Last year, the Jeep Compass managed to reach a sales figure close to 108,000 units, making it the 11th best-selling small-size SUV in the United States. It is no surprise as the Compass is a good overall package; it has great looks, is loaded with features, and doesn’t cost a fortune.
This year, the 2021 Compass received only subtle refinements. Furthermore, to celebrate Jeep’s 80th Anniversary, the company introduced a new 80th Anniversary trim based on the Latitude, including a few cosmetic upgrades and new interior features. Moreover, the Limited and Trailhawk® trims now come with more standard advanced safety and driver assistant features.
Although there are 7 trims to choose from, all Compass models feature the same 2.4-liter 4-cylinder naturally-aspirated engine that puts out 180 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. The engine is paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission for the FWD models, while AWD models get a 9-speed automatic.
The 0-60 mph sprint takes a dry 9.3 seconds, while the top speed is 117 mph. It is a shame that Jeep did not prepare a stronger engine for this year’s competition. For a similar price to the top-of-the-range Trailhawk®, alternatives like the Mazda CX-5 or Ford Bronco Sport pack turbocharged engines, both producing 250 horses each.
Nonetheless, the fuel economy is still fairly decent, at 22 MPG/city and 30 MPG/highway. Sadly, its gas tank only fits 13.5 gallons of fuel, providing only a 337-mile range.
If economy and range are your priorities, the similarly-priced Japanese hybrid duo, the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, are your best bet. Both of them could easily reach 40 combined MPG and a range of over 500 miles.
Jeep’s little crossover is handsome. It is one of the most modern-looking Jeep’s ever, with a total makeover from the first-gen.
At 173.0 inches long, 73.8 inches wide, and 64.6 inches tall, the 2021 Jeep Compass is compact. Yet, don’t be fooled by its compact design, as it is still pretty much carrying the Jeep DNA. With 8.2 inches of ride height, it’s taller than most of its rivals and ready to tackle some moderate off-road challenges. The top-of-the-range Trailhawk® is even higher by 0.3 inches.
From the front, it is very muscular. You are greeted by the Jeep’s signature 7-slot grille, complemented by modern touches like the thin headlights and LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL).
Furthermore, the side profile looks compact and trendy with its rather short wheelbase (at 103.8 inches), large wheel arch with matte black accents, and two-tone exterior painting scheme with black colored roof for the upper trims. The continuous black line that starts from the A-pillar to the rear window also gives it a nice floating roof impression.
Lastly, the backside reminds us of the upper-class Range Rover Evoque, very modern and compact looking. Though, it would be nice if the LED taillamps were standard. Instead, they are only available in the Elite Exterior Package for the top two trims.
Overall, the 2021 Compass looks compact and modern without sacrificing its off-roading pride.
Inside, the Compass is functional but not very roomy. Its compact exterior reflects on its moderate interior space. The passenger space is at 101 cubic feet, and cargo volume is at 27 cubic feet. You will find the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 roomier inside.
The interior materials seem durable, but they don’t feel expensive to the touch. They even look dull by today’s standards. However, we like that Jeep still uses soft and squidgy dashboard material and makes most of the buttons physical rather than touch-sensitive, enhancing ease of use.
As a 5-seater, the Compass has enough knee room and headroom in the back seats. However, the seats are not reclinable and might be too upright by default, making them less comfortable for longer travels. Try peeking at its bigger brother Jeep Cherokee for a better rear seating configuration.
2021 Jeep Compass Sport
Starting price: FWD – $23,915, 4WD – $25,415
Remaining as the entry-level model, the Sport is actually the best value for money in the lineup.
As standard, you get rather small but dapper 16-inch steel wheels, white monotone exterior color (with other color options available at an extra $245), and power-adjustable and heated side mirrors.
Inside, there is a black interior color, manually-adjustable front seats and steering column, and 2-zone climate control as standard.
Moreover, there is a 7.0-inch infotainment system, complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, and a 6-speaker audio system.
