People Can Agree That the 2020 Jeep Compass Is Largely Disappointing

The Jeep Compass’ biggest claim to fame this year is that it’s the cheapest Jeep you can buy. While Jeeps are among the most capable vehicles to purchase, the Compass falls below expectations. It’s rare for respected critics to agree on a vehicle, but for the most part, reviewers consider the Compass as disappointing in more ways than one. 

The Jeep Compass fell off in 2020

A 2020 Jeep Compass on display at an auto show
A 2020 Jeep Compass | Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

As you’ve probably already guessed, the Compass’ best aspect is its off-roading capability. But outside of that, the Compass isn’t nearly as impressive on-road. This Jeep delivers if slow is your speed, as reviewers at Cars.com highlighted. 

Cars.com has dubbed the 2020 Compass as the “Jeep that lost its way” because of its weak powertrain and poor fuel economy. No matter which trim level you pick, the Compass is powered by a 180-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder. Sometimes this Jeep feels snoozy; other times, it responds with the quickness.

U.S. News isn’t a big fan either 

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The U.S. News team also ranks the Compass at the lower end of its list of 2020 compact SUVs. U.S. News echoes many of the same sentiments as Cars.com: the Compass has a sluggish engine, and it has low fuel economy ratings. And to some, this Jeep is a mixed-bag on the inside.

In addition to its performance, U.S. News also found some aspects of the Compass’ interior to be disappointing. One drawback is that the Compass offers less cargo space for the class. Some riders might find that the SUV’s seats are too firm. The Compass also doesn’t come with many standard active safety features.

One bright spot inside the Compass is its standard infotainment system, which includes a 7-inch touchscreen, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. This infotainment system gets extra points for its user-friendly interface. The only qualm here is that some buyers might be annoyed with the Compass’ limited number of USB ports, as U.S. News notes.

The Compass low price tag is a bit misleading 

2019 Jeep Compass off-roading in mud
2019 Jeep Compass | Jeep

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The Compass is technically the cheapest Jeep you can buy, but only if you keep things simple. The base model starts at $23,775 and is standard with a manual transmission. While many drivers still prefer a manual, automatic transmissions have become more popular. If you want an automatic on the Compass, it brings the price up to $27,120. This makes the Compass slightly more expensive than models like the CR-V, which comes with an automatic transmission. 

So, is it a bad idea to buy the Compass?

Even though the Compass is lacking in a few areas, it’s an OK SUV. The Compass offers some appealing features, and it’s still reasonably practical. If you are set on getting a Compass, we recommend sticking with the base trim. Alternatively, you might want to consider other options like the Kia Sportage, which Consumer Reports recommends over the Compass. And for a more well-rounded, adventurous vehicle, consider the Subaru Forester