18 Best & Worst Jeep Compass Years (With Pictures)

The Jeep Compass is a compact SUV that started out as a 2007 model year. 

It comes with great interior tech, lots of standard (and optional) features, and competent off-road capabilities. 

In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at all of the best and worst model years of the Compass.

2022 Jeep Compass

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Jeep Compass Are:

The best Jeep Compass model years are 2024, 2023, 2021, 2020, 2015, 2013, 2010, and 2009. The worst model years of this model are 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2007, 2008, 2014, 2011, 2012, and 2022. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Jeep Compass?

2024 and 2023 Jeep Compass

The 2024 and 2023 Compass model years are the latest and greatest in terms of technology and safety features. 

These models offer roomy seating, tons of cargo (for its segment), and off-road capabilities.

New for these model years are a slightly more powerful turbocharged engine, all-wheel-drive as standard (for all trims), and a few added driver assistance features.

There are 5 main trim levels: Sport, Latitude, Latitude Lux, Limited, and Trailhawk. 

Base pricing ranges from approximately $30,000 to $40,000.

The most popular trim is the Limited variant, with a starting price of $37,090. 

Regardless of trim, owners will be getting the same 2-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine (200 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque) paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission.

As a result of having the same engine, all trim levels have the same fuel efficiency ratings. 

According to the EPA, owners can get as much as 27 MPG for combined city and highway driving. 

Notable safety features include the following:

  • Jeep active drive
  • Full speed forward collision warning
  • Active lane management

2023 Compass:

  • Edmunds: 4.2 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 3.5 / 5.0
  • J.D. Power: NA

2023 Compass, Edmunds Review:

“Overall I highly recommend this car. Attractive styling and high-quality interior materials. The seats are very comfortable, build quality, craftsmanship, and ease of use in driving and infotainment interaction was enough for me to purchase the vehicle…”

2023 Jeep Compass

2021 and 2020 Jeep Compass

The 2021 and 2020 Compass models are one step down from the more recent 2024 and 2023 versions but are arguably just as reliable and viable, especially if you are looking to buy a vehicle used.

This is the case because all of these models are second-gen variants (which began in 2017). 

New features and upgrades for these models include:

  • Added standard advanced driver safety features
  • Shuffling of feature availability

According to owners, the following are the best aspects of these models:

  • Appearance
  • Handling
  • Steering
  • Ride quality
  • Interior
  • Sound system
  • Minimal road noise

Based on critics’ reviews, the best part of these models is the technology. 

While not as tech-heavy as some of its competitors, these model years have a great quality 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen infotainment system that runs crisply, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

Voice controls are also intuitive, accurate, and responsive. It interfaces well with the other technology systems, including the infotainment system and driver assist systems. 

2021 Compass:

  • Edmunds: 3.6 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 3.5 / 5.0
  • J.D. Power: 80 / 100

2020 Compass:

  • Edmunds: 3.5 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 3.5 / 5.0
  • J.D. Power: 78 / 100

2020 Compass, Edmunds Review:

“This car offers comfort and great mileage. Best little SUV you can buy. I am quite impressed with this little SUV.”

2021 Jeep Compass

2015 Jeep Compass

With optional flip-down tailgate speakers, above average off-road capability, and attractive pricing, the 2015 Compass is one of the better versions available in the used vehicle market.

New for this model are the integration of navigation for the midrange Latitude trim and all-wheel-drive functionality for the Altitude and High Altitude trims.

In total, there are 3 primary trim levels: Sport, Latitude, and Limited. In addition, there are 2 sub-trims: Altitude Edition and High Altitude Edition, which add interesting features such as:

  • 18-inch black gloss alloy wheels
  • Blacked out exterior trim
  • Sporty upholstery
  • Heated front seats
  • Steering wheel with audio controls

According to the EPA, the base Sport trim can reach 26 MPG for combined city and highway driving. All other trims (and sub-trims) are bumped down to approximately 24 MPG for combined driving.

