The Jeep Compass, a popular compact SUV known for its affordability and family-friendly features, stands out in its category. It's not designed as a luxury or off-road vehicle. Still, it's very capable for everyday family use or regular commutes.
However, not all Jeep Compass models are recommended. We've delved into the details to highlight certain years that might be less desirable, guiding you toward the best choices for your needs.
For those considering a Jeep Compass, it's wise to steer clear of the 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2017, 2018, and 2019 models, as they are known to be problematic. On the other hand, the years 2009, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 are highly recommended.
Jeep Compass Years To Avoid
Owners have reported dissatisfaction with specific Jeep Compass production years due to high maintenance needs and overall driving challenges. Let's review the most problematic Jeep Compass years to avoid.
Worst Year: 2008 Jeep Compass
Despite Jeep's efforts to enhance the 2008 Compass, it faced significant issues. Several websites noted the main problems were with the tie rods and control arm. Owners often needed to replace these parts multiple times, with issues appearing as early as 50,000 miles. Additionally, the Compass was prone to engine stalling or shutting off unexpectedly, especially on highways, posing a serious safety risk.
Worst Year: 2010 Jeep Compass
The 2010 Jeep Compass, while affordable and featuring unique flip-down tailboard speakers, needs to catch up in the compact SUV category, according to a website. This model year has several issues, with a common complaint being a clunking or knocking noise reported by six owners around 51,000 miles.
Repairs typically cost about $610, replacing components such as outer tie rod ends, ball joints, lower control arms, or leaking rear struts. Other reported problems include sudden power loss, failure to operate, or the vehicle pulling to one side, all of which are safety concerns.
Worst Year: 2019 Jeep Compass
The 2019 Jeep Compass has garnered 305 user reports on a website, citing issues mainly with its interior, electrical, and mechanical systems. The most critical problem encountered is the vehicle unexpectedly shutting down. This typically happens around 10,000 miles, often accompanied by the breaker light activating before the car stops running.
Additionally, owners frequently face low oil pressure and sporadic failures when starting the 2019 Jeep Compass, adding to its common issues.
Worst Year: 2014 Jeep Compass
Though its issues are mild, the 2014 Jeep Compass is another year to be wary of. The most notable problem is a loud noise emanating from the rear brakes, occurring around 10,000 kilometers. While not an immediate safety risk, it's a nuisance for many drivers and remains without a definitive solution.
Another common issue in the 2014 model is the malfunctioning of wireless control modules (WCMs), leading to starting problems and remote keyless entry system failures. Typically, replacing the WCM resolves this issue.
Worst Year: 2017 Jeep Compass
Ranking fourth in the list of years to avoid is the 2017 Jeep Compass, mainly due to its sluggish performance and lackluster appeal. Engine defects are a significant concern, with 56 NHTSA complaints ranging from unexpected driving shutdowns to excessive oil consumption and sudden engine failure.
Electrical issues are also prevalent in this model, accompanied by rapid wear of stock tires and frequent difficulties in starting the vehicle.
Worst Year: 2012 Jeep Compass
The 2012 Jeep Compass marked a downturn in a series of solidly manufactured years for Jeep. This model proved to be a significant source of frustration for owners and consumers.
The primary issue with this SUV was its unreliable transmission and suspension systems. Frequent overheating led to the failure of the CVT, and numerous complaints were lodged about the vehicle's tie-rods, control arms, and bushings. Tie rods, in particular, were prone to breaking, costing owners around $500 for replacements. At the same time, transmission repairs added approximately $900 to repair costs.
Braking problems were also a notable concern, with some users experiencing brake failure, stuck calipers, and hearing grinding or buzzing noises.
Worst Year: 2007 Jeep Compass
Web reports indicate that the 2007 Jeep Compass ranks as the most undesirable year to purchase. Being the inaugural Compass model, it's unsurprising that it had its fair share of issues.
The most commonly reported problem was with the SUV's control arm. Numerous owners mentioned sudden failures of the bushings within the control arms, often occurring around 58,000 miles. This issue typically necessitated the replacement of the lower ball joints or the control arm.
Additionally, the 2007 Compass had electrical problems, notably with the Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM). Replacing the TIPM, a standard solution, could cost around $1,650.
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Worst Year: 2018 Jeep Compass
The 2018 Jeep Compass is a more recent model that tops this list, garnering the highest complaints and recalls, making it the least recommended year.
This model of the Jeep Compass was frequently reported for unpredictable and often critical engine failures. The most frequent issue was the vehicle abruptly shutting down while in motion, a severe safety hazard.
Moreover, the 2018 Compass was plagued with starting troubles, the activation of the check engine light, and various other electrical system problems, often occurring around 20,000 miles, potentially within the timeframe of an extended warranty.
Best Jeep Compass Years To Buy
Now that we've reviewed the years to avoid, let's focus on the best Jeep Compass model years, predominantly from the latest generation and considered safe and reliable choices.
