The 2023 Jeep Compass delivers great interior tech, plenty of standard features and solid off-road chops, but a stiff ride, an uninspiring engine and limited cargo room hold it back in the compact SUV class.
After its redesign last year ushered in some much-needed quality-of-life updates inside and out, the Jeep Compass is back at it for 2023 with a new powertrain and standard all-wheel drive. Jeep puts a 200-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four with an eight-speed automatic in every Compass. An available Trailhawk trim points the needle to the backwoods with off-road equipment and features such as a lower crawl gear, though the extra gear doesn’t transform it into a Wrangler. As a smaller alternative to the Cherokee, the Compass puts affordability ahead of overall space.
The Compass gets a new powertrain for 2023 with a 200-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four—a less powerful version of the engine found in the new Dodge Hornet.
It provides a welcome bump in power from the previous 2.4-liter engine that made either 177 or 180 hp depending on specification.
The Compass will no longer be offered with front-wheel drive, as all-wheel-drive is now standard equipment.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Every Compass is powered by a new 200-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four that also makes 221 pound-feet of torque. It’s bolted to an eight-speed transmission, and all-wheel drive is now standard on all Compass models. Trailhawk models add a low “crawler” gear ratio and a Rock mode, which keeps the Compass in first gear and directs torque only to the wheels that can find grip.
The Compass feels more agile than its tall, boxy profile would suggest, responding ably to inputs, and the steering is nicely weighted. There is some lean during tight cornering, but overall, the Compass feels well-controlled, solidly planted, and capable on the road. An off-road course we braved when we first drove the Compass revealed that it can hold its own at least over moderate obstacles, and we noticed nary a stumble from the all-wheel-drive system.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA rates the 2023 Compass at 24 mpg city and 32 mpg highway, which means its new 2.0-liter turbo-four is both more power and more efficient than the naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter unit it replaces.
When we get a chance, we’ll take the Compass on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test route and update this story with results. For more information about the Compass’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Compass’s interior is comfortable, functional, and has enough space for four adult passengers. The back seat is neither the largest nor the smallest of the crossovers in this diverse class. Its high seat bottoms in the back seat mean that passengers’ legs are fully supported, and even long rides can be comfortable.
Despite its boxy exterior and what at first appears to be competitive cargo volume, the Compass is not the roomiest of its set. It has enough luggage space for an airport run but long trips could be a squeeze. The rear seatbacks angle slightly upward when folded, and the last Compass we tested held only 17 carry-on suitcases with the seats stowed.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The standard touchscreen measures 8.4 inches, and a larger 10.1-inch unit is also available. Along with natural voice recognition and navigation, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration are offered on the Compass.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Jeep offers an impressive array of driver-assistance technology on the Compass. For more information about the Compass’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking
- Standard lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The Compass’s warranty approximates the coverage provided by several of its competitors, but Kia’s extraordinarily long powertrain warranty handily trumps Jeep’s powertrain coverage. However, all models do come with three years of free maintenance.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for three years