Jeep Compass Review & Prices

The Jeep Compass is a tough looking family SUV with impressive off-road capabilities, but it’s not as good to drive as some alternatives.

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RRP £34,105 - £44,655 Avg. Carwow saving £4,814 off RRP
Carwow price from
Cash
£28,458
Monthly
£432*
Used
£17,157
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wowscore
6/10
Reviewed by Carwow after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Styling helps it stand out
  • Capable off road
  • Good safety kit

What's not so good

  • Limited rear seat space
  • Not as comfortable as alternatives
  • Cabin is quite noisy on the move

Find out more about the Jeep Compass

Is the Jeep Compass a good car?

The Jeep Compass is the sort of car you might consider if you want a family SUV which is capable off-road, and is a funkier alternative to the likes of the Skoda Karoq and Nissan Qashqai. It’s immediately identifiable as a Jeep; if the Cherokee is an iPhone 13 Pro Max, then the Compass is an iPhone 13 Mini.

It’s a fairly rugged-looking thing thanks to its boxy shape. Go for the Trailhawk version and you get some black cladding around the car and a black skid plate on the front for tackling those extreme off road courses, or the overflow car park of your local car boot sale.

If you get carried away and pick up more supplies than you bargained for, the Compass has a boot big enough for all your nick nacks. The back seats are ok for the kids, but lanky teenagers may struggle for knee room. Up front, space is decent and the seats are comfortable, however drivers over six feet may wish the seat went a bit further back.

At least sat further forward you can appreciate that the Jeep Compass’ interior is a huge improvement on the previous model. The design is smart and the materials in your eyeline feel nice enough. There’s also a big infotainment system with a bright display. It doesn’t feel as plush as a Peugeot 3008 though.

Sadly, it doesn’t ride as well as a Peugeot 3008 either. It’s ok on the motorway, but around town and on back roads it can feel a touch fidgety. Once you’re up to speed, you may notice some road and engine noise creeping into the cabin, which you don’t get in something like a Kia Sportage.

The plug-in hybrid Compass can handle itself off-road well - plus it can do 30 miles on electric power.

The light steering makes low speed manoeuvres a doddle, but it ends up feeling a bit vague when you try and point it down a twisty road. It doesn’t lean too much though, and generally the handling is perfectly acceptable for this sort of car.

There are three engine options available: a 130hp 1.3-litre petrol; a 130hp 1.5-litre self-charging hybrid; and the 240hp 4Xe plug-in hybrid. No diesels to be found here. The regular petrol model is nippy enough around town and comes with a manual gearbox. The self-charging hybrid offers marginal efficiency gains around town, but lacks a bit on the refinement front and can be noisy when you put your foot down.

Meanwhile, the PHEV has an automatic gearbox that is smooth enough and takes the strain out of town driving. It can be a bit slow to respond in traffic though. That said, its ability to drive for around 30 miles on electricity alone is a plus for those looking to lower their running costs.

The Compass comes with a raft of safety tech in case you’re slow to react in traffic. Front collision warning can detect if you haven’t seen an obstacle ahead and alert you, while lane keeping assist can stop you inadvertently drifting out of your lane on the motorway.

This makes it one of the safest cars in this class, however this isn’t quite enough to make up for some of the shortcomings and it’s just not as well rounded as some alternatives. That said, if you’re after something that looks rugged and can handle itself off-road, it’s definitely worth considering.

If you want more information about the Jeep Compass, you can read the in-depth driving, practicality and interior sections of this review. Alternatively, head to our deals page to see how much you can save on a Jeep through carwow. If you're looking for a nearly-new Jeep Compass head to our used page.

How much is the Jeep Compass?

The Jeep Compass has a RRP range of £34,105 to £44,655. However, with Carwow you can save on average £4,814. Prices start at £28,458 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £432. The price of a used Jeep Compass on Carwow starts at £17,157.

Our most popular versions of the Jeep Compass are:

Model version Carwow price from
1.5 T4 e-Torque Hybrid Altitude 5dr DCT £28,458 Compare offers
1.5 T4 e-Torque Hybrid Summit 5dr DCT £29,258 Compare offers

Compass prices start from a bit more than Nissan will ask for the cheapest Qashqai, or than Ford wants for a basic Kuga, and it’s pricier than the cheapest Peugeot 3008. All of the above rivals are more roomy inside than the Jeep though, so you’ll have to ask yourself some serious questions about whether the Compass’ style and latent off-roading ability are worth the extra price.

Things do improve a bit for the Compass when you look further up the price list — the plug-in hybrid 4Xe model is quite a bit cheaper than the four-wheel drive version of Peugeot’s 3008 Hybrid4, albeit it’s still smaller inside and it has a bit less power.

