By on December 19, 2008

Walking up to the Jeep dealership, I nearly bumped into the Compass, idling in the gloom. Before I could assimilate its sheetmetal’s unintentional humor, Mike emerged from the fishbowl. His leather coat and tie were almost as dour as his face. My hand disappeared in his meaty paw as he greeted me with two words: “Take it.” My arched eyebrow worked its usual magic. “No really,” Mike insisted. “It’s got half a tank of gas. Take it for a long drive.” I waited for “and never come back.” No such luck. I mean, it would be lucky wouldn’t it? A free vehicle? I’d never driven a Compass. How bad could it be?

The Compass looks a fright. I have no idea of the designer’s remit. I assume it was something along the lines of “shrink a Cherokee, clad it like a Pontiac (clad it like it’s hot, clad it like its hot) and throw in some Audi Quattro cues. And cover up that rear window with some duct tape until we can call the supplier.” The result puts the patsy in pastiche.

The Compass’ interior is brought to you by ChryCo’s one-size-fits-all parts bin, assembled by workers who couldn’t care less if they were paid not to (as if). That said, I’m a big fan of minimalism– even it owes its existence to the kind of corporate cost-cutting that would fill Santa’s sack with coal. To my mind a Jeep– especially a cheap Jeep– has no business being fussy. Unfortunately, the design’s simplicity is assembled using the latest advances in paper-mâché plastics. The fake rivets on the fake aluminum piece on top of the almost dash-mounted autobox knob tells you all you need to know about that.

Once underway, the Compass’ central locking system emits an almighty KA-CHUNK. Having almost ripped off the graunching door on the way in (29k on the odometer), it was a reassuringly solid sound– that quickly revealed itself as something more sinister. I was trapped inside a cacophony of cheap. Incessant tire roar eliminated any idea that Jeep had traded off-road expertise for refinement. Turning onto a country road, the bouncing and jouncing suspension issued a series of muffled reports that sounded like a distant Civil War reenactment, and felt like a drug store shiatsu pad.

Our William C. Montgomery complained that the Compass’ 2.4-liter 172hp four-cylinder “world engine” didn’t have enough grunt to motivate the porky Jeeplet. My CVT-equipped model seemed fast enough for government work. If you use it to deliver mail in a gated suburb, you’re good to go. Despite the salesman’s implications, I felt no compulsion whatsoever to drive the Compass like I stole it. As the French would say (after a Gallic shrug) ca marche. And driving the Compass slowly brings you closer to optimal comfort (i.e. parked). If the Compass was a fuel-efficient vehicle, I’d cut it some slack. Jeep claims the non-Trail Rated four-seater’s 23/27 EPA numbers make it best in class. What class would that be? Detention?

Buying a Jeep for on-road handling is like downloading porn to savor the cinematography. That said, the Compass doesn’t roll excessively through the corners. If you’re pushing the vehicle beyond its safe, predictable limits, one way or another, you’re headed to the emergency room. On the other hand, the Compass’ four-wheel disc brakes are the exact opposite of my brother’s first wife: aggressive – passive. After a ferocious initial bite, they’re worryingly squidgy and vague. If a car is only as good as its brakes, d-i-v-o-r-c-e.

OK, off-road. Are you kidding? No? Setting aside Mike’s formidable size and the lingering scent of eau de desperation… no problem. Up, down and around. Bit of mud, some rocks. Fine. Obviously, we’re not talking about “real” off-roading. Just messing around in some fields and dirt tracks like you would with an old Toyota Corolla. Flooring it when you’re in danger of bogging down. Laughing like Hell if you are.

And here’s where fans of the Jeep brand get their rock-crawling knickers in a twist. A “real” Jeep is supposed to leap tall boundings in a single build. Goldly Bo where no Derrick has gone before. Brand zealot that I am, I couldn’t agree more. But I can agree less. The real problem with the Compass: it’s a thoroughly miserable car: noisy, slow, uncomfortable, inefficient and cheaply made, with A pillars large enough to support the colossus of roads.

