2010 Jeep Compass SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2010 Jeep Compass SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Jeep Compass Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 172 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 23/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2010 Jeep Compass

  • Despite its low price and unique flip-down tailgate speakers, the 2010 Jeep Compass ranks as one of the least attractive choices in the compact-SUV segment.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Low price, available flip-down tailgate speakers.

  • Cons

    Low-rent interior, uncomfortable ride, unimpressive acceleration, noisy cabin, lacks typical Jeep off-road abilities.

  • What's New for 2010

    The 2010 Jeep Compass gets an available five-speed manual transmission for its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Also, active front head restraints are standard across the lineup, automatic climate control is available on Limited models, and remote start can be specified with the continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Full 2010 Jeep Compass Review

What's New for 2010

The 2010 Jeep Compass gets an available five-speed manual transmission for its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Also, active front head restraints are standard across the lineup, automatic climate control is available on Limited models, and remote start can be specified with the continuously variable transmission (CVT).


We come up with a list of Pros for each vehicle we review, and the 2010 Jeep Compass made this task a challenge. Eventually we settled on its discount price and optional flip-down tailgate speakers -- these speakers are legitimately interesting. But that's frankly the best we could do. There's no two ways about it: The Compass is simply not a competitive vehicle in its class.

Like its boxier Patriot sibling, the Compass is based on the Dodge Caliber hatchback. The ride is hardly carlike, though, as the Compass tends to crash over bumps like a truck. Don't expect a payoff in the handling department; the Compass is one of the least entertaining vehicles to drive in its class. It's also saddled with noisy and sluggish powertrains that will discourage you from exploring their full high-rpm potential.

The situation doesn't get any better inside. Despite some improvements in materials quality last year, the Compass is still well behind the curve in terms of plastics and overall interior design. There's just nothing here to make buyers feel as if they got a special vehicle for their hard-earned money. And while the Compass' height and ground clearance are on par with those of small crossover SUVs (hence its official SUV classification), its hauling ability is more like the Caliber's -- the Compass has the least maximum cargo space of any vehicle in its class.

Drive the Compass back to back with its competitors and you'll likely notice these shortcomings yourself. Superior alternatives include the Honda CR-V, Mitsubishi Outlander, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4, as well as hatchbacks and small wagons like the Mazda 3 and Toyota Matrix. If you're on a tight budget, even the nondescript Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage are much better choices.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 Jeep Compass is a five-passenger compact SUV available in Sport and Limited trim levels. Standard equipment on the Compass Sport includes 17-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, foglamps, air-conditioning, a tilt steering wheel and a four-speaker stereo with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. The "E" package adds full power accessories, cruise control, keyless entry, driver-seat height adjustment, reclining rear seats, a removable flashlight, passenger assist handles and stain-repellent upholstery. All of the "E" stuff is included with the Limited, which also adds 18-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, satellite radio and an in-dash six-CD changer (the latter is optional on the Sport).

There are a number of packages available on both trims. The Security and Cargo Convenience Group adds front side airbags, heated cloth seats (Sport), a cargo cover, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth (Limited) and, when the CVT is specified, remote start. The Sun and Sound Group adds six upgraded speakers, flip-down tailgate speakers, a subwoofer, a sunroof and, on the Sport, satellite radio. The Media Center option adds a hard-drive-based navigation system, digital music storage and a USB audio jack. Automatic climate control can also be added to the Limited.

Powertrains and Performance

Front-wheel drive is standard on the Jeep Compass, while a four-wheel-drive system is optional. It operates in front-wheel-drive mode in normal situations and automatically applies power to the rear wheels when needed. It can also be locked in 4WD mode, with up to 60 percent of the engine's torque sent to the rear wheels for better off-road traction.

Every Compass comes standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine capable of 172 horsepower and 165 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and a CVT is optional. With this engine and the CVT, a four-wheel-drive Compass we tested went from zero to 60 mph in a lazy 10.6 seconds -- and droned loudly while doing it. Fuel economy with the automatic and 4WD is 21 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined. The manual or front-wheel drive improves these numbers by a few mpg.

Optional on the front-wheel-drive Compass Sport only is a less powerful but more-fuel-efficient 2.0-liter four-cylinder. It makes 158 hp and 141 lb-ft of torque and offers the same transmission choices as the 2.4-liter four. Fuel economy is 23/29/25 mpg with the manual and 23/27/25 with the CVT.


Standard safety features include stability control with a rollover sensor, full-length side curtain airbags and traction control. Front-seat side airbags are optional. In government crash tests, the 2010 Jeep Compass received four out of five stars for frontal-impact crash protection and five stars for side-impact protection. When equipped with front side airbags, the Compass received the best rating of "Good" in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's side-impact crash test, but a Compass without the side airbags got the second-worst "Marginal" rating.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Compass has sported a slightly nicer interior design since '09, but this is still an unmistakably budget-minded cabin. The switchgear feels flimsy, the plastics are hard and rough and the steering wheel probably will not feel comfortable in your hands. The dashboard looks crude, too, as if aesthetics were an afterthought. Seats are somewhat less than comfortable, and the Compass' fixed rear head restraints and wide rear roof pillars obstruct rear visibility.

