Jeep is one of the most widely known automotive brands around the world, with its hardcore off-roaders instantly recognisable thanks to that famous corporate grille. But not everybody wants to go off-road, and for a while now Jeep has offered more road-biased SUVs that put a greater focus on affordable purchase and running costs.
The Compass is exactly that – a more comfortable, more fully equipped SUV for those who are unlikely to ever venture further off-road than when towing a caravan onto a campsite. Having said this, the Compass is still more adept off-road than many of its rivals, so if you’re looking for a compact SUV that strikes a decent balance between on- and off-road capabilities, this Ford Kuga rival might just fit the bill.
- Jeep Compass Mk2 (2018-date) – Second-generation compact SUV offers plenty of on- and off-road ability.
The second-generation Jeep Compass reached UK showrooms in February 2018, ready for the new registration on 1 March. Buyers could choose between 119bhp 1.6-litre and 138/168bhp 2.0-litre Multijet diesel engines, or there was a 138/168bhp 1.4-litre Multiair petrol option. The 1.6-litre Multijet came only with a manual gearbox, but the high-power versions of the 1.4-litre Multiair and 2.0-litre Multijet were available with a nine-speed automatic transmission.
At the outset there were Sport, Longitude and Limited trims available, with a Trailhawk introduced at the top of the range a few months later. By August 2019 there was also a Night Eagle special edition offered, based on the Longitude and with black exterior detailing and a standard Winter pack which comprised heated front seats and steering wheel.
Which one should I buy?
The Trailhawk is aimed at those who want to go off-roading so it comes with 17-inch alloys, hill descent control, a full-size spare wheel, raised off-road suspension, an extra-low crawler gear, front and rear skid plates plus redesigned ‘off-road’ bumpers front and rear. The entry-level Compass Sport comes with automatic headlights and wipers, 16-inch alloys, a five-inch display with DAB radio, air-con, cruise control and a multifunction steering wheel.
The Longitude adds power folding door mirrors, an 8.4-inch display, navigation, 17-inch wheels, faux leather trim, keyless go, a rear parking camera, dual-zone climate control plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Limited comes with halogen projector headlights, an upgraded hi-fi, leather-trimmed electrically adjustable heated front seats, front and rear parking sensors (with self-parking) and a heated steering wheel.
Alternatives to the Jeep Compass
As a mid-size SUV the Compass is up against three very capable rivals in the form of the SEAT Ateca, Skoda Karoq and Volkswagen Tiguan. All mechanically similar, they also share the common values of ease of use, decent build quality and efficient engines. If those don’t appeal the Peugeot 3008 might with its impressive interior and its easy driving experience.
The Ford Kuga is good to drive and well equipped, plus there are lots of them on the used market, while the Mazda CX-5 feels premium inside, looks great on the outside, and it’s superb dynamically. The Renault Kadjar and Nissan Qashqai are cousins that offer style with practicality, but reliability isn’t class-leading. Other compact SUVs that you should consider include the Kia Sportage and its cousin the Hyundai Tucson, which are great all-rounders.
What to look for
The original Compass from 2007 was known as the MK49; this one was codenamed MP/552 by Jeep
The Uconnect infotainment system is great to use, but can just switch off. A software update is needed
Check how much oil is in the engine as it’s not unusual to have to top up every 2,000-3,000 miles.
Overall, the Compass’s interior is a high point, with lots of space, a decent (if somewhat conservative) design and plenty of standard equipment. Some of the materials look and feel cheap, but overall the ambience is good and there’s space for five adults, with plenty of head and legroom; the former is eroded if a sunroof is fitted. Boot space is OK at 438 litres with the seats up and 1,251 litres with them down; practicality is aided by the fact that the seats fold flat.
Check out the latest used prices for the Jeep Compass on our sister site Buyacar.
Regardless of which engine is fitted, all Jeep Compasses need to be serviced every 12 months or 12,500 miles. It doesn’t matter whether your Compass features a petrol engine or a diesel, the cost for each of the first five services is set at £196, £247, £320, £257 and £170. On top of this you’ll have to pay £56.46 every two years to have the brake fluid changed, and if your Compass has the 1.6-litre CRD engine it’ll need a replacement cam belt every six years.
The replacement cost for this is reasonable, however, at £285. Service plans are available for between one and five years and up to 45,000 miles (petrol) or 60,000 miles (diesel), but from July 2018 all Compasses came with Jeep’s 5-3-5 package as standard which comprised a five-year warranty, three years’ servicing and five years’ breakdown cover.
The original Jeep Compass was recalled four times and so far its successor has been the subject of three recalls. The first one was issued in October 2018 and affected just 26 Compasses built up to April 2018 which were fitted with faulty airbags. The next campaign came just a month later and affected 342 Compasses built up to January 2018.
These left the factory with poorly manufactured rear seat backs which could unlatch, leading to the boot contents ending up in the cabin in the event of heavy braking. The most recent recall came in June 2019 and involved 1,503 Compasses made between April and October 2018. These featured faulty stop/start software, so an update to the body control module was required.
Driver Power owner satisfaction
The Jeep Compass has never appeared in our new or used Driver Power surveys as it sells in such small quantities in the UK. Also, because Jeep has such a small share of the market here, it also hasn’t appeared in our annual Brands survey, and just one owner has left a review on the CarBuyer.co.uk website. But that is a four-star review for a Compass 1.4-litre Multiair, whose owner likes the car’s long-distance cruising abilities and build quality.
The Jeep brand may be widely recognised but that doesn’t mean it enjoys buoyant sales in the UK. Indeed, this American company is one of the smaller players here with just 0.27 per cent of the market in 2019, up from 0.26 per cent the previous year (6,193 and 6,114 sales respectively). As a result, even though compact SUVs are some of the most popular cars in the UK, the Jeep Compass remains an unusual sight here, with buyers generally opting for higher-profile alternatives instead. Many of these rivals offer a more complete package than the Jeep, but that’s not to say that the Compass is a bad buy – it’s just outclassed. Buy one at the right price though and you’ll get a family friendly spacious SUV that lives up to the Jeep name when tackling difficult terrain.