I have no idea why anyone would choose a Compass over any number of similarly-priced new or used cars, SUVs or CUVs. Anyone doesn’t. When faced with a Compass, even Jeep snobs don”t lose their bearings. In fact, you’d have to have lost your marbles to buy one.

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47 Comments on “Review: (2007) Jeep Compass Take Two...”

  • avatar

    The legend says that DCX marketing group tested this vehicle alongside the Patriot. Asking the group to choose which design they preferred, the answer was both (conversely neither?).

    Thus, in the long tradition on bone-headed marketing moves based on focus group research (as opposed to knowing your brand, your target and your mission) we now have this piglet along with the more Jeep-esque Patriot (and if you are a multi-line dealer, the Caliber).

    I like the looks of the Patriot, and it acts the part of a Jeep. I can only wonder how much better it would have been if DCX (it was DCX at the time) had focused their development dollars on one vehicle as opposed to two because if you think about it, the basic premise of a (reasonably) efficient, affordable 4×4/AWD unit is a good idea in this day and age.

  • avatar

    Rented one for a week in New Mexico this summer to haul two people with gear and mountain bikes. Felt cheap, sounded cheap, but it is cheap as nobody would pay sticker. Interior was functional with flexible loading and storage spaces and bins everywhere. Ran it up to 11,000′ on the winding road to the ski basin a few times and never felt that, for the mission for which this car was designed, that the handling was that bad or the car was that underpowered. Ok, I hate the CVT but it seemed better than the CVT in the Murano, which feels much more top heavy than this car. Brakes were fine on my rental and having owned American cars, I am well versed in spongy brakes.

    Although a cheap car to haul crap with the occasional delicate use on a dirt road, I agree with the last paragraph that there are many others in this price range that would deserve a look. Many others.

  • avatar

    Rating? Does the XC70 have one yet?

  • avatar

    I sent RF my ratings for the XC70. Not sure if he posted them.

    On the Compass–for once I must say RF does not exaggerate. But I haven’t checked out the 2009. Supposedly they upgraded the interior.

    On the reliability front, the Compass and Patriot have been about average in TrueDelta’s survey results. Will they start falling apart once the warranty has expired? We’ll start finding out in about a year.

  • avatar

    Buying a Jeep for on-road handling is like downloading porn to savor the cinematography.

    Best. Simile. Ever.

  • avatar

    The 2009 Patriot/Compass update brought a new interior, a suspension retuning, and fuel economy upgrades on select drivetrains (I think just 5-spd/2.4L 4X4 and 4X2.

    Out of all of the MK models, there’s only two I’d consider

    -Patriot w/FD2 (the Trail Rated one)
    -Patriot with manual and 4×4 (best gas mileage of any non-hybrid 4×4)

    And both of those would have to be 2009 and beyond.

    Other than that? Meh.

  • avatar

    Thanks for that info, CommanderFish.

    I definitely liked the concept of the Compass / Patriot when they were first introduced. The type of 4WD system I need, good fuel economy, and dirt cheap sticker. I also like the layout, with fold flat seats, reclining rear seats, etc. Plus, I have some affection for the brand, since I own a 98 Wrangler that has been a good (if thirsty) vehicle. However, I could never get past the sheet metal on the Compass, nor the interior on either the Compass or Patriot.

    I’ll be interested to see how much the Patriot’s interior has been improved. That is, if Chrysler actually fires up an assembly plant again and builds some….

  • avatar

    I would love to see a TTAC review of the Patriot.
    Excerpts from Allpar’s review of the 2009 Patriot with the upgraded interior:

    The new owners of Chrysler immediately got to work on the Patriot, which has failed to live up to expectations; a vehicle like this, with the Jeep brand behind it, really should be selling at double the current volume. They added sound insulation, restyled the interior as much as they could given the time and money they had, retuned the CVT, and tossed the Patriot back out into the marketplace, presumably with crossed fingers. The result is a much more attractive package which still has some inherent flaws, but also many advantages.

