Jeep is known for its great off-roading vehicles, particularly the Jeep Wrangler. Even Jeep models that look like traditional SUVs, like the Compass and Grand Cherokee, perform well on uneven pavement. The Jeep Compass was fully redesigned for the 2017 model year, getting some much-needed styling updates. Its engine was also more powerful and got much better fuel economy than previous models.
The Jeep Compass continues to get more package options and special editions each year. What can you expect if you’re buying the cheapest Jeep Compass? Let’s go over the standard features for the 2020 model year and find out.
Under the hood of the Jeep Compass
Each Compass trim comes with the same engine. It’s a 2.4-liter four-cylinder motor capable of 180 hp. Front-wheel drive is standard, but you can get all-wheel drive in every trim. Stick-shift fans are in luck: a six-speed manual transmission is standard.
A six-speed automatic is also available, but the manual transmission will get the Compass slightly better gas mileage. The four-wheel-drive drivetrain can also adjust itself automatically to different types of terrain. This makes it a capable off-road vehicle, but some critics were still unimpressed with the Compass’s overall power.
According to Edmunds, the Jeep Compass takes just over 10 seconds to accelerate from 0-60 mph. Reviews also noted that the nine-speed transmission, available in higher trims, experiences prolonged pauses between shifts.
There are a few standard infotainment features in the Compass. It has a 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, and two USB ports for charging smart devices. Smartphone integration is also standard, which allows drivers to sync their phones directly to the Uconnect system.
The Jeep Compass is compatible with both Apple and Android phones. Besides a bigger touchscreen, a premium audio system, and satellite radio, you won’t miss much from the pricier trims. The Uconnect system is easy to understand and highly responsive to user inputs.
The Jeep Compass has two rows and can seat up to five people. Cloth upholstery is standard, but some felt that the seats feel a little stiffer compared to Jeep’s other SUVs. Still, the front seats are spacious enough for even the tallest drivers to stretch their legs.
The front seats are also manually adjustable. 60/40 split-folding rear seats are included in the back, which helps increase the meager cargo capacity of the Jeep Compass. With the second row folded down, you get 59.8 cubic feet as opposed to 27.2 cubic feet. Tie-downs are standard, but higher trims also feature a power liftgate for easier loading and unloading.
The Jeep Compass doesn’t provide much in terms of advanced driver assistance features. It only comes with a rearview camera. For more safety options, like lane-keeping assist and forward collision warning, you’ll have to purchase a higher trim.
Other rivals offer many more standard safety features for the same price. However, the Compass also boasts impressive safety scores. It has a good rating on each test from the IIHS with the exception of the headlights test. It also scored an overall safety rating of four stars from the NHTSA.
Is the Jeep Compass a good SUV?
One big drawback of the Compass is that it seems to have the same complaints every year. It’s frequently slammed by critics for having little cargo space, average engine power, and a pitiful selection of safety features. It also suffers from the low reliability rating that plagues the rest of Jeep’s lineup.
However, when it comes to off-roading, Jeeps have some of the best reputations. While the Compass may fall short in a few categories, available four-wheel drive in every trim is a big plus. Even the base model has enough standard features to make it a good value.