Performance and drive comfort

Great off-road, but too noisy and not quick enough

In town

If you’ve gone for the plug-in hybrid Compass, the 4Xe model, then you can get up to 30 miles of electric-only driving when you’ve fully charged-up the battery. Actually, around town you might even get a bit more than that, and in all-electric mode the Compass feels pleasantly smooth and peppy to drive. However, it suffers from a very poor low-speed ride quality, bobbling and jiggling lots over lumpy urban streets, and the poor over-the-shoulder visibility means that it’s trickier to park than a car this compact ought to be. A standard reversing camera does help a bit, but the Compass isn’t as happy around town as we’d like it to be.

On the motorway

It’s not a lot better on the motorway, to be honest. At low effort, the plug-in hybrid engine option is reasonably refined, but as soon as you open the throttle to overtake or to deal with a long incline, the 1.3-litre turbo petrol engine starts to yell in a very unpleasant fashion. At least the ride quality does smooth out a bit on bigger roads, but the fuel economy takes a big dive, at least in the PHEV version. The basic 130hp 1.3 petrol might actually be the better all-round version to be honest, as it has less weight and is more efficient on longer runs. The Compass does get adaptive cruise control from the second-level Limited version, but it’s not a well-calibrated system and has the nasty habit of slowing the car dramatically just as you pull out to overtake something. Equally, some of the power of the 240hp plug-in hybrid version seems to have gone missing somewhere. Put your foot down hard and it honestly doesn’t feel as quick as it ought to — maybe the almost two-tonne weight has something to do with that...

On a twisty road

The rating here depends on the nature of the twisty road. If it has tarmac on it, then the Compass is a bit all at sea — the steering is too light and doesn’t really feel as if it’s connected to the front wheels that much, so you sort of lurch through corners. If you’re really careful and smooth with your inputs it’s not too bad, but it’s well behind the driving standard set by the likes of the Ford Kuga, never mind premium rivals such as the BMW X1 or Audi Q3. However, if the road is covered in mud and rocks, rather than asphalt, then the Compass comes into its own. Most makers of compact SUVs pay mere lip service to off-roading ability, but Jeep takes this stuff seriously. Only the plug-in hybrid version comes with four-wheel drive, but it’s a proper mud-plugger, capable of scaling terrain that would fox the likes of a Qashqai at the first rocky hurdle. Arguably, that’s far from important for most family crossover buyers, but it is good fun when you try it out and nice to know the ability is there if called upon.

Space and practicality

Decent interior storage, but it’s a bit tight inside and the boot isn’t very big

Practicality

There’s a reasonable amount of space for people and stuff in the front of a Compass, but it definitely feels less spacious than the front of a Nissan Qashqai. The driver and front passenger get enough legroom and headroom, but you’ll find that you’ll have to compromise space in the front to give more room to those in the back. The door bins are a touch small, but there are three storage areas in the centre console (under the armrest, a covered cupholder area, and another storage space under the centre stack) and the base of the front passenger seat tips forward to reveal another, very secure, storage space that can hold a small purse or tablet.

Space in the back seats

Space in the rear of the Compass is really quite disappointing, especially if you’re comparing it with the likes of the Nissan Qashqai or the Ford Kuga. Both of those cars have considerably more legroom and headroom in the back, and the Compass’ rear seat headroom is especially compromised if you go for the optional panoramic glass roof. There’s little point in trying to fit three people in the back seat as the person in the middle will be cramped and will have nowhere to put their feet as there’s a big transmission tunnel, even though the Compass PHEV uses an electric motor to drive the rear wheels. We thought American cars were supposed to be big. How’s The Rock supposed to fit into one of these?

Boot space

There’s good and bad news here. The bad news is that, overall, the Compass’ boot is quite small — 438 litres which is only slightly more than you’ll find behind the back seats of a basic Vauxhall Astra. On the upside, while basic models get a simple 60:40 split rear seat folding setup, you can optionally upgrade that to a much more useful 40:20:40 layout which means you can easily carry long, narrow loads and still have two people sitting in the back. There’s also an adjustable boot floor, which means you can have either maximum loadspace, or have the floor set higher so there’s no load lip, making it easier to get large, heavy items in and out.

The best bit is that going for the plug-in hybrid version makes no difference. Unlike most of its rivals, Jeep has managed to package the PHEV model’s battery and electric motor without intruding on boot space. So, you still get the same 438 litres whereas — for instance — the Peugeot 3008’s boot drops from 520 litres to 395 litres if you go for the plug-in version.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

Much-improved style but still a bit cheap-feeling

The first version of the Compass had a really low-rent looking cabin, with lots of cheap plastics. This version... still does, but it is at least better. Jeep has improved the Compass’ cabin by adding a steering wheel with a squared-off centre that looks as if it has come from the new (and far more expensive) Grand Cherokee, as well as bringing in better quality plastics for the top of the dashboard and some neat digital instruments.