    The Patriot is styled like the old Cherokee, and is almost exactly the same size (with a lower roof but equally good headroom); but the Patriot is quieter, safer, and gets better gas mileage, at the cost of torque and the approach angle. As for long-term durability and abusability, the jury is still out, but other testers have beaten their Patriots on rough trails without finding obvious weak spots.

    Inside, the Patriot is no longer cheap-looking, at least up front. Silver and chrome surfaces break up the plastic surfaces even on the base (Sport) models; the 4WD button and shifter tops are bright chrome. The Limited’s gray interior has dark uppers and light lowers, with the cloth seats boasting a patterned inner surface and solid outer surface that matches the lighter gray of the doors well, and optional, classy two-toned leather seats.

    Controls are where you’d expect them, and are easy to use; the climate controls are convenient and easy to figure out (though without the upscale feel of the new Dodge controls), with knobs for fan, temperature, and vent selection, and buttons for a/c, recirculation, and rear defroster.

    For 2009, everything is in the same place, but the original 2008 “chunky” styling has been deleted with a more conventional rounded touch, except on the doors. Controls generally have a high quality feel, as do doors and the gate.

    The stereo on our first test car was conventional and easy to use; the sound was good and we recommend against getting the optional Boston Acoustics speaker package with its overactive subwoofer.

    The interior has an airy feel, thanks to big, well-placed windows; the windshield is far enough from the driver to make the Patriot seem roomier than it is. The Patriot is compact in exterior size, but not having to jam a six cylinder engine under the hood allows for more cargo and passenger space; the squarish shape also helps. Curves are great for looks, but they don’t do much for interior space, which is why the PT Cruiser is so sensible and the New Beetle isn’t. The Patriot also feels solid, but it’s heavy in reality as well, so that’s not as much of an achievement.

    There’s decent room in the back, but the rear seats were uncomfortable, with children and adults both critical of them; between unusual firmness and unusual contours, and a vague feeling that the car was out of control (similar to the back seat of the prior RAV4), the back seat was not the happiest place to be, at least while the Jeep was moving. Rear legroom is sufficient but not generous; the Patriot sacrificed some back-seat room for the cargo bay.

    Chrysler has made numerous improvements to the CVT (though the stick-shift still feels better). The CVT-equipped Patriot no longer feels sluggish, and is peppy around town. Highway-ramp sprints are not thrilling, but they are better than before and more than adequate. The transmission is generally quicker and more responsive; one could mistake it for an automatic until pushing the throttle down. That’s when the real advantage of the CVT comes into play.

    Gas mileage was no great shakes in our test car, which was rated at 20 mpg city, 22 highway — better than a Wrangler (15/19 with automatic), but not what some drivers might expect. To be fair, without the advanced four wheel drive system, which presumably limits gear ratios and adds weight, the 4×4 Patriot shoots up to 21 city, 24 highway. Shift your own gears alters the equation to an enviable 23 city, 28 highway (again with four wheel drive, but not the off-road-oriented low gear and other features).

    Crash testing showed that the little Patriot was designed with safety in mind: it achieved five stars on side crash tests, five stars for the passenger and four for the driver in frontal tests, and four stars for risk of rollover. 66% of the Patriot came from the United States and Canada, 19% from Mexico; it was assembled in Belvidere, Illinois, with an American engine and Mexican transmission (designed by Nissan’s JATCO).

  • avatar

    Did you mean “Colossus of Rhodes,” or was “roads” a bad pun?

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Oh. You meant “Take two”, as in “a second look.”

    For a moment, I thought Jeep was having an inventory liquidation sale, and were giving away a free Compass, with every full price compass bought….

    I guess that’ll be next week.

