Sunday, July 14, 2024
Should-you-buyShould You Buy a 2023 Jeep Compass?

Should You Buy a 2023 Jeep Compass?

  • The 2023 Jeep Compass starts at $29,995 in the United States and at $40,285 in Canada, freight and delivery charges included.

  • Satisfying new powertrain, good off-road capabilities, wide selection of trim levels.

  • Numb steering feel, high base price, stiff ride.

Like many other compact crossovers, the 2023 Jeep Compass competes in a highly contested segment dominated by a few well-established players. Automaker Stellantis has kept the Compass fresh through continuous improvement over the years, as the current-generation model was introduced for the 2017 model year.

With the slightly bigger Jeep Cherokee now out of the way, production of the latter having been discontinued earlier this year, the Compass now has the compact segment all to itself at Jeep. It’s now positioned above the subcompact Jeep Renegade, below the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Wrangler.

In the United States, the 2023 Jeep Compass is offered in no less than eight trim levels: Sport, Latitude, Latitude Lux, Altitude, Limited, Trailhawk, (RED) and High Altitude. In Canada, the lineup consists of seven trims: Sport, North, Altitude, Trailhawk, Limited, (RED) and Trailhawk Elite.

2023 Jeep Compass Trailhawk Elite

The big news for the 2023 model year is a new powertrain that’s standard on all trim levels. The old naturally aspirated 2.4L four-cylinder engine is replaced by a turbocharged 2.0L four, raising output from 177 to 200 horsepower, and torque from 172 pound-feet at 3,900 rpm to 221 pound-feet between 1,750 and 4,250 rpm. The old nine-speed automatic was ditched in favour or a new eight-speed unit as well. The Compass not only benefits from enhanced performance, but the new engine also sounds better and feels more refined than the outgoing one.

Fuel economy has also improved by about 10% in city driving and by 7.4% in combined city/highway driving. The city/highway/combined ratings now stand at 24/32/27 mpg or 9.7/7.5/8.8 L/100 km, placing the 2023 Jeep Compass mid-pack among compact crossovers. The be more specific, the Nissan Rogue, Toyota RAV4, Subaru Forester, Honda CR-V and Ford Escape are more efficient overall, while the Mitsubishi Outlander, Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain, Hyundai Tucson, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, Volkswagen Tiguan and Kia Sportage consume slightly more fuel. During our test, we managed a decent 25 mpg or 9.3 L/100 km, and the engine can run on regular fuel.

2023 Jeep Compass Trailhawk Elite

That’s for non-hybrid powertrains, as the RAV4, CR-V, Escape, Outlander, Tucson and Sportage can be equipped with hybrid and/or plug-in hybrid systems, which the Compass does not offer. The U.S. market also ditched the front-wheel drivetrain, while the Canadian-market Compass has been sold with AWD across the board for some time now.

The 2023 Jeep Compass Trailhawk is once again the off-road champ of the lineup, which features the Jeep Active Low 4×4 system with a crawl ratio for tiptoeing over treacherous surfaces, in addition to 8.6 inches or 219 millimetres of ground clearance, improved approach, breakover and departure angles as well as all-terrain tires for good measure.

In the United States, pricing ranges from $29,995 to $40,385 before options, but including freight and delivery charges. In Canada, pricing ranges from $40,285 to $51,280, once again before options and including freight charges. Our loaded Trailhawk Elite cost $41,850 USD or $51,280 CAD.

Why You Should Buy a 2023 Jeep Compass

  • The Compass’ all-wheel drive system is quite capable, even on non-Trailhawk trims. It’s great for those who frequently drive off the beaten path, or need to tackle the harsh winter months. For those who are wondering, there was barely a difference in fuel economy between FWD and AWD Compass configurations, so eliminating the front-wheel-drive variants isn’t a concern from an efficiency standpoint.
  • The new turbo 2.0L engine is quite satisfying, while its standard 200-horsepower output leads the compact crossover segment. Only a few adversaries offer more power, but with optional powertrains. Why did Stellantis wait all this time to give us a better engine in the Compass?

  • The 2023 Jeep Compass’ switchgear layout is hard to fault, with well-placed controls along with real buttons and rotary dials for the climate control system. The Uconnect 5 infotainment system with a standard 10.1-inch touchscreen is simple to use and it’s loaded with features, too.
  • There’s plenty of rear-seat legroom, which is good if our kids are starting to get big and tall. Even the middle seat isn’t cramped while its seat cushion isn’t overstuffed. We just wish the seatback angle could be adjusted.
  • There’s a Compass variant for everyone, with varying levels of equipment and distinct exterior finishes, in addition to a wide selection of paint colors.

2023 Jeep Compass Trailhawk Elite

Why You Shouldn’t Buy a 2023 Jeep Compass

  • As much as we like the new powertrain, the Compass is still stuck with a steering system that feels rubbery and lacks on-center precision. Driving other compact crossovers back-to-back with the Jeep, this characteristic immediately stands out.
  • While interior fit and finish is better than when the current-gen Compass launched for 2017, there’s still room for improvement. Some materials look low-rent, such as the shiny armrest padding which looks more like vinyl than leatherette.
  • The Compass’ seats are firm, and so is the ride—especially in Trailhawk and Trailhawk Elite guise. It’s fine on the highway, but in city driving, the Compass isn’t the most comfortable vehicle to spend time in.

2023 Jeep Compass Trailhawk Elite

  • As the smaller of Jeep’s two compact crossovers—the other being the discontinued Cherokee—the Compass isn’t the most spacious vehicle in its category. While the back seat is fine for two adults or three kids, cargo space is mid-pack with a volume of 27.2 cubic feet or 770 litres when the rear seatbacks are upright, and 59.8 cubic feet or 1,693 litres with the seats folded down. In addition, the load floor isn’t completely flat. The RAV4, Forester, CR-V, Outlander and Tiguan are more accommodating. It’s not a dealbreaker, though.
  • The Compass’ starting price is quite high. It’s one of the costlier compact crossovers on the market. If we’re not keen on heading off road anytime soon, there are bigger and more versatile crossovers on the market at the Trailhawk’s asking price.

2023 Jeep Compass Trailhawk Elite

Final Word

The 2023 Jeep Compass is a much-improved vehicle with the new powertrain, making it a lot more satisfying to drive in addition to being more efficient as well. We would’ve liked improved steering feel as well. Overall, the Compass is a comfy compact crossover that’s available with a slew of features, while the Trailhawk is one of the most off-road capable models in its segment. However, all this comes at a price that has increased substantially since the current generation debuted seven model years ago.


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