Larger than the Jeep Renegade but smaller than the Cherokee, the Compass is sized to fit between the subcompact and compact SUV segments. The current second-generation Compass was introduced for the 2017 model year and wears styling inspired by classic Jeep models. Like other Jeeps the Compass is impressively capable off-road but sacrifices everyday drivability in pursuit of trail performance.
The Compass is one of the best off-road-capable small SUVs on the market today. That's best exemplified in the Compass Trailhawk, but all models equipped with AWD were impressively capable in our off-road testing.
However, that capability comes at the expense of civility. The Compass is troublingly slow and brakes poorly. Fuel economy is decent, but it trails some turbocharged competitors. Although it rides smooth on pavement, uneven surfaces caused rattles, shakes, and creaks in one of our test cars, raising concerns about the Compass' build quality.
With its cool SUV styling and commendable off-road chops, the Compass is a true Jeep. However, in today's today's competitive field of subcompact crossovers, it's tough to recommend as an everyday driver.
All Compass models are powered by a 2.4-liter I-4 producing 180 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. On most trims it's connected to a six-speed automatic transmission, powering the front wheels as standard or with available AWD. The Trailhawk model gets standard AWD and a nine-speed automatic transmission. In MotorTrend testing, an AWD Compass Limited needed 10.5 seconds to accelerate to 60 mph. A Trailhawk model took 9.4 seconds to do the same. EPA-rated fuel economy is 22/31 mpg city/highway for FWD models with the six-speed automatic, while AWD models with the nine-speed get 22/30 mpg.
The upcoming Compass 4xe will feature a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Although it was revealed for Europe and Jeep has committed to bringing it to the U.S., the Compass 4xe isn't available for Americans yet—it might go on sale here as a 2022 model.
The 2021 Compass receives a four-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars). When it was assessed by the IIHS for the 2020 model year, the Compass earned the top Good score in every crashworthiness test.
For 2021, the Limited and Trailhawk trims gain standard driver-assist and active safety features including adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic high beams and windshield wipers. These features are optional on most lower trims but not available on the entry-level Sport trim.
Cargo volume measures 27.2 cubic feet behind the second-row seats. When the 60/40 split-folding second row is lowered, maximum cargo space is 59.8 cubic feet.
The Compass' front-row headroom measures 39.2 inches, which compares to 39.6 inches in the Nissan Rogue Sport. Second-row headroom is 38.5 inches in the Compass, a bit more than the Rogue Sport's 38.3 inches. Front-row legroom is 41.8 inches in the Jeep, an inch less than the Nissan's 42.8 inches. However, there's much more second-row legroom in the Compass, which offers 38.3 inches against the Rogue Sport's 33.4 inches.
A 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen is fitted to the Compass as standard, while an 8.4-inch unit is included on the 80th Anniversary, Limited, and Trailhawk trims. Models with the larger infotainment screen also get a color 7.0-inch gauge cluster display to replace the standard two-tone 3.5-inch screen. All trims include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and second-row USB ports. The standard six-speaker audio system can be replaced by a nine-speaker Alpine premium setup on higher-end trim levels.
|$0||0% Financing available for varying term lengths : 36, 48, 60 Months - FCA announces APR rates on select models.||02-01-2021|
|$0||0% Financing available for varying term lengths : 72, 84 Months - FCA announces Stand-Alone APR rates on select models when financed through Chrysler Capital. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||02-01-2021|
|$0||2.9% Financing for a maximum term of 72 Months - FCA announces APR rates on select models.||02-01-2021|
|$500||FCA announces a Bonus Cash offer on select models for eligible Military personnel.||01-03-2022|
|$500||FCA announces a Bonus Cash offer on select models to customers currently leasing an FCA vehicle.||02-01-2021|
|$750||FCA announces a Bonus Cash offer on select models when financing or leasing through Chrysler Capital.||02-01-2021|
|$500||FCA announces a Bonus Cash offer on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||02-01-2021|
|$500||FCA announces a Lease Bonus Cash offer on select models when customers finance through Chrysler Capital. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||02-01-2021|
|$500||FCA announces a Bonus Cash offer on select models to returning lessees. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||02-01-2021|
|$1750||FCA announces a Lease Cash offer on select models.||02-01-2021|
|$500||FCA announces a Lease Bonus Cash offer on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||02-01-2021|
|$4000||FCA announces Customer Cash on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||02-01-2021|