2021 Jeep Compass Latitude
Starting price: FWD – $26,160, 4WD – $27,660
The Latitude is a step up from the Sport trim with more features and more access to extra packages.
The Latitude includes 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, automatic headlights, roof rails, and deep-tinted glass as standard on top of the Sport trim’s features.
You are also getting a leather-wrapped steering wheel, premium clothing material for the front seats, and some ambient cabin lighting.
2021 Jeep Compass Freedom
Starting price: 4WD – $27,155
The Freedom is based on the Latitude 4WD, added with a Trackhawk® body kit and some matte black accents on the grille, wheels, and roof rails. Two-tone paint is also available, but only in Sting-Gray or Olive Green.
2021 Jeep Compass Altitude
Starting price: FWD – $27,580, 4WD – $29,080
The Altitude is based on the Latitude, available with more two-tone color options and gloss-black exterior accents. It also features larger 18-inch black aluminum wheels.
2021 Jeep Compass 80th Anniversary
Starting price: FWD – $28,215, 4WD – $29,715
The 80th Anniversary edition trim celebrates the brand’s 80th Anniversary.
Although it is not offered with two-tone paint color options and only available in monotone, it now comes with larger 19-inch alloys and Neutral Grey exterior accents. There is also a remote start feature as standard, with every other feature carried from the Altitude trim.
Inside, there is a unique 80th Edition leather upholstery. Moreover, the driver’s seat is now power-adjustable with lumbar support, and there is also a 115-volt auxiliary power outlet.
You also get an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a bigger 8.4-inch infotainment screen with navigation, as well as a 7.0-inch screen in the instrument binnacle displaying the speed, compass, temperature, fuel economy, trip miles, cruise control, and engine performance.
2021 Jeep Compass Limited
Starting price: FWD – $29,560, 4WD – $31,060
For the FWD models, the Limited is at the top of the range. In terms of features, there is not much that differs it from the 80th Anniversary trim.
Outside, you get smaller 18-inch dual-tone alloys and some chrome exterior accents.
Inside, there is not much to report, apart from the standard leather upholstery and the heated front seats and steering wheel.
2021 Jeep Compass Trailhawk®
Starting price: 4WD – $31,060
At no additional cost of the Limited 4WD, you can go for the Trailhawk® instead. It is the trim that is most prepared to plunge into the off-road desert.
With no fewer features from the Limited trim, except for having smaller 17-inch dual-tone wheels, the Trailhawk® is fitted with a raised suspension, underbody skid plates, tow hooks, and off-road tires.
No significant changes appeared from the Limited trim, except for some red accents found around the transmission stick, center console, speaker, and some stitchings.
Safety and Driver Assistant
Safety-wise, the Compass is loaded for the price. As standard, it comes with 8 airbags, electronic roll mitigation, electronic stability control, traction control, hill-start assist, security alarm system, and rear back-up camera.
The Limited and Trailhawk® trims include the Driver Assistance Package, which adds safety and driver assistant features (further explained in the next section).
Some significant add-on packages are available to opt for your 2021 Compass. However, these packages are only available in some specific trims.
Available on Latitude and Altitude trims, the Convenience Package features heated front seats and steering wheel, a power-adjustable driver seat, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a colored 7.0-inch driver information display.
Moreover, some nice essentials like a 115-volt auxiliary power outlet, all-season floor mats, remote-start system, and windshield wipers that can remove built-up ice and frost are also included.
Driver Assistance Package
For those keen on safety, we recommend getting this package. Available on the Latitude, Altitude, and 80th Anniversary trim, the Driver Assistance Package features the additional safety bits that are standard in the top two trims.
Notable features are adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlamp control, blind-spot and cross-path detection, forward collision warning with braking assistant, and lane departure warning.
There is also a rear parking sensor, rain-sensing windshield wipers, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and security alarm.
Sun and Sound Package
Available on all trims except Sport and Freedom trim, the Sun and Sound Package features a dual-pane panoramic sunroof and 9-speaker Alpine® audio system with an amplifier.
