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Even though this Jeep SUV has many good things going on, it falls short in a few areas. The compact SUV segment is full of excellent options, which makes the 2023 Jeep Compass look lackluster in comparison. While the Jeep Compass is a good vehicle for those who emphasize off-roading and capability, it might not be the best daily driver. The 2023 Compass falls short in three areas: ride, engine, and safety.

Is the Jeep Compass a compact SUV?

This compact SUV is the 2023 Jeep Compass
A 2023 Jeep Compass High Altitude | Jeep

The Jeep Compass, while possessing some notable attributes, falls short of being a top-tier compact SUV due to several factors. It landed at the back of the rankings for compact SUVs by U.S. News for a few reasons. One of its main drawbacks lies in its underwhelming performance and lackluster fuel efficiency compared to its competitors in the same category. The base model starts at $29.995, and a fully loaded Jeep Compass is $35,745 for this year, for comparison’s sake.

2023 Jeep Compass TrimsMSRP
Latitude Lux$33,895
High Altitude$35,745
(RED) Edition$35,745
Jeep’s compact SUV has eight trim levels

Jeep made several improvements to the Compass this year, including in the engine. While some people don’t pay much attention to the motor, it impacts the compact SUV’s overall quality. All trim levels receive a newly updated turbo four-cylinder engine with 200 horsepower. That’s up 23 horsepower from last year and 49 pound-feet of torque.

Even with the changes, the engine is loud and uninspired. Paired with the new eight-speed automatic, it’ll get you from point A to point B. Four-wheel drive comes on all trim levels for 2023 as well, which is something the competition does not offer.

Why does this compact SUV fall short?

Inside the compact SUV known as the 2023 Jeep Compass
Inside the 2023 Jeep Compass High Altitude | Jeep

Regarding ride quality, this compact SUV does not win any awards. While Jeep is known for making some excellent off-road vehicles, on-road comfort is usually less of a priority. The 2023 Jeep Compass suffers from a very firm ride that tends to enhance bumps instead of masking them. The interior quality and design also leave much to be desired, with cheap plastics and outdated technology detracting from the overall driving experience.

Even though compact SUVs don’t have a lot of space to work with, the Compass is at the back of the class. It has 27.2 cubic feet of space behind the second row and 59.8 with the second row folded. Much of the competition offers better use of the cargo space.

Jeep did include many standard driver-assistance features on this compact SUV. Forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring are all standard. Lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist are also included on the Compass. Unfortunately, a long list of available features and systems were not included. These aren’t necessary, but would have been helpful from a safety standpoint.

Is the Jeep Compass a safe compact SUV?

The NHTSA has not given the 2023 Jeep Compass an overall safety score. That could come later in the year, or it might not come at all. The IIHS made Jeep’s compact SUV a Top Safety Pick award recipient when equipped with specific headlights. Those trim levels are the Latitude Lux trim equipped with Premium Lighting package and Limited trim equipped with Red, Elite, or High Altitude package. The Trailhawk trim equipped with the Trailhawk Elite package also received LED projector lights that provided better visibility.

The Latitude, Latitude Lux, Limited, and Trailhawk trims with no packages earned an “acceptable” score from the LED reflector lights. Jeep’s Compass Sport trim with LED reflector lights earned a “moderate” score. It would be helpful if all trim levels received better headlights, especially without adding costly packages.

While the Jeep Compass retains the brand’s rugged aesthetic and off-road capabilities, its overall package doesn’t quite meet the high standards set by other compact SUVs regarding refinement, driving dynamics, and modern features.


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