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2018 Jeep Compass Pros vs Cons

Why Buy a 2018 Jeep Compass?

Are You Considering a 2018 Jeep Compass? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

The Jeep Compass is an interesting design that has taken a while to find its own particular niche. The Jeep lineup does not map well to the standard compact-midsize-fullsize split, and the Compass slots in between the subcompact Renegade and the mid-size Cherokee. With last year’s redesign, the Compass has placed itself solidly in the compact class, offering a unique combination of utility and off-road prowess. Buyers who are after an inexpensive SUV with excellent off-road chops will appreciate taking a look at the 2018 Jeep Compass.

What’s New for 2018?

The Jeep Compass was fully redesigned for the 2017 model year, which became the first year of the car’s second generation. Given that full change, there are no new additions or changes for the 2018 model year. The 2017 Jeep Compass and the 2018 Jeep Compass are effectively identical.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2018 Jeep Compass – The Pros

1. Iconic Exterior Design

One problem that the first generation of the Jeep Compass suffered was that it did not look a lot like a Jeep. The new design changes that, and the 2018 Jeep Compass is instantly recognizable thanks to a variation on the seven-slot grille and the raised bumper. It also has an aggressive stance and prominent cladding that hint at its off-roading spirit, giving it that nice Jeep feel.

2. Nice Cabin Materials

Thanks to how nice the cabin of the 2018 Jeep Compass is, it is often referred to as a scaled-down Grand Cherokee. Indeed, many of the materials found inside the Compass are similar or the same as its larger upscale sibling, and the design is roughly the same as well. Drivers who like how the Grand Cherokee looks and feels should like the Compass just as much.

3. Good Infotainment

Chrysler’s Uconnect infotainment system is one of the top crowd favorites when it comes to effectiveness and ease of use. It is available or standard on almost all models of the 2018 Jeep Compass, adding some much-needed connectivity options to this vehicle. If you are tired of fighting with your car’s infotainment system, the Uconnect system on the Compass may be just the change you need.

4. Versatile Storage

While not nearly as modular in its setup as the Jeep Wrangler, the Jeep Compass can easily be switched around to accommodate large cargoes. Its rear seats easily fold down, forming a flat cargo floor, and the front seat can also be folded in to accommodate especially long cargoes. A hidden compartment under the cargo floor provides some extra space as well.

5. Generous Legroom

For a compact crossover, the 2018 Jeep Compass offers a lot of leg space for both the driver and the passengers. The comparison to the competition is especially clear in the second row, where tall adults will find not only ample legroom, but a good amount of headroom as well.

6. Comfortable Ride

Thanks to its independent suspension, the 2018 Jeep Compass does an excellent job of absorbing all kinds of road hazards and imperfections, leaving the passengers feeling none of them. Combined with the excellent passenger space it offers, that makes the Compass a surprising contender when it comes to the most comfortable ride in the compact SUV segment.

7. Good Handling

The Jeep Compass, like all Jeeps, is fundamentally an off-road vehicle, and it has the great handling to match that. The steering offers good feedback and the suspension keeps the car composed through turns and bumps alike. The off-road specialized Trailhawk trim pushes that even further, with a tighter suspension and excellent dynamics.

8. Available Manual Transmission

Manual transmissions are few and far between in the compact SUV class, so it is a treat to see it on the specification sheet for the 2018 Jeep Compass. The six-speed version available shifts crisply and adds a degree of manual control to this sporty vehicle. If a manual transmission is either a nice-to-have or a must-have feature, the Compass is one of the few vehicles to make that happen.

9. Off-Road Performance

Like all Jeeps, the Compass is most in its element when it leaves the pavement behind. Standard models offer a little over seven inches of ground clearance, and the Trailhawk offers 8.4 thanks to its retuned suspension. That model also adds extra features to the automatic transmission, such as an ultra low-range setting. Even without the extra equipment offered by the Trailhawk, however, the Compass is one of the best subcompacts in its class.

10. Good Value

The Jeep Compass starts at a much lower price point than most rivals, and continues to offer excellent value throughout its lineup. For the money, it offers both a nicer interior and better features, not to mention better off-road performance, than many rivals. Value-conscious shoppers will definitely appreciate how much they can get with the Compass.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2018 Jeep Compass – The Cons

1. Weak Engine

The Jeep Compass may offer a good set of transmissions and good driving dynamics, but its sole engine options feels like it can’t back those promises up. At only 180 horsepower, it feels underpowered compared to many rivals.

2. Below-average Cargo Space

The cargo compartment on the new Compass is on the smaller end of the class. More performance-oriented drivers won’t mind, but most compact crossover shoppers may choose a more versatile vehicle instead.

3. Missing Some Features

Some features that one would expect to find on a modern compact crossover are conspicuously absent from the 2018 Compass. While its safety suite includes a forward collision warning with automated emergency braking, for example, it lacks an adaptive cruise control feature to go with it.

How It Stacks up to the Competition

The 2018 Jeep Compass goes up against other compact crossovers, including popular choices like the Ford Escape and the Honda CR-V. The Escape sets the bar for compact crossover performance, with excellent handling and powerful engines, but it lacks the Jeep’s off-road abilities. The CR-V is spacious and is capable of some light off-roading, though it lacks a dedicated trim line like the Compass Trailhawk. However, it is significantly more expensive than the Jeep Compass.


The 2018 Jeep Compass is a compelling compact SUV for drivers who want versatility and a fun driving experience combined with the ability to go off-road without paying a premium or purchasing multiple vehicles. It may fall short of some rivals in some metrics, but the value it gets from its excellent off-road performance, high interior quality and low price point easily keep it in the running for your next compact crossover SUV purchase.

Previous Jeep Compass Buying Guides:

Why buy a 2017 Jeep Compass? w/ pros vs cons