  • avatar

    I’ve rented a Compass and a Sebring before, and the Sebring is practically a Lexus in comparison to the Compass.

  • avatar

    I really want to like the Patriot. I like the look, I don’t mind the crappy interior for this type of car (I drive a T&C and a Saturn). The only thing I think is stupid is the name. It should just be called the Cherokee. The name Patriot reminds me of the Patriot act, all the post-9/11 semi-orgasmic flag waving, and the fact that I cannot go to a ball game without hearing “God bless effing America.” That makes me want to vomit more than the interior of this car.

    I think a Jeep is the only “safe” Chrysler you can buy these days, and by safe I mean it may retain at least some residual when it’s paid off and be backed by the full manufacturer warranty, just becuse Jeep still has just enough brand equity left to be bought up by somebody viable, despite Cerberus’ worst intentions. I looked at thenm breifly, and got confused at the transmission options. Until I read it above I did not know there was a stick/4×4 option. But every time I drive by the unctuous Chry/Dodge/Jeep dealer I shiver and remember the Forester was just redone.

  • avatar

    Hello, I’m a Jeep guy. To retire an ’06 Wrangler as a daily driver so that I can build it up for weekend wheeling (a lift and big tires to drive over Spring flowers and where small animals live… wink wink), I went looking for a new small car with better then average MPG for just driving to and from work.

    I did test drive a manual ’08 Compass. The front of the car is ugly, but as the salesman said, “You’ll only see it when walking up to it.” LOL

    I didn’t think the interior was all that bad. I’m sure that you could splash it with mud and wash it out with a hose like a Wrangler, which may have been what they were thinking? But then who takes any car through a mud pit, let alone really off-road? When I first heard of the Compass I asked myself why would Jeep even build a car, and that DCC should have left building cars to the Chrysler or Dodge brand.

    Well the manual Compass drove okay and being a manual it had more power then I am sure an auto had.

    My overall opinion of it was that it was a cheap, no frills, basic UAW built car that you didn’t think the Big 2.8 actually made anymore as hopefully they learned their lesson from previous such cars that just gave them a bad name.

    For those that actually have bought a Compass, it’s something that they won’t cry over when they total it.

    Oh and what did I buy? A Honda Civic Coupe with a five-speed. Now how could I justify anything else for just a nice, small car?

  • avatar

    Chrysler had a ride and drive event in my town about 3 years ago, and you could test drive all of their cars (except the Viper) as well as their competitors vehicles at the event. They had GM, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, VW, etc… on had to drive that day. I was like a kid in a candy-store!

    Until I drove the then brand new Jeep Compass/Dodge Caliber. The Compass was equipped with a CVT (not sure about awd), and was easily one of the slowest, loudest cars I have ever driven in my life. A 5 year old Hyundai Accent with an automatic transmission is a faster car. I remember my grandmothers 1986 Buick Skylark with the Iron Duke 4 cylinder being quieter. And the interior is so cheap looking with the brittle plastic. The flimsy HVAC vents are what really make it seem cheap to me.

  • avatar

    schadenfred :
    December 19th, 2008 at 11:54 am

    …I cannot go to a ball game without hearing “God bless effing America.” That makes me want to vomit more than the interior of this car.

    Wow, you must be so proud.

    I’ll be sure to sing along next time just incase you are sitting beside me.