  • Edmunds: 3.5 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 3.5 / 5.0
  • J.D. Power: 76 / 100

2015 Compass, Edmunds Review:

“We have had our 2015 Compass High Altitude for 6 months and are very pleased with it. First of all it was a great value… We find the ride to be compliant and composed. It is surprisingly quiet and when going 65 – 70 on the interstates it’s all good…”

2013 Jeep Compass

With a low price, reasonable off-road abilities (for its segment), and a bunch of high-quality standard features, the 2013 Compass stands out as one of the best.

A minor but crucial implementation is slightly better fuel efficiency. According to the EPA’s testing, this model can achieve an extra mile per gallon on highway driving at 27 MPG (combined driving: 24 to 26 MPG).

  • Edmunds: 3.9 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 3.5 / 5.0
  • J.D. Power: 79 / 100

2013 Compass, Edmunds Review:

“After doing 4 months of extensive research on various small SUVs, the Compass Latitude 4×4 proved to be the best value for my dollar. Love the new ‘baby Grand Cherokee’ design. Decent gas mileage with surprisingly more power than I was lead to believe…”

2013 Jeep Compass

2010 and 2009 Jeep Compass

The 2010 and 2009 Compass model years are resilient SUVs, and you’ll see these on the roads today thanks to a high-quality build and reliable engine.

These models received a thorough interior overhaul, including a redesigned dashboard and upgraded interior materials.

Sound-deadening equipment was also added to improve overall ride quality and minimize road noise on highways. 

Optional features include a hard-drive-based digital music storage and a USB audio jack.

2010 Compass:

  • Edmunds: 4.3  / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 3.8 / 5.0
  • J.D. Power: 77 / 100

2009 Compass:

  • Edmunds: 4.2 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 3.8 / 5.0
  • J.D. Power: 81 / 100

2009 Compass, Edmunds Review:

“Love this Jeep! It’s everything I wanted in a SUV. I went from an Olds Alero to this jeep and couldn’t be happier. My kids have so much more room to stretch out in…”

2009 Jeep Compass

Consumer Scores For Best Jeep Compass Years

Model YearEdmunds
Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book
Consumer Rating
J.D. Power
Consumer Rating
2024 Jeep Compass
2023 Jeep Compass4.2 / 5.03.5 / 5.0NA
2021 Jeep Compass3.6 / 5.03.5 / 5.080 / 100
2020 Jeep Compass3.5 / 5.03.5 / 5.078 / 100
2015 Jeep Compass3.5 / 5.03.5 / 5.076 / 100
2013 Jeep Compass3.9 / 5.03.5 / 5.079 / 100
2010 Jeep Compass4.3 / 5.03.8 / 5.077 / 100
2009 Jeep Compass4.2 / 5.03.8 / 5.081 / 100

Related: Jeep Compass Tune-Up & Maintenance Costs (Complete Guide)

What Are The Worst Years For The Jeep Compass?

2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 Jeep Compass

The 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 model years, led by the 2018 Compass, are the most problematic versions ever produced.

The chief complaint of hundreds of owners is vehicle stalling (or sudden loss of power), combined with steering wheel lock-up, jerking, and hesitation.

According to feedback from mechanics and dealers, the main cause of this issue was a defective crankshaft system, which is considered to be the backbone of the entire vehicle.

“The vehicle stalls while driving. Completely shuts down and locks up the steering wheel and causes dangerous circumstances. Also, turns off at times while stopped. Can happen at all speeds.” – CarProblemZoo.com

Another commonly reported issue is the vehicle “going dark”.

This means that all electronics, warning indicators, as well as interior and exterior lighting would suddenly fail while driving.

This is one of the most common electrical issues experienced by owners. Other electrical problems reported include the following:

  • Start-stop feature failure
  • Emergency parking brake engages on its own
  • Radio issues
  • Wire malfunction
  • Multiple warning indicators flashing

“While driving at highway speeds, the engine shuts off and power steering is disabled. The dashboard says that the car is still on and will not restart the car. This is an extremely dangerous situation, and my family is lucky to be alive…” – CarProblemZoo.com

  • The 2016 Compass had a total of 29 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 358 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.
  • The 2017 Compass had a total of 37 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 324 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.
  • The 2018 Compass had a total of 64 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 1,262 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.
  • The 2019 Compass had a total of 11 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 353 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.

