It may not seem like it, but 2006 was over fifteen years ago. Plenty has changed over this time, and the automotive market is no exception. In 2006, HD televisions were barely commonplace, the first iPhone had not yet been revealed, and Jeep released an SUV called the Jeep Compass. The Compass offered everything drivers were looking for in a cost-effective SUV at the time. After all these years, has anything changed to make the Compass any less appealing than when it was first revealed over fifteen years ago? Is the Compass still worth purchasing now that there are seemingly more choices than ever? And is there anything else you need to know before stopping at a Jeep Compass dealer? Let’s take a deeper look at all these questions.
The 2023 Jeep Compass will likely remain similarly priced to its predecessor, as the 2022 model underwent a major facelift, making it unlikely the 2023 model will cost much more. The assortment of trim levels hasn’t been confirmed yet, but it’s safe to say we’ll at least be seeing the ones we saw in 2022, which include the Sport, Latitude, Latitude Lux, Limited, and the venerable Trailhawk and High Altitude. Should these trim levels remain the same, there will be plenty of choices for an SUV that feels customized to suit your driving needs.
Has Its Performance Changed?
To put it simply, no, performance hasn’t changed since the 2022 model, but is this a bad thing? The answer is no. The 2.4L Tigershark I-4 engine that has been used for a while returns for the 2023 model. Like the 2023 Compass, the 2023 model offers a 6-speed or 9-speed automatic transmission, as the 6-speed manual transmission was dropped in 2021. So the engine and transmission are largely the same, but are there any changes to performance for the 2023 model year?
The 2023 Compass outputs the same 177 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque as the 2022 model, meaning the towing capacity of 2,000 lbs remains intact. While we don’t have official confirmation on how fuel efficiency rates on the new Compass, it’s likely to remain the same as the past couple of models, getting an estimated 22 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway with the FWD powertrain, and 22 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway with the AWD powertrain.
How Does It Compare to Previous Models?
The 2023 Compass doesn’t stray too far from its immediate predecessor, as the year prior saw a seismic shift in the vehicle’s overarching design. Comparing the 2023 Compass to its 2021 counterpart reveals more of a leap, but in what ways? Let’s start with a favorite subject of mine: automotive tech or, more accurately, multimedia and connectivity features. The 2021 Compass came standard with a 7-inch infotainment center, which isn’t uncommon for more recent models. The 2021 Compass had a feature-rich infotainment center in the base trim, complete with half a dozen speakers, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The 2021 Compass had options for a slew of upgrades to its interior tech, most notably was a premium audio system with nine speakers courtesy of Alpine and the ability to upgrade to a larger 8.4-inch screen. So, how has this changed in the models that followed?
Starting with the 2022 Compass, the 8.4-inch touchscreen previously relegated to the pricier options became standard, and this wasn’t the only thing that changed. The aforementioned Apple CarPlay and Android Auto inevitably return, but instead of the previous method of requiring a USB cable to connect, the 2022 and 2023 Compass come standard with wireless capability. These upgrades are courtesy of the new infotainment center being equipped with Jeep’s state-of-the-art UConnect 5 system.
With the 8.4-inch touchscreen coming standard, are there still ways to upgrade? Of course! The 2022 and 2023 Compass may come standard with an 8.4-inch screen, but the available 10.1-inch touchscreen truly shines with its larger canvas that allows for more information on the screen at once. The new infotainment center displays in such a way that the screen protrudes upwards past the dashboard, giving it an almost floating appearance. Everything feels responsive and intuitive, and using features like wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto sans-cords only helps to further this sentiment.
A Few Welcome Returns
There are some key areas of the Compass that don’t necessarily warrant an update. One example is the chairs you and your passengers sit in. Truthfully, some drivers may be a tad disappointed to learn the base Compass model retains its 6-way manually-adjustable driver’s and passenger’s chairs, which is something that I hope to see changed in the future. However, it’s likely that the 2023 Compass, like its preceding model, will add to these features once you reach the Latitude Lux trim and above.
With the Latitude Lux trim, the 6-way manually adjustable driver’s seat is swapped for an 8-way power-adjustable seat with 2-way lumbar support to cushion your lower back. The front seat passenger also gets treated to a 6-way power-adjustable seat, so at least there’s a sense of parity between the two seats as one isn’t stuck using manual controls. There’s still the exception of the Trailhawk trim retaining the 6-way manually-adjustable seats, but these can be exchanged for something more comfortable.
Another welcome return is the spacious nature of the Compass’ interior. It’s unlikely the 2023 model is going to stray from the dimensions set in the previous years, which is to say that you and your passengers will have no trouble fitting inside the Compass. The Compass is also comfortable enough to endure long road trips without feeling too claustrophobic. For you and your front-seat passenger, the 2023 Compass will provide up to 41.8-inches of legroom and 39.2-inches of headroom.
They’re rather impressive figures, and this trend extends to the rear row with ample space as well. In the rear row, passengers will get a similar 38.5-inches of headroom and a decent 38.3-inches of legroom. Even longer and wider occupants will have no trouble fitting in the interior with ease thanks to 54.1-inches of hip room in the front row and 49.2-inches in the back. Lastly, shoulder room is another respectable amount of space, with 56.7-inches in the front and 55.1-inches for rear-row occupants.
So, Should You Get One?
The 2023 Compass is a recommendation in my book, with one caveat. If you own the direct predecessor, there’s no valid reason to upgrade. However, if you own a 2021 Compass or older, the 2023 Compass will be a welcomed addition to your driveway. Between its low barrier of entry, great performance, phenomenal fuel efficiency, and even better interior amenities, the 2023 Compass is a true star. It’ll likely continue to burn bright until the Compass receives a proper generational leap, which is likely to still be a few years away. Still, the features offered on the newest model are worth looking into, whether you’re considering a compact SUV, or you’re a Compass enthusiast. If you’re in the market for a new Compass or small SUV, you owe it to yourself to check out the 2023 model.