  • avatar

    This is a little off subject but I went into a large Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealer yesterday (3000 new Chrysler LLC cars on the lot) to check out the Challenger. There were about 10 salesmen milling around the sales floor with nothing to do. The salesman that approached me was nice, he showed me to an SRT8 Challenger in the showroom, we chatted a little bit and I told him that I was interested but not ready to buy. He pointed outside to where about 20 Challengers were parked and said that I was welcome to check them out. I got into a SE model and could not believe my eyes. The dashboard had a chalkiness that would rub off where you touched it. This particular one had about 72 miles on it and the window sticker was on the dashboard and where had been thrown showed indications of it having been there. I absolutely couldn’t believe it! As I looked at all of them they all looked like that. It looked like they were 30 years old and dying for some armorall… I dont think thats the kind of retro they were going for.
    When I came back in he said that they just sold two Challengers that afternoon and they were in a covered car port where the new owners take delivery. We walked out together to check them out, one was an SRT8 and one was a Red SE. As we were looking at it the new owners of the SE came out. It was a couple, the man had a huge afro, sideburns, five or six large gold chains, and was wearing a tracksuit. The woman, for whom it was aparent the car was bought for, and was about 20 years younger, had this one piece jumpsuit on, boobs hanging out, and very un-natural blonde straight hair. They were both excited and she was yelling at him not to get his fingerprints on the car. It was an awesome sight to behold, at that moment, the newest Chrysler-car buyers in the world. As I was driving away from the dealership I wished I had snapped a photo of the scene on my iPhone to send to RF.

  • avatar

    I recently ‘upgraded’ into a rental Patriot in So Cal – moved up from the unexpected PT Cruiser which I just couldn’t bring myself to take (do a red nose and floppy shoes come with that?). The Patriot was a pretty bare-bones model – white, AT, PS and that was about it. It handled badly, had trouble going up minor grades (and this was on the I-5), and made horrible snapping/clunking noises when cornering in slow, city driving. So, if it was designed for street driving they don’t have a clue.

    Best that could be said about it was that it held all of our stuff, and the interior looked like it would be easy to clean after a couple of days at the beach.

  • avatar

    Every time I see one of these on the road, and it is not that often, I cant believe how ugly it is. Keep in mind that cars can look almost any way we want them to, and somebody chose this. My guess is that person was a huge fan of the Nash Metropolitan.

  • avatar

    “Wow, you must be so proud.”

    Woody Guthrie once sang, “Is this land still made for you and me?” I believe, sadly, no, it isn’t.

  • avatar

    CSJohnston mentioned the “legend” of DCX’s focus group research on the Compass and Patriot. They are in fact true as I was a participant and (at least on the panel I was on) the preferences were pretty much based on gender. The female panelists voted Compass even though most didn’t even realize they were looking at a prototype “Jeep”. I gave a lukewarm thumbs-up for the “Patriot” although when pressed I said I preferred the Liberty over both.

  • avatar

    ok ok, I will give my two cents. So I am in Metro Detroit right now and my brother has a Compass. The interior is bland and plain. The design is ugly, but the build isn’t all that bad. The power is sufficient and it gets good mpg.

    However, we just got about 10 inches of snow dumped on us here in SE Michigan. The Compass handled VERY well in the snow. I passed by a stuck Subaru wagon as well as a few other front-wheel drive vehicles. The Compass may not be an off-road vehicle but handles awesome in the snow.

  • avatar

    The female panelists voted Compass even though most didn’t even realize they were looking at a prototype “Jeep”

    That tells me all I need to know about those marketing panels.

    If one of my uncles came up to me and told me they had an offer for a free or discount Chrysler but didn’t need a car, and said I could use the discount (might as well) I would only have one vehicle in mind, and that would be the Jeep Patriot.

    I would not drive a Compass if you gave it to me and paid me to drive it.

    It is absolutely abhorrent. But I remember checking out a Patriot and thought it was OK. By far the nicest looking vehicle in the entire Chrysler lot with gas prices like they are.

  • avatar

    Mr. Farago, you certainly haven’t lost your touch. But next time, perhaps you could pick on someone your own size?

    I mean really, beating up on a two year old Jeep Compass, the poster boy for TTAC’s annual ten worst list is like… is like… well you’re the simile guy, but it’s hardly cricket, is it?

  • avatar

    They didn’t have an ’09 available? The new interior isn’t up to Lexus standards, but it might help garner a star. Shall we assume since you don’t show a star rating, it gets 0 stars?

