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Jeep Compass Review

The 2015 Jeep Compass ranks 18 out of 19 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 2015 Jeep Compass is ranked:

Test drivers aren't satisfied with the 2015 Jeep Compass' weak engines, numb handling or small number of standard features, despite its low starting price.

Automotive journalists say the 2015 Jeep Compass accelerates slowly with its standard four-cylinder engine. The optional four-cylinder engine delivers more power, according to reviewers, but they add that the Compass feels unrefined and makes a lot of noise with either engine. Some auto writers think the standard five-speed manual and optional six-speed automatic transmissions perform well, but they note that models with the available continuously variable transmission (CVT) use too much fuel. With an EPA-estimated 23/30 mpg city/highway, the base 2015 Compass earns fairly good fuel economy estimates for the class. Most automotive journalists are let down by the Jeep Compass’ uninspiring handling and dull steering. Some also think it’s difficult to maneuver and has a harsh ride. Reviewers say that models equipped with the available Freedom Drive II four-wheel drive system have moderate off-road capabilities. However, many agree that for major off-roading, a Jeep Wrangler is the better option. 

Test drivers report the 2015 Compass' front seats are supportive and have lots of headroom, though they add that there isn't good outward visibility. The Compass doesn't have a telescoping steering wheel, and some critics say that makes it difficult to find a good driving position. A number of critics also think that the Compass' rear seats aren't especially spacious. The Jeep Compass has a low starting price for the class, but it also comes with few standard features. Optional features include automatic climate control, a USB port, Bluetooth, navigation, satellite radio, a Boston Acoustics stereo and flip-down liftgate speakers for outdoor listening. Reviewers agree that features like the optional infotainment system are outdated, especially in comparison with the infotainment options that are available elsewhere in the Jeep lineup. With 53.6 cubic feet of cargo space, the Jeep Compass has less room than many SUVs in the class. However, reviewers appreciate convenient storage solutions like the Compass’ fold-flat front- and rear-passenger seats.

  • "Aside from its aggressive pricing, the 2015 Jeep Compass is not a competitive entrant in the compact crossover segment." -- Edmunds
  • "Riding atop an aging platform, the Compass can claim only mediocre status when compared with fresher 5-passenger compact SUV crossovers such as the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester, Ford Escape or even its new sibling, the Jeep Cherokee. Those competitors start beyond the Compass' sub-$20,000 base price, but they offer better refinement, newer technology and more satisfying on-road manners." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 (2014)
  • "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 (2014)

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Other SUVs to Consider

Reviewers say the Subaru Forester’s available turbocharged engine puts out plenty of power for highway passing and merging. They also like the Forester’s roomy first- and second-row seats. The Forester also comes standard with all-wheel drive and has more cargo space than most rivals.

The Buick Encore impresses reviewers with its upscale cabin and long list of standard features. Additionally, the Encore earns excellent fuel economy estimates for the class, and test drivers love its balanced ride.

Compare the Compass, Forester and Encore »

Details: 2015 Jeep Compass

The 2015 Jeep Compass seats five and comes standard with 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 six-speed automatic transmission or a continuously variable transmission (CVT) are optional. Two four-wheel drive systems are also optional. There are three trim levels: Sport, Latitude and Limited. The Compass received a significant refresh for the 2011 model year, but hasn’t changed much since then. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2011 through 2015 model years.

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Review Last Updated: 8/21/15

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