height adjustment, reclining rear seats and stain-repellent upholstery are available. All of these features are standard on the Limited, which adds 18-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, leather upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel, satellite radio and a 6-CD changer as standard.
There are a number of other packages available for both trims. Items that are available as options include heated seats, cargo cover, Bluetooth, remote start, flip-down tailgate speakers, subwoofer, sunroof, navigation system, digital music storage and a USB audio jack.