Car Reviews

2017 Jeep Compass Review

By Mike Richards Updated: 06/09/2023 Posted: 09/23/2018

If you want the trademark Jeep rugged look without buying the Grand Cherokee, and if you want more space than in a Renegade, the Jeep Compass is your choice. This compact crossover SUV sits in between the Cherokee, and the Renegade. It looks like the baby Grand Cherokee, but is not too off-road oriented, except for the Trailhawk version.

The History

The Jeep Compass is in its second generation now, and the 2017 model year has brought about some changes. The first model, which went into production in 2006 for the 2007 model year, was not so well received. It had cheap materials, slouchy engines, an uncomfortable ride and received below average safety marks. There were even rumors of discontinuation.

However, Jeep completely redesigned the Compass in 2016 for its second generation. The SUV now gets that rugged Grand Cherokee look, and it seems that Jeep fixed some issues. The ride is more comfortable and generates less noise than the Cherokee. The interior has been updated and quality materials used. There is now also more space inside.

The Issues

However, looks can be deceiving. Some issues remain and, most importantly, Jeep continued to sell the old version. Even the redesigned Compass struggles for power. You have the option of 2.0-liter and 2.4- liter engines putting out between from 158 to 180 horsepower, depending on the trim. The base engine comes with a manual transmission, but you could get a six-speed or a nine-speed automatic. However, be prepared for your comfortable ride to be ruined by an indecisive gearbox. The set-up is so strange the no matter how much you push the gas pedal; it meanders about at its own pace. The power can be put to the road either by two or all four wheels.

Further Read

In the city, the Compass will drive you 20 miles for every gallon of gas it drinks. On the highway, it goes up to 32 miles per gallon. And the road is where this SUV, with its rugged look, is intended to be.

Bridging the Gap

The Compass bridges the gap between the smaller Renegade and the larger Cherokee. Regarding space, it is bigger than the Renegade, meaning tall passengers will fit in the back seat comfortably.

The interior is also upgraded to follow the lines of its larger siblings the Cherokee and the Grand Cherokee. And it perfectly fits the bill of a road-focused SUV that can follow its larger siblings off-road, especially the Trailhawk version.

What Comes With the Redesign?

Besides improving the appearance of this model, Jeep has given the Compass a better chassis. The suspension was revised resulting in a smoother and more comfortable ride.

The interior has also been redesigned, and the cues have apparently been taken from the larger models. The materials and the build are top-notch, and there is enough room for five. You get plenty of options, depending on the trim. You can get leather upholstery and heated front seats.

The standard equipment includes the Uconnect system with a 5-inch touchscreen, two USB ports, Bluetooth. The Uconnect system can upgrade to one with either a 7-inch or 8-4-inch display. You get both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available as well as satellite radio.

Safety Features and Ratings

To keep its occupants safe, the Compass comes with a rearview camera as standard. You can also pick rear parking sensors, brake assist, and hill-descent control. There is also an array of warning options for the high-speed front collision, lane departure, and blind spot monitoring.

It has received four stars in the National Highway Traffic Safety Association testing. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has given it Good marks across the board, with child seat anchors ease of use the only segment to get a Poor rating. It was given the IIHS-HLDI’s 2017 Top Safety Pick badge.

Should You Buy Old Or New?

The 2018 year model’s MSRP starting points without options range from $20,995 to $29,095, according to Edmunds. It is one of the least expensive cars in the class, U.S. News notes.

Still, there is potential to save some cash if you don’t mind buying used. You can get the same car for a lot less. Although you can save some more money by purchasing the 2016 model, you won’t get the redesign benefits. Also to get these benefits, stay away from the 2017 Compass X, which is the old version, sold for only half a year.

CarGurus listings show that the redesigned 2017 model sells from $13.500 to $26,500. The average price paid, according to U.S. News auto division is $18,400. This report reveals the savings potential and should make a choice easier for anyone who doesn’t mind driving used.

Jeep Compass Dealer-Only Auctions Available To The Public Through Auto Auction Mall

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The Verdict

Jeep took a step forward with the 2017 model year redesign. With its off-road heritage and improved on-road driving, Compass is a good option, especially for those looking for an affordable SUV, as it sits on the cheaper end of the class spectrum. However, while some options can be more expensive, other options in the class are worth the extra cash.