Cold Weather Package
Available exclusively on Sport and Freedom trim, the Cold Weather package contains winter essentials like heated front seats, leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel, remote-start system, all-season floor mats, and ice remover windshield wiper.
Elite Exterior Package
Price: Limited – $1,495, Trailhawk® – $995
Available exclusively on Limited and Trailhawk® trim, the Elite Exterior Package adds new 19-inch alloys, Bi-Xenon HID headlamps, LED taillamps, and a power liftgate.
Elite Interior Package
Price: Limited – $1,395, Trailhawk® – $1,695
Available exclusively on Limited and Trailhawk® trim, the Elite Interior Package features premium seat leathering, power-adjustable front seats, an 8.4-inch infotainment system with navigation, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot capability, and SiriusXM® services.
Available on all 4WD models except Sport and Freedom trim, the Trailer-Tow Package is perfect for towing enthusiasts, featuring a 4-pin wiring harness, Class III receiver hitch, and a temporary spare tire.
The 2021 Jeep Compass has a towing capacity of up to 2,000 lbs, which is short of the class-best. Unfortunately, Jeep also only provides the Trailer-Tow package only for the 4WD models. Even so, the Sport and Freedom trim does not have the privilege to opt for this package at all.
The warranty that Jeep will include on top of your 2021 Compass purchase includes:
- Limited warranty of up to 3 years/36,000 miles
- Drivetrain warranty of up to 5 years/60,000 miles
- Rust warranty of up to 5 years with unlimited mileage
- Roadside assistance program of up to 5 years/60,000 miles
- Complimentary scheduled maintenance of up to 3 years, including 24/7 phone service and access to special VIP Jeep events
The 2021 Jeep Compass is a reasonably-priced small SUV. However, although it unmistakably carries a Jeep pedigree, its underpowered engine, bland driving experience, and lower-class interior quality make it less appealing. The 2021 Mazda CX-5 solves all of those problems at a similar price point.
It is quite annoying that, in a nutshell, upgrading to the next level trim only unlocks the ability to opt for extra packages rather than unlocking the features themselves. However, Jeep has made it fairer as the trims’ price differences are slim and still reasonable.
If you fancy the steadfast full-time 4WD system, you can get it from the entry-level Sport model. It is reasonably priced, and knowing that the engines and most of the standard safety features are equal across all trims, the Sport is the one to go for if you want to maximize its value.
It is worth noting that the top-of-the-range Trailhawk® is a competent off-roader. Still, it is also hard to ignore the new Ford Bronco Sport, as it offers better off-road capabilities, but with a much stronger engine and larger interior space, and at a somewhat similar price.
2021 Jeep Compass
|Body Style(s)||Sport Utility Vehicle|
|Displacement (L/cu. in.)||2.4 L/144|
|Horsepower @ RPM||180 @ 6400|
|Torque @ RPM||175 @ 3900|
|Fuel Injection||Sequential MPI|
|Transmission(s)||6-Speed Auto w/OD||9-Speed Auto w/OD||6-Speed Auto w/OD||9-Speed Auto w/OD||6-Speed Auto w/OD||9-Speed Auto w/OD||6-Speed Auto w/OD||9-Speed Auto w/OD|
|Fuel Economy – City||22 MPG|
|Fuel Economy – Hwy||31 MPG||30 MPG||31 MPG||30 MPG||31 MPG||30 MPG||31 MPG||30 MPG||31 MPG||30 MPG|
|Fuel Economy – Combined||25 MPG|
|Passenger volume (cu.ft.)||99.6|
|Cargo volume (cu.ft.)||27.2|
|Curb weight (lbs)||3237||3327||3184||3327||3327||3184||3327||3184||3327||3184||3327||3633|
Wheels & Tires
|Wheel size||16 X 6.5||17 X 7||17 X 6.5||18 X 7||19 X 7.5||18 X 7||17 X 6.5|