A gray 2020 Used Jeep Compass is parked on a dirt area next to a highway.

What Is the Reliability Like for a Used Jeep Compass?

Buying used cars, trucks, or SUVs is always a risk. There are a number of factors that go into the vehicle’s reliability, namely, when it comes to powertrain longevity, suspension tuning, and handling. How well does a used Jeep Compass hold up in the reliability factor? Well, there are a few factors to consider, such as what the trim selections are like and what might best suit your truck shopping preferences.

Is the Jeep Compass Reliable?

This is a multi-part answer. Because realistically, the question becomes: is a particular model year of the Jeep Compass reliable? Different model years will net you different and varying degrees of overall performance and longevity, each containing different issues you may have to address when it comes to maintaining a used Jeep Compass. Newer model years have certainly fared better in the reliability department compared to older models, especially when you consider the very positively rated 2020 Jeep Compass. Previous model years have suffered from some serious issues that have been addressed in some ways, and it’s important to keep in mind if you decide to purchase a used Jeep Compass.

What Are Some of the Issues You Might Encounter With a Used Jeep Compass?

First-generation Jeep Compass SUVs definitely had the most reported problems out of the entire line, especially the 2007 model year debut. On the upside, Jeep had an opportunity to garner feedback, look over what they did right, and correct what they did wrong. So over the years, they began overhauling, correcting, upgrading, and improving nearly every aspect of the Jeep Compass, bringing down a lot of the common complaints that were levied during its early first-generation run. The mid-cycle refresh was a big turning point for the Compass, giving it a great number of new features and refinements. Things further improved with the introduction of the second generation, which saw a significant uptick in features and functionality.

So, what sort of reliability issues might you encounter with the Jeep Compass now? Well, the 2019 ranked quite high in its NHTSA rating, but there were some frequent complaints about the start/stop button not working correctly. Far fewer complaints have been logged for the 2020 Jeep Compass, and it only has one recall, making it one of the most stable out of the second generation. There were a few owner complaints about the engine needing a software update to avoid an oil issue, but they were nowhere near as prevalent as some first-generation model years.

A red 2019 Used Jeep Compass is shown from the side parked next to a river.

Is Leasing a Good Option?

Buying used to own can sometimes be a bit much to ask, but leasing is a great way to find out how well a vehicle runs beyond the test-drive period. Leasing a Jeep Compass gives you an idea of how the vehicle will handle, as well as if buying used is something you might consider. If you buy used, you find yourself having committed to a purchase, but if you lease with the option to buy, then you not only get a good feel for the vehicle, but you can also tell fairly soon after acquiring the vehicle if you’re going to have problems over the long term, or if you’re comfortable with the driving experience.

Another thing to consider is that leasing opens the door for understanding the ins and outs of owning a used Jeep Compass and if you feel like investing the time and energy into one. Some people like the look, the handling, and the features, and with certain model years, they’ve managed to avoid too many complications, making it a good choice for those looking for something specific from Jeep.

What Are Some of the Benefits of a Used Jeep Compass?

Unlike the Jeep Cherokee or Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Jeep Compass isn’t nearly as expensive as its older siblings. So if you decide to indulge in the experience of owning a used Jeep Compass, the benefit of it being used is that you can very well find one that’s far cheaper than either version of the Cherokee. The other benefit of the Jeep Compass is that in addition to being cheaper than its larger relatives in the Jeep family, it’s also smaller, has higher fuel economy, and is easier to handle. A lot of people like the Jeep Compass as an intermediary SUV or as something for their budding teen drivers to use. In that regard, a used Compass is a great way to go.

Are Some Trims More Reliable Than Others?

A silver 2020 Used Jeep Compass is parked on a hill overlooking a valley.

This is a good question here because, much like buying a brand new vehicle, trims will make or break more than just your budget. Just because you’re buying used doesn’t mean that you can settle for just any trim, or as if trims don’t matter for vehicles, especially for vehicles like the Jeep Compass. A different trim line will completely change the number of features available for the crossover SUV. For instance, before the 2020 model year, certain driver assistant features were not made standard for the Jeep Compass. If you buy a used one, you would have to pick out a certain trim on an older model year that actually comes equipped with the many desirable driver assist features.

Some trims with higher quality materials and components will be more reliable than those that don’t come with said features. You can expect most infotainment suites throughout the second generation model years of the Jeep Compass, as well as an assortment of luxury components like power-driver and passenger seats or leather-appointed upholstery for upper-end trims. But there are also additional options equipped with trims as well that can enhance the performance and handling of the Jeep.

Depending on what you want out of the SUV will determine what sort of trim you might seek out when attempting to acquire a used Jeep Compass. If you don’t mind a bare-bones experience, you can find a base trim and call it a day, but if you want something extra with a little sugar and spice on top in the luxury, performance, or infotainment department; you might want to consider a higher grade trim.

Is a Used Jeep Compass Reliable for Off-Roading?

This still hovers around whether or not certain trims are more reliable than others, and the answer is obviously yes; certain trims are more reliable than others, especially when it comes to off-roading. If you don’t plan on taking your Jeep Compass off the beaten path, then this isn’t even a question that would really concern you. However, if you do plan on taking your Jeep Compass on dirt roads, trails, or up through the mountains or hilly forested areas, then you will probably want a specific trim when buying a used Jeep Compass.

Two very popular trim-lines for the Jeep Compass happen to be the Altitude and Trailhawk, the latter of which is the top-of-the-line trim for the Compass. It has a luxury-grade interior with premium cloth and leather-appointed seats, while certain model years come in two-tone color schemes. The most prominent features of the Trawilhawk are its off-road capabilities.

The Trailhawk comes with special drivetrain features, such as four-wheel drive differential features to help with rock climbs, hill ascent/descent, along with stability and traction control. The 4×4 SUV variant is a great way to get the most out of the Compass if you decided to buy a used version of the Jeep. Obviously, you’ll still need to do your homework on which model year gives you the best bang for your buck, as well as which trim comes with the standard features you want out of an SUV.

So, Is a Used Jeep Compass Reliable?

The short answer is yes, as long as you do your research. Remember, shopping used is an excellent way to vet out individual vehicles and find the perfect one. Ask for a vehicle history report to ensure that the specific one you are looking at hasn’t had any major damage or a lot of problems. Make sure any recalls have been performed before purchasing. The Jeep Compass is historically overall a reliable vehicle, so it’s a great one to shop for; just make sure you test out the specific used model you want, and you will be able to drive away happy.