2008 Jeep Compass

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$3,496 - $4,718 $17,475 - $23,205

2008 Jeep Compass Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Jeep Compass was new.

The Compass offers car-like handling at an affordable price. However, it lacks the higher quality craftsmanship, sporty performance and off-road abilities of its competitors and falls in the bottom half of its large class.

6.5

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 6.4
Performance: 6.9
Interior: 6.0
Safety: 8.8
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Good front leg- and headroom
  • Low price relative to competitors
  • Good fuel economy
  • Road noise intrudes into the cabin
  • Sub-par craftsmanship and materials
  • Jeep style and off-road capabilities are absent
  • Small cargo capacity for its class

2008 Jeep Compass Overview

Since the 2008 Jeep Compass just made its debut in 2007, Jeep's first crossover vehicle gets only minor changes for this year. New for 2008 are a more upscale dashboard and a few extra standard features, as well as a recalibrated drivetrain. Most reviewers see the Compass as a decent daily driver for a very affordable price, but it lags behind its more refined competition due to a somewhat underpowered engine and cheap interior materials. Because the Compass is car-based (built on the same platform as the Dodge Caliber hatchback wagon), it lacks the off-road abilities Jeeps are known for -- a point that disappoints many. Consequently, the Washington Post calls it "the Jeep for people who don't want Jeeps." On the plus side, in comparison with its off-road sibling, the Jeep Patriot, the Compass' car-like underpinnings give it a smoother ride. Still, it ranks low when compared to other affordable crossovers.

One strong argument for considering the Compass is its fuel-efficiency.  Along with the Patriot, the Compass is one of Jeep's most efficient vehicles, and sits near the top of its class with a 23/28 mpg rating.

The Compass comes in two trims -- the base Sport and the Limited -- in either front-wheel or all-wheel drive.

  • "A decent, good-looking package for the price." -- Arizona Republic
  • "The name says Jeep, but the vibe says cheap. Forget about the Halls of Montezuma -- the Compass is about the malls of Petaluma, about boldly going where sweaty-necked road-paving crews have already tread." -- Car and Driver
  • "Buyers looking for a sport/utility with good road manners and exceptional fuel economy will find most everything they need in the Compass, but Jeep loyalists aren't likely to be happy about the brand equity given up for this new model." -- Motor Trend
  • "Compass is a marvelous, affordable package that's a lot more fun to drive and has a lot more utility and room than you expect. And it just happens to be a Jeep." -- USA Today
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