The crossover SUV market is growing every year, and Jeep has kept up with the pack with its 2018 Compass. For those looking for something smaller than the Cherokee and bigger than the Renegade, the Compass fills the space with plenty of modern features, as well as the ability to get through rough terrain.
Available trim levels include the always impressive Trailhawk for off-roading, the base level Sport, Altitude, and Latitude for performance and the top-of-the-line Limited Edition.
Jeep redesigned this model last year. There are no major changes to aesthetics, which means this small SUV still has its slotted front grill, available two-tone paint scheme and graphics packages. This model can seat five and has 27 cubic feet of rear cargo space that grows to almost 60 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down.
Engine and Performance
All the available models offer the 2.4-liter four cylinder engine that has 180-hp. Choices come with transmissions and front or all-wheel drive. The base transmission on the Sport and Latitude models is the 6-speed manual. Automatic transmission choices include the six-speed for the front-wheel-drive models and nine-speed in the all-wheel-drive versions. The all-wheel-drive option offers multiple settings for Snow, Sand, and Mud modes. The Trailhawk models deliver even greater traction with a Crawler gear and Rock mode. As for towing capacity, most other models in the Compass’ size range are not even rated for towing, so the 2000-pound rating is that much more admirable. In addition to the drivetrain and transmission options, the Compass offers decent fuel economy across all the options with an EPA estimated city/highway 22/31 mpg.
The front boasts 39.2 inches of headroom and 41.8 inches of legroom with 38.5 inches of headroom and 38.3 inches of legroom in the rear seats. This allows adequate room for a 5’8” passenger, which is a considerable bonus in this class of vehicle. Standard features include keyless entry, push-button start, and cruise control. Heated steering wheel, heated front seats, and power driver’s seat are available options. The Uconnect system is a touchscreen infotainment approach and has rated highly in response time. Standard features of the system include voice control, Bluetooth connectivity, auxiliary input, and a USB port. Optional features like real-time traffic, weather, navigation, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto are also available. As for power and connections, the Compass has two USB ports (one in the Uconnect system), two 12-volt outlets, and one AC outlet.
Safety and Assistance
The 2017 redesign earned a four-star rating from the NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS. Unfortunately, the more rigid IIHS requirements for 2018 prevented the Compass from earning the Top Safety Pick rating in 2018, although the 2018 Compass still has some of the active safety technology available that was present in the 2017 versions. The list of optional safety features includes lane departure warning and lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward-collision warning, and front automated braking. In addition, cruise control is adaptive. There are parking sensors set up in the rear of the vehicle; note that the Compass will not automatically stop if there is an object in the rear, but it will give a close proximity warning.
Prices start at MSRP of $20,995 for the base Sport model with manual transmission, $24,295 MSRP for the Latitude, $25,490 for the Altitude and go up to MSRP of $29,095 for the Limited model.