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Most people think of Jeeps as tough off-road vehicles that love to get muddy, but when the Jeep Compass debuted for 2007, it wasn't like other Jeeps. It didn't look rugged, it wasn't trail-rated, and as far as we could tell, it didn't even like dirt. Instead, it was a car-based design built for the majority of small-SUV buyers who wanted a fuel-efficient runabout that was easy to drive around suburbia. Four-wheel drive was available, of course, but it was a single-speed system -- enough to get you through a snowstorm and that's about it.
As you can imagine, Jeep purists didn't much care for the Compass, which they regarded as the antithesis of all things Jeep. The company evidently took this early criticism to heart, because the latest iteration has revised styling and newfound capabilities that edge the Compass closer to "real Jeep" status. Even so, the Jeep Compass faces stiff competition among today's compact, car-based SUVs. Its low base price and interesting features may be compelling at a glance, but for those who dig deeper, its subpar engines, modest cargo capacity and relatively crude driving dynamics will likely prove significant liabilities.
Used Jeep Compass Models
Introduced for the 2007 model year, the Jeep Compass is in its first generation, but there have been significant changes made. From 2007-'10, the Compass featured different exterior styling that was less indicative of other Jeep models. It was rounder, a little more avant garde, and if we're honest, not very attractive. Prior to an interior overhaul for 2009 that addressed both design and materials quality, the cabin was one of the worst on the market. It was upgraded yet again for 2011, which was also the first year for the current car's more capable Freedom Drive II equipment and "baby Grand Cherokee" styling. The six-speed automatic debuted for 2014 as a considerably more civilized alternative to the CVT, though the underlying shortcomings of the engines were not addressed.
If you are looking for newer years, visit our new Jeep Compass page.