    The fact that they shoved you into an ’07 model in December 2008 is telling. (’07s are generally built starting in ’06.)

  • avatar

    derm81 :

    Just because you passed a stuck Subaru wagon doesn’t mean the Compass is good in the snow. There’s no reason why ANY FWD or AWD vehicle on non-summer tires should be stuck in moderate snow, unless the driver did something wrong. Chances are the stuck Subaru driver fit into the Compass’s target demographic(if you get the hint)

  • avatar


    Just because you passed a stuck Subaru wagon doesn’t mean the Compass is good in the snow

    I was able to get through 2ft snow drifts with relative ease. I am telling you again that tt drives very good in the snow. Look, just come out and admit how much you hate Chrysler and their products.

  • avatar

    I was able to get through 2ft snow drifts with relative ease. I am telling you again that tt drives very good in the snow.

    Yes, but were the snow drifts packed and made into the shape of a road?

  • avatar

    Robert Farago : The Compass looks a fright. I have no idea of the designer’s remit.

    The original concept was a 2-door vehicle that was much more attractive. You can see the original concept if you go to the following link and scroll down:

    While Chrysler did not do as bad a job as GM did with the Aztec in translating it from concept to production, the Compass definitely lost something in the transition.

  • avatar

    Wow…why couldn’t the production version look more like that concept? They would have sold plenty, at 150% of the price they are charging now.

    I am totally with derm81. I can’t even get the Passat Wagon up my street today, and it will likely be a few days before we see a snowplow. Getting around town tonight is essentially impossible in anything without 4WD. The Wrangler works great and I bet the Compass or Patriot would as well. Probably a Nissan Rogue would be fine too, but you can’t get that with a stick.

    There *is* a legitimate market for this kind of cheap 4WD trucklette. The idea was fine…it was just the execution that was a bit lacking. Anyone who thinks a Honda Civic with snow tires is all you ever need in the snow is probably talking about the kind of snow they get in, say, southern Missouri. Or, their municipality has a lot more snow plows than mine!

  • avatar

    The back looks like it was copied from a Rav 4 with the rear window panels…the front, when looking from the side, looks like the child of an ’80’s Dodge Omni…The interior reminds me of the ’80’s Jeep Grand Wagoneer I drove…and not in a good way.

  • avatar

    There is a market for the 4WD small SUV. It’s filled quite well by the Rav4, CR-V and Escape.

    I live about an hour from the Belvidere plant and even I never see these things on the road.

    Two of my least favorite things about winter are everyone competing to see who has the worse weather and bragging about how much better they are in driving in it.

  • avatar

    derm81 :

    You’ve got me all wrong. I don’t hate Chrysler, although they only make one or two vehicles I would even consider buying (Viper, Challenger SRT8). And the PT Cruiser is by far the worst thing I have ever had the displeasure of driving. But I proudly drive a GM product (Corvette), so I’m not an anti-domestic guy at all

    What I do hate are useless turds like the Compass that have absolutely no reason to be on the market, and do nothing well. The fact that it can get through some snow says nothing to me, since pretty much anything FWD or AWD should and is able to do that with a competent driver behind the wheel. That’s like saying it’s a decent car because it didn’t spontaneously explode when you turned the ignition-it’s the bare minimum that’s expected. The fact that “it’s good in the snow” is pretty much the only good thing that has been said about this piece of shit is extremely telling

  • avatar

    It is like a reoccurring nightmare! Does anybody else see an Aztec? *shudders*

  • avatar

    To Johnster:

    Thanks for the link. I clicked on a few pictures, but I had to stop because it is sad.

    What a shame. From the outside in, the concept is fantastic and the reality is Aztec-like.

  • avatar

    As an employee of Hertz, I get to drive lots of cars, so I can surely attest to the Compass being something I would never even personally rent (sounds like a weedwacker under heavy throttle), but let me also add it’s stablemate , the Liberty, which if you have to turn sharply, such as parking or driving up a ramp in a parking garage lifts it’s rear wheels and loses traction. Every time I drive either one I regret being stuck with such a POS, and have to wonder why Chryco has ruined the once proud Jeep brand with these things.

