December 10, 2007
Over the weekend I folded our Jeep Compass's rear seats flat to haul some cargo. When returning them to their upright position I discovered that their seatback recline angle can be set to multiple positions, including this one. This position is less than 90 degress relative to the seat bottom (that's my handy T-square for 90-degree reference). Who sits like this?
I've been known to love a vertical seatback when driving, but less than vertical? In the rear seat? Come on. I'm not sure what the point of this postion is, but it made me laugh. Anyhow, after a few yanks and shoves I found a seatback angle better suited for humans.
Oh, and there's this:
December 03, 2007
With our 2007 Jeep Compass, its CVT makes it nearly impossible to get a jump on traffic when merging onto the freeway. It hardly has any power and even if you mash the accelerator to the floor it feels like the car doesn't understand what you're trying to do. "Wuuuut, Wilbur? Ohhhhh, you want me to go faster?
Okayyyy. Doh-dee-doh-dee-doh-dee-doh." This is especially infuriating when you want to get around slower-moving traffic.
But then I found that more power can be had in the Jeep's manual mode. When I want to squirt around traffic, I just switch over to manual mode and downshift, bringing the revs up, and suddenly I have the juice I need. It's actually surprisingly responsive, unlike most conventional automanuals. I ended up driving in manual more than automatic this past weekend.
Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 13,098 miles
November 26, 2007
"How did you get stuck with the Compass?" one editor asked me as I had purposely picked our 2007 Jeep Compass for the long Thanksgiving weekend. "Cuz I didn't want to deal with shifting the Fit," I replied. (I was left with slim pickings for the holiday; not that I'm complaining.) I'm currently training for a marathon and the last thing my legs want after a 13-mile training run is to deal with a clutch in stop-and-go traffic. Besides I knew that the Compass' heated seats would feel like heaven to my aching body.
However, the noisiness of the Jeep made it hard to really enjoy it. Some of these issues can be fixed but since they weren't when I had the Jeep, I'll complain about them.
1) Since the moaning brake issue was never taken care of by the dealership, the SUV would loudly alert all those within a two-block radius that I was in fact backing up into a parking spot.
2) I still hate the fact that this car loudly accelerates.
3) Every time I hit the lock button on the key fob, the Jeep sounds a loud horn honk. I know my neighbors who live over the car port hate me. I started locking the car by hitting the lock button in the car before I shut the door instead since this isn't something that can be disabled by the driver.
Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 12,883 miles
November 05, 2007
Friday morning our Long Term Jeep Compass had a date with Buerge Jeep's Service Center for an oil change, a brake squeal, a window screech, and the long-awaited CVT TSB update.
Easy stuff first: A routine oil change which cost us $32.92.
Even after a thorough washing, the front windows, when used, would let out a squeal that is only rivaled by fingernails scraping across a chalkboard -- or Avril Lavigne -- on the shrill-o-meter. Buerge cleaned and lubricated the tracks and we were good to go.
The next item was a brake moan/screech/judder that would occur every time the vehicle was slowed in reverse. I laughed when I saw the dealer's comments in this column as I picked up the vehicle, "Brakes operating as designed, no problem found." Then I stopped laughing, grabbed the keys, and brought my service advisor, Jeremy, along for a quick demo of the problem. The Jeep dutifully sang for him every single time.
Jeremy conjectured that we should "heat the brakes up" to reduce the noise. A useful suggestion for the times we have hours to drive before we need the reverse gear. Or the times we're armed with a heat-gun in the supermarket parking lot. His second next suggestion was a brake-disc resurfacing for $129. The vehicle has 12,313 miles. It shouldn't need a brake resurfacing, and if it did, it should be under warranty. It wasn't.
Last on the list was the TSB to reflash/reprogram the sluggish and sometimes stumbling CVT. (18-031-07 for those of you keeping track.) The engine stumble is mercifully gone, but the Compass is still very, very slow.
Total Cost: $32.92.
Mike Magrath, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 12,313 miles.