Best Year: 2009 Jeep Compass
The 2009 Jeep Compass is an excellent choice for those seeking a used vehicle. It stands out with its smooth, car-like ride, respectable fuel efficiency for a Jeep, impressive safety features, and the iconic Jeep design. Offering solid value for money, especially compared to newer models, the 2009 Compass is reliable and well-received by many drivers. Available in two upgraded trim levels, it provided a quieter and more comfortable ride on a refined platform.
Best Year: 2020 Jeep Compass
The 2020 Jeep Compass was launched as an improvement over the 2019 model, enhancing performance and handling while adding numerous safety features. This 5-seater SUV, equipped with a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine delivering 180 horsepower, has a standard 6-speed transmission and an optional 9-speed automatic gearbox. Its features include FWD and AWD systems, a 7-inch display, and compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, enhancing the comfort of its spacious cabin and trunk.
Best Year: 2022 Jeep Compass
The 2022 Jeep Compass, positioned between the Renegade and Cherokee, is a compact crossover that embodies the brand's rugged character and offers impressive off-road capability. Competing with models like the Mazda CX-5 and Toyota RAV4, it has five trim levels: Sport, Latitude, Lux, Limited, and Trailhawk. All trims are powered by a 2.4-liter inline-four engine (177 hp, 172 lb-ft of torque). FWD versions feature a six-speed transmission, and AWD models have a nine-speed transmission.
Best Year: 2021 Jeep Compass
The 2021 Jeep Compass built upon the advancements of the 2020 model, enhancing its appeal and even surpassing the 2022 version in some aspects. With a robust reliability score of 81 out of 100 from Cars. US News and a #5 ranking in Small SUVs by J.D. Power, the 2021 model stands out as one of the best Jeep Compass years for purchase. This trust in the vehicle is further bolstered by its six trim levels, including limited editions, each offering an extensive range of standard safety features.
Best Year: 2023 Jeep Compass
The 2023 Jeep Compass exemplifies how the latest models often excel due to technological and manufacturing advancements. This model year marked a significant improvement, with no complaints or recalls reported. The 2023 Compass, having undergone a refresh in the previous year with new exterior and interior designs, added amenities, and more standard equipment, introduced a new turbocharged engine. This engine enhancement increased its power to 200 horsepower, promising quicker acceleration and improved efficiency.
Common Jeep Compass Problems
The Jeep Compass, while generally reliable as a compact SUV, does have some recurring issues that can be a source of frustration for owners.
A frequent complaint among Compass owners is the overheating of the CVT transmission, leading to vehicle stalling. This poses a safety risk due to the loss of speed control and incurs significant repair costs.
Difficulty Starting the Vehicle
A common annoyance for many Compass owners is the vehicle's tendency to have starting problems, often occurring even at low mileage. Fiat-Chrysler has issued several service bulletins to address this issue, highlighting its prevalence among Compass models.
Noisy or grinding brakes have plagued several Jeep Compass models. This issue manifests as a persistent low-pitched noise during braking, which has been a concern for many owners.
Water leakage into the cabin has been a notable problem in Jeep Compass models produced between 2007 and 2014. Owners have reported water seeping into the interior, particularly from the front and rear roof, indicating a leakage issue.
The failure of the integrated power module (TIPM) is a significant problem, especially in the 2007 Compass models. TIPM failure can lead to various electrical malfunctions affecting the door locks, wipers, lights, dashboard, and fuel pump. The most common solution is replacing the TIPM, which costs about $1,650.
Check Engine Light Problems
Several owners have reported erratic behavior of the check engine light in their Compass vehicles. According to a website, an outdated PCM (Powertrain Control Module) could cause these check engine light issues.
Defective Tie Rods and Control Arm
Defective control arms and tie rods have been recurring in various Compass models. Owners have frequently reported unusual noises from the suspension system and uneven tire wear, indicating problems with these components.
The Jeep Compass is a solid choice, prioritizing reliability and safety and ensuring a secure and comfortable driving experience for families. However, it's essential to be informed about the best and worst years for the Jeep Compass to avoid models with known issues, such as the 2018 model, and to consider the more recent and reliable years.
FAQs About Jeep Compass Years To Avoid
Is Jeep Compass A Good Car?
The Jeep Compass holds a reliability rating of 4.0/5.0 on a Website, which is considered excellent. It's a reliable choice, provided you avoid certain problematic years like the 2018, 2007, and 2012 models.
How Long Will Jeep Compass Last?
A properly maintained Jeep Compass can last over 180,000 miles without significant issues.
Is Jeep Compass Expensive To Maintain?
The Jeep Compass is somewhat more expensive to maintain compared to the average SUV. It has an estimated initial maintenance cost of around $10,000, about $1,151 higher than the average for SUVs.
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