KBB Editors' Overview
By Matt Degen
- Updated Date: 9/10/2014
The 2015 Compass SUV, like its similar Patriot sibling, is a lower-cost way of gaining access to the Jeep family and sporting the rugged attitude the iconic brand embodies. While it's true that a Trail-Rated version can claim some off-road cred, the Compass is at heart more a front-wheel-drive-based hatchback than boulder-hopping Jeep Wrangler. Riding atop an aging platform, the Compass can claim only mediocre status when compared with fresher 5-passenger compact SUV crossovers such as the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester, Ford Escape or even its new sibling, the Jeep Cherokee. Those competitors start beyond the Compass' sub-$20,000 base price, but they offer better refinement, newer technology and more satisfying on-road manners.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you're looking for an inexpensive entry into the Jeep brand and dig the Compass' style over that of the similar-under-the-skin Patriot, this 5-passenger compact SUV may just pull you in. For buyers who like off-roading, or portraying the image of, a Trail-Rated Compass has passable credentials.
You May Not Like This Car If...
Compact SUV rivals ranging from the Subaru Forester to the Kia Sportage offer better features, style and comfort for not much more money. If your heart is set on a lower-cost Jeep, check out the Cherokee or the new Jeep Renegade.
What's New for 2015
Little has changed as the 2015 Jeep Compass carries over for another year. A dome light replaces the removable flashlight, a new green paint color is available, and navigation joins the options list for mid-trim Latitude models.
The 2015 Jeep Compass offers a choice of two 4-cylinder engines, neither of which is terribly refined or powerful. The larger 2.4-liter that's standard in top-line Limited models and optional on Sport and Latitude trims would be our first choice since it delivers respectable acceleration and fuel economy. Of course, the beauty of a car-based crossover SUV is its on-road composure, and in that regard the steering and suspension of Jeep's crossover SUV provide decent connectivity to the road. The newer 6-speed automatic and 5-speed manual transmission on the Sport model help enhance the Compass' performance. Unfortunately, the most desirable off-road package, Freedom Drive II, remains saddled with the lackluster CVT2 continuously variable automatic transmission and only musters fuel-economy figures of 20 mpg city/23 mpg highway.
FOLDING PASSENGER SEAT
One of the most appealing aspects of an SUV is its ability to haul stuff. And the Jeep Compass has a trick up its sleeve with a front-passenger seat that folds forward to create a flat surface. Standard in Latitude and Limited models, it accommodates longer items like surfboards and lumber.
SUN AND SOUND GROUP
This optional package offers plenty of both with a power sunroof and a Boston Acoustics premium sound system with nine speakers – including two that are built into the liftgate. The rearward speakers are meant to supply the soundtrack for fun at your next tailgate party.
For vehicle details and pricing notes…