By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 5.4
Although it wears the Jeep name and "Trail Rated' badge, the 2013 Jeep Compass compact SUV isn't exactly born of the same metal that forges the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee. Built from a platform once shared with the now-defunct Dodge Caliber, the Compass is more car than truck, more commuter than off-road warrior. Competing with such established names as the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Subaru Forester, the Compass has its work cut out for it, especially considering most of its newer rivals outshine it in the areas of engine technology, fuel economy and features. As a commuter vehicle sometimes tossed into foul-weather conditions, the Compass is fine. But as a serious off-roader, it just doesn't live up to the Jeep name.
If you like the look of the Grand Cherokee, but don't need its off-road ability or lofty price tag, the Jeep Compass for 2013 might be an option. Its 4-wheel drive can venture over light off-road obstacles, and its 30-mpg highway fuel economy should help ease the pain at the pump.
As a serious off-road vehicle, the Jeep Compass isn't our first (or even second) choice. As a daily driver, the Compass doesn't fare much better. Its engines are crude and underpowered, its interior outdated and its resale value is nowhere near that of the best in the field.
When equipped with the 2.0-liter engine and 5-speed manual, the 2013 Jeep Compass compact SUV earns 30-mpg highway.
Driving Impressions The 2013 Jeep Compass offers a choice of two 4-cylinder engines, neither of which strikes us as terribly refined or powerful. The larger 2.4-liter engine would be our first choice,...delivering decent acceleration and fuel economy. Of course, the beauty of a car-based crossover is its on-road composure, and both the steering and suspension of the 2013 Jeep Compass provide decent connectivity to the road. That good news, however, is diminished by Jeep's continued use of the CVT automatic transmission; we suggest you opt for the base Compass with the manual transmission.
FREEDOM DRIVE II OFF-ROAD PACKAGE
With Freedom Drive II the 2013 Compass achieves Jeep's "Trail Rated" moniker, a credible achievement given its car-based roots. With what Jeep describes as a second-generation CVT with low range, in combination with all-terrain tires, a 1-inch-higher ride height and full-size spare tire, you can, indeed, get off the beaten path.
SUN AND SOUND GROUP
Combine nine Boston Acoustic speakers with two articulating liftgate speakers and Sirius satellite radio and you can have the music for a hearty party. Whether at the beach – and with either 4-wheel-drive option the 2013 Jeep Compass can deal with some sand – or at the trailhead, the optional sound system makes it easy to share the good times and good sounds with your friends.
The interior of the 2013 Jeep Compass includes soft-touch materials on the door trim, a comfortable center armrest and a steering wheel that provides decent feel and grip. Other details include a Uconnect media center with iPod interface, available Sirius satellite radio and navigation, illuminated cup holders, liftgate speakers and fold-flat rear seats. The end result is not unattractive, but pricing for a well-equipped Compass can easily climb into the $30,000 range.Exterior
At their launch in 2007 both the Compass and Patriot wore front fascias with strong family resemblances to the Jeep Wrangler, with 7-slot grilles and one round headlight per side, but the 2013 Jeep Compass now more closely follows the look of the Grand Cherokee. However, while it looks less like the Dodge Caliber upon which it's based, you still can't think of it as looking like a real Jeep, and the architecture remains saddled with a relatively narrow track that will accept little more than smallish tires. In short, as a Jeep it still looks too much like an entry-level hatchback.
Offered in three trim levels – Sport, Latitude and Limited – the 2013 Jeep Compass SUV is not without features, both standard and optional. The availability of a 5-speed manual (Sport only) is a nice surprise, especially for those not wanting Chrysler's optional continuously-variable transmission (CVT). The 4-wheel independent suspension is another bonus and, to Jeep's credit, even base Sport models offer numerous standard comfort and convenience features, including air conditioning, power door locks, power windows, cruise control, power heated outside mirrors, a removable and rechargeable flashlight and Uconnect media center.
The availability of Freedom Drive II gives the 2013 Jeep Compass the semblance of a low range for aggressive off-roading. You won't, to be sure, want to go boulder hopping (there simply isn't enough ground clearance), but you'll be pleasantly surprised with the capabilities of the Compass, when so equipped, to deal with slick surfaces and bad weather. Beyond that, we'd mention the All-weather Capability Group, which includes all-season floor mats, engine-block heater, all-terrain tires and tow hooks; the All-weather Capability Group may be the best way to make this "pretend" Jeep feel more like the real thing.
The 2013 Jeep Compass' base engine is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder of 158 horsepower. We recommend the optionally available 2.4-liter four, which makes 172 horsepower and is standard with the up-market Limited trim level and mandatory if you select either of the two 4-wheel-drive packages.
158 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
141 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/30 mpg (FWD, manual), 22/28 mpg (FWD, automatic)
172 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
165 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/28 mpg (FWD, manual), 21/27 mpg (FWD, CVT), 23/28 mpg (4WD, manual), 21/26 mpg (Freedom Drive I 4WD, CVT), 20/23 mpg (Freedom Drive II w/Off-Road package, 4WD, CVT)
By MissmyLiberty on Wednesday, August 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "good looking, great for small suv"
Cons: "poor gas mileage, sun roof controls are tiny"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"I have only had my Compass for 2 months. I went from a Liberty to a Compass thinking I would get better gas mileage - did not happen. My 2004 Liberty did the same if not better on gas - very disappointing - I basically traded in a lot of space for no reason. Should have kept my Liberty. I will probably keep the Compass for as little time as possible to get a good trade in amount."
11 people out of 17 found this review helpful
By irlandesazul on Saturday, August 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,800overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Cons: "No power. Poor gas mileage."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"I may love the car but, unfortunately, it has no power, ie: no pick up and no acceleration. Also, the gas mileage leaves a lot to be desired."
5 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Chris on Monday, July 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fuel mileage, very quiet engine, supportive seats."
Cons: "Needs better oem tires, lousey in snow"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This is the 3rd Jeep my wife and I have owned, previously a 1990 Cherokee, 2007 Liberty, and I have to say that so far this is the best. 30mpg, descent power(not a race car), good interior room. I am 6ft and 350lbs and I am very comfortable in both the drivers and passenger seats."
12 people out of 19 found this review helpful
By Tom on Sunday, June 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Drives great, gas mileage , ammenities."
Cons: "could use a better rear wiper."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"After looking at and driving other midsized SUVs,I was amazed at the driving dynamics of the Compass. It actually drives more like a car than an SUV.Coming from a Chevy Equinox to this, the mileage was incredible at 31 hwy and feels like there is more usable room..Compared directly against the Hyundai Tucson it just felt much more secure on the road. You don't feel as though your sitting over the tires and the is much less body lean. It was more roomy than the Crosstrek for less money snd quiter thsn the Escspe.Well satisfied for the price!"
14 people out of 19 found this review helpful
By Katie on Monday, May 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Style, room, and interior"
Cons: "gas mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This vehicle has always been my favorite car to look at on the highway, so I was extremely happy to be able to purchase my dream car. I am definitely sticking a Jeep forever. I am so pleased with my Jeep Compass."
15 people out of 23 found this review helpful
By Bev on Tuesday, May 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great ride,affordable,good size"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I purchased this car because I liked the look, the size & the jeep reputation. I needed it to travel to upstate NY to a cabin in a rural area. We have an under developed road that is often eroded from the elements. It's hilly and can be icy and snow bound. We have never had a problem getting up the road with the compass. It handles beautifully. It's comfortable and is not a rough ride at all. We have taken two very long trips in the Compass and they were great trips. It's comfortable, not noisy and not bad on gas for an SUV."
6 people out of 8 found this review helpful