The Jeep Compass is a popular SUV, but is it really that great of a car? Jeep has amassed a loyal following over the years for its stylish vehicles practically built for off-roading. However, Consumer Reports says that you should avoid the overrated Jeep Compass.
Compass defenders may argue that it’s one of the best SUVs to take off-road, especially the top-of-the-line Trailhawk model. It also has a plentiful amount of storage space and a highly-rated infotainment system. Despite these appealing features, there are more reasons why you might want to skip the Jeep Compass.
The Jeep Compass’ underpowered engine
Every Jeep Compass comes with the same 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that can make 180 hp. It’s paired with a six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive. If you buy a trim with four-wheel-drive equipped, it comes with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Consumer Reports said that even the upgraded transmission feels unrefined, and the engine struggles to accelerate at highway speeds.
Consumer Reports also wasn’t impressed with the gas mileage of the Jeep Compass. Its EPA estimates state that it makes 22 mpg on city roads and 31 mpg on the interstate. While CR’s test Compass got slightly better numbers on the highway, the SUV only got 16 mpg in town.
Poor ride quality
During the CR road test, drivers reported body lean and unimpressive cornering power. The Jeep Compass can absorb some bumps, but this wears off once you’ve been driving for an extended period of time. Testers also reported that the engine whines when it’s pushed to sudden acceleration.
Despite this, the cabin is actually a serene place if there’s no engine noise. CR’s testers also noted that the Trailhawk performed quite well in an off-road setting. It comes with an upgraded all-wheel-drive setting that can put gears in a low range and a special terrain selection system.
The Jeep Compass also has a set of overly sensitive but well-functioning brakes. Visibility inside the Jeep Compass is decent at the front but hindered at the back thanks to its massive rear pillars.
Many critics praise the Jeep Compass’s interior for its styling, but the actual materials leave something to be desired. Consumer Reports says that it feels unquestionably cheap, with hard plastic buttons and flimsy trim on the dashboard. Testers even found that pulling the steering lever makes the whole column jitter in response. Still, Consumer Reports did praise the well-equipped infotainment interface, especially the big physical tuning knobs.
The Jeep Compass seats five passengers and both of its rows offer adult-friendly seating. The seats feel pillowy soft and can be cloth, a combination of vinyl and cloth, or synthetic leather. However, Consumer Reports found that the seats don’t provide enough support for comfortable road trips.
The front seats can be made a little cozier if you add on eight-way adjustability, which includes lumbar support. However, the left and right rear seats feel flat and make riders sit at an awkward posture. While it has many in-cabin storage cubbies, they’re not big enough for holding more than one item.
The Jeep Compass isn’t worth the money
The Jeep Compass is terribly overpriced, especially considering its shortcomings. The base trim retails for a minimum of around $22,000, while the rough-riding Trailhawk can cost $30,000. Consumer Reports recommends the Nissan Rogue Sport instead, which is more dependable and gets better gas mileage.
The Jeep Compass also has a pitiful owner satisfaction score, with only 47 percent stating that they would purchase another Compass. Drivers gave it high marks for exterior style, but it got low scores in every other category. Unless you’re a diehard Jeep fan, we’d give the Compass a pass.