Best kept off-road or used for towing
Visibility could be better and the steering wheel only adjusts for height, not reach
Active front headrests, six airbags and a clever braking system but a poor crash-test result
Jeep came third from bottom in What Car?'s 2012 reliability survey
Fine for four but a central rear passenger pulls the short straw
All come with air-con, electric windows, cruise control and MP3 socket
As well as petrol or diesel you can choose between front and four-wheel drive for your Compass. None are much fun to drive on the road, but the Compass is a useful off-road or towing vehicle. On that basis we'd go for the four-wheel-drive diesel model which will haul 2000kg on a braked trailer. Just be prepared for the agricultural soundtrack from the engine, which will compete with road and wind noise at higher speeds.
There's a good view forwards from the high-set seat but the steering wheel only adjusts one way and thick rear pillars reduce visibility over the shoulder. We'd avoid the touch-screen infotainment system which ups the price but isn't that easy to use. Four adults can get comfy inside but a central rear passenger must straddle the centre console housing cupholders. The rear seats fold almost flat to extend the shallow boot.
Jeep has not performed well in reliability surveys. Safety kit includes six airbags, stability control, a braking system that works to prevent the car rolling over and active headrests to reduce the risk of whiplash in a shunt. The Compass scored a disappointing 2 stars in Euro NCAP crash tests, with 61% for adult protection and 76% for child protection.
The Compass looks cheaper than a Nissan Qashqai or VW Tiguan but any savings you make can help with the running costs or offset the lower resale value. The most efficient Compass is the two-wheel-drive diesel version which claims 46.3mpg - a Qashqai claims up to 62.8mpg.