  • avatar

    This excuse for an automobile and its parent company can kiss my entire ass. Our American tax dollars at work, what a flipping waste.

  • avatar

    picard234: “What a shame. From the outside in, the concept is fantastic and the reality is Aztec-like.”The problem with bringing a concept to production is that concepts are styling exercises built from the ground-up from a clean-sheet. Getting one into production in a profitable manner gets the bean-counters involved. It’s rare when a concept goes to production largely intact due to cost considerations (the Viper is an example).

    That’s what happened with the Aztek – getting the concept into production meant basing it off an existing platform and GM unwisely chose the minivan. Likewise, the Compass concept had to be built off something already existing so it went to the Caliber platform.

    That’s not to say it doesn’t always work. One of the original concepts that went to production using off-the-shelf parts and proved to be a phenomenal success was the Mustang from the Falcon’s chassis and drivetrains. To this day, the Mustang success is something that all the manufacturers shoot for.

    A recent example was the PT Cruiser which was largely based on the Neon platform and it did great. But, more often, it ends up being a bastardized mess (like the Aztek and Compass).

  • avatar

    A recent example was the PT Cruiser which was largely based on the Neon platform and it did great. But, more often, it ends up being a bastardized mess (like the Aztek and Compass).

    And you’d think they would learn from it? Guess not? If they wanna be cheap on parts, better make sure the end result still delivers a good product. (Actually, maybe they should do that irregardless! *chuckles*)

    I wonder what happened to the Aztec designers? Did they get hired at Jeep?

    My mind can not comprehend how this was allowed to happen. The Aztec and now this? How!? Is anybody at the helm in carland?

  • avatar

    Since they’re now taking my tax dollars, I figure I’m allowed to dictate a little constructive design queues to them…

  • avatar

    Forgot to link the design queues.

  • avatar

    Johnster :
    December 19th, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    The original concept was a 2-door vehicle that was much more attractive. You can see the original concept if you go to the following link and scroll down:

    Wow… I now do remember this. Why didn’t they build it too look like this?!

  • avatar

    At first, I saw the headline “Jeep Compass, Take Two”, and thought to myself: what for? Why have a second Compass test?

    Then I realized what you meant: this is what Jeep told you — “take two (Compasses)” — cause they can’t get rid of them and they’re costing them interest and insurance to keep around.

    So now that you have two Compasses that I know you wouldn’t torture yourself driving, what are you planning to do with them?

  • avatar

    Coming from a five speed Cherokee, we test drove a Patriot and were disappointed by the comparative lack of power, cheapness of the interior, and poor forward visibility. Perhaps the Patriot may have provided a couple of mpgs over the 23 mpg of the Cherokee, but it’s relative on/off road performance was boring, if not abysmal, in comparison. It’s a sad irony that Jeep manufactures a TDI Patriot with a six speed manual transmission offering nearly 40 mpg and exports it to Europe and elsewhere, while we are “stuck” with this excuse for a Cherokee.

  • avatar

    Jeep makes almost their entire lineup with diesels for export outside the US.

    Occasionally they tease us with a limited run like the Peugeot Cherokee, VM Motori 2.8 1st Gen Liberties and the current crazy overpriced Grand Cherokee.

  • avatar

    Hmmm…probably should get some “Your tax dollars at work” stickers and slap’em on the endless rows of Compass down at the local Jeep dealer.

  • avatar

    I have a better name for this pile. The Jeep Mistake!

  • avatar

    This would actually be a decent looking vehicle if they got rid of those bumper flairs below the front headlights. Those flairs actually make the Compass look less muscular. Sometimes in car design it only takes a few misguided lines to throw the overall look of a vehicle off.

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