Jeep Compass Review 2024

Written by Andrew Brady

heycar ratingSlightly more competitive than before
  • 2018
  • SUV
  • Petrol, Diesel, PHEV, Mild Hybrid

Quick overview


  • Rugged image
  • Trailhawk is good off-road
  • Five-star Euro NCAP safety rating


  • Doesn’t feel as premium as its price tag suggests
  • Old-fashioned and unrefined to drive
  • Base-spec models are particularly grim

Overall verdict on the Jeep Compass

"In this 2024 Jeep Compass review we’re looking at an SUV from a manufacturer that has a long history of building off-roaders, and the Compass is fairly rugged and off-roader-ish as a result. However, off-roaders and SUVs are two different things, and most buyers want the latter – rival manufacturers have stolen the initiative by building more civilised, sophisticated and family-friendly vehicles. The Compass is a significant improvement on previous Jeep models in this sector, but it still falls short in key areas compared to the best competition."

Jeep Compass Review 2024: exterior front three quarter photo of the Jeep Compass on the road

The popularity of the small SUV market means you're not going to turn heads if you buy a Nissan Qashqai or Skoda Karoq – no matter how competent they might be, they're so common that they just blend into the scenery. As you'll read in our 2024 Jeep Compass review, this mid-size Jeep offers something a little different, with a rugged image and genuine off-road ability.

It’s based on the same platform as the smaller Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X, and shares some petrol and diesel engines with other models in the Jeep range. Unfortunately, the diesel engines, in particular, are noisy and unrefined, while the automatic gearbox is frustratingly slow to respond.

The engine line-up was updated in 2022, with the diesel dropped in favour of petrol, mild-hybrid or plug-in hybrid power (read our guide to the best hybrid cars for more info). The petrol (which has since been dropped) is a straightforward four-cylinder 1.3-litre turbo that produces 130PS and 270Nm of torque, combined exclusively with a six-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive. 

The mild-hybrid derivative (badged as the Jeep Compass e-Torque Hybrid and later as the e-Hybrid) pairs a 1.5-litre petrol engine with a small electric motor and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, giving 130PS combined. Unusually for a mild-hybrid, it allows the Compass to be driven for short distances on electric power only – usually such systems only provide assistance to the petrol engine.

The Jeep Compass PHEV combines a 1.3-litre petrol engine with an electric motor on the rear axle. That means it's four-wheel drive, while the petrol-electric combination produces a total of 240PS. More significantly, it can travel up to 30 miles under electric power alone (according to WLTP tests), while CO2 emissions of up to 47g/km will be good news for company car drivers.

No matter which engine you go for, it's not exactly a nimble handler, with overly light steering and roly-poly body control. Still, that’s a small price to pay if you wish to venture off the Tarmac. It’s not going to keep up with a Jeep Wrangler when the going gets tough, but the Jeep Compass Trailhawk ticks a lot of boxes for off-road enthusiasts with its lifted suspension, hill-descent control and underbody skid plates. It’s expensive, though.

The interior of the Jeep Compass is practical, with enough room for four adults and a boot that’s pretty much as big as alternatives (although it’s far from the best in class in this regard). The cabin lacks the showroom appeal of rivals, though, with lots of brittle finishes and an overwhelming amount of buttons.

Interior quality was improved in 2022, although it's still a long way off premium alternatives like the Audi Q3 and BMW X1. At the same time, the range was updated – you then chose from Jeep Compass Night Eagle, Limited, S and Trailhawk models, and the trim structure has been inexplicably changed a number of times since. As a result, you'll find all sorts of weird and wonderful trim names in used car listings for the Compass – at the time of writing in early 2024, the line up is Altitude, Summit, Overland and Trailhawk.

The biggest issue with the Jeep Compass is its price. The Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage and Nissan Qashqai all sell in much bigger numbers than the Jeep Compass for good reason: you get a lot more SUV for your money. There's more of them on the used market, too, which makes it easier to find an example in your ideal spec for the right price.