October 11, 2007
I remember hearing a while back that Chrysler/Jeep hadn't always intended to produce both the Compass and Patriot. The two Caliber-clone designs were shown to a focus group. The Compass was overwhelmingly preferred by women and the Patriot preferred by men. At that point, they decided to sell both.
After driving a Patriot last night (the gauges have the same compass points by the way), I walked away realizing that the only reason to pick a Patriot over a Compass is styling. So let's hear it, what do you prefer?
To make it easier, here's some multiple choice options.
1) Compass all the way! The Patriot looks like the deformed child of a Cherokee.
2) I'm a Patriot type of guy! The Compass needs directions to a crusher!
3) Neither. Give me a real Jeep, not some Caliber mini wagon thing.
4) Doesn't matter. The Compass and the Patriot are the greatest vehicles ever made and we should all be so lucky to own them
James Riswick, Associate Editor
October 10, 2007
Our long-term Jeep Compass earned its keep during the past week, when It hauled Brownies and camping equipment to the annual Girl Scout Camporee and carpooled kids to and from elementary school.
Despite the fact that the Girl Scout campground had warned (too late) against leaving food in vehicles, nary a feral cat or a ravaging squirrel smashed through the Compass' passenger window to gorge on the peanut butter chocolate chip granola bars I had left exposed in the Jeep's open dash storage bin.
September 28, 2007
Wow, I so don't like our 2007 Jeep Compass. It has no guts whatsoever. Whenever I tried passing someone last night on the freeway -- pressing the accelerator, then stomping on it -- it wouldn't respond. "Huuuuuuuuh?" it seemed to be saying.
It was like kicking someone who isn't paying attention...and who doesn't react to pain. It was so slow and loud that I had to check the display to make sure I hadn't inadvertently activated the Autostick feature and put it in 1st gear. Nope, that's how it is in Drive.
Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor
September 27, 2007
Right off the bat, I'll tell you that I'm not the biggest fan of the Compass. Its power is meager, its styling is dubious, and it's not even that comfortable. But I think that has all been said before, so I went into this looking for something nice to say and I found it. With the rear seats folded down, this diminutive Jeep has a surprising amount of space. I was in a situation on Sunday where I was going to the gym in the morning, scuba in the afternoon, and yoga in the evening, each of which needed its own gear and equipment. I wasn't sure if the Compass could handle it, but sure enough it had room to spare despite all the tanks and flippers and all. So there it is, the silver lining to the Compass. It may not haul well, but it does haul a lot.
Glenn McClanan, Broadband Producer @ 11,472 miles
September 20, 2007
OK. I need to say it straight-up. I'm not a big fan of the 2007 Jeep Compass. I think it's pretty damn unattractive.
Yes, brands need to diversify and change, but I don't think Jeep's had a good-looking new model in awhile. The Wrangler Unlimited is fantastic, but that body style is a tried-and-true classic (albeit with a stretched wheelbase) and the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee are staples. But the Compass? Blech. Patriot? Wussy. Commander? Mercedes G-Wagen wannabe.
Maybe it's the almost trapezoidal slopes. The A-pillar naturally slopes back, but then the back windshield mimics it, rather than simply going straight up and down. Is it supposed to be more, uh, sporty? Edgy? Daring? And then there's that damn C-pillar, with the enormous blind spot, reminiscent of the Toyota FJ Cruiser. Why? What's wrong with a little glass and, you know, rear visibility? And that slapped-on shiny chrome on the rear bumper? Ugh.
Doug Lloyd, Senior Copy Editor, @ 11,186 miles
September 18, 2007
I've put about 1,250 miles on our long-term 2007 Jeep Compass in the past two weeks, most of consisting of highway miles amassed during four-hour, one-way trips. For a vehicle to be a successful long-distance tourer in my opinion, it must rank high in terms of comfort, amenities, storage, passing power, quietness and range. Here's how I think the Compass stacks up.
Comfort: On the highway, the Compass is fairly comfortable. When driven over broken pavement, however, the vehicle's body structure shakes and doesn't provide a sense of solidity. Driver comfort is hampered by the lack of a telescoping steering wheel, a severe lack of padding on the armrests and center console lid, and an uncomfortable doughnut-style headrest.