2007 Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 Review
Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 Review
The Compass is Jeep’s first attempt at a strictly on-road model, going after small, car-based SUVs like the Honda CR-V and Hyundai Tucson. The problem is (actually there are quite a few), the Compass isn’t an SUV at all. It’s actually a redressed version of the Dodge Caliber, a compact hatchback that competes with the Honda Civic or even the Fit. With the exception of Jeep’s “Freedom Drive I” four-wheel drive (almost certainly better than “Oppression Drive”) and a more powerful standard engine, only cosmetic details separate the two Chrysler Group hatches.
Despite its 172-horsepower inline-4, the Compass is positively glacial with a power band retarded by the optional continuously variable transmission. Although the Caliber we tested had fifteen fewer horses, it felt just as fast (or rather slow) as the Compass with its added weight from the four-wheel drive system.
Inside, the Compass’ overall layout is similar to the Caliber’s, but manages to achieve even worse build quality. The sea of plastic looks nice enough, as the above photos attest, but they’re harder than a hockey helmet and fit together poorly. The optional leather seats were comfy though, and there is lots of room front and back.
The Compass will soon be joined by the Patriot, which is essentially the same vehicle but with a more butch, Cherokee-esque exterior. Neither vehicle holds a candle to real small SUVs, despite starting at a cheaper price. Consider the Compass a Caliber alternative and steer clear of higher-end, options-heavy versions.