Jeep Compass review 2022

The Compass is Jeep’s mid-sized crossover that’s been around for two generations.

£16,910
Average price
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1
Out of 5

Pros

  • Great off-roading ability
  • Chunky styling
  • Roomy interior

Cons

  • Not very good to drive
  • Not very refined engines
  • Interior quality isn’t as good as rivals
  • MPG

    0 - 0

  • CO2

    0 - 0 g/km

Model review

Jeep is a model that has always managed to stick to its original mantra – making off-road focused models. Of course, it has had to adapt and change over the years, and with the increasing want for more lifestyle-focused crossovers – essentially with the looks of a 4x4 but without the capability and increased running costs – Jeep successfully responded with the launch of its Patriot and larger Compass models. 

Launching in 2007 – just ahead of the Patriot – the Compass was the American firm’s first SUV of this kind, as well as its most efficient yet. It was also the brand’s first front-wheel-drive car (though rugged 4x4 versions were still on offer) and the first with a fully independent suspension setup for a more comfortable ride. 

For 2011, Jeep redesigned it with a more grown-up look, incorporating new bumpers, a new bonnet and a redesigned version of Jeep’s well-known seven-slot grille. Jeep also aimed to give the interior a more upmarket finish, while interestingly all versions of this generation would become four-wheel-drive. A new Mercedes-sourced diesel engine also replaced a previous VW unit. A 2013 refresh brought with it new technologies – such as a reversing camera – along with a new special-edition North version. Jeep would discontinue the first-generation Compass in 2014.

Latest model

It would be a further four years before the second-generation Jeep Compass would arrive in the UK, and it became more of an upmarket model in the process with a more imposing and modern design than its predecessor. 

It also saw a big uplift in technology, with the new Compass getting a range of new driver assistance features and in-car technology – including a large 8.4-inch touchscreen and semi-digital instrument clusters to name just a few features. While front-wheel-drive versions would feature prominently in the line-up, Jeep wouldn’t forget about four-wheel-drive capability, which promised to be the best in its class. A more extreme Trailhawk version also introduced more rugged styling and additional off-road technology. 

Though Jeep Europe has recently announced updates to its Compass – including new engines and the addition of a plug-in hybrid – these models are yet to reach the UK. 

Value for money

In terms of pricing, the Compass sits towards the top end of this spectrum, with its £27,125 starting price being noticeably higher than that of rivals like the Nissan Qashqai and Seat Ateca. You do get plenty for your money, though, including keyless entry and start and a large 8.4-inch touchscreen, though it’s still not as generous as it perhaps should be. The cheapest four-wheel-drive model also costs £31,540 if you’re after a new one. 

As for used Compass models, first-generation examples start from around £3,000, which makes it a very affordable 4x4, if a model has this selected. As for the latest generation, at the time of writing a three-year-old example could be had from around £14,000, though we’d argue nearly-new models seem to be the best option. With pre-registered delivery mileage examples available from around £20,000, it represents a vast saving on the new price. 

Looks and image

A key draw to the Compass is the way it looks. If you like your crossover or SUV to look as rugged as possible, this Jeep will certainly fit the brief. Its funky seven-slot grille makes it look unmissable like a ‘Jeep’, while square wheelarches also help to add to the chunky presence. All versions come with large alloy wheels, too, while you can make it look even more rugged by choosing the Trailhawk, which features raised suspension and special graphics. 

Inside, the Compass isn’t quite so appealing, though, as there’s lots of cheap plastics on show that don’t feel befitting of its price, while the overall layout just looks quite busy and cluttered compared to rivals. Despite that, the large 8.4-inch touchscreen fitted across the line-up is easy to use and also adds a modern look to the cabin. 

If you’re looking for genuine off-road ability in this class, it’s safe to say that four-wheel-drive models can get further off the beaten track than just about all its rivals, with its impressive ability on a range of terrains, especially the top Trailhawk versions. Despite this, it’s on-road dynamics fall short of the mark, with steering that has limited feel, and it rolls through the corners. Just about all rivals feel more planted and are better to drive on tarmac. 

Space and practicality

On a more positive note, the Compass will be a roomy choice for families looking for a practical SUV. One of its most impressive attributes is rear seat space, with plenty of headroom and legroom on offer, even though this is only Jeep’s mid-size model. At 438 litres, the boot isn’t huge – a Seat Ateca has a 510-litre boot, for example – but is pleasingly larger than that of your typical family hatchback. 

