I have owned many vehicles from a lot of manufacturers and purchased all of them new. The Compass isn't the best or the worst, and it certainly has its place. The intended use is for a 25 mile commute 1 way, grocery getter, utility vehicle. It is intended to replace a Toyota Camry which has been less than stellar.
The Compass is a small, fun to drive mini SUV that is agile in town. It has decent power for me and I am quite comfortable at 6' in it. It was purchased completely based on sales price and my previous Chrysler vehicles ownership experience. I bought a 2016 4X4 6-speed auto Sport w/AC and minimal options. Price before TTL was $15,985. Please note the vehicle is 1 month old with 900 miles on it so things can and will change.
Price, maneuverability, u-connect, steering feedback, transmission, handling, control layout, lower body protection, towing ability, cost of parts when needed, availability if neat accessories to add.
Shifter, cramped back seat, front fender design, visibility, safety stars given, small gas tank,
As a hard core DIY'er, parts pricing and availability are important. Parts are cheaper for this than other cars I have. It uses non synthetic oil and is very basic as far as service goes, helping to reduce ownership costs. The Compass has an autostick transaxle which means it paddle shifts with the shifter. This is my biggest complaint as I like to drive with my hand on the shifter. You can't lock this feature out. The Compass is a unibody and gains rigidity from all body panels being tied together. The front fenders have no top connection to the inner fender well that I can see. A small rear window combined with large piller posts limits visibility. (My 2nd biggest complaint) - a rear view camera is on the horizon for this shortcoming. Gas here is $1.95 right now and I filled the tank for $24! When was the last time anyone did that! 13 gallons will get you ~290 miles of mixed driving. I am not a lead foot. I anticipate mileage will get better as miles increase- its about 24 right now.
Updated 2/15/2017 now have 11,000 miles+-
This little Jeep has exceeded my expectations. I have driven it at work on some very muddy land (no roads) and it has yet to get stuck, even up steep hills . The off road ability has been superb! Gas mileage has increased a bit too, additional 2MPG. No shakes or rattles have been noticed and no warranty service has been needed.
I have installed an alarm with power door locks, nice Jeep seat covers, a cargo mat, rear cargo cover and additional 12 volt outlet in backseat console.
This vehicle gets bad reviews and I don't know why. It has performed flawless for me. ...very impressed.
Update 8/22/2019 still happy with vehicle, will need new tires before winter
I still have the Compass with over 30K miles. I still like this vehicle and everything I have said prior is still is true. No problems to report.
2/25/21 now at 50K, no problems to report. Put larger (next size up) all terrain tires, a bit noisy nut expected. It is very nimble, in and out of tight places.