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2016 Jeep Compass Review

The 2016 Jeep Compass ranks at the very back of the compact SUV class. It can handle off-road travel better than most rivals, but it can’t compete in ride quality, interior refinement, crash safety, or reliability.

Pros & Cons


  • Modest off-road abilities
  • Underpowered engines
  • Short features list
  • Stiff, jittery ride quality
  • Cheap cabin materials




Critics' Rating: 5.3
Performance: 5.6
Interior: 6.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Jeep Compass Overview

Is the 2016 Jeep Compass a Good Used SUV?

The 2016 Compass is a poor choice if you’re shopping for a used compact SUV. The Compass has weak engine performance, a firm ride, cheap cabin materials, and few advanced safety features. It also rates poorly for crash safety and projected reliability. There are far better and more reliable options in this segment, including the 2016 Honda CR-V and 2016 Hyundai Tucson.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 34 Jeep Compass reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2016 Jeep Compass?

You can expect to pay between $12,400 and $18,900 for a used 2016 Compass. These figures are based on 2,700 listings for the 2016 Jeep Compass on our site. The average price is $15,200. Prices will vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 Jeep Compass Cost to Own?

The Compass’ ownership costs are slightly below average for the compact SUV class. Over five years, you can expect to pay around $22,200 on gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance. That’s about $4,400 per year. Still, the 2016 Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 have lower projected ownership costs of $20,800 and $21,300, respectively.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Compass?

The 2018 Compass starts at $20,995, making it the least expensive SUV in its class. Although it’s about $5,800 more than the average 2016 Compass, it’s still the better option. Jeep redesigned the Compass for 2017, and 2018 models offer better off-road performance, a higher-quality interior, a smoother ride, and more advanced safety features. New Jeeps also carry longer warranty coverage than the average used model, which may come in handy considering the 2018 model’s below-average reliability rating.

Read about the new Jeep Compass »

If you’re interested in a new car but don’t want to pay out for a 2018 Compass, you may want to consider the 2018 Jeep Renegade, which starts at $18,445. Like the new Compass, the Renegade has superior off-road ability, better cabin materials, and more refined driving dynamics than the 2016 Compass. On top of that, you may find deals that reduce the Renegade’s price even further.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Jeep Compass?

The Jeep Compass has a reliability score of just two out of five from J.D. Power. That’s the lowest rating possible.

Read more about Compass reliability »

2016 Jeep Compass Recalls

At the time of writing, there is one safety recall for the 2016 Compass. It covers a fault with the engine’s crankshaft and camshaft sensors, which could cause the vehicle to stall while driving or prevent it from starting. Before buying a used Compass, make sure this recall has been addressed.

See more information on Jeep Compass safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Jeep Compass Is Best?

The 2016 Compass was the last model of the SUV's second generation, which launched for the 2011 model year. Bluetooth and satellite radio were added as standard features in 2016, but the final three models of this generation are otherwise very similar. If you want to cut down your purchase price, consider a used 2014 or 2015 model. However, if you have room in your budget, you should go for the redesigned 2017 Compass. It outshines all of the second-generation models.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Compass »

Which Used Jeep Compass Model Is Right for Me?

The Jeep Compass comes in five trims: Sport, 75th Anniversary, SE, Latitude, and High Altitude. You’ll likely want to avoid the Jeep Compass Sport trim – it’s pretty bare-bones. Standard features include alloy wheels, cloth seats, air conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth, satellite radio, and a CD player.

Skipping to the Jeep Compass Latitude trim ensures you’ll have power windows and door locks, remote keyless entry, remote start, and heated front seats. These features were available for the Sport, 75th Anniversary, and SE models – but mainly as options. Go with the High Altitude trim if you want leather seats. Available features in a variety of trims include a rearview camera, a 6.5-inch touch screen, a navigation system, and a sunroof.

See 2016 Jeep Compass trims and specs »

What Does Jeep's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Jeep offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Jeep extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles. CPO vehicles also get a three-month/3,000-mile Maximum Coverage Care warranty. Additional benefits are available, including a 90-day SiriusXM satellite radio trial subscription, a CarFax vehicle history report, 24-hour towing and roadside assistance, and a car rental allowance. There are mileage and model restrictions, so read the Jeep warranty page carefully.

