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$8,468 - $10,827
$19,295 - $26,045

Pros & Cons

  • Great fuel economy
  • Above-average off-road capabilities
  • Underpowered, loud engines
  • Few standard features
  • Small cargo hold




Critics' Rating: 6.9
Performance: 6.7
Interior: 6.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.3
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Jeep Compass Overview

The base 2012 Jeep Compass is powered by a four-cylinder engine, while a larger, more powerful four-cylinder engine is available. Reviewers said that regardless of which engine you choose, there are better performers in the class, noting the Compass' engine noise and dull acceleration. The base 2012 Compass gets an estimated 23/29 mpg city/highway, which is great for the class. When equipped with the larger engine, the Compass gets up to 23/28 mpg city/highway. Test drivers reported that the Compass feels moderately planted in turns, but isn't particularly nimble. The Jeep Compass is available with two four-wheel drive systems: Freedom Drive I and Freedom Drive II, which adds features like low-range gearing to improve its off-road abilities. Reviewers said the Compass is fairly capable off-road, but they noted that competitors like the 2012 Nissan Xterra are more adept when the pavement ends.

While some reviewers said the 2012 Compass' interior features materials that are appropriate for the class, others wrote that many competing compact SUVs have cabins that are nicer overall. Some reviewers noted that the five-seat Compass lacks rear-seat legroom and doesn't have the most comfortable front seats in the class, while others reported that it is difficult to find a comfortable driving position. The Compass has 53.6 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats down, which is small for the class. The Jeep Compass comes standard with an AM/FM/CD stereo, an auxiliary input and a removable LED flashlight. Optional features when it was new include navigation, a sunroof, satellite radio and fold-down liftgate speakers, which reviewers found to be a fun feature. They also appreciated the Compass’ clear gauges and straightforward audio and climate controls.

Other SUVs to Consider

The 2012 Jeep Wrangler comes standard with four-wheel drive, and reviewers agreed that it is exceptionally capable off-road. They also liked the Wrangler’s standard V6 engine, which produces plenty of power for highway passing.

The 2012 Kia Sportage comes with a good amount of standard features for the class, including Bluetooth and a USB port, and reviewers thought its interior is attractive. The Sportage also has a good safety score for the class, and test drivers were pleased with its zippy available turbocharged engine.

Compare the Compass, Wrangler and Sportage »

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