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2018 Jeep Compass Review

The 2018 Jeep Compass is a better off-roader than most rivals, but its on-road demeanor and interior quality both lag behind many other small crossovers. That's why the Compass finishes near the bottom of our compact SUV rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Good value for an off-road SUV
  • Below average predicted reliability rating
  • Subpar cargo capacity
  • Lethargic engine

Rankings & Research

The 2018 Jeep Compass's #14 ranking is based on its score within the 2018 Affordable Compact SUVs category. Currently the Jeep Compass has a score of 7.5 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 24 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 7.9
Performance: 7.2
Interior: 7.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.8
Safety: 9.2
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Jeep Compass Overview

Is the 2018 Jeep Compass a Good Used SUV?

The Compass isn't a good used compact SUV to use as a daily vehicle. Though it boasts impressive off-road ability, you're better off opting for any one of several class rivals that have more engaging driving dynamics, nicer cabins, and larger cargo bays.

The 2018 Compass has a few strengths:

  • Much better off-road ability than most other compact SUVs
  • Responsive, user-friendly infotainment systems
  • Ample legroom in both rows of seats
  • Many available driver assistance features
  • Versatile cargo area with an even load floor and fold-flat passenger seat

But it also has some notable weaknesses:

  • Below-average predicted reliability rating
  • Subpar cargo capacity for the class
  • Lethargic acceleration
  • Handling isn’t particularly good
Why You Can Trust Us

Our Jeep Compass review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from 28 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety features, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, we never accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2018 Jeep Compass?

Based on listings for the 2018 Jeep Compass on our site, the average list price is $21,800, which is low for the class. Prices range from $18,100 to $25,000 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Jeep Compass Cost to Own?

The 2018 Compass’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be around $23,135, or $4,627 per year. That’s about average for a compact SUV.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Compass?

The 2019 Compass is nearly identical to the 2018 model. The only notable change is that the 2019 comes standard with a 7-inch touch screen instead of a 5-inch display. Pricing for the 2019 model starts at $21,845, and its top trim starts at $30,190.

Read about the new Jeep Compass »

Jeep redesigned the Compass for the 2017 model year. We covered the 2019 above, and the 2018 sees no notable changes, making it essentially the same as the 2017 Compass. With that in mind, you can likely save thousands of dollars by shopping for an older used model.

You could even go back prior to the redesign, but you'll miss out on noteworthy updates, such as a reworked interior, improved off-road ability, more modern and intuitive features like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and engines with more horsepower.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Compass »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Jeep Compass?

The Jeep Compass has a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Compass reliability »

2018 Jeep Compass Recalls

At the time of writing, there are six safety recalls for the 2018 Compass:

  • Voltage regulator may fail
  • Insufficient coating on rear brake caliper pistons
  • Lower control arm may separate
  • Passenger air bag assembly may contain loose nuts
  • Instrument brightness not adjustable
  • Oil pump may fail

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Jeep Compass safety recalls »

Which Used Jeep Compass Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Jeep Compass comes in five trims: Sport, Latitude, Altitude, Limited, and Trailhawk. Front-wheel drive is standard, and there are two available four-wheel-drive systems. All model except the Trailhawk can be outfitted with Jeep Active Drive. The Trailhawk comes with Jeep Active Drive Low, which adds a low crawling gear.

If you want four-wheel drive, skip the base trim and start with the Latitude 4X4. It has upgraded interior materials, a proximity key, and an automatic transmission. For the most luxurious ride, you want the Compass Limited, which comes with upgrades like leather upholstery, heated front seats, and the most advanced infotainment system.

  • Jeep Compass Sport: The base Compass Sport comes standard with front-wheel drive, a six-speed manual transmission, push-button start, cloth seats, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, and air conditioning. Its Uconnect infotainment system features a 5-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, two USB ports, six speakers, and a rearview camera.
  • Jeep Compass Latitude: The Latitude comes with a six-speed automatic transmission, cloth and vinyl-trimmed seats, a leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, and proximity keyless entry.
  • Jeep Compass Limited: The Limited has an upgraded infotainment system with an 8.4-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and satellite radio. It also comes with leather upholstery, heated and power-adjustable front seats, a heated steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 115-volt household-style outlet, remote start, and an automatic transmission.
  • Jeep Compass Trailhawk: The Trailhawk's Trail-Rated designation signifies the addition of the Jeep Active Drive Low four-wheel-drive system (which includes low range), an off-road suspension system, all-season on/off-road tires, skid plates, two tow hooks, and special badging. This edition also comes with a nine-speed automatic transmission and the upgraded Uconnect system.

