Jeep Compass Limited review: Prices, Specs, Driving Impressions

The Compass range starts at about $44,600 for the front-wheel drive Night Eagle model and tops out at about $58,000 for the off-road-focused 4WD Trailhawk mode, which is pricey for a small SUV. Our test car was the S-Limited, which costs around $53,000. It has the same engine as the base model, but adds power leather AWD seats, a larger digital control display, automatic parking, big black 19-inch wheels, and a premium Alpine audio system. The digital displays are crisp and clear, but the center display, which is configured for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, can be fiddly to use at times. You pay more for Compass’s above-average off-road capability, and a terrain management system lets you adjust the 4WD settings for different driving conditions. A five-year warranty is standard and services are reasonable at $350 per visit for the first five.


The leather seats are comfortable, and there’s a good range of adjustment to suit all body types. Heated and ventilated seats are optional and come with a heated steering wheel, sunroof, and surround-view parking camera. The big, low-profile 19-inch wheels look great, but they can make for a bumpy ride over rough road surfaces. Rear passengers have decent head and leg room and plenty of options for charging mobile devices, including a standard three-pin power point. Semi-automatic parking can also reduce stress levels when trying to fit into tight spaces. Other convenient features include a liftgate that can be opened with a slide of the foot and adaptive cruise control that works at low speeds in traffic.


As you’d expect at this price point, the Compass has most of the driver aids you’d expect as standard, including blind-spot and lane-keep assist, automatic braking with pedestrian detection, and traffic sign recognition. . The S-Limited also has rear cross-traffic alert, which is helpful for getting out of blind parking spots, as well as a surround-view camera. Other nice touches include seat belt warnings for the rear seats and a tire pressure monitoring system. The Compass was crash tested in 2017 and earned five stars, with a strong result for occupant protection.


The Compass is more capable than most off-road rivals, but the trade-off is less than perfect manners on the shoe polish. There is some tire noise at higher speeds on country roads and a noticeable hum at around 50-60km/h. It’s reasonably predictable and confident in corners, though the taller body means it leans and pitches noticeably when pushed. The engine is effective enough, but it’s thirsty around town, and the nine-speed automatic can be hesitant and clumsy when changing gears at lower speeds. We managed reasonable fuel economy on the open highway, but double-digit mileage in the city, which isn’t good for a relatively small, modestly powered vehicle. If you like to drive, there are better options.


Mazda CX-30 Astina 4WD, starting at around $53,000 drive

Similar engine performance but consumes much less fuel. Elegant cabin, fully equipped and more pleasant to drive.

Subaru XV 2.0iS, starting at around $43,000 drive

Less power but more fuel efficiency, with quality cabin finishes and permanent four-wheel drive.

Hyundai Kona N Line Premium, starting at around $47,300 drive

More powerful and efficient 1.6-liter turbo, sporty touches in the cabin and lots of technology.


Three stars

The Compass looks rugged and is competent off-road, but the high price tag and ordinary city driving experience make it hard to recommend.


PRICE Around $53,400 in car

WARRANTY/SERVICE Five years, no mileage, $1,745 over five years

ENGINE 2.4 liter petrol, 129kW and 229Nm

SAFETY Six airbags, automatic emergency braking, blind spot and lane keeping assist, radar cruise, rear cross traffic alert

THIRST 9.7L/100km

BURDEN 438 liters

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