Looking for a used car for sale? We've got 100s of Jeep Approved Used Cars for Sale for you to choose from, including a wide range of Jeep Compass cars for sale

If you're looking for a competent family car that's going to stand out from the usual mix of SUVs, the Jeep Compass is a respectable choice. The updates made for the 2022 model year Jeep Compass mean it's easier to justify than it originally was, while mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid power also helps its case. It could also be a good option if you actually need or want to venture off the tarmac. But there are numerous other cars that do several things better than the Jeep.

If you can, look for a 2022-onwards Jeep Compass. The updates, particularly to the interior, make it a lot more competitive than the old pre-facelift model. The plug-in hybrid will be a desirable choice for its low running costs, but a higher purchase price may make it harder to justify for many private buyers. The mild-hybrid could be a good option if you do a lot of driving around town – its ability to run on electric power only for short distances pays dividends here and can really keep your fuel costs down.

The Summit model has extras like heated front seats as well as extra safety gear. While it’s pricey when new, it’s much better value when used. If you don’t plan to do much off-roading, it seems the best all-round trim to have.

If you're in the market for a Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson or Nissan Qashqai, the Jeep Compass offers something a little different, including a trendy badge and rugged 4x4 image. It also faces competition from the Skoda Karoq, Peugeot 3008 and Volkswagen Tiguan. You could also compare it to slightly bigger family SUVs like the Toyota RAV4, practical Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5 and Ford Kuga. It's quite an expensive option which means it's also up against premium SUVs like the Volvo XC40, modern Audi Q3, stylish BMW X1, classy Mercedes GLA and smart looking Jaguar E-Pace.

Comfort and design: Jeep Compass interior

"The multi-layered dashboard in the updated Jeep Compass looks a lot smarter than the bland cabin of the original car, while a new infotainment system also makes it more desirable."

Jeep Compass Review 2024: interior close up photo of the Jeep Compass dashboard

Manufacturers often tweak a car's interior during its lifespan, but the 2022 updates to the Jeep Compass were very significant. From the bold dashboard to the revised steering wheel, these updated models look significantly more upmarket than when the latest Jeep Compass first went on sale in 2018.

The Compass is comfortable, too, with plenty of adjustment in the seats. There's enough space to crank the driver's seat up pretty high, if you want the Jeep Compass to feel like a bigger SUV. That means you get a good view out, too, while the relatively flat bonnet means you've got a good idea of how much space you've got in front.

For a car priced in line with premium competitors, the interior of the pre-facelift Jeep Compass was pretty dismal. A lot of the finishes were hard to the touch – which is not necessarily a bad thing for longevity – but they didn't look particularly posh, and there were a few flimsy plastics on show, too.

The 2022 update brought with it improved interior quality, with the aforementioned multi-layered dashboard and more soft-touch finishes. The Compass interior is still disappointing compared back-to-back with an Audi Q3, but it looks (and feels) a bit more competitive than earlier versions.

The infotainment is another area in which the Jeep Compass was improved significantly in 2022. You now get a smart 10.1-inch touchscreen display as standard across the range, including wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

It's a pretty easy system to navigate, while its positioning high up on the dashboard means it doesn't feel too distracting to use on the move. Oddly, there are actual, physical buttons for some features but not others. You can adjust the temperature of the climate control without having to navigate the infotainment, for example, but the heated seats are part of the touchscreen display. 

In an ergonomics oversight, the heated steering wheel 'button' is way over on the left hand side of the infotainment display. Oh, and turning off the over-sensitive lane-assist system requires negotiating various sub-menus every single time you get in the car.

All Jeep Compass models since 2022 also come with a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster in place of old-school dials. This lifts the Jeep Compass in the quality stakes, although it's not a patch on Audi's Virtual Cockpit.

At 438 litres, the boot is smaller than you’d find in a Skoda Karoq or Peugeot 3008, with the rear wheel arches noticeably intruding on space. A false boot floor reduces the amount of lip that you'll need to lift heavy items over (as well as providing room to hide away odds and ends, including charging cables on plug-in hybrid models). 

