By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 9/17/2012
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.You May Not Like This Car If...
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 Its engines are crude and underpowered, its interior outdated and its resale value is nowhere near that of the best in the field.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 It 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.Favorite Features
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.