Advertisement
Go
2012 Jeep Compass Photo

2012 Jeep Compass - Performance Review

 
 Get email updates
What will I get by subscribing to email updates?

At The Car Connection we are continually striving to get you timely, relevant information about the vehicle you are interested in. Our email updates will notify you whenever we have new information on this vehicle.

For example:

  • new car reviews for this model by our editors
  • news including price changes, new models, or recall info
  • new incentives and rebates that are being offered for this vehicle

Our goal is to keep you informed as you research!
Interested in purchasing?Browse Used Listings
 
6.0
/ 10
On Performance
BASE
INVOICE
$18,967
BASE
MSRP
$19,295
On Performance
Properly optioned, the 2012 Jeep Compass is a capable off-roader, but otherwise its performance appeal is limited by sluggish, subpar powertrains.
6.0 out of 10
Browse Jeep Compass inventory in your area.

SEE LOCAL CLASSIFIEDS

PERFORMANCE | 6 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

The 2.4-liter engine is rather coarse, but it gets the job done
Motor Trend

the mileage-enhancing CVT still exhibits a “motorboat” sensation in which engine rpm is seemingly unrelated to vehicle speed
Road & Track

On the road the base Compass' manners are on par for the segment.
Edmunds' Inside Line

Of course, there is usually a silver lining, and in the case of the 2011 Compass, that’d be its ride and handling characteristics.
Vehix.com


With last year's refresh, Jeep made the Compass somewhat better-looking, but it didn't make it any better-performing. A 158-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine remains standard, and we recommend the step-up 172-hp, 2.4-liter four, as it makes 24 pound-feet more torque—a difference you can feel in the Compass, especially off the line—without real-world gas mileage being much lower.

The five-speed manual transmission that's standard is quite agreeable, but this model's Achilles Heel continues to be its continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), which is slow to ramp up revs and respond to passing demands or merely confident acceleration out of tight corners. The CVT also brings out these engines' overwhelming tendency to be loud, coarse, and vibration-prone.

For the most part, the 2012 Compass drives like a high-riding small passenger car. And that's really what it is; with car-based underpinnings at least partly shared with the Dodge Caliber, the Compass handles and maneuvers very well—especially at city speeds.

The strength of the Compass remains the surprisingly good trail capability afforded by the available Freedom Drive II Off-Road Package. Base Compass models come with front-wheel drive, and there's a Freedom Drive I 4x4 package that brings carlike all-wheel drive ability good for getting out of a snowy driveway. But the Freedom Drive II package gains Jeep's Trail Rated badge (assuring that it meets a rigorous checklist for trail driving) and includes a continuously-variable transaxle that engages in off-road mode, a one-inch higher ride height, skid plates, and a full-size spare. It includes appearance upgrades, too, in the way of 17-inch alloy wheels and fog lamps. We've been impressed with its ability to negotiate mud and sand and, in some situations, logs and boulders.

Conclusion

Properly optioned, the 2012 Jeep Compass is a capable off-roader, but otherwise its performance appeal is limited by sluggish, subpar powertrains.

« Prev: Interior / Exterior Next: Comfort and Quality »
Advertisement
Other Choices Read More
7.2
/ 10
TCC Rating
7.8
/ 10
TCC Rating
8.0
/ 10
TCC Rating
7.2
/ 10
TCC Rating
6.8
/ 10
TCC Rating
Advertisement
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area
Advertisement

How does the
TCC Rating work?
The TCC Rating is a clear numeric rating value based on a 10-point scale that reflects the overall opinion of our automotive experts on any vehicle and rolls up ratings we give each vehicle across sub-categories you care about like performance, safety, styling and more.

Our rating also has simple color-coded “Stop” (red), “Caution” (orange),
or “Go” (green) messages along with the numerical score so you can easily understand where we stand at a glance.

Our automotive experts then also collect and show you what other websites say about these different aspects of any vehicle. We do this leg work for you to simplify your research process.

Learn more about how we rate and review cars here.

More From High Gear Media


 
 
© 2014 The Car Connection. All Rights Reserved. The Car Connection is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by Homestar, LLC. Send us feedback.