Other common problems:

  • Fuse box issues
  • Radio problems
  • Brake lights come on while driving
  • Will not start, turn over
  • Vehicle shuts down while driving
  • Stock tires worn out quick
  • Electric parking brake engaged while driving
  • Low oil pressure
2016 Jeep Compass

2007 and 2008 Jeep Compass

The 2007 and 2008 Compass models, the first 2 models to be produced, are highly problematic.

The suspension system was the biggest issue reported online.

This was caused by major internal rusting and corrosion issues of the suspension frame, leading to an unbalanced ride and a significantly increased risk of getting into an accident or collision.

“Purchased a 2007 Jeep Compass 2nd hand and found the rear subframe and suspension parts are severely rusted . The vehicle clunks and hops with every bump in the road. If you run over the reflectors while changing lanes, the vehicle will abruptly jerk in the direction you are going…” – CarProblemZoo.com

Another prominent issue is vehicle stalling as a result of filling up the tank with gas for some inexplicable reason.

According to several owners, filling up the gas tank and driving the vehicle a few blocks will result in hesitation, stuttering and, eventually, total vehicle shutdown.

“ … Last couple of refuels, the vehicle will stall out after leaving the gas station. She loses power, steering & braking ability when this occurs. Vehicle will start back up drive along a while then stall out again. This happens several times then will operate normally till the next fill-up.” – CarProblemZoo.com

  • The 2007 Compass had a total of 99 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 632 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.
  • The 2008 Compass had a total of 60 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 238 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.

Other common problems:

  • Control arm/bushing failure
  • TIPM failure
  • Rusted out subframe
  • Engine stalls, shuts down while driving
2007 Jeep Compass

2014 Jeep Compass

The 2014 Compass had extremely dangerous defects. Avoid this model year at all costs.

First, numerous owners reported the front passenger headrest exploding or popping out all of a sudden, causing massive impact and a loud sound akin to a gunshot.

“While driving home from work one day I heard a loud sound like a gun. The headrest to the passenger seat just deployed on its own. Took it to my mechanic to be corrected and he said it couldn’t be reset or a pin must have broken…” – CarProblemZoo.com

Second, this model’s engine was also a big issue. Loss of power, oil pressure, abnormal sounds, and illumination of the check engine warning indicator happened to several owners because of either excessive oil consumption or leakage.

“We were driving and the vehicle lost all power just as we were turning to cross a road. We would have made it easily if the power was not cut. The car would not accelerate even when the accelerator was pressed all the way down. We were lucky to avoid being hit…” – CarProblemZoo.com

Third, the driver’s side seat belt was defective. Owners reported being unable to latch the seat belt strap to the buckle. 

“Driver side seat belt latch is not latching to the buckle. While putting the seat belt on it disengages from the latch system completely. Several attempts to re-secure the buckle into the latch continues to allow the seat buckle to become unlatched. Extremely unsettling as while operating my vehicle knowing my seat belt comes undone at any time…” – CarProblemZoo.com

  • The 2021 Compass had a total of 52 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 480 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.

Other common problems:

  • Noisy brakes
  • Faulty electronic throttle control
  • Dim headlights

2011 and 2012 Jeep Compass

Owners of the 2011 and 2012 Compass model years reported a variety of problems.

The most prominently reported issue was engine failure. Owners reported intermittent vehicle stalling and/or loss of power while driving. 

“The contact owns a 2011 Jeep Compass. The contact stated while driving 20 mph, the vehicle went into limp mode and would not exceed 25 mph. The contact stated no warning light was illuminated…” – CarProblemZoo.com

This was typically caused by filling the gas tank up, similar to what happened to owners of the 2007 and 2008 models.

Owners also reported severe rusting and corrosion of the front subframe, leading to a variety of significant issues, including:

  • Transmission failure
  • Sluggish driving
  • Unpredictable steering
  • Loss of vehicle control

Finally, we also found a lot of safety-related reports. Owners have complained about defective seat belts and airbags.