Access to the back seats isn't particularly easy, either, due to a rather tight door opening. Things are a bit on the cramped side for rear passengers, while the relatively high window line means it feels fairly claustrophobic for adults and children alike. You can squeeze a passenger in the middle-rear seat but it's fairly tight, while a lump in the floor means they'll struggle to find anywhere to put their feet. It's a long way off the three individual rear seats you get in a Citroen C5 Aircross.

Things are a bit more positive in the front, where there's plenty of space to get comfortable and a reasonable view of your surroundings. The centre console prevents any awkward arm or leg bashing with your front-seat passenger, while there are two useful cupholders. There's a fairly small stowage area underneath the central armrest, while the door bins are annoyingly narrow.

In terms of exterior dimensions, the Jeep Compass measures 4404mm in length, 1629mm in height (including roof rails) and 1874mm in width (with folding door mirrors).

Handling and ride quality: What is the Jeep Compass like to drive?

"Unusually for an SUV in 2024, the Jeep Compass has actually been developed with the mindset that it might actually venture off road. Unfortunately, in the real world, that means it never feels quite as agile as something like a Ford Kuga, while the overly light steering doesn't exactly inspire confidence, either."

Jeep Compass Review 2024: exterior front rear quarter photo of the Jeep Compass on the road

Not so long ago, the handling of the Jeep Compass would have been more than acceptable for a mid-size SUV. No one expects a car of this size to handle like a Mazda MX-5, do they? But, like in many other areas, it's when you start comparing the Jeep Compass to its peers that it starts to look a little less than competitive. It feels heavy and wallowy through the corners, and the unsophisticated suspension pales in comparison to newer rivals.

At least there's a fair amount of grip on offer, and the Jeep Compass certainly doesn't handle erratically. The ride is also fairly comfortable, if not as cosseting as some rivals. As with a lot of plug-in hybrids, though, the Jeep Compass 4xe's heavy kerb weight means it struggles more to cope with uneven road surfaces. The mild-hybrid version is better.

If you do wish to venture off road, the Jeep Compass is likely to make it a lot further than a Nissan Qashqai before it gets stuck. Take a look at the Land Rover Discovery Sport if that's what you really want, though.

The engine line-up has changed quite significantly in the relatively short time the latest Jeep Compass has been on sale. It was initially offered with a choice of 1.4-litre petrol and 1.6-litre or 2.0-litre diesel engines, as well as two- or four-wheel drive and a choice of manual or automatic gearboxes.

Unless you cover mega miles, we'd pick the petrol 1.4 out of this initial line-up. It's a punchy turbocharged unit available with 140PS or 170PS (the former with two-wheel drive and a six-speed manual gearbox; the latter with a nine-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive). 

No doubt reflecting the change in customer demand, Jeep removed the diesels from the Jeep Compass line-up when the facelifted model arrived in 2022. The petrol was also replaced by a 1.3-litre petrol delivering 130PS and 270Nm of torque, combined with a six-speed manual gearbox. This entry-level unit was available exclusively with front-wheel drive. It has since been dropped from the line-up.

There's a mild-hybrid Jeep Compass, badged initially as the e-Torque Hybrid and later as the e-Hybrid, which uses a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine with electrical assistance and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. This is our pick, at least when it comes to fuel economy – the fact that it can cut the engine and run for short periods on electric power only really helps, and the transition between petrol and electric power is pretty seamless. The seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox, into which the electric motor is integrated, isn’t the smoothest or fastest-shifting on the market, but it’s entirely acceptable. The electric motor also adds a bit of vim to the acceleration – it’s hardly scintillating at 130PS in total, but it works well around town.

Topping the range is the Jeep Compass 4xe (said 'four-by-e', like 'four-by-four'). This is a plug-in hybrid combining a 1.3-litre petrol engine with an electric motor positioned on the rear axle (hence the name). The hefty price premium of the PHEV means it's difficult to justify when new, but a used Jeep Compass 4xe could be a very desirable purchase – especially if you cover a lot of short, urban journeys or want a car that can coast across a campsite in silence.

