Avg. Price Paid:$14,216 - $19,091
Original MSRP: $19,295 - $26,045
MPG: 23 City / 29 Hwy
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2012 Jeep Compass Review

Review Last Updated: 10/10/13

These scores and this review are from when the car was new.

The 2012 Jeep Compass is capable of heading off-road, but auto writers say other SUVs, like the Jeep Wrangler, are better.

Even though the Jeep Compass isn’t the best off-road SUV for rock climbing or trudging through creeks, reviewers say it does have some off-road power. Test drivers say that the Compass will appeal to shoppers with its low base price and good fuel economy. In addition, because it is a crossover, which means it has car-like handling, the Compass is more practical for weekly commutes to the office than other off-road vehicles. However, if you need one of the most capable off-road SUVs on the market, the Jeep Compass isn’t it. The Jeep Wrangler is a better option.

If the 2012 Jeep Compass’ affordability lures you in, you will have to make compromises. Inside, the Compass lacks standard amenities, like a USB port, that shoppers seek. It also doesn’t have a ton of cargo space, so if the Compass will double as a family hauler, you’ll get more utility with the Honda CR-V. However, if you really need an affordable off-road SUV, the 2012 Jeep Compass offers a suitable balance between workplace commutes and off-road adventures.  

Other SUVs to Consider

The Jeep Compass is one of the least expensive off-road SUVs, but upgrading to the more expensive Jeep Wrangler will be worth the extra cost if you need one of the best off-road SUVs on the market. This year, the Wrangler has a new engine that not only gives it more off-road finesses, but also makes it an adequate daily driver.

No compact SUV in this class is exceptionally powerful, but for more refined performance, you will have to sacrifice off-road prowess. The Volkswagen Tiguan, for example, is the most fun-to-drive vehicle in the class, but it’s a sophisticated compact SUV, not a rock-climber. The GMC Terrain, however, offers a better balance of rugged looks and capable performance. It has a truck-like exterior and optional all-wheel drive.

Details: Jeep Compass

The Jeep Compass was redesigned for the 2011 model year, and for 2012, there are few changes. The Compass is available in three trims: Sport, Latitude and Limited.

  • "Its interior look and feels, dare we say it, nice." -- Edmunds
  • "Still, Compass lacks the overall refinement of the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4. … Compass makes sense as a functional wagon for people who crave Jeep Grand Cherokee styling in a cheaper, more-compact package. For most others, there are better alternatives." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The Compass will always be remembered for trying to stretch the Jeep brand a little too far. …" -- Automobile Magazine

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