2007 Jeep Compass: An Old Way of Thinking
September 05, 2007
As we've noted on multiple occasions on this blog, and in our full road test , the 2007 Jeep Compass makes no great strides in interior design, materials quality, or fit and finish.
I don't especially enjoy sitting in the vehicle, but I realized today that I don't like it any less than the cabins of all the Cherokees (regular, not Grand) that various friends and family members have owned. My dad still drives a Cherokee, and it's obvious he gets a kick out of its rugged image. He looks for any opportunity to shift into 4 Lo. Cash-strapped friends from college were much the same way... they didn't care that they ended up with a base trim vehicle with a manual gearbox, they just wanted in on the Jeep life.
When you drive the Compass, it's obvious the decision-makers at Jeep failed to understand this tradeoff.
A cheap interior might be passable -- but only if it's incorporated into a genuinely tough vehicle with styling that reflects that level of ability. But in a vehicle with soft curves, chrome wheels, and barely enough ground clearance to see it through a six-inch snowfall, the usual campsite-grade interior furnishings don't seem justified. Few elements of the Compass cockpit operate with the fluidity its exterior lines imply -- it's a struggle to recline either of the front seats, for example, thanks to their cheap, balky levers.
The Compass is an adequate urban runabout, but without a better interior or a little of that Cherokee lifeblood, I'm hard-pressed to cut it much slack.
Erin Riches, Senior Content Editor @ 9,581 miles