Right from the trailhead, the redesigned Compass comes up short in the white-hot small SUV market, earning the dubious distinction as the lowest-rated model in its class. It doesn't measure up in several ways. Factor in a price that's typically higher than better competitors, and the result is that shoppers should be driven in another direction.
The second-generation Compass shares much of its underpinnings with its smaller sibling, the Jeep Renegade. It draws styling inspiration from the Grand Cherokee, namely in the grille and with its softly squared-off edges. But don’t let the similar looks deceive you into thinking this is a worthy heir to the Jeep off-road legacy. Even the Trailhawk version with its raised ride height and red tow hooks is largely for show.
Most Compasses are equipped with a 180-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine teamed with a nine-speed automatic transmission. This disappointing pairing results in slow acceleration, with delayed downshifts and a lackadaisical response. Performance feels even slower than the numbers suggest. Fuel economy, at 24 mpg overall, is par for the class.