The Compass offers some useful storage spaces, including an open bin on the passenger side of the dash. The rear seatbacks fold flat, and fold-flat capability for the front passenger seatback (standard on Limited, optional on Sport) allows you to carry longer items inside the vehicle. The cargo area itself is small, though, measuring just 22.7 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 53.6 cubic feet with the rear seatbacks folded -- less than that of every other small SUV on the market.

Driving Impressions

Even with the larger 2.4-liter engine, the 2010 Jeep Compass feels sluggish during merging and passing maneuvers, especially when equipped with 4WD and the power-sapping CVT. It's also quite noisy, and the 2.0-liter engine is slower and noisier still. Compared to other small SUVs, the Compass doesn't ride well on bumpy roads, and its less-than-rigid structure tends to flex excessively over potholes and such. Furthermore, notable wind and road noise finds its way into the cabin at speed. Handling is likewise unimpressive.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Love my compass

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Vehicle: 2010 Jeep Compass Sport 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

I bought my 2010 Compass used with 36000 miles automatic variable transmission I don't know why edmunds gave it such a bad review I love love love this vehicle the only thing I have to complain about is that I wish I would have gotten the latitude or limited instead of the sport but the next compass I buy will be one of those 2 models

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Thanks to edmunds for the

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Vehicle: 2010 Jeep Compass Sport 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I needed a low cost reliable replacement for an old 4WD that was costing me a fortune to keep on the road. Thanks to the bad review, I was able to scoop up a certified used Jeep Compass with 2 years on the warranty for less than $16,000 (automatic with power package) -sweet! Why the bad review? It isn't a big tough off road vehicle, a honking big family/gear hauler, or a luxury vehicle. It is just a great everyday car. I found the interior nicer and more comfortable (reclining rear seats=less cargo space) than the Toyota RAV and it is less noisy and had better reliability than a pre 2009-Subaru Outback - both more $$. Getting 27 MPG mixed city/highway!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2010 jeep compass 4dr 4wd

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Vehicle: 2010 Jeep Compass Sport 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

Great car for the money. We get 26 MPG on the Xway and 23 City. Only problem is the screws holding the roof rack have all rusted. I'm talking about a 16 month old car with under 16,000 miles that is kept in a garage. Since we noticed the rusting we have looked at other Compass' parked and noticed they all have rusted roof rack screws. Dealer will replace the screws but not with stainless steel as they should be. Suggest that if you own a Compass. you check for the same problem.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Impressed so far

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Vehicle: 2010 Jeep Compass Sport 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

So far I'm fairly impressed. I bought the 2010 4x4 Sport Automatic used with 32,000miles. I love how it looks, it's comfortable, has all the room I need & 4x4 capability. I've noticed that the top 1/2 of the gas tank does much better than the lower 1/2. Generally 28-29mpg compared to 22-23mpg respectively. I've also noticed the "wobble" during braking others have noticed but it doesn't happen frequently. It handles very well. It has stability & traction control. You can easily put the car in manual when needed. I have 2 complaints: There is a noticeable feel when the car downshifts (but smooth acceleration). For safety they should have adjustment buttons for the radio on the steering wheel

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sport (2.4l 4-cyl, 4x4 cvt

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Vehicle: 2010 Jeep Compass Sport 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

First, Edmunds doesn't even list my model. I bought a basic, bottom of the line compass. I even had to purchase, and install cruise control in the vehicle myself. It was an easy 20 minute job. The cruise unit, was plug-n-play! Rides great, very comfortable seats. Fit and finish of both the interior and exterior are great! It's my first American vehicle since 1984. I was pleasantly surprised of the quality. The price was fantastic compared to any other of the vehicles in its class!!! The back seat, when in the "up" position, really interferes with rear vision, so mine is always down. Combined mileage is a consistent 24MPG. HWY mileage varies between 27 and 29MPG.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Outstanding, practical vehicle

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Vehicle: 2010 Jeep Compass Sport 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Edmunds.com makes several claims that are 100% false. 1. They claim "uncomfortable ride". We just completed a trip to Vegas, about 500 miles round trip, most of it over some very rough and beat-up back roads. It was remarkably smooth going over potholes and patched up roadways. 2. Unimpressive acceleration? Well it doesn't compete with a fast sports car, but we passed several vehicles safely on two lane roads, and went up long steep hills with no problem. Power is definitely more than adequate. 3. Noisy cabin? This one takes the cake and makes me wonder if Edmunds was paid off to rate this vehicle so poorly. It is whisper quiet, about the quietest vehicle I've ridden in.

Talk About The 2010 Compass

2010 Jeep Compass Discussions See all Started By

"For 2011, the Jeep Compass got a new hood, new front fenders, a new front fascia, new quad-reflector headlamps and a new Jeep-family seven-slot grill. The rear gets a new spoiler, LED tail lamps...

I need to boost my 2007 Jeep Compass (only -35 here in Ottawa, Canada) and car has been sitting in this weather since January 9th. I can't move the lever part that is under the hood. I have big hands...

it or not this gets better MPG than our Jeep Compass did. On a trip we get 24.3 and around our Lake area. The Pacifica is a real quality vehicle. With the AWD we go everywhere the Jeep went and with ...

Gas Mileage


  • 23
  • cty
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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