2007 Jeep Compass Long Term Road Test - Performance

2007 Jeep Compass Long-Term Road Test

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  • Long-Term

2007 Jeep Compass: Makeshift Fix to CVT

December 03, 2007

Photo by Caroline Pardilla

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

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2007 Jeep Compass: Noisy Bugger

November 26, 2007

Photo by Caroline Pardilla

"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

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2007 Jeep Compass: No Guts, No Go

September 28, 2007

Photo by Caroline Pardilla

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

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2007 Jeep Compass: Long-Distance Driving

September 18, 2007

2007 Jeep Compass -- Brent Romans

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.

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2007 Jeep Compass: An Old Way of Thinking

September 05, 2007

2007 Jeep Compass Limited interior - E. Riches

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.

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2007 Jeep Compass Limited - Cute Ute

August 30, 2007

2007 Jeep Compass Limited

I like the look of the Jeep Compass. The Inferno Red paint is a nice deep shade and the 18-inch chrome wheels are pretty spiffy. See how they reflect on my driveway in the morning sunlight.

I would like to see a more powerful engine offered than the 172-horsepower 2.4-liter inline 4.

Combined with the CVT it's not brilliant. You really have to floor it to get up to speed when merging onto the freeway or trying to pass. And it is LOUD at high rpm.

With that said, if you're looking for an economical little hauler, the Compass is not a bad choice. It's comfortable, it's cute and it'll cart you around town the same as a Honda CR-V.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 9,357 miles

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Past Long-Term Road Tests