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Unread 03-10-2008, 10:56 PM   #1
eighteenwheeler
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The truth behind the compass/pat & all the possible options- mileage, differences,etc

I posted this on another forum tonight, and since y'all have been so helpful here on the forums, I wanted to give back a little bit that i could. conveniently. I own two mks- a base level 4x4 compass sport, and a 4x4 patriot limited with FDII. What this allows me to do is really give everyone some honest feedback and hard data between any two options, or any two bodies, available for these cars. I have driven the compass 2500 miles, my wife has driven it 8500 on top of that. I have driven my patriot just over 1000 miles.

The only options that I do not have the ability and knowledge to comment about are the Navigation System & Uconnect- the only two options the pat doesn't have. I also cannot comment on 2 wd versions. Both cars are also CVT.

Please ask any questions you may have in regards to these two vehicles, or about any options. Here are some of the feedback on some of the common questions I've read, and I've seen a lot of "answers" from people who really d on't know:


Gas Mileage.
Sorry Patriot FDII owners, this doesn't look good. I think it may not be just the FDII. I suspect the compass gets better gas mileage than the pat. Heres the hard numbers:

My wife and I drove from Cincinnati to Syracuse today. For the first half, I followed her. For the second half, she followed me. What this gave us is identical driving conditions, identical stops, identical distance, and identical speeds. The outcomes were not good. Leg one of our trip used 9.514 gallons on the compass, 11.863 on the patriot. Leg two used 12.924 gallons on the patriot and 10.861 on the compass. This means the compass used 80%-84% of the gas of the patriot. This comes to approximately 5 MPG Worse.

I believe there are several factors to this. 1. FDII gearing/programming. 2. wheels (offroad vs. all season) 3. wheels (narrower wheels on compass) 4. aerodynamics (you can feel more drag on the pat)

Heres images of the receipts:





the "What RPM question".
Traveling identical speeds, 2 second count apart, the patriot was exactly 3000 rpms. The Compass was 2300.

On-Road Ride. The compass rides much better, and also turns/corners much better. IT feels as if the compass really hugs the road. The patriot rides much more like an SUV and has a little sway to it. I believe the sway may be due to what some sources have claimed that the FDII has multipoint suspension while the the compass only has std. independent suspension. The multipoint suspension gives greater movement, but also introduces some minor side to side swaying. This seems to fit what we have seen.

Responsiveness and acceleration:
Probably due to it riding at higher RPMs, the patriot FDII seems to have better acceleration both on the highway, and from a start.

Seats: YES vs. Leather. A+ for YES. I have leather, and I really do like the YES seats better. They are "rougher", but they really do live up to the hype. I also know 10 years from now my leather will be torn. but the cloth seats will still hold up. The leather is also hotter than the cloth seats when sitting in the sun. the YES seats seem to fix the past problems with cloth seats.

Visibility: The patriot IS better when it comes to visibility, with much smaller blind spots, compliments to it's rear window design and rear side windows. This was the big problem with the compass when we bought it. The patriot seems fine. I don't even notice it.

Mirrors: The Patriot Mirror's shape gives it just a hair more viewing area, which is much appreciated during towing, and even during standard driving.

Shoulder Room: Theres more shoulder room in the pat. Take it from me. I'm 6'9" 320 lbs. Legroom and hip room appear to be identical.

Shifter knob:
The compass' is definitely better looking. I'm replacing the other one.

Premium Sound: Wow. When we got the compass, we were impressed with the sound quality. Definately 10x better than any other base system i've seen out there. The larger all-around speakers give impressive bass, and the highs still come fairly crisp considering there are no dedicated tweeters. If you never try the premium sound system before you buy, you will be incredibly happy with the non-premium sound. However... once you hear the premium sound, it all changes. The premium sound system is well worth the extra money (except those stupid fold down speakers that are all for show- really useless...) The highs come crisp, the lows solid. There is some excessive vibrations at high volume levels, but that is somewhat expected. Throw some dynamat in and that should cure that issue. It appears very well tuned the car, and the volume is capable of going higher than you'd ever want it. at near deafening volumes, the quality is still impressively high. The only place I wasn't impressed was with talkshows. There seems to be excessive speaker vibrations that we don't have with the compass. I presume it's due to amplification of background noice with the sub500 watt amplifier.

Now this is no 5000 dollar bose system, but it is a very solid system for the price. It also accents the sirius very well. The music tested included country, electronica, Pop, rap, rock, talk.

The "yes or nos"

DRLs- I hate them.

6 Disc MP3 CD - You lose the Aux. in, but it does what it says. Do you want 6 discs? Do you want MP3?

Sirius - Worth it if your willing to pay for it! Radio is better than others, but doesnt have the functionality of the upper class independent systems.

Folding passenger seat-
worth the money if you will ever haul anything around! also makes a nice side desk.

EVIC
- "cool" feature, but not really necessary. Worth having for the compass and the "you left your trunk open" functionalities. If you've got the cash, it's not bad, but worth it? eh... depends on your needs.

Rack- Great stock rack. Worth your time and money.

Sunroof- Better than many competitors. How many people actually use them though? Many people have reported leaking issues. The "auto tilt/auto open" features are nice compared to other brands where you must hold the button. It also opens internally , which is nice if you have anything on the roof rack! Even with the headroom I fit fine, and i'm 6'9".

A/C plug- probably won't use it as much as you think, but it's great for charging your laptop between meetings.

Thats about all I can think of. hope that helps set some things straight. If there is anything else you are curious about, please don't hesitate to ask!

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Unread 03-11-2008, 04:57 AM   #2
JLink
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Don't get me wrong I loved this write up, I do not think I could have said anything better myself and I am sure this information could and will help many people decide which version to get. But your really comparing apples to oranges and people need to understand that when comparing like vehicles with different transmissions. I would put money on my Patriot out performing yours in a milelage test just because mine has a 5 SPD. All people need to do is decide what they really want the MK for, either offroad ability (FDII) or economy (FDI).
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Unread 03-11-2008, 05:22 AM   #3
Gramps
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eighteenwheeler

Thanks for a great first hand comparison!

With all of the different options available it does make it nice that people can personalize these however they want. There will be trade-offs, no matter which options folks decide to get, but it all depends on their own priorities.

At least everybody likes the Compass shift Knob!
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