Just wanted to add my two cents in. I've got a Compass Sport 4x4 CVT, had a 97 Grand if that helps put my thoughts into perspective
. I'm in northern Maine (look at Maine, I'm in the north east portion) and we're relatively famous for our rough winters.
Got my compass in late November so she's been through almost an entire winter here (they start in late october, and we still have snow on April 20th) and I've been very happy with it's handling during our two ice storms and several heavy snow events, in fact I haven't had
to use the 4x4 lock mode yet I've just tested it for fun. The awd on the compass handled glare ice roads very well, very little slippage if any on hills tight corners etc. certainly no more than the 97 Grand.
I've also noticed that the compass handles those high wind / snow drift days excellently, there's fewer square edges for the wind to grab so I actually get pushed around by the wind far less on my compass then on the grand and she plows through a high drift with the same confidence as any Jeep I've driven.
I really don't understand the bad reviews the vehicle has received, and most people won't need the 'trail rated' distinction, don't know about you but I haven't needed to drive over and trees or through a river lately, closest thing I've had was a mud "puddle" up to the front bumper and the compass didn't complain any.
All in all a very good vehicle for most anything you'd need it to do, and probably a bit more than that. The compass fits in well with our jeep family: 2002 and 97 Grands and 92 Wrangler. I'll give you all an update as we transition into mud season up here if you'd like.