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#21

in Affordable Compact SUVs

MSRP: $18,795 - $27,995
Invoice: $18,583 - $26,951
MPG: 23 City / 30 Hwy
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Jeep Compass Review

The 2014 Jeep Compass ranks 21 out of 22 Affordable Compact SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Jeep Compass, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2014 Jeep Compass is ranked:

Reviewers say although the 2014 Jeep Compass is a decent option for shoppers attracted to its low base price, it lacks the power, standard features and off-road prowess offered by higher-ranking compact SUVs.

The Compass is powered by a four-cylinder engine, and test drivers are disappointed with its feeble performance. Although a more powerful four-cylinder engine is optional, test drivers say it offers only marginal improvement, resulting in lackluster acceleration and a noisy ride. A five-speed manual transmission comes standard on the Compass, while a new six-speed automatic and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) are optional. One critic comments that while the new six-speed automatic is better than the CVT, it still doesn’t make good use of the engine’s power. The EPA reports that the 2014 Compass gets up to 23/30 mpg city/highway, which is comparable with the fuel economy of SUVs like the base Ford Escape and Honda CR-V. Still, compact SUVs like the Mazda CX-5 use significantly less fuel. Test drivers say that the Compass falls short with a jittery ride and uninspiring handling. Some also note that a large turning circle makes the Compass more difficult to maneuver than they would like. Additionally, most reviewers note that even with the choice of all- and four-wheel drive systems, the Compass has limited off-road capabilities.

Although Jeep has updated the 2014 Compass’ interior design, some auto writers say that it’s still an unimpressive cabin, and that base models primarily feature mostly hard plastic materials. However, some auto critics say that updates like chrome accents and soft-touch materials make a notable improvement in the cabin. While headroom is good in the front seats, some reviewers say that it’s difficult to find a comfortable driving position in the 2014 Compass. Additionally, there’s not enough legroom in the Compass’ back seat for adults to be comfortable. While a few reviewers note that the 2014 Compass offers clear gauges and logically-placed controls, others say that the Compass comes sparsely equipped, and that the buttons and switches on the dash look outdated. A four-speaker stereo with an auxiliary input comes standard in the 2014 Jeep Compass, while available features include automatic climate control, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, navigation and a Boston Acoustics stereo system with flip-down tailgate speakers.

  • "The 2014 Jeep Compass may not be as well-regarded as its big brothers, but it still claims to have the heart and soul of a Jeep, albeit in a smaller, more fuel-efficient package. When it comes to overall refinement, however, Jeep's compact crossover still lags behind almost every crossover on the market." -- AutoTrader
  • "So they're still making this thing? I thought it was sent off to pasture a while back. I know it received a refresh a few years ago, making it look a little bit better, like a mini Grand Cherokee. That helped, but I still can't see a good reason for picking up a Jeep Compass." -- AutoWeek
  • "The Compass does have quite a bit more all-terrain capability than most other compact crossover SUVs, but that only comes about when you add some extra-cost features. And even if so equipped, it's a good bet you'll be calling your friend with a Wrangler to pull you out of a ditch if you attempt anything really challenging." -- Edmunds
  • "While Jeep has made great strides with the exterior and interior enhancement for the 2014 Compass, its overall appeal still falls short of the benchmarks set by the Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and Subaru Forester." -- Kelley Blue Book

Other SUVs to Consider

The 2014 Buick Encore is loaded with standard features that the Compass either doesn’t offer or only offers on higher trims. Additionally, the base Encore trim offers better fuel economy at an EPA-estimated 25/33 mpg city/highway.

Critics say the 2014 Subaru Forester, which has standard all-wheel drive, offers robust performance when equipped with the available turbocharged engine. Reviewers also note that the 2014 Subaru Forester offers a large cargo hold and a spacious back seat.

Compare the Compass, Encore and Forester »

Details: 2014 Jeep Compass

The 2014 Jeep Compass seats five and has standard front-wheel drive. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission are standard. A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, and either a new six-speed automatic transmission or a CVT are optional or available on higher trims. All- and four-wheel drive systems are also optional. The Compass comes in three trims: Sport, Latitude and Limited. For 2014, the Compass receives updated interior and exterior styling, as well as standard front-seat side air bags, but is otherwise unchanged. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2011, 2012 and 2013, as well as the current model year.

See the full 2014 Jeep Compass specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/13/14

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