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Used Jeep Compass review: 2012-2013

Two years ago, Queenslanders Rex and Faye Chick downsized from a Ford Territory to a Jeep Compass Sport 2.4 4WD auto. To date they have done 37,000km in their Compass and have had no problems at all. They rate it for comfort, safety, features, performance and economy (best return is 9.5L/100km).

THEN

There was a time when Jeep was part of a small band of car makers that made serious off-road vehicles.

Now the once revered brand is just another badge in a local market crowded with brands trying to make wagons that look like off-roaders.

Given the rising market for high-riding wagons that look like they are able to cope with rough off-road work, Jeep had little option but to go soft to stay competitive.

Hence the Compass, an SUV conceived to run with the likes of the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester and a plethora of other softies.

The first attempt fell flat and the Compass slipped out of the market in 2010. An improved model was relaunched in 2012.

It wasn't that different from the previous unloved model, but with lines and looks that reflected the popular Grand Cherokee, this one looked more appealing.

The cabin was also improved with much more modern styling and fittings than the much criticised predecessor.

The seats were comfortable and supportive, while the room for occupants front and back was reasonable but not outstanding in comparison with its rivals.

There were two models in range: Sport and Limited. The Sport kicked off in front-wheel drive form with a 2.0-litre engine and manual transmission and CVT options. Step up to the Sport 4WD and you got a 2.4-litre engine and manual transmission. The Limited at the head of the pack came with the 2.4-litre and CVT.

When it hit the road the Compass was uninspiring. It was acceptable around town but faltered on the open road where it lacked the get up and go expected of a car in this class.

The suspension ably coped with the bump and grind dished out by town roads and the ride was comfortable.

The steering was dull and lacked the feel you'd expect from a wagon that was intended for town use.

NOW

Our reader couple is happy with the Compass. It has been trouble-free and that reflects the general feeling of owners.

With little to be concerned about it's important to focus on the condition and servicing of any car under consideration as a used car buy.

Start with the service record to ensure that the car has been regularly serviced as recommended. The Compass's service intervals are 12,000km and it's crucial that those intervals are adhered to.

Missing services is a recipe for an expensive meltdown. It's even more important with the extended service intervals all car makers are using today.

Old-time mechanics would tell you that 12,000km is pushing the envelope and it would be much better to change oils more regularly.

Check the service book and take note of when the services were done and who did them. They should have been done by a credible service mechanic, either a dealer or an independent specialist. Inspect the body closely for bumps and scrapes. These can often tell a tale of previous ownership. Look for overspray or mismatching colour on adjacent panels that might indicate crash repairs.

When driving a car with the CVT put it through as many varied driving conditions as possible, from walking speed to highway speed, idling, accelerating, cruising, observing for any sign of malfunction. Possible problems could be shaking, surging, shuddering or flaring.

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2013 $6,200 $13,970
2012 $5,500 $12,210

View all Jeep Compass pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

$12,990
Based on 67 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$8,800
Highest Price
$16,999

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Limited (4x4) 2.4L, PULP, CVT AUTO $7,900 – 12,210 2012 Jeep Compass 2012 Limited (4x4) Pricing and Specs
Sport (4x2) 2.0L, PULP, 5 SP MAN $5,500 – 8,580 2012 Jeep Compass 2012 Sport (4x2) Pricing and Specs
Sport (4x4) 2.4L, PULP, 5 SP MAN $7,200 – 11,220 2012 Jeep Compass 2012 Sport (4x4) Pricing and Specs
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist

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Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.