Should You Want A 2019 Jeep Compass In Your Life? (Spoiler Alert: No)

If you are shopping for a new Jeep and find the Renegade too small and the Cherokee or Grand Cherokee too big, and you don’t need a Wrangler or a Gladiator either, then you have but one option.

It’s the Compass, the American automaker’s compact SUV that goes against the likes of the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5 and Subaru Forester, and looks quite good, with styling influences coming from the Grand Cherokee. With a $22,095 MSRP, it’s also competitively priced. However, go for the Limited or High Altitude, spec it with a few options and you’ll see the price climb to almost $40,000.

Also Watch: New 2017 Jeep Compass Is Fun To Drive But It’s Not Flawless

Unfortunately, it’s all downhill from here on for the 2019 Compass, at least according to CNET’s Roadshow review that points out quite a few downsides.

For starters, the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, which puts out 180 HP and 175 lb-ft (237 Nm) of torque, makes it feel very slow, and the sluggish nine-speed automatic transmission doesn’t help its cause. You could compromise and choose the 6-speed manual instead, but you’ll still have to take a second, third and perhaps fourth look at the upcoming traffic before overtaking the vehicle in front.

With an underpowered engine under the hood and 9 speeds for highway cruising, you may think that you won’t have to stop for gas that often; however, that’s not the case. The EPA has rated the Compass’ average fuel economy at 25 mpg (9.4 l/100 km) combined, and in the real world, you’re looking at 23 mpg (10.2 l/100 km).

Unless you go for the Trailhawk variant, which comes at just under $30,000 before destination, you won’t be able to do any serious rock-climbing either. Ultimately, though, compact SUVs spend practically all of their life on tarmac, so what you really want is good on-road performance. Sadly for Jeep, this reviewer points out that there are better choices out there if you’re shopping for a compact SUV.


  • EyalN

    First time in 20 years that I see a bad review about car.
    Who didn’t pay who?
    180 hp doesn’t sound bad.
    Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5 and Subaru Forester are with less power

    • no25

      I love how people think performance is the only thing people look at when buying a car.

      • FordMopar

        Yea kinda important. Not talking about drag racing when traffic lights turn green but merging onto highway, passing slow truck trailers on two lanes roads, etc. I rather have that instead planning 3 mins ahead of time with weak engine!

      • Jay

        The performance is what stopped me from thinking about it but I’m not everyone.

    • Netsphere

      where did you get he numbers? toyota is at 203, honda 190, mazda 187, and subaru with 182. granded the difference is marginal but not less power. plus jeep is the heaviest of the cars you listed bu nearly 300lb explains the sluggishness and poor mpg. not talking crap about the jeep, but its genuinely outperformed.

    • :/ Yurr

      Actually the CX-5 has a 2.5T, Equinox and the Escape have 2.0 Turbos…so they have way more horsepower

  • FordMopar

    Compass is everywhere! I count one every 3 seconds on the roads. When they make and sell too many of these, it gets quite boring to look at. Who cares about the high MSRP…. They are practically giving leases away at dealers for under 250/month. My FIL leased a 2019 model months ago, High Altitude trim, for 300/mth…

  • thejohnnycanuck

    “You could compromise and choose the 6-speed manual instead…”

    Compromise? If the gear box is anywhere near as good as the 5spd in my ’15 Patriot Sport I’d hardly call it a compromise. And although the Patriot is a couple hundred pounds lighter with roughly the same engine output (I believe the only significant difference being MultiAir) it certainly isn’t underpowered.

    Then again most of us know that a good manual transmission can cover for any number of other sins. Except apparently for whomever wrote this article…

  • Six Thousand Times

    Same crap engine, same crap transmission. Khrysler Kwality.

    • Hot Twink

      Not really Chrysler’s fault. The Chrysler Group is no more, having been bought out by Fiat.

      Fiat owns Jeep now, hince why the vast majority of new Jeeps (the Compass being one of them) are based and built on Fiat platforms (chassis) and use Fiat parts and components.

      The Compass isn’t built in the USA, and is based on the stretched Fiat Short-Wide platform.

      • Six Thousand Times

        Nope, the 2.4 engine and the 9-speed transmission are both good ol’ Pentastar Krap.

        • Hot Twink

          The engine is updated with Fiat technology. The 9-speed was designed and developed by ZF.

          • Six Thousand Times

            You may try to defend America’s crappiest automaker all you like or try to shift the blame as much as you like but Chrysler products have been garbage since at least the 1970s.

          • Hot Twink

            I’m not defending them. I could care less about Fiat. But facts are facts. “Chrysler” as you know it, does not exist anymore, partly because it had such problems. Fiat runs the show now. So any quality problems rest on them and the decisions they make.

  • Ryan Romero

    I agree with this article 100%. I have a 2019 Compass as my company car. It had to be towed to the shop 3X before 10,000 miles for grounding issues. The power is lackluster and the transmission feels like it gets confused as to which gear it should be in. Then a hard shift out of nowhere sometimes. The fuel economy is about 21mpg and most of my miles are on the highway, which is terrible for the size vehicle it is. The 4wd is great for standing water in the road at best. I’ll be surprised if it makes it to 100,000 miles.

  • Bash

    I hardly see one anyway. And those few who owns one, don’t seems to like it. So i agree with the article.

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