Like most PHEVs, the Jeep Compass 4xe plug-in hybrid is impressively refined around town. It'll bimble about in near-silence like an electric car, but then the petrol engine will kick in and spoil your tranquillity. There's a skill in coaxing as much electric range as possible out of the Jeep Compass; it's just so much nicer if you can avoid pressing the accelerator too hard and waking up the petrol motor.

For a less pricey alternative, there’s a similar story with the mild-hybrid model, which surreptitiously starts and cuts the petrol engine to lean on its electric motor whenever possible, and does a good job at it, too.

Refinement isn't quite so good out of town, where there's a fair bit of engine noise and the 19-inch alloy wheels of our S-specification test car created quite a din. It's nothing that can't be drowned out by turning up the radio, but you're not isolated from the outside world as much as you would be in a Volvo XC40. 

The Jeep Compass is available with a wide range of driver-assist systems to make your journey safer. These include a Traffic Sign Recognition system (which reads and interprets road signs), Intelligent Speed Assist (which can automatically keep the car within the speed limit) and Drowsy Driver Alert (which notifies you when you're not paying enough attention).

There's also an Automatic Emergency Braking system that can detect pedestrians and cyclists, slowing the car down to a complete stop if necessary to prevent (or mitigate) a collision. Jeep's new Highway Assist feature is also offered, providing Level 2 autonomous driving by combining the Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Centering features. 

The Jeep Compass was given a full five-star Euro NCAP safety rating when it was crash tested in 2017 – including an impressive 90% score for adult occupants. However, safety standards and testing criteria have moved on since then, so newer rivals will have been tested to a higher level.

MPG and fuel costs: What does a Jeep Compass cost to run?

"The Jeep Compass 4xe is the current economy champion in the range. It can officially travel up to 30 miles on a charge, while its low CO2 emissions make it the obvious choice for company car drivers seeking low tax."

Jeep Compass Review 2024: exterior front photo of the Jeep Compass on the road

Of course, the PHEV’s economy is dependent on you charging the battery and relying on it more than the petrol engine. If you cover a lot of motorway miles, you might want to look for a pre-facelift Jeep Compass with the 1.6-litre diesel engine. This officially returns up to 64.2mpg, while the 140PS 2.0-litre diesel is good for 54.3mpg. The 170PS version returns 49.6mpg.

The older petrol models return anywhere from 40.9 to 45.6mpg, while the mild-hybrid derivatives range from 47.1mpg to 50.4mpg according to official figures. The mild-hybrid models will be particularly effective at urban driving, where the electric motor can be utilised more often.

We've heard very few reports of issues with the Jeep Compass. That said, the brand often returns a fairly mediocre performance in ownership surveys. In the 2020 Satisfaction Index, the brand ranked bottom of all the car manufacturers. A Toyota RAV4 or Honda CR-V is likely to be a more reliable choice in the long term. 

Entry-level versions of the Jeep Compass are rated in insurance groups 16 and 17, while the Jeep Compass PHEV sees this jump to group 31 to 33. As such, the plug-in hybrid could cost considerably more to insure, particularly if you've only recently passed your test. It's worth shopping around for quotes. The e-Hybrid model sits in the middle, in group 26.

After the first year, all cars registered since 2017 are currently taxed at a flat rate of £180/year. Alternative-fuel vehicles (including hybrids) qualify for a £10/year discount, meaning you'll pay £170 a year for plug-in hybrid or mild-hybrid Jeep Compass models.

There's a 'but'. Vehicles with a list price of more than £40,000 (which includes most versions of the Compass PHEV) are stung with a premium-car tax (currently an additional £390 a year) for five years from the second time it's taxed. This is based on the official original retail price of the car, including optional extras, and not what you've paid for it on the used market, so it's worth double-checking before you hand over a deposit.

How much should you be paying for a used Jeep Compass?

"The Jeep Compass doesn't hold its value particularly well, but that's good news for used car buyers. If you don't mind an older model, early 2018 with either the 1.4 petrol engine or 1.6 diesel engine can be had for between £8,000 and £16,000. That's a considerable chunk less than a similarly-specced Volkswagen Tiguan of the same age."

