2019 Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 new car reviews

Did you know that the Jeep Compass can be had with a genuine, six-speed manual transmission? And not just the base model, either. All six trim levels can be had with one.

So if nothing else, take that as an advantage the Compass has over the competition if that sort of thing matters to you.

Powered by the ubiquitous 2.4-liter TigerShark inline-four, the Jeep Compass slots between the Renegade and the Cherokee in the lineup. As expected, four-wheel drive is also available across the whole range.

Other staff views

Colin Wood
Colin Wood
Associate Editor

Sometimes I think the word “mediocre” has too much of a negative connotation. Mediocre is often applied to things that are less than good, or even just straight-up bad. In my eyes, if something is mediocre, it isn’t good, but it also isn’t bad.

That, precisely, is where I would place the Jeep Compass. By no means is it a bad vehicle, as it’s competent and user-friendly; However, in no way does it stand out in the massive field of other CUVs. The only people I see seeking out a Jeep Compass as their next vehicle is the kind of person that was raised on Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep products and was looking for a CUV that would feel familiar to them. Outside of that, I don’t know who would actually seek out a Compass out of everything else they could have.

Despite it’s mediocracy, there were some odd things I noticed in the Compass, like how there are two separate cruise control switches: one for the radar-assisted cruise control, and another for non-radar-assisted cruise control. Another weird thing that caught my attention was that even though the Compass is pretty far removed from a Wrangler, the 4x4 Badge on the back and terrain selector knob below the dash was oddly reassuring. Heavy rains felt like nothing more than a light drizzle, and pitted dirt roads looked like nothing more than rough patch of asphalt. So, in that respect, I kind of get the whole appeal of getting a Jeep.

The Jeep Compass isn’t a bad CUV, it’s just a mediocre one. There are definitely more interesting options out there from Japan and Korea, but if you’d feel more comfortable in a Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep product, then I might put the Compass on my recommendation list (just nowhere near the top). Things like the jarring engine stop/start and driver assists that are quick to slam on the brakes when it senses a car that isn’t actually there don’t help the Compass’s score, either. Simply put, it’s not bad, but it also isn’t good.

No matter what, though, nothing beats being able to tell people that it’s a Jeep thing, you wouldn’t understand.

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