2013 Jeep Compass Review
Its low base price may attract value-conscious shoppers, but reviewers say that the 2013 Jeep Compass lacks the power, refinement and space of higher-ranking compact SUVs.
The Compass is powered by a four-cylinder engine, and test drivers are disappointed by its meager power. A more powerful engine is optional, but reviewers agree that it offers only a marginal improvement, resulting in acceleration that’s adequate at best. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is optional. One critic comments that the CVT is noisy, and doesn’t make good use of the engine’s power. The EPA reports that the Jeep Compass gets up to 23/30 mpg city/highway, which is comparable to SUVs like the Chevrolet Equinox and Honda CR-V. Most reviewers say that the Compass handles adequately, however, a few reviewers note that the Compass can ride harshly, and that its large turning circle makes it less maneuverable than its small size suggests. Additionally, the Compass' safety score is lower than most competing affordable compact SUVs.
Automotive journalists note that the 2013 Compass’ interior uses price-appropriate materials, including nice plastics and some soft-touch surfaces. While headroom is good in the front seats, one critic says that it’s difficult to find a comfortable driving position in the Compass. Additionally, a number of reviewers point out that the Compass’ back seat is cramped, and the Compass has less cargo space than SUVs like the GMC Terrain. The Compass is less expensive than a number of affordable compact SUVs, but it also comes with fewer standard features than models like the Terrain, CR-V and Mazda CX-5. A four-speaker stereo with an auxiliary input jack comes standard, while available features include automatic climate control, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, navigation and a Boston Acoustics stereo with flip-down tailgate speakers.
- "Competing with such established names as the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Subaru Forester, the Compass has its work cut out for it, especially considering most of its newer rivals outshine it in the areas of engine technology, fuel economy and features." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "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 (2012)
- "If it's true off-road capability you're after, the Jeep Wrangler and Nissan Xterra are worth a look. For around-town use, the Honda CR-V, GMC Terrain, Kia Sportage and Subaru Forester (just to name a few) all offer all-wheel drive for increased traction in bad weather with much better handling, performance and refinement in everyday driving." -- Edmunds (2012)
- "No matter how much work Jeep has put into this crossover for 2011, the Compass nameplate carries some serious baggage. The Compass will always be remembered for trying to stretch the Jeep brand a little too far and it isn't long for this world." -- Automobile Magazine (2011)
Other SUVs to Consider
The Kia Sportage has a low base price, just like the Compass. However, the Sportage comes with more standard features, and impresses reviewers with its car-like handling, stylish exterior and a powerful turbocharged engine option.
If you want more cargo space than the Compass offers, consider the Mazda CX-5. The CX-5 uses less fuel than the Compass, and it comes with more standard features. Additionally, the CX-5 impresses test drivers with its high-quality interior and athletic handling.
Details: 2013 Jeep Compass
The 2013 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, while a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a CVT are optional or available on higher trims. Two four-wheel drive systems are also optional. The Compass comes in three trims: Sport, Latitude and Limited. Each trim adds to the Compass’ list of interior features, and the Limited model comes with the larger engine standard. For 2013, the base Compass sees a slight improvement in fuel economy, but is otherwise unchanged. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2011 and 2012, as well as the current model year.