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3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Jeep Compass

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Expert's Rating


MPG 22 City / 28 Highway
  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Many standard safety features
  • Versatile cargo area
  • Base models meagerly equipped
  • Low towing capacity
  • Poor acceleration with CVT
, Automotive Editor -
Think of the Jeep Compass as a baby Jeep Grand Cherokee, featuring better fuel economy numbers and a base price costing thousands less.


In the mid-2000s, Jeep was in trouble and had to abandon its old stereotype of building rugged SUVs that were built for the trail first and comfort came a distant second. One of the vehicles that spearheaded this revision was the Compass - a car-based crossover that looked like a shrunken Grand Cherokee.

Despite showing a little age, the 2013 Compass is a carryover from the 2012 model year, which means this is the seventh year for the first-generation Compass. This doesn’t mean that the 2013 Compass doesn’t have a few little differences from its 2012 counterpart. The main difference is the addition of the 2.0-liter World Gas Engine, which pumps out the same horsepower as last year’s model, but get 30 mpg on the highway. The other additions to the 2013 model year are two new colors: Winter Chill Pearl Coat and Black Forest Green Pearl Coat.

The 2013 Compass comes in three main trim levels: Sport, Latitude and Limited. Within these trim levels, a buyer can opt for either the standard front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. For those that choose the four-wheel drive package, they can also opt for the Freedom Drive II Off-Road Group, which tosses in a 140-amp alternator, “4-Wheel Drive Off-Road” Mode, all-season floor mats, brake-lock differential, bright exhaust tip, fuel tank skid plate, hill descent control, hill start assist and all-terrain tires.

The Compact SUV realm is chock-full at the moment, so there are tons of options to choose from. The first competitor to the Compass is the 2013 Kia Sportage, which carries a base 2.4-liter engine with 176 horsepower (available 260-horsepower, 2.0-liter engine), cloth seating for five and 2,000-pound towing capacity. Next up is the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, which has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 148 horsepower, gets 30 mpg highway and has cloth seating for five people. Last up is the 2013 Mazda CX-5, which comes with a 2.0-liter engine with 155 horsepower, gets 35 mpg highway with a manual transmission and can tow up to 2,000 pounds.

With all of the competition at play, the aging Compass needs to keep pace to hang on in this very competitive segment.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Jeep Compass
Starting price

2013 Jeep Compass Latitude

Recommended for: Buyers that prefer the added convenience of an automatic transmission without a bug price hike

The Latitude trim level for the 2013 Compass lineup offers up a few extra touches of luxury, but retains a relatively low base MSRP. On the outside, it takes on all of the Sport’s trimming, but adds in a set of 17-by-6.5-inch aluminum wheels and a standard Continuously Variable Transaxle II with AutoStick capabilities. On the inside, the Compass again carries over the Sport’s base features and it tosses in: front fold-flat seats, driver seat height adjustment, heated front seats, remote start, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, 115-volt plug, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and side-curtain airbags.

2013 Jeep Compass
Starting price

2013 Jeep Compass Limited

Recommended for: Buyers that want a premium SUV without opting for an expensive full-size model

The Limited trim level is as high as it gets for the 2013 Compass, as it carries over the Latitude’s base trimmings and adds in an array of luxurious features found only on higher-end SUVs. On the outside, the Limited adds in: 2.4-liter four-cylinder World Gas Engine with 172 horsepower, 18-by-7-inch aluminum wheels, four-wheel ABS, and bright exhaust tip and rear fascia accent. On the inside, the Limited trim level adds in leather seating, six-way power driver seat with manual lumbar adjust, Electronic Vehicle Information Center, Uconnect 230 AM/FM/MP3/SiriusXM radio with four-speakers, six-disc CD changer and hard drive storage, automatic-dimming rearview mirror, and automatic climate control.

2013 Jeep Compass
Starting price

2013 Jeep Compass Sport

Recommended for: Buyers that need a low-cost alternative to buying a minivan to haul the family around

The 2013 Jeep Compass Sport acts like the base model for the Compass lineup and features the basic amenities that a buyer would expect of a sub-luxury SUV. The standard features on the outside are just enough to set this model apart from lower-end SUVs, and these features include: Hill Start Assist, front-wheel ABS, electronic roll mitigation, tinted glass, power heated mirrors, intermittent wipers, fog lamps. Bright roof rails, 2.0-liter World Gas Engine with 158 horsepower, five-speed manual transmission and 16-by-6.5-inch aluminum rims. On the inside, the Compass continues setting itself apart by featuring: premium cloth seats, Uconnect 130 stereo system with four speakers and AM/FM/CD/MP3 capabilities, rear seat heater ducts, tilt steering, rechargeable flashlight, power windows and door locks, thermometer, cruise, air conditioning, and floor mats.

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