Photo: Jeep Compass

Photo: Jeep Compass

The days when four-door sedans ruled the nation’s highways — and the fleet-vehicle selection process — are long gone. In their place are the next generation of compact crossover SUVs. Redesigned for 2017, the all-new Jeep Compass offers fleet managers all the advantages of an SUV for a price and total cost of ownership (TCO) that is competitive with mid-size sedans. And as four-doors continue to decline in popularity, fuel-efficient SUVs like the Jeep Compass are likely to bring a much better return in the resale market.

Let’s take a look at three ways the Compass outperforms popular mid-size sedans such as the Ford Fusion and Chevrolet Malibu in fuel economy and TCO.

Fuel Economy

Photo: Jeep Compass

Photo: Jeep Compass

Equipped with a 2.4-liter, 180-horsepower Tigershark MultiAir engine, a six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive, the new Jeep Compass earns 22 miles per gallon (mpg) in city driving and 31 mpg on the highway. Remarkably, the four-wheel drive edition of the 2017 Jeep Compass — which pairs the same engine with a nine-speed automatic transmission — also gets 22 mpg in stop-and-go driving and 30 mpg on the highway. Both earned an EPA fuel-efficiency rating of 25 mpg in combined city and highway driving, and neither requires premium fuel.

Those are enviable numbers for an SUV. But they also hold up against the aforementioned mid-size sedans.

The 2017 Ford Fusion also runs on regular fuel. Equipped with a 2.5-liter engine and a six-speed automatic, the Fusion gets the same combined fuel efficiency score as the Jeep Compass. But it gets one less mile per gallon in city driving and only one more on the highway.

Equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and a nine-speed automatic transmission, the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu matches the Jeep Compass in city driving and delivers 33 mpg on the highway, earning a combined score of 26. There’s just one problem: It requires premium fuel, driving up the cost of ownership every time your drivers fill their tanks.

Total Cost of Ownership

The total cost to own a vehicle includes the cost to fuel it as well as the purchase price. The Jeep Compass holds up against its mid-size sedan competitors in these aspects as well.

The EPA projects the cost to fuel a given vehicle based on 15,000 miles per year with 55% logged on city streets and 45% on highways. The agency’s analysts project that buyers who invest in the 2017 Jeep Compass will spend about $1,400 per year to fuel it — whether they opt for front- or four-wheel drive.

Photo: Jeep Compass

Photo: Jeep Compass

The 2017 Ford Fusion, equipped as described above, also is projected to cost $1,400 per year at the pump. But the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu, owing to its need for premium fuel, is projected to cost $1,650 per year to fuel.

Fleet managers who worry that upgrading to an SUV will hurt their bottom lines may be surprised to learn that the 2017 Jeep Compass also offers a sedan-competitive price point. MSRPs for the two-wheel drive edition start at $20,995; opting for four-wheel drive takes the starting price to $22,495.

Compare that to the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu, which starts at $21,680, does not offer a four-wheel drive option, and will cost more to fuel.

The 2017 Ford Fusion is even more expensive, with a starting MSRP of $22,610. The all-wheel drive edition starts at $27,535 and has an EPA combined fuel-efficiency score of 23 mpg — including a mere 20 mpg in city driving.

To learn more about the all-new 2017 Jeep Compass, along with the rest of Fiat Chrysler’s lineup of executive and commercial vehicles, connect with your FCA Fleet representative or visit today.

Jeep Compass vs. Mid-Size Sedans