Skip to main content

The 2017 Jeep Compass fit awkwardly in the manufacturer’s vehicle lineup. This compact SUV slotted next to the Jeep Patriot and Jeep Cherokee, but these vehicles all brought similar attributes to the table. Each one attempted to blend everyday functionality with off-road capability. It’s especially difficult to tell the difference between the Compass and Cherokee.

Many shoppers in the market for a Jeep compact SUV at the time narrowed their choices down to two models. The Patriot was on the road to being discontinued, so the 2017 Compass and the 2017 Cherokee were the top options.

In retrospect, it seems like those who picked the 2017 Jeep Compass got the raw end of the deal. According to Consumer Reports owner satisfaction ratings, only 31% of drivers who bought the 2017 Compass said they would repurchase the SUV. That statistic was the lowest in its class. The 2017 Patriot and 2017 Cherokee fared significantly better with 55% and 53%, respectively. Although, both SUVs still ended up on the bottom half of the list.

Were the concerns over the 2017 Jeep Compass overstated, or is this compact SUV as bad as it appeared?

A new era brings new issues

The 2017 Jeep Compass puts its capability on display by driving into water
The 2017 Jeep Compass shows off its capability | Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Jeep redesigned the Compass for the 2017 model year, but it got off to a rough start. We’ll begin on a high note with everything Consumer Reports liked about the 2017 Jeep Compass – the climate control system. 

Moving on, here’s everything they disliked about the SUV – cargo space, acceleration, loudness, and comfortability. The 2017 Compass also earned middling ratings in most other categories, including fuel economy and braking.

The 2017 Jeep Compass was the dawn of a new generation for the nameplate. However, it failed to get with the time. It didn’t come standard with any driver-assistance systems aside from a rearview camera. Plus, its entry-level infotainment system lacked Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. If you had wanted modern features in this all-new compact SUV, you’d have to pay up for a higher trim.

Meanwhile, the 2017 Compass’ interior didn’t charm passengers, especially those relegated to sitting in the back. Consumer Reports’ review of the 2017 Compass said, “The rear seat is low and flat, almost like a bench. It also doesn’t help that the seatback rake is quite steep, making for an awkward posture.”

The 2017 Jeep Compass is a ‘Jeep’ in name only

Its problems begin under the hood, where you’ll find a 180-horsepower four-cylinder engine. It comes mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Six- and nine-speed automatic transmissions are available.

The 2017 Jeep Compass fails to live up to the brand’s reputation of adventure and off-road capability. Its powertrain is only capable of towing a maximum of 2,000 pounds. Plus, Consumer Report notes the SUV only has a 0-60 MPH time of 9.8 seconds, indicating sluggish performance.

This lack of power begs the question of why the 2017 Compass was so noisy. One Consumer Reports reviewer noted, “The auto shut off feature feels somewhat clunky,” and “Highway acceleration is not real smooth.”

The Trailhawk trim level appears to be the most capable version of the SUV. It features an increased ground clearance, a 4×4 system with a low-range mode, skid plates, and hill descent control. Plus, it offers a unique two-tone exterior color that helps it stand out from the rest of the lineup. However, those who choose this model will still be stuck with the same powertrain that plagues the ]Compass’ other trim levels.

Would the 2017 Jeep Compass make a good used SUV?


Never Buy The Jeep Compass Instead of The Jeep Renegade

Consumer Reports estimates that the 2017 Jeep Compass has an average retail price between $13,050-$20,525. However, there are significantly better used SUVs under $20,000 on the market, including luxury models.

The 2017 Jeep Compass failed to impress most of its buyers when it was new, and it likely won’t fare any better on the used market as well. Meanwhile, newer model years of the Jeep Compass are affordable, as are the Renegade and Cherokee if you’re committed to buying a Jeep. These updated models are more well-equipped with tech features, although some problematic issues from the 2017 edition carry over.