While all of that is definitely better, you can still too easily find bits of the Compass’ cabin that are just way too cheap. The plastics, once you start looking below the main touchscreen, are just plain nasty and the steering column stalks are taken from an old Fiat Punto, and they feel like it too. If Jeep wants to be taken seriously as a premium 4x4 brand, it needs to try harder than this. By contrast, the Nissan Qashqai’s cabin looks cheap at first, but the more time you spend in it the more you realise what a high-quality thing it actually is. The Compass’ interior is the reverse of that.

There are a few nice touches, though. Jeep is very good at reminding you of its wartime heritage, and if you look closely you’ll find a little silhouette of a 1941 Jeep climbing a hill, stencilled into the corner of the windscreen. Equally, and unlike the alternatives, all Compasses come with standard-fit all-weather floor mats to deal with the mucky boots that Jeep assumes you’ll be wearing.

The infotainment system is good, too. All models get a 10.1-inch ‘Uconnect’ touchscreen which has quite pleasantly jazzy graphics. Some of the menu options are a bit confusing, but with some practice you can find your way around it OK, and it has the usual Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connections. You get a pair of USB sockets mounted down low, plus a wireless phone charging pad.

The digital instrument screen — also 10.1-inches across and also standard on all models — also looks good, and while it too has a slightly fiddly way about it when it comes to setting things up the way you like them, it at least looks about as expensive as you’d want it to.

MPG, emissions and tax

Obviously, in terms of economy (at least potential economy) the PHEV 4Xe is the one to have. The official fuel economy figure is 148mpg for the plug-in hybrid Compass, which is obviously pretty unrealistic but you might get close if you religiously plug it in and make the fullest possible use of that 30-mile electric range. On longer runs, inevitably, the 4Xe Compass is much less economical, dropping to around 35-40mpg. By contrast, the basic 1.3-litre turbo petrol engine can return an official 42mpg on the combined fuel economy cycle. There is a new 1.5-litre mild-hybrid petrol engine on the way, which should be able to average around 50mpg, but that’s not available just yet. It will replace the basic 1.3-litre turbo engine when it arrives. There’s no diesel option for the Compass, as Jeep is moving quickly towards an all-electric and hybrid lineup.

The PHEV version needless to say has the best emissions — as low as 49g/km — so will be the most tax-efficient, especially for company car drivers, costing as little as £97 per month in BIK tax. The regular 1.3 petrol has quite high emissions of 153g/km, so will cost you £585 to tax in year one, but the upcoming 1.5 mild hybrid cuts that to 129g/km and £190 in year one.

Safety and security

The Compass did well when Euro NCAP last crash-tested it in 2017, scoring a full five-stars and a 90% rating for adult protection, plus an 83% score for child protection. Since then, the standards of the NCAP crash test have toughened up, but there’s reason to be hopeful — the Alfa Romeo Tonale, closely related to the Compass, recently scored a maximum five-stars on the tougher test. Jeep will be doing well to match that — the smaller Renegade only scored three-stars when recently tested, while the rugged Wrangler scored a miserable one-star. Helping it to a better rating is a healthy list of standard safety kit, which includes rain sensing wipers, rear seat belt reminder, active emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane departure warning, driver drowsiness monitor, traffic sign recognition, speed limiter, trailer stability control, and cruise control. Higher-spec models get radar-guided cruise control, but as noted it’s far from the best system around.

Reliability and problems

Jeep’s reputation for reliability is rather mixed. Older models, such as the 1990s Cherokee, enjoy a reputation for solidity and longevity, but in more recent years Jeep has been joining its longtime rival Land Rover at the bottom of many reliability surveys. The fact that Jeep is now part of the Stellantis group — which includes Peugeot, which has done very well in reliability surveys of late — bodes slightly better, but there will be a question mark over ultimate durability for a while yet. The current Compass has been recalled three times in recent years; for an incorrectly installed passenger airbag, for broken rear seat folding latches, and for emissions problems with the engine’s electronic controls. As standard, all Jeeps come with a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty, along with a seven-year anti-corrosion warranty. You can optionally extend the main warranty to five years, via Jeep’s ‘Mopar’ accessories and aftercare service. The plug-in hybrid model gets an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty for the battery.

Buy or lease the Jeep Compass at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £34,105 - £44,655 Avg. Carwow saving £4,814 off RRP
Carwow price from
Cash
£28,458
Monthly
£432*
Used
£17,157
Ready to see prices tailored to you?
Compare new offers Compare used deals
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