See 2018 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 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2018 Compass the highest rating of Good in six crash tests. Properly equipped models received the top score of Superior for frontal crash prevention. Certain trims with upgraded headlights received the second-lowest rating of Marginal for how well the headlights illuminate the road ahead, while all other Compasses got a Poor rating.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Compass an overall rating of four out of five stars. It earned five in the side crash test, four stars in the frontal crash test, and three in the rollover evaluation.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • automatic high beams
  • rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • blind spot monitoring
  • rear cross traffic alert
  • forward collision warning
  • automatic emergency braking
  • lane departure warning
  • lane keep assist
  • rear parking sensors

See Compass safety scores »

2018 Jeep Compass Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Jeep Compass or 2018 Honda CR-V?

The 2018 Honda CR-V has one of the nicest interiors in the class, and it has much more cargo space than the Compass. While neither SUV has a potent base engine, the CR-V offers a powerful turbocharged engine option for those who want more zest. Further, the CR-V provides a composed ride, and it has a better predicted reliability rating. Unless off-roading is your main priority, pick the CR-V over the Compass.

Which Is Better: 2018 Jeep Compass or 2018 Ford Escape?

The 2018 Ford Escape is one of the most fun-to-drive SUVs in the class. It has lively handling and two turbocharged engines options that provide a lot of pep. Additionally, it has an upscale interior with user-friendly infotainment features and above-average cargo space.

Compare the Compass, CR-V, and Escape »

2018 Compass Performance

How Does the 2018 Jeep Compass Drive?

The Compass is an SUV for the patient driver. Its engine delivers adequate power but is in no hurry to accelerate. The ride is fairly smooth, but on-road handling is limited by the Compass' vague steering and noticeable body lean.

Off-road, however, the Compass easily outmatches almost all of its classmates. The available Jeep Active Drive system is great for driving in bad weather and doing some mild off-roading.

The Trailhawk trim is a particularly capable SUV in the class. It comes with Jeep Active Drive Low, which includes a lower crawling gear, and a number of off-road features. Other treats added to the Compass Trailhawk include an off-road suspension system, all-season on/off-road tires, a Rock driving mode, and hill descent control.

  • Base engine: 180-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder
  • Drivetrain: standard front-wheel drive; available Jeep Active Drive; available Jeep Active Drive Low (Trailhawk only)  
  • Transmission: standard six-speed manual; available six-speed automatic (FWD models); available nine-speed automatic (4WD models)
Does the 2018 Jeep Compass Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Compass has typical fuel economy ratings for a compact SUV.

  • With manual, FWD: 23/32 mpg city/highway
  • With manual, 4WD: 22/31 mpg city/highway
  • With automatic, FWD: 22/31 mpg
  • With automatic, 4WD: 22/30 mpg
2018 Jeep Compass Towing Capacity

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

Read more about Compass performance »

2018 Compass Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 Compass Seat?

The 2018 Compass seats five people in two rows. The front seats are supportive – perhaps too much so, as some reviewers say the cushions are too firm. There's plenty of legroom in both rows, but the rear seats don't offer as much headroom as the front, especially in models with a sunroof.

Standard seating features:

  • cloth upholstery
  • six-way manually adjustable front seats

Available seating features:

  • cloth and vinyl upholstery
  • leather upholstery
  • power-adjustable front seats
  • heated front seats
  • heated steering wheel
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Jeep Compass?

The 2018 Compass has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and an upper tether anchor on the rear middle seat. The system received the lowest rating of Poor for ease of use from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety because the lower anchors are set too deep in the seats and require a lot of force when attaching car seat straps.

2018 Jeep Compass Features

The Compass' Uconnect infotainment system works great. It's responsive and intuitive, making it more user-friendly than many competitors' systems. The upgraded systems are even better with their larger touch screens, which have sharp graphics and a customizable home screen.

  • Standard infotainment features: the Uconnect system with a 5-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, two USB ports (including one in the second row), and six speakers
  • Available infotainment features: a 7- or 8.4-inch infotainment touch screen, navigation, a nine-speaker Beats premium audio system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, and HD Radio
  • Additional standard features: push-button start and air conditioning
  • Other available features: a dual-pane sunroof, proximity keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 115-volt household-style outlet, a power liftgate, and remote start

See 2018 Jeep Compass specs »

Read more about Compass interior »

2018 Jeep Compass Dimensions

Jeep Compass Cargo Space

The Compass provides less cargo room behind the rear seats than many other compact SUVs. You get 27.2 cubic feet of space with the rear seats up and 59.8 cubic feet with them folded. Though the space isn't huge, it is useful. The second-row seats fold nearly flat to give you an even cargo floor, and the front passenger seat folds down as well, opening up the space needed to haul long items.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Jeep Compass Length and Weight
  • Length: 14 feet, 5 inches
  • Curb weight: 3,184 to 3,633 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Jeep Compass Built?

Jeep built the Compass in Mexico.

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