The one star rating is all you need to know. Look elsewhere!
Performance: Two engines are available with the Compass. Standard 2-liter four-cylinder producing 158hp is best had with a manual gearbox because you’ll really need to work this engine hard. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder producing 172hp is optional but well worth paying extra for. It feels much more up for the job. Even with all-wheel-drive optioned it still doesn’t feel as sluggish as the 2-liter with just front-wheel-drive.
On the road: We haven’t had the chance to take the all-wheel-drive Compass on any off-road terrain. But we were bitterly disappointed with its on road dynamics. The car leans too much into corners and bends and the ride comfort is just too fidgety and unsettled. The 2-liter engine sounds coarse when pushed hard while the 2.4 feels more relaxed at highway speeds. Wind and road noise will be unwelcomed companions on the highway.
Behind the wheel: The elevated driving position is great but we wish the steering wheel adjust for reach instead of height only. Some drivers will struggle to get comfortable. Over the shoulder visibility isn’t great either thanks to thick side pillars. The optional touch-screen infotainment system can be a bit fiddly to operate on the move. There’s plenty of space for four-passengers in the cabin and the boot isn’t massive but it has plenty of handy storage to compensate.
Equipment: Sport trim offers a five-speed manual gearbox, air-con, cd-player and alloy wheels. Latitude trim adds color matched exterior rearview mirrors, sport mesh seats and upgraded sport seats. Top of the range Limited adds projector headlamps, fog lights and a rear back up camera.
Buying & Owning: The Jeep Compass is aimed to undercut cars like the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, Mazda CX-5 and Volkswagen Tiguan. But we think that you’re better off picking one of those than the Compass. Even if the purchase price is lower, resale value isn’t all that great and running costs are a mere average compared to its rivals and that’s just not good enough reason to want to buy one other than the badge.
Quality & Safety: The cabin doesn’t really feel classy and the plastics used feel cheap. We aren’t sure about reliability either because Jeep has scored low in that department. Six airbags come standard with stability control, anti-lock brakes and all-wheel-drive optional to help keep things under control. Compared to its rivals the Compass scored much lower in crash safety. A engine immobilizer and alarm system keep theft at bay.
If you have to have a Jeep the Cherokee is worth paying the premium for. Even its rivals are worth paying the extra for.
Likes: It's a cheap Jeep with an okay amount of kit standard.
Dislikes: Other than its cheap price, this Jeep is utterly disappointing in everything else.