The Compass also scores well for safety, receiving a five-star safety rating when it was tested by Euro NCAP in 2017, with autonomous emergency braking and lane keep assist both included as standard.

Engines

The Compass line-up kicks off with a turbocharged 1.3-litre petrol unit, which is available with outputs of 138bhp or 168bhp. The former comes with a manual gearbox and front-wheel-drive, and is able to accelerate the model to 60mph in 9.7 seconds. If you choose the more powerful version, it comes as standard with four-wheel-drive and a nine-speed automatic gearbox, though because of its additional weight, isn’t really any quicker. 


As for diesel, the first option is a turbocharged 1.6-litre option that comes with front-wheel-drive and a manual gearbox. Despite only putting out 118bhp, it can manage 0-60mph in 10.8 seconds thanks to a plentiful torque figure. Jeep also offers a top 168bhp 2.0-litre diesel with an automatic gearbox and four-wheel-drive on the Trailhawk model. With a 0-60mph time of 9.3 seconds, it makes it the quickest Compass in the line-up. 

Running costs

Regardless of which Compass you go for, the running costs will be quite steep. Even the most efficient diesel is only able to return 43.5mpg, with CO2 emissions of 157g/km – figures that can be beaten by a petrol Qashqai. 

The petrol Compass is also especially thirsty, returning fuel economy in the low 30s and with high emissions – particularly in four-wheel-drive versions. If you’re unlikely to ever need this extra ability, a front-wheel-drive model is likely a better option. 

Things to look out for

With the Compass only being sold in quite small numbers in the UK, not a huge amount is known about its reliability, though you should have reassurance from Jeep’s five-year warranty. As with any off-roader, you should make sure the underside hasn’t been damaged.  

Rivals

The Compass sits in one of the most contested segments on the market, and it has a near endless list of competitors, including best-sellers like the Hyundai Tucson, Nissan Qashqai and Ford Kuga. Other models worth considering include the Seat Ateca, Skoda Karoq and Volkswagen Tiguan. If you want a model with impressive off-roading ability, it could be worth taking a look at the Land Rover Discovery Sport, though it will be pricier to buy.  

Depreciation

Though Jeep might have a loyal audience, its models aren’t hugely in demand, which equates to steep depreciation. We’d advise negotiating a good discount (which seem to be readily available) or considering a used example to make the most of the savings. 

Which Compass to pick

Cheapest to buy when new

1.3 T4 GSE Night Eagle 5dr Sw

Most MPG

1.3 T4 GSE Night Eagle 5dr Sw

Fastest model (0-60)

1.3 T4 GSE 4xe PHEV Trailhawk 5dr Auto Sw

Trims explained

Jeep offers a choice of five trim levels on its Compass, with equipment highlights and prices as follows.

Longitude

Standard equipment on the Compass includes 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, electric folding mirrors and automatic lights and wipers. You also get LED rear lights, a leather steering wheel, auto-dimming rear view mirror, front fog lights, rear parking sensors, keyless entry and start, and autonomous emergency braking and lane keep assist on the safety side of things. An 8.4-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is also included.

From £27,125

Night Eagle

If you want more stylish looks, choose the Night Eagle, which gains black 18-inch alloy wheels, gloss black badging, grille and window surrounds .You also get a Winter Pack, which includes all season floor mats, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and windscreen wiper de-icer.

From £28,625

Limited

High-spec Limited versions see the gloss black replaced by chrome, while also coming with tinted rear windows, an Alpine sound system and electric and heated leather seats. Front and rear parking sensors are also included, along with LED daytime running lights, park assist and blind spot monitoring.

From £30,125

S

S versions bring 19-inch satin grain alloy wheels, an electric boot, LED headlights with high beam assist, along with ventilated front seats with memory function. Adaptive cruise control also joins the list.

From £32,825

Trailhawk

At the top of the range is the Trailhawk, which is available exclusively with four-wheel-drive and gets a range of extra rugged extras to make it more capable off-road – including raised suspension, hill descent control and a special Rock mode. It also gets more aggressive styling thanks to off-road bumpers, a special bonnet decal and unique Trailhawk leather seats.

From £38,360

Summary

  1. Mid-size Jeep SUV
  2. Very impressive off-roading ability
  3. Though front-wheel-drive versions are available
  4. Thirsty engines
  5. Poor on-road performance
  6. Practical interior
  7. Chunky and rugged styling will appeal
  8. Good warranty
  9. Plenty of standard equipment
  10. Appealing looks, but there are far better rivals available for similar money

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