3/4 Front Glamour 2014 Jeep Compass

Expert's Rating

4.0Excellent

MPG 22 City / 28 Highway
Pros
  • Updated styling looks good
  • Solid fuel economy
  • Many standard safety features
  • Versatile cargo area
  • Low base price
Cons
  • Needs a stronger engine
, Automotive Editor -
For those who want genuine off-road capability for a low price, the Jeep Compass might fit the bill.

Introduction

The Jeep Compass is the company's attempt to blend crossover looks with some of the trail-ready Jeep attributes for customers who don't need the capability of a true off-road vehicle. While that means all versions of the Compass aren't trail-ready, they're versatile alternatives for people who want one of the least-expensive crossovers on the market to take them farther than the freeway.

For 2014, the Compass gets another round of styling tweaks as well as revised engines and a new six-speed automatic transmission that boosts fuel economy to 30 mpg on front-wheel drive cars with the standard 2-liter four-cylinder engine.

The Sport comes standard with that engine, along with a five-speed manual transmission, 16-inch alloy wheels, cloth upholstery, a split-folding rear seat, air conditioning, a tilt steering wheel, and a four-speaker audio system with an auxiliary input.

The Latitude adds a six-speed automatic transmission, heated front seats, a fold-down front passenger's seat, driver's seat height adjustment, 17-inch alloy wheels, reclining rear seats, a 115-volt power outlet and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls.

The loaded Limited model gets a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 173 horsepower, leather upholstery, a power driver's seat, automatic climate control, a garage door opener, a touchscreen radio with 20 GB of music storage and satellite radio, and 18-inch alloy wheels.

All four-wheel drive models get the 2.4-liter engine and four-wheel disc brakes. The Freedom Drive II off-road group adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a skid plate, hill descent control, hill start assist, and a locking differential. Other options include Bluetooth and a Boston Acoustics audio system.

The Buick Encore is a more luxurious rival that has better handling and fuel economy and is available with more advanced technology, but costs more and offers a narrow cabin for passengers. The Hyundai Tucson is a little larger and has better fuel economy with lots of standard equipment, but is not fun to drive. The Mini Countryman is much more fun to drive, offers a powerful turbocharged engine and has great style and image, but basic options quickly add to the price -- and the base Cooper version is slow. The Nissan Juke has a punchy turbocharged engine, comes well-equipped and is fun to drive, but the looks won't appeal to everyone and it's also cramped inside.

And none of these rivals offer the available off-road ability that the Compass has for the price. Some are more powerful, more fun to drive and have nicer finishes, but for those who want a crossover to do work in the rough stuff, the Compass is a viable choice.

Which Style To Buy?

2014 Jeep Compass
Starting price
$20,603
Shopper Popularity
30%

2014 Jeep Compass Latitude

Recommended for: Buyers who want more equipment.

The Latitude adds a six-speed automatic transmission; heated front seats; power windows; remote keyless entry; power mirrors; a fold-down front passenger's seat; driver's seat height adjustment; 17-inch alloy wheels; reclining rear seats; a 115-volt power outlet; and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls.

All four-wheel drive models get the 2.4-liter engine and four-wheel disc brakes. The Freedom Drive II off-road group adds 17-inch alloy wheels; a skid plate; hill descent control; hill start assist; and a locking differential. Other options include a power sunroof, Bluetooth and a Boston Acoustics audio system. The Security Group includes remote start, an alarm, a cargo cover, a USB port, Bluetooth and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

2014 Jeep Compass
Starting price
$23,858
Shopper Popularity
22%

2014 Jeep Compass Limited

Recommended for: Buyers who want a lot of features in a small crossover.

The loaded Limited model gets a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 173 horsepower; leather upholstery; a power driver's seat; automatic climate control; a garage door opener; a touchscreen radio with 20 GB music storage and satellite radio; and 18-inch alloy wheels.

All four-wheel drive models get the 2.4-liter engine and four-wheel disc brakes. The Freedom Drive II off-road group adds 17-inch alloy wheels; a skid plate; hill descent control; hill start assist; and a locking differential. Other options include a power sunroof, Bluetooth and a Boston Acoustics audio system. The Security Group includes remote start, an alarm, a cargo cover, a USB port, Bluetooth and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

2014 Jeep Compass
Starting price
$17,256
Shopper Popularity
48%

2014 Jeep Compass Sport

Most Popular
Recommended for: Buyers interested in an inexpensive small crossover.

The Sport comes standard with 2-liter four-cylinder engine, a five-speed manual transmission, front-wheel drive, 16-inch alloy wheels, antilock brakes, cloth upholstery, a split-folding rear seat, air conditioning, a tilt steering wheel, and a four-speaker audio system with an auxiliary input.

All four-wheel drive models get the 2.4-liter engine and four-wheel disc brakes. The Freedom Drive II off-road group adds 17-inch alloy wheels,; a skid plate; hill descent control; hill start assist; and a locking differential. Other options include a power sunroof, Bluetooth and a Boston Acoustics audio system. The Security Group includes remote start, an alarm, a cargo cover, a USB port, Bluetooth and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

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