Jeep Compass

The Essentials

  • Price from £17,455
  • What Car? says: 2 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 46.3mpg
  • What is it? Rugged looking crossover simply can't match the best cars of this type to drive.


  • Strong diesel engine will make short work of towing
  • Good safety kit
  • Generous equipment


  • So noisy you'll want to carry earplugs
  • Ride can be jittery
  • The interior is cheap and low quality
  • Drive

    Best kept off-road or used for towing

  • Inside

    Visibility could be better and the steering wheel only adjusts for height, not reach

  • Safety

    Active front headrests, six airbags and a clever braking system but a poor crash-test result

  • Reliability

    Jeep came third from bottom in What Car?'s 2012 reliability survey

  • Space

    Fine for four but a central rear passenger pulls the short straw

  • Standard and extras

    All come with air-con, electric windows, cruise control and MP3 socket

  • What's it like to drive?

    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.

  • What's it like inside?

    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.

  • How reliable is it?

    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.

  • Should I buy one?

    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.