Three trims will be offered for 2011: Compass, Latitude, and Limited. The base Compass (also called the Compass to make it the Compass Compass) and Latitude start out with the 2.0-liter inline-four developing 158 horsepower and 141 pound-feet of torque. Five-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmissions may be attached, just like the preceding year.

The 2.4-liter inline-four, aka the World Engine, with 172 horsepower and 165 pound-feet of torque, remains the standard powertrain for the Limited and optional for the Compass and Latitude. The aforementioned manual and CVT offerings are on the table, and fuel economy is rated at 23 city/29 highway mpg with the five-speed stick and front-wheel drive for either engine.

Jeep, presumably aware its brand faithful relentlessly bag on the Compass for lacking the customary Trail Rated factory certification, decided it was time to fire back. The usual FWD will be joined by Freedom Drive I and, new for 2011, the up-rated Freedom Drive II.

Compared to the expansive selection of two-speed, four-wheel drive systems available in the Jeep armory, Freedom Drive II is the baby of the family. But it's enough to push the Compass into Trail Rated territory, and the optional off-road package includes a CVT with an automatically deploying low range, a 1-inch raised ride height for crucial wheel clearance, underbody skid plates, tow hooks, foglights, a manual seat height adjuster, and 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires with a full-size spare.

The critical difference between Freedom Drive I and Freedom Drive II is an electronically controlled coupling attached to the rear differential that actively determines the amount of torque to send to the rear wheels under low-grip conditions. Sure, there's no transfer case, but the equipped CVT has a 19:1 crawl ratio to help when the going gets really tough, particularly around rocks and boulders. Freedom Drive I uses a locking center coupling to determine torque distribution, but lacks a low range setting.