Review: 2020 Jeep Compass

Posted by Motorama in Vehicle Reviews

In the highly competitive small SUV market, it's the Jeep Compass that stands out.  Whether its for its rugged and cool looks, sharp pricing and range of capabilities, its hard to pinpoint just one. You can pick a Compass for city use or take an off-road ready one. That's the power of buying a Jeep, and we're about to experience it in all its glory.

Initial Impression

With a hip new small SUV comes a hip colour, like the Hydro Blue variant we're taking for a test drive. It's a Limited version, which combines a luxurious interior with off road capabilities the Jeep brand is renowned for. Alongside it sits the Trailhawk, the hardcore offroader that comes with low range, rock mode and more goodies like off-road suspension and raised ride height to tackle any obstacle. The sacrifice is some luxury, because we're sitting on full leather, powered seats, enjoy the 9-speaker audio system with subwoofer, and have options like parking sensors and dual zone climate control.

Below the Limited and Trailhawk, sit both the Sport and Longitude, the latter adding a few features like privacy glass, passenger in-seat cushion storage and automatic headlights to the base model. Whichever one you choose, on a budget, with all the bits-and-bobs or off road ready, the Compass is made to suit you. The only thing you need is a fancy colour.


The biggest plus of the Jeep Compass is that it's a rugged looking small SUV that appeals to 4x4 drivers, but also works around the city. Instead of slugging around a huge 4WD, you can go anywhere in the Compass and still manage to find a parking spot on a busy Friday night. The 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol delivers 129kW and 229Nm and that's enough power to get around anywhere. The six-speed automatic gearbox is smooth, (the base model Sport is available with a manual as well to save some money) and gets a combined fuel consumption of 7.9L/100km.

Our Limited however is fitted with the 2.0-litre turbo-diesel that puts out 125Kw and 350Nm.  The difference in torque is definitely noticeable. Its paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission and even gets 5.7L/100km, so we're saving on fuel as we drive further. Jeep has fitted the Trailhawk with the same engine, which will certainly help out with off roading – an area in which diesels with more torque excel.

Unfortunately, we didn't get to use our 4x4 Active Drive much, but with Jeeps heritage you can rest assured it gets you wherever you need to go. Whether you drive the Compass on or off road, it feels stable and sturdy. Thanks to plenty of safety features, it has a strong ANCAP safety rating, but auto emergency braking comes at a premium, the same with lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring. Definitely options we would add.


No matter which variant of the Jeep Compass you choose, the inside is always a nice place to be. Ok, the leather in the Limited is definitely a plus, but the seats are equally comfortable and supportive in the other models. The upgrade from a standard 5.0-inch touchscreen, to 8.4-inch, that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in the model we're driving, also makes the appearance a bit more hightech, but is not a necessity.

What all models have in common is the copious amounts of storage space. There are (very American) big cupholders in the doors and centre console, while the armrest also hides a storage box. There is storage on the side of the gearbox, and except in the Sport, you even get a storage compartment under the passenger seat which is perfect for dirty shoes or wet clothes. And nobody knows that it's there, so it's also a perfect hiding spot for valuables.

There is plenty of space for 5 adults, who can also make use of the multitude of USB-ports and even a 240-volt power outlet for say a laptop.  It's all very spacious, proven by the equally large, 438 litre boot space.


The Jeep Compass starts in the mid-$20k with the Sport fitted with a manual. The same model will set you back about $1500 to be fitted with an automatic transmission. Add about $5k to go up one step and get the Longitude with the automatic, which just like the sport, only comes with the petrol engine.

If you want a 4WD, you'll have to opt for the Limited, which costs just under $40k with the petrol, and just over that price for the diesel engine, both paired with the 9-speed auto. You can get the off road ready Trailhawk only with the diesel engine and it will set you back an about $1000 on top of the Limited price.

All new Compass models come with capped price servicing during the 5-year/100,000km warranty and lifetime roadside assistance, plus Jeep's legendary 'There and Back' guarantee.


The Jeep Compass is a hip, flashy small SUV that ticks all boxes. You can choose the Compass that fits you, which means you don't have to make any compromise. Especially the fact that you can go for supreme luxury or proper off road capabilities next to a budget friendly option of a good looking and spacious SUV make the Compass a perfect companion for every use.

Interested in a test drive? Motorama Jeep is the place to be - so make sure you come and see the Motorama Jeep team in Moorooka or Springwood.

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Mopar is the Genuine service, parts, and customer care provider for Jeep vehicles, and for us, servicing is about so much more than maintaining the reliability and performance of your Jeep. As an authorised service outlet, we endeavor to walk alongside our customers as partners in their ownership journey.

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