Recall campaigns were initiated to address these issues but a lot of people were left to wait for unreasonably long periods of time due to the lack of available parts. 

  • The 2011 Compass had a total of 41 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 258 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.
  • The 2012 Compass had a total of 38 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 239 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.

Other common problems:

  • CVT transmission overheating
  • Faulty TIPM
  • Front end issue
  • Brakes grinding
  • Check engine light on
2011 Jeep Compass

2022 Jeep Compass

A surprising entry on this list is one of the more recent models produced – the 2022 Compass.

Owners reported various issues with electronics, including the following:

  • Instrument cluster lights, radio display, and other panels with a display becoming too dim or too bright
  • Automatic emergency braking (AEB) failure
  • Vehicle stalling
  • Loss of power or acceleration

“My instrument cluster has gone dark. It stays in dark mode during the day. I am unable to visually see my speed while I’m driving. My aeb system is also having issues. I have tried to remedy this at the dealership, but they say there is no resolution…” – NHTSA.gov

  • The 2022 Compass had a total of 11 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 226 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.

Other common problems:

  • Radio issues
  • Automatic light sensor not working
  • False forward collision warning 

Related: Jeep Compass Alarm Going Off? (8 Causes & Solutions)

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

Model YearComplaints
(CarComplaints.com)
Problems
(CarProblemZoo.com)
Recalls
(NHTSA.gov)
2024 Jeep Compass
2023 Jeep Compass1200
2022 Jeep Compass112263
2021 Jeep Compass1400
2020 Jeep Compass91191
2019 Jeep Compass113532
2018 Jeep Compass641,2626
2017 Jeep Compass373244
2016 Jeep Compass293581
2015 Jeep Compass261491
2014 Jeep Compass524802
2013 Jeep Compass121171
2012 Jeep Compass382394
2011 Jeep Compass412583
2010 Jeep Compass181242
2009 Jeep Compass14871
2008 Jeep Compass602380
2007 Jeep Compass996323

What Problems Do Jeep Compass Have?

  • Control arm/bushing failure
  • TIPM failure
  • CVT transmission overheating
  • Rusted out subframe
  • Engine stalls, shuts down while driving
  • Noisy brakes
  • Faulty electronic throttle control
  • Dim headlights
  • Electric parking brake engaged while driving
  • Does not start
  • Brakes grinding
  • Check engine light on
  • Front end issues

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Jeep Compass?

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Toyota RAV47.8$28,475 – $38,180City: NA /Highway: NA
Honda CR-V7.8$29,500 – $36,160City: 27 – 28 /Highway: 32 – 34 
Buick Envista7.7$22,400 – $28,600City: NA /Highway: NA
Ford Escape7.7$29,345 – $36,965City: 23 – 42 /Highway: 31 – 36
Jeep Cherokee7.7$37,695 – $41,295City: 20 – 21 /Highway: 26 – 29
Mitsubishi Outlander7.6$28,395 – $40,845City: 24 /Highway: 30 – 31
Jeep Wrangler7.5$31,895 – $87,595City: 13 – 20 /Highway: 16 – 25
Chevrolet Equinox7.4$26,600 -$33,400City: 24 – 26 /Highway: 30 – 31
Jeep Compass7.3$29,995 – $35,745City: 24 /Highway: 32
GMC Terrain7.2$29,900 – $38,600City: 24 /Highway: 28 – 29
Dodge Hornet6.9$30,735 – $35,735City: 21 /Highway: 29
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross6.9$25,795 – $29,495City: 25 /Highway: 26 – 28

Source: cars.usnews.com, edmunds.com

Related: 14 Best & Worst Jeep Patriot Years (With Facts & Stats)

References

https://www.caranddriver.com/jeep/compass

https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/jeep/compass

https://www.edmunds.com/jeep/compass/

https://www.kbb.com/jeep/compass/

https://www.jdpower.com/cars/2023/jeep/compass

https://www.carcomplaints.com/Jeep/Compass/

https://www.carproblemzoo.com/jeep/compass/

https://www.cars.com/research/jeep-compass/recalls/

https://www.nhtsa.gov/

Author:

  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...

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