Jeep Compass review
Stylish, comfortable and more usable off-road than the average crossover, the Jeep Compass has plenty to offer
In the past, the Jeep Compass was a boxy, ugly and unattractive machine, but the new version that sits between the smaller Renegade and bigger Cherokee is altogether more stylish. A mid-life makeover has improved the cabin quality, while onboard technology has also been given a much needed update.
Throw in decent practicality, high equipment levels, along with more efficient hybrid and plug-in hybrid petrol engines, and the Compass is an effective and fun family crossover, although it still lacks some of the finesse of its top European rivals.
About the Jeep Compass
After a brief hiatus, the second-generation Jeep Compass went on sale in dealers in late 2017, replacing the original model which was dropped in 2015. The good thing about this break is that it gave time for the old Compass to fade from memory before the new one arrived, because the difference between the two is night and day.
The latest Compass is a far more attractive and capable proposition than its predecessor. Like many evolutions in the class, the latest Compass has a look that embraces its off-road side, and the traditional Jeep seven-bar grille and squared-off wheelarches give it a look like a shrunken Grand Cherokee.
A facelift in 2021 brought in a few subtle tweaks to the exterior design, while the interior was treated to a thorough refresh, helping the Compass become a little more competitive with a host of talented rivals. Prices range from around £31,500 to more than £42,000, and this puts the Compass in the same ballpark as the VW Tiguan and larger Skoda Kodiaq.
That means it's a bit pricey when compared to some rivals, such as the Peugeot 3008 and Vauxhall Grandland, but puts it on a par with cars like the Mazda CX-5 and Honda CR-V. Jeep is trying to pitch itself as a prestige brand, though, so you could consider the Compass as a less expensive alternative to cars such as the Volvo XC40, Jaguar E-Pace and BMW X2.
Under the skin, the Jeep Compass shares much with the Fiat 500X, and therefore the Renegade, too. It has a longer wheelbase than the Jeep, though, so it has more space inside. The previous engine lineup included 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre Multijet diesel units, along with a 1.4-litre MultiAir petrol, although these have now been replaced with a 128bhp 1.3-litre petrol, a 128bhp 1.5-litre mild-hybrid and a 1.3-litre 4xe plug-in hybrid petrol with 237bhp.
The front-wheel-drive 128bhp pure petrol model uses a six-speed manual gearbox, while the mild-hybrid version has a dual-clutch automatic transmision, and the all-wheel-drive PHEV a six-speed auto 'box.
Available trim levels differ depending on which engine you specify. If you opt for the regular petrol-engined Compass then you have the choice of either Night Eagle or Limited specifications, while the mild-hybrid car adds more expensive Upland and S trims to the lineup. The plug-in hybrid model is paired with Upland, S or Trailhawk equipment levels.
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In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingStylish, comfortable and more usable off-road than the average crossover, the Jeep Compass has plenty to offer
- 2Engines, performance and driveTerrific off-road, especially in Trailhawk spec, but the Compass loses ground to rivals on tarmac
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsLatest Jeep models are pretty efficient, with the 4xe plug-in hybrid model offering around 30 miles of all-electric drive
- 4Interior, design and technologyCrisp exterior style has showroom appeal, while refreshed interior adds extra quality and onboard tech
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe Jeep Compass is spacious and roomy, in spite of its sporty roofline
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe Compass has excellent safety scores, and much of its tech is tried and tested