Compass Vs. Patriot What makes one not trail rated?
Well, I did a little research on Jeep's website (Very informative by the way, I recommend it to anyone wanting to know anything extra about towing, their drive train or the 4x4 system) and found that there is 2 things that make the Patriot trail rated (when properly configured) and not the compass.
A: Freedom Drive 1 Vs. Freedom Drive 2
The main difference: The FD2 has one single (but powerful) extra. It can be shifted into "lo" offering a 16:1 gear reduction, which is a big help when crawling over obstacles as well as smoothly navigating extremely rough terrain.
B: Skid plates. No Joke, skid plates protect your drive train and gas tank. And guess what, there's good news. You can buy skid plates for the Compass.
Of course, this leads one problem. I dont really know all of the specifics, but my money says that seeing as how they use the same power plant, if you knew enough about it, you could probably swap your FD 1 CVT for a FD2 CVT. You'd also have to find a new differential for the read end of the car too, and again, the Compass driveshaft is most likely identical to the one used in the Patriot, so it should be easily accomplished (again, with the correct know-how.)
Downside: You lose your slapstick (auto stick) ability.
Upside: Find yourself a trail rated badge because bam! you've got one of the few trail rated compasses ever built.
Run from me if you want to live.
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2008 Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 (4x4 all the way baby!)