You are considering purchasing a Jeep Compass as a second vehicle, but you need to do some research. What years should you avoid for the Jeep Compass?
The worst years for the Jeep Compass were 2007 – 08, 2012, 2014, and 2018. Issues have ranged from control arm bushings to electronics to brake problems and power failures while in operation. There are some excellent years for the Compass, but these production years should be avoided at all costs.
While Jeep has a reputation for making vehicles that can handle rugged and rough terrains, in the mid – 2000s, the company knew that to survive, it would need to capture the largest segment of mid-sized or compact SUV owners – the ones who never went off-road.
Watching companies like Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, and Ford gobble up market share, Jeep introduced the Compass and a variant named Patriot to try and capture some traction for the future.
Unfortunately, while Jeep has succeeded in making some quality years, the early days of the Compass were fraught with issues.
Table of Contents
- What are the Compass Years To Avoid?
- What are the Best Years of Jeep Compass?
- Are the Most Recent Years of the Compass Reliable?
- Key Takeaways
What are the Compass Years To Avoid?
Owners have panned several years of Jeep Compass manufacture as needing the most attention and causing the most aggravation.
2007 – 08 Jeep Compass
Most owners know you should never purchase a brand-new vehicle in its first year of production because the company needs that time to shake the bugs out of the vehicle. Early problems always arise, which was the case for the first year of the Jeep Compass. Most websites rank 2007 as the absolute worst year for the Compass, which isn’t a great way to get started if you are trying to convince owners of other brands to switch.
(Some owners felt Jeep knew that the SUV had issues, which is why their powertrain warranty was so short at three years or 36k miles).
The primary issue for the 2007 Compass was the failure of its electronics. The TIPM – (Totally Integrated Power Module) was prone to fail, and when it acted up, it shut down most of the electric components on the vehicle.
Owners reported their instrument panels lighting up, the SUV acting erratically, and everything from losing power to malfunctioning stereos.
Unfortunately, this component failed after the vehicle’s warranty had expired (around the 100k mile mark), which meant that owners were stuck with an average $1500 repair bill.
To make matters worse, Jeep knows these cars have a significant power issue but has so far refused to issue any recalls.
Another issue many Jeep Compass owners found was excessive oil consumption or engines locking up just around the 110k mile mark.
While many vehicles use a bit of oil between changes, customers were told that having to add 3-4 quarts of oil was normal. Customers quickly became disillusioned with the dealers’ response, and when the engine failed, they became angrier about the exorbitant prices to replace the engine.
Many of the same issues the 2007 Compass experienced continued to occur in the 2008 Jeep Compass model, which is why we don’t suggest purchasing the 08.
While not as notoriously bad as the 07, the following year of production still had some severe concerns.
2012 Jeep Compass
Just about when Jeep was getting its act together by building a couple of years of sound production, 2012 rolled in, and this Compass was a problem child for owners and Jeep.
The primary issue for this SUV was transmission and suspension issues. The CVT would often fail due to overheating, and there is a tidal wave of complaints regarding tie-rods, control arms, and bushings.
Owners were constantly changing tie rods at about $500 each time, and if you add transmission problems, the repair bill was an additional $1700 on average.
Another issue the Compass encountered was brake failure. Customers complained of grinding or humming noises, and some reported sticking calipers.
Dealerships offered multiple repairs, but they did not offer a recall. (Jeep issued a recall on the seat belt pre-tensioners, just to be fair).
Remember the TIPM issue from five years earlier? Well, it’s back in the 2012 model year. If you are considering a 2012 Compass, our advice is to run away as fast as possible.
2014 Jeep Compass
Many of the issues occurring in the 2012 model are also present in the 2014 Compass.
It is one thing when your car has problems getting into gear, but even worse once you get going if you have trouble stopping the car.
One major issue of 2014 was the WCM (wireless control module) failure. Customers complained of not being able to start their vehicles and the keyless entry and other systems not working correctly.
While the issue was early, around the 30k mark, there was no fix other than replacing the WCM.
As if not being able to start your car wasn’t bad enough, the 2014 Jeep Compass leaked like a sieve. Customers often criticized the manufacturer for water leaking through faulty seals on sunroofs.
Imagine the struggle owners might have dodging dripping water from the roofs of their SUVs every time it rained.
2018 Jeep Compass
While many of the recent years of Jeep Compass have had few mechanical complaints, the 2018 model year is the exception. Most concerns revolved around the engine shutting off (often while the vehicle was in motion).
The cause was diagnosed as a bad torque converter, which robbed the Compass of power. The issue was another problem that often occurred early (around the 20k mile mark).
Even though it was covered under warranty, it caused frustration for Compass and Patriot owners.
Another issue stems from lower control arms that were incorrectly welded at the factory. The failure of these suspension components increased the likelihood of a crash, and while Jeep did issue a recall for the problem, it wasn’t fast enough to keep many owners from walking away from the Compass they had purchased.
What are the Best Years of Jeep Compass?
Two of the best years of the Compass are 2009 and 2010. These years have the fewest complaints and concerns.
In response to severe negative feedback about the Jeep Compass interior, Jeep redesigned the dash, instrument panel components, and seating to make the Compass feel more luxurious and less cheap.
While the early years of the Compass still battled a reputation of being underpowered (the standard 2.4L four-cylinder only produces 172 HP and 165 lb-ft of torque.
The Compass could tow around 2000 lbs, but its fundamental feature was the fuel economy it produced at 22 miles per gallon.
For more information regarding the best years of Jeep Compass, see the article on fourwheeltrends.com.
Are the Most Recent Years of the Compass Reliable?
Suppose you are considering a recent model year of the Jeep Compass. In that case, you can be assured that the reliability and dependability of the vehicle have improved considerably in the fifteen-plus years it has been in production.
The 2022 Jeep Compass has a 4.0 out of 5 reliability rating and scores 80 on the JD Power scale for initial quality.
- 2007 – 08, 2012, 2014, and 2018 are the worst years for Jeep Compass
- 2009 – 2010 are the best years for the Jeep Compass.
- Many of the most recent years are very reliable.
- Most issues have centered on TIPM failures, suspension, and brake wear.