Jeep Compass Review 2024: exterior side photo of the Jeep Compass on the road

Desirable post-facelift 2022 cars start from around £21,000. A brand new Jeep Compass costs between £34,000 and £38,000 for the hybrid, and between £40,000 and £45,000 for the plug-in hybrid. At that money, the car is much harder to make a case for.

When the second-generation Jeep Compass first went on sale in 2017, buyers were given a choice of four trim levels: Sport, Longitude, Limited and Trailhawk.

The Jeep Compass Sport is a fairly basic model, with highlights including a five-inch touchscreen infotainment system with DAB radio (note: no navigation), cruise control and air conditioning. It rides on silver 16-inch alloy wheels.

The Jeep Compass Longitude adds chrome window surrounds, fabric and faux-leather seats with electric lumbar adjustment, ambient LED interior lighting and dual-zone climate control. There’s an 8.4-inch touchscreen navigation system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a reversing camera and keyless entry. The wheels are upgraded to 17-inch alloys.

The Jeep Compass Limited looks a bit flashier, with silver and grey 18-inch alloys (diamond-cut alternatives are available as an option), various chrome exterior highlights and LED signature lighting. The interior gets heated leather seats with eight-way adjustment, a heated steering wheel and a seven-inch colour instrument cluster. The radio is upgraded to a Beats unit, while parking is aided by a front and rear park assist system. Blind spot and cross path detection is added, too.

If you want to look like an off-road adventurer, look for a Jeep Compass Trailhawk. This gets all of the desirable 4x4 features including hill descent control, rock mode, bespoke front and rear bumpers, raised off-road suspension, skid plates and a rear tow hook. Inside, there’s a heated steering wheel, all-weather floor mats and heated leather seats with eight-way electric adjustment. 

The line-up was updated when the Jeep Compass range was given a refresh for 2022. The trim levels available became Night Eagle, Limited, S and Trailhawk.

The Jeep Compass Night Eagle was the entry-level version and featured, as standard, front and rear parking sensors, a 10.1-inch infotainment system with wireless smartphone integration, a 10.25-inch full digital instrument cluster and 18-inch alloy wheels.

The Jeep Compass Limited trim builds on this with standard Adaptive Cruise Control, exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels, front and side parking sensors with automatic parking function, Keyless Enter & Go and Nappa leather-wrapped dashboard.

The Jeep Compass S version – the top of the range trim - adds body-colour front bumpers and fascias, 19-inch alloy wheels, a hands-free power tailgate and leather seats that can be electrically adjusted to eight different positions.

The line-up was completed by the Jeep Compass Trailhawk – the off-road specialist model which stands out for its muscular, bold appearance and offers specific equipment for off-road driving. It comes with high-performance suspension and benchmark off-road angles and figures: approach angle of 30.4 degrees, departure angle of 33.3 degrees, breakover angle of 20.9 degrees and ground clearance of 21.3 cm. Standard on Trailhawk is also the five-mode Selec-Terrain traction control system, which includes a specific Rock mode, exclusively available on this model.

Since then, the names of the trims have chopped and changed a bit, including monikers like Altitude, High Altitude (later Summit) and Overland, but the essential provision of equipment is broadly similar.

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

Objectively, the Volkswagen Tiguan or new Hyundai Tucson is probably a better choice than the Jeep Compass. That said, we like its image, and improvements made in 2022 mean it's easier than before to justify. The interior is more impressive than it used to be while the latest infotainment system and digital instrument cluster look pretty smart.
Jeep didn't appear in the latest Satisfaction Index as there weren't enough responses to justify its inclusion. That said, it did appear the year before, ranking bottom of all the manufacturers overall. Owners were generally pretty dissatisfied. We've heard of very few issues with the latest Jeep Compass, though.
The off-road ability of the Jeep Compass is one thing that stands out compared to more conventional alternatives. The Jeep Compass PHEV features an electric motor powering the rear axle, meaning the car is four-wheel drive. Opt for the Trailhawk pack and it'll add an extra-low gear ratio for low-speed rock crawling, as well as an off-road drive mode and hill descent system.

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