I bought this car because I always wanted to own and drive a Jeep, and the diesel Compass ticked every box on paper. In driving and ownership for nine months, though, it's been a bit of a mixed bag.
Performance is what you would expect from a diesel: a bit slow to get up to speed, but holds that speed at low RPM, which makes it very economical on the highway (consumption goes below 5L/100km). City driving, however, gave disappointing economy of 8.3L/100km, which is way less than Jeep's claim of 5.7L/100km. I can't imagine what the real-world economy of the petrol would have been considering the manufacturer's claim of 9.7L/100km. I say the economy is pretty damn good in the diesel!
If you are sitting in the front, you will very much hear the rattly diesel when accelerating, but cruising is quiet and relaxed. The nine-speed transmission is smooth and quick shifting, and I have not encountered any hesitation from it during driving.
The suspension is good, and only a little bit of wind noise can be heard in the cabin. The steering is nice and light for easy handling, and I don't feel much rolling around the corners. Unfortunately, I haven't taken this car off-road yet, but it does have 4x4 lock and modes for different terrains.
The leather on the seats and armrests is nice and the dash is covered in soft-touch materials. For some odd reason, only the front doors have soft-touch material in the top, while the rear doors have hard plastic. How much did Jeep save with that? Five dollars off the price?
Even when the front seats are in my driving position, I have legroom in the back. Headroom is not an issue for me in any seat. For reference, I am 176cm tall. Heated front seats are especially useful during Canberra winters, and the air-conditioner has no trouble cooling down the cabin during summer.
There is a USB port in the front and back, and all buttons are ambient-lit in the night. Again, in strange cost-cutting measures, the rear doors' handles are not illuminated but the front ones are. Really Jeep? For $45,000, though, I wish Jeep put in a powered tailgate and seat-folding buttons in the boot, as you have to walk around to the front to fold them manually and the tailgate is pretty hard to pull down with one hand.
LED lights in the interior instead of normal filaments would also have been befitting of the price. The rear window might be a bit small for some and the rear pillars are pretty thick.
The infotainment system is pretty good, and maintains good connection with the phone via Bluetooth and Android Auto. It's easy to call contacts from the screen and voice calls are clear. Beats speakers are awesome and definitely the highlight of this car. The subwoofer delivers bass that literally vibrates me!
The biggest downside, though, is the reliability of this tech. The parking sensors just stopped working for no reason after a couple of months, which should not be happening in such a brand-name car. Luckily, nothing serious has broken down yet. Also, at the pricepoint I would at least expect blind-spot monitoring to be standard, but it's only available in an option package.
The 8.4-inch display is also standard in the Limited up, with the lower two models getting a 5.0-inch display without Android and Apple phone mirroring, which is astounding considering the Koreans give it in their base models. The reverse camera is wide enough with steering guidelines, but the resolution is awful. The placement of the touchscreen itself is a bit low, requiring you to look away from the road too much. Strangely, the daytime running lights are filaments, while the entire industry uses LEDs – just another astounding design choice.
I am satisfied with this car since I really like the Jeep brand, and the issues mentioned are minor for me. But, the unreliability and bad value of lower-tier models might be turn-offs for those who have no love for the Jeep badge.