- Unique styling
- Cheap to buy
- Generous equipment
- Awful NCAP results
- Dated engines
- Poor quality interior
Stylish SUV with issues in all areas
The Jeep Compass was a revolutionary car for the American manufacturer, as it was its first foray into the crossover SUV market. Whilst Jeeps are predominantly known for their rugged off-road ability, the Compass is strictly on-road. Unfortunately however, Jeep have struggled to achieve excellence with the Compass. It’s unrefined, has a poor quality interior, and it’s uneconomical. What the Compass does offer is unique styling, and generous equipment, but this won’t be enough for most family buyers, especially when they see the Compass’ appalling safety results.
The Compass ceased to be sold in the UK in 2016, and was replaced by the more impressive Jeep Renegade.
Spacious and solid, but feels very dated
One thing that family buyers expect from their SUVs is space. The Compass doesn’t disappoint in this regard, as it has one of the biggest boots in its class. There’s also plenty of standard kit, but few modern cars have such a dated, poor-quality cabin.
The dashboard of the Compass feels very old-fashioned. If you’ve sat in something like a Volkswagen Tiguan before the Compass, you’ll instantly notice the difference. The boxy, plastic slab that is plonked between the A-pillars is far from attractive, and it’s also constructed with poor, cheap, scratchy plastics. The Compass is much cheaper to buy than some of its rivals, but you really feel it when you step inside.
One area which isn’t too bad with the Compass is the space that it offers. It’s not the most spacious car for passengers, but the boot is pretty sizeable. It offers a 458 litre capacity, which is bigger than the Nissan Qashqai, though it is pretty shallow. Seating flexibility isn’t the best either, so increasing the space is far from easy. On paper, the Compass looks good, but in reality, it’s not that practical.
Equipment levels are thankfully quite generous in the Compass, especially when you consider its purchase price. There’s only one trim option, so buyers won’t need to spend time working out which model is best for them. The Compass comes with electric windows, air-conditioning, full leather upholstery, alloy wheels, and iPod connectivity. You’d have to tick a lot of boxes on a competitor to get it up the Compass’ standard.
The inside of the Compass is ultimately a disappointing. It’s hard to recommend the Compass on its interior alone, as it’s dated, dreary, and poor quality. There’s plenty of standard kit which might attract some buyers, but it’s got little else going for it.
Impressive off-road ability for a compact SUV
The Jeep Compass, despite it being built for on-road performance, is actually more impressive off-road. Compared to a lot of cars in its class, it actually copes well when in moderately difficult terrain. On-road however, it isn’t so impressive. There is plenty of grip, and body roll is kept in check, but steering offers little feedback. It feels solid to drive, and it’s far from the worst SUV, but it’s not what you’d call fun.
Suspension and Chassis
Ride refinement in the Compass is pretty poor. The suspension system might be ground-breaking for Jeep, but it isn’t for UK buyers. Rough surfaces and potholes shudder into the cabin, and it’s not the most comfortable car to be in. Road and wind noise are however pretty quiet, so it’s a decent performer on the motorway.
Gearbox options in the Compass come in three guises. Entry-level models come with a five-speed manual, that’s both clunky, and lacks the flexibility that comes with a sixth gear. There is a six speed manual in more expensive models, though it lacks finesse. An automatic CVT gearbox is available on the 2.4 litre model, but the less said about that the better.
Two thirsty petrols, and an unimpressive diesel
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Compass, you’ve got the usual two options: petrol, or diesel. There’s two petrol engines in the range, but both are very thirsty, whilst the diesel is noisy, and it’s far from being eco-friendly.
If it’s power that you want from your Compass, the best option in the Compass range is the petrol-powered 2.4 litre engine. This produces 168bhp, and accelerates from 0-62mph in 10.2 seconds. Surprisingly, the 2.2 litre diesel, which produces 161bhp, accelerates to 62mph faster than its more powerful counterpart, with a 9.5 second figure quoted. Neither engine feels particularly quick however, especially if you pair it with the CVT automatic gearbox.
Eco-friendly buyers will not be impressed with the Jeep Compass. The greenest engine in the Compass range is the diesel-powered 2.2 CRD (2WD) which emits 161g/km of CO2. That’s nowhere near the best cars in its class, so if environmental concerns dictate which car you go for, the Compass should be avoided. This engine is the best option for money-savers, but only in relation to the other engines in the Compass range. Fuel efficiency of up to 46mpg is pretty disappointing, especially in the compact SUV class.
All of the engines in the Compass range feel dated. No engine feels particularly powerful, and no matter which option you go for, you’ll spend more than you’d like at the petrol pumps. The diesel engine offers the best balance, but it’s noisy, and nowhere near the best option in the class.
Atrocious NCAP results, decent safety equipment
Whilst most cars in the Compass’ class easily achieved the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating, the Compass fell way short of the class standard. The 2-star results that the Compass achieved are unbelievably poor, and the scores of 61% in adult safety, 76% in child safety, and 23% in pedestrian safety don’t help its case either. You do however get decent safety kit as standard, with six airbags, and electronic stability control both featuring. Despite this, the Compass is not a safe car to own, which will undoubtedly put a lot of buyers off.
Cheap to buy, but expensive to run day-to-day
The Jeep Compass might be one of the cheapest cars to buy in its class, especially if you buy one nearly-new, but it’s a pretty expensive car to own. Fuel efficiency throughout the range is poor, whilst high CO2 emissions make for an expensive road tax bill. This does depend on which model you choose to go for, but even the most efficient diesel falls way short of the class leaders.
Insurance costs in the Jeep Compass depend entirely on which model you choose to go for. Generally speaking, costs are more expensive than they would be in an equivalent rival though. The cheapest Compass to insure is the entry-level 2.0 Sport, which is in group 21, whilst the most expensive is the limited edition 2.2 CRD 70th Anniversary, which is in group 27.
Depreciation is a massive factor with the Compass, but only if you chose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Jeep Compass was revolutionary for Jeep, but the end product is far from revolutionary, especially for UK buyers. The interior is poor, ride refinement is disappointing, the engines on offer feel dated, and it has one of the worst set of safety results for a compact SUV. It does have striking looks, generous equipment, and is cheap to buy, but it won’t be enough for most buyers, especially when they consider how expensive it is to insure and run day-to-day.
Buying a used Jeep Compass online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Jeep Compass for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Compass. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Jeep Compass online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Jeep? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Jeep Compass, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Compass, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Jeep to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.