By Ming Tan
- Exterior styling – share some visual cues with the big brother Cherokee Series
- Roomy – the passengers get a decent amount of leg and shoulder room for long distance comfort, although some cargo room is sacrificed
- Heritage – shares the same Jeep off road bloodlines that began with the original Wrangler
- Relevance – the 2.4-liter I4 motor is efficient – 21 mpg city and 26mpg highway
- Small storage area for its class – 60.7 cubic feet vs. 73 cubic feet in the popular Toyota RAV4
- Sparse interior – hard plastics and a simple dash – some consider this a good thing, but on the Compass, it doesn’t look like an interior belonging to a $27k SUV
- Blind spot visibility – the rear c pillar design adds to the exterior aesthetic appeal, but hinders blind spot visibility
“Evolution of a Legendary Bloodline”
I’ve always liked trucks and SUV’s; to be more clear, rugged trucks and SUV’s. I’ve even had my eyes open for a rugged Jeep Wrangler sometime down the road. To me, that model is synonymous with Jeep and it embodies what is pure about the brand: its rugged and well-rounded capabilities.
I’ve owned a few SUV’s over the years, and have test driven a number; most recently, the new Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. The new Jeep Compass is similar in price, size, and value, so the timing was good to get some miles on this small SUV. I recognize that not everyone takes their SUV off road, so I evaluated the Compass from an image, value, and capability standpoint, given the compact SUV class that it belongs to. It seems to be a growing segment with worthy competitors, and the Jeep performed well overall, but not without a few issues.