According to our analysis, Jeep has one of the worst CPO programs in the industry. Honda, Ford, Chevrolet, and Volkswagen all have better programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Compass?

The Jeep Compass has one of the lowest safety ratings in its class. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Compass just three out of five stars for its front crash test and four stars for rollover safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the SUV a score of Good, the highest offered, for its head restraints and seats, as well as side impact safety.

Jeep offers the Compass with an available rearview camera. Most vehicles in this class have more advanced features, like forward collision warning or blind spot monitoring.

See Compass safety scores »

2016 Jeep Compass Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Jeep Compass or 2016 Jeep Patriot?

The 2016 Jeep Patriot is closely related to the Compass. In fact, both compact SUVs share the same engine and transmission options. You’ll find similar interior space and a number of common drawbacks, like cheap cabin materials, a stiff ride quality, and a below-average reliability rating. Ultimately, you’re better off skipping both of these Jeeps and moving on to another SUV.

Which Is Better: 2016 Jeep Compass or 2016 Jeep Renegade?

The 2016 Jeep Renegade has questionable reliability, but beyond that, it’s a far better SUV than the Compass. The Renegade has a higher-quality interior, a smoother ride, superior off-road ability, similar cargo space, a better crash safety rating, and more advanced safety features, like forward collision warning.

Compare the Compass, Patriot, and Renegade »

2016 Compass Performance

How Does the 2016 Jeep Compass Drive?

The 2016 Compass has two engine options: a 158-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a 172-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder. A five-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive are standard. A continuously variable transmission (CVT), a six-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive are available.

Both engines feel underpowered and struggle to get the Compass up to speed – especially when paired with the lazy CVT or six-speed automatic. Steering feels numb and imprecise, and the Compass bounces and shimmies over rough pavement, resulting in a harsh ride. The Compass does show some promise off road when equipped with the Freedom Drive II package, which adds a low-range crawl ratio, skid plates, hill-descent control with brake assist, and an extra inch of ground clearance (for 9.1 inches total). Even so, it’s still outclassed on and off road by its smaller Jeep Renegade sibling.

Does the 2016 Jeep Compass Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Compass’ 2.0-liter engine gets an EPA-estimated 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, which is average by class standards. The 2.4-liter engine’s fuel economy ranges from a decent 23/28 mpg city/highway to a lowly 20/23 mpg when equipped with the Freedom Drive II package.

2016 Jeep Compass Towing Capacity

The Jeep Compass can tow up to 2,000 pounds when properly equipped.

Read more about Compass performance »

2016 Compass Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Compass Seat?

The Jeep Compass seats five. The front seats have supportive cushions, but taller drivers may have a hard time getting comfortable due to the limited seat height and steering wheel adjustments. The rear seats are fairly cozy and offer adequate headroom, but legroom is slim. Cloth upholstery is standard; heated and leather seats are available. The Compass’ cabin has a clean and modern look overall, but its many hard plastics can make it feel cheap.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Jeep Compass?

The Compass has two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child seats. The IIHS gave this system a rating of Acceptable – the second-highest score – for ease of use, but it noted that some of the lower anchors are hard to access.

2016 Jeep Compass Features

The Jeep also falls flat in terms of technology. Standard features are few and far between; they include air conditioning, Bluetooth, satellite radio, and a CD player. Even features like power windows and door locks are optional in most trims. The Jeep’s available 6.5-inch touch screen feels outdated and is somewhat distracting to use. Many competitors offer more updated systems with popular features like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. On the plus side, the climate and audio controls are operated with simple buttons and knobs. A pair of flip-down speakers are available for the cargo area as well, which comes in handy for tailgating.

See 2016 Jeep Compass specs »

Read more about Compass interior »

2016 Jeep Compass Dimensions

Jeep Compass Cargo Space

The Compass has 22.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats and 53.6 cubic feet with the seats folded. Most SUVs in this class offer considerably more cargo room.

2016 Compass Length and Weight

The Jeep Compass is 14.6 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,107 pounds to 3,354 pounds, depending on how the model is equipped.

Where Was the 2016 Jeep Compass Built?

The Jeep Compass was built in Illinois.

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