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Jeep Compass

Jeep Compass

If you’re looking for an SUV that gets you higher up from the road, delivers off-road style, and doesn’t drive your fuel economy into the ground, the Jeep Compass is an outstanding choice.

But through the years the Jeep Compass has changed quite a bit, which is why we wanted to do a quick dive for you here and let you know what you can expect. So, whether you’re shopping for a Jeep Compass or just want to know a little more about this vehicle, you’ve come to the right place.

History of the Compass

Jeep first released the Jeep Compass in 2006 with the 2007 model year, but since then there’s been a few different facelifts and generations that Jeep has pushed out. Jeep pushed out the second-generation Compass in 2018.

Jeep CompassStill, they completed their first facelift of the Compass in 2011 and they’ve already completed a facelift for the second-generation Compass in 2021. All this to say if you’re looking at purchasing a Jeep Compass, there are a lot of changes from year to year.

They didn’t offer an automatic transmission for the Compass until 2011, and every Compass in the US market uses some variation of an inline-4 engine. However, they’ve always had the option for 4-wheel-drive, which fits right into the Jeep mantra.

But keep in mind that while the option is there, there are still plenty of front-wheel-drive Jeep Compasses on the road.

Jeep Compass Trim Levels

Like most vehicles, what features you’re going to get in your Jeep Compass all comes down to the trim level. That’s because while newer model years clearly come with more technological features than older ones, if you want all the features from that year, the higher trim levels are the way to go.

But to really understand what you’re looking at you need to know what trim levels the Jeep Compass uses, and some features that you can expect at each level through the years. To help give you a better understanding we broke it all down for you here.


If you’re looking for a base model Jeep Compass, this is it. It doesn’t matter what year you go to, the base model has always been the Sport. While the Sport trim is the base model trim, you can still get a 4x4 option at this trim level – it just won’t have all the extra bells and whistles that higher trim levels come with.


In early Jeep Compass models, this was the top trim level. That’s because the very first model years only had two trim levels to pick from, the Sport and the Latitude!

However, in more recent years there are far more options to pick from, and as such the Latitude still won’t have all the top features that other trim levels come with.


The first time the Jeep Compass Altitude hit the market was in 2012, and it serves as an in-between model for the Latitude and the Limited. In that year it added leather-trimmed seats, a sunroof, an upgraded sound system, and black-alloy wheels.

The Altitude still serves as this in-between model, but the exact features you get for each trim level has changed throughout the years.


If you’re looking for a Jeep Compass that boasts all the off-road capabilities that model year can offer, go with the Trailhawk. It’s a trim level that’s only available in second-generation Jeep Compasses, starting in 2018.

That means if you’re getting a Jeep Compass Trailhawk, you’re getting a newer model Jeep with a ton of great features – especially for off-roading.

Jeep CompassLimited

For most model years, the Limited is as good as it gets. It’s the top trim package, and it comes with all the bells and whistles you’d expect by going with a higher trim level.

It really depends on the model year on what it comes with, but newer model years come with automatic braking, blind-spot monitoring, a rearview camera, and active lane management.

High Altitude

The High Altitude is a newer trim package, and it comes with everything the Limited comes with and then just a little bit more. In most model years these features include a panoramic sunroof, 19” wheels, LED projector headlights, and more.

In newer Jeep Compasses it’s the top trim level, and it can come with everything Jeep has to offer for the Compass.

Limited Edition Trims

While the trim levels that we already highlighted are the most common choices for the Jeep Compass, Jeep does offer limited edition trims from time to time. Trims like the 75th anniversary and recently released (RED) trim level.

Where these trim levels fit and what they offer varies from year to year, so it’s best to take a deeper dive into each special edition trim when they pop up. And because of how often Jeep releases special edition trims, there’s a good chance that more than a few will continue to pop up in the future.

Engine Options Through the Years

Technically, Jeep has used twelve different engine options in the Compass throughout the years. However, while there are those eight different engine options, they aren’t all available in the US market.

For instance, you can only find all four diesel engines in Jeep Compasses in foreign markets, and currently, the 1.3L GSE T4 IV turbo-hybrid engine is only available in overseas markets as well. However, the hybrid option is expected to make a debut in the United States sometime soon.

There are various four-cylinder gasoline engine options available for the Jeep Compass though, and Jeep even turbocharged a few of them!

The Transmissions

Sure the engines are important, but it’s the transmission that gets your Compass in gear! There are a few different transmission options that Jeep has offered for the Compass.

First-generation Compasses had one of three transmissions, a six-speed automatic, a five-speed manual, and a six-speed manual.

Meanwhile, for the second-generation Compass, there are four different transmission options to choose from. There’s a six-speed manual, a six-speed automatic, a seven-speed automatic, and a nine-speed automatic.

In the 2022 Compass, the nine-speed automatic comes standard, but that hasn’t always been the case. In fact, if you are a fan of manual transmissions there are tons of options out there for you.

Available Features

One of the top features you need to know about with the Jeep Compass is that no matter what trim you’re looking at or the model year, it can come in four-wheel-drive. There are a lot of front-wheel-drive options out there though, so you really need to pay attention to what you’re getting.

If you properly equip them, they can tow up to 2,000 pounds, which allows you to take smaller rigs out. Whether it’s a trailer for camping or all your gear, paired with 4x4 there’s not much a Compass can’t do for you.

Furthermore, there’s a wide range between the modern Compasses with lots of features and the base model Compasses of years past. For instance, the very first 2007 Jeep Compass only had air conditioning as an optional feature. However, by 2012 there were optional heated seats, heated mirrors, optional Bluetooth, and an upgraded radio system.

Jeep allows people to decide everything that they want and don’t want when they’re ordering it. What that means if you’re purchasing a used Jeep Compass you need to take a deep dive into everything that it does and doesn’t offer.


Nobody wants to purchase a vehicle just to find out that they need to make repairs not far from the lot. Fortunately that’s not much of a concern with the Compass.

RepairPal gives the Compass a 4.0 out of 5 when it comes to reliability, earning it an above average rating. Furthermore, compared to other SUVs, it typically costs less to repair a Compass when it does go into the shop.

This means while you shouldn’t need repairs, if you do it won’t break the bank.

Production Numbers

If you want a Jeep Compass it’s a good idea to know how many are out there. If you’re in the United States, there’s no shortage of Jeep Compasses on the market. From 2006 to 2017 Jeep sold almost 540,000 Compasses in the United States.

Since they released the second-generation Compass, those numbers have shot up even further. From 2018 to 2020 they already sold over 486,000 Compasses! All this works out to the fact that there are well over 1 million Compasses on the road today. If you want to drive one, there are plenty of them out there to choose from!

Final Thoughts

Do you like the Jeep Compass and are you interested in trying to get one for yourself? Reach out to Tim’s Truck and they’ll help you track down the exact Jeep Compass you’re looking for, and they’ll answer any questions you might have about this SUV.

There’s a lot to process with this constantly changing SUV, so it’s perfectly normal to need to reach out to someone to answer a few lingering questions you might have.

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