Best & Worst Jeep Compass Years

We've ranked each Jeep Compass model for each and every generation, so you can avoid picking the worst Jeep Compass years and go for the best one.

In this guide, I’ll break down all Jeep Compass generations, highlighting the best Jeep Compass years to buy and the worst years to avoid.

Leveraging data from NHTSA, Consumer Reports, and J.D. Power, our analysis combines owner experiences, safety scores, and recall information, ensuring our insights are grounded in real-world performance and expert evaluations.

Specifically, I’ll spotlight the critical factors of each Jeep Compass model year, such as reliability, powertrain, technological and safety features, common problems, and recalls.

Let’s dive right in!

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Table of ContentsShow

Jeep Compass Generations

The Jeep Compass, first introduced in 2007, marked Jeep’s foray into the compact crossover SUV market.

It combined the ruggedness of traditional Jeeps with the practicality and fuel efficiency desired in an urban family car.

Here is a table listing Jeep Compass’s generations from 2007. As you can see, there are only 2 generations of this car.

1st Generation (MK49)2007-2017
2nd Generation (MP/552)2018-Present

Understanding the generational changes is critical, especially if you’re considering buying a used Jeep Compass, as they can significantly impact the model’s reliability and your driving experience.

Jeep Compass Best, Neutral, and Worst Years

We consider many factors when determining the best, neutral, and worst years for the Jeep Compass. These factors include:

  • Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
  • Annual maintenance costs
  • Safety ratings
  • Consumer Reports reliability scores
  • Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
  • NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
  • Edmunds owner ratings
  • JD Power owner ratings
  • Kelley’s Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
  • VehicleHistory owner ratings
  • owner ratings

The upcoming graph combines these ratings to comprehensively overview each model year’s performance.

Jeep Compass Car Smite Score Combined Overall Score

Furthermore, based on these ratings, we have categorized each Jeep Compass model year into the best, neutral, and worst year categories.

See the rankings below.

GenerationBest YearsNeutral YearsWorst Years
1st Generation (MK49)2013
2nd Generation (MP/552)2020

“Neutral Years” generally offer a balanced experience regarding reliability and performance but may not have the standout features or ratings of the best years.

It’s important to note that factors like NHTSA recalls negatively impact our rankings. A higher number of complaints and recalls typically indicates lower reliability for that model year.

Let’s dive into the best, neutral, and worst years for the Jeep Compass.

Best & Worst Years for Jeep Compass 1st Generation (2007-2017)

Jeep Compass 1st generation 2007 model
The 2007 Jeep Compass

The first-generation Jeep Compass, debuting in 2007, marked Jeep’s entry into the compact crossover market. It combined Jeep’s off-road heritage with urban functionality.

2013 and 2015 are Jeep Compass’s best years to buy, while 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, and 2014 are the worst years to avoid at all costs.

The Best Years: 2013, 2015

What is the best year for the Jeep Compass? 2013 and 2015 are generally considered the best years for the first-gen Jeep Compass to purchase.

These years offered a choice between 2.0L I4 and 2.4L I4 engines, balancing efficiency with adequate power.

The 2013 Jeep Compass improved the earlier CVT transmission issues, while the 2015 model continued this trend with fewer reported problems.

Fuel efficiency hovered around 23 city/28 highway MPG (2015, FWD), making these years economical for daily driving.

Technologically, these models saw upgrades in infotainment systems with more intuitive interfaces and connectivity features.

Safety enhancements included advanced airbag systems and stability control, adding to their appeal as family-friendly vehicles.

The Neutral Years: 2009, 2010, 2016, 2017

The 2009 and 2010 Jeep Compass models marked a phase of gradual improvements with persisting subframe corrosion issues.

The 2016 and 2017 Jeep Compass models offered enhanced technology and better interior quality but were still plagued by electrical system and infotainment malfunctions.

Engine stalling became more pronounced in the 2016 Jeep Compass, mostly due to camshaft position sensor failures, which were issued a recall.

The 2017 Jeep Compass owners reported various electrical issues and infotainment system malfunctions. Stalling was common.

The 2017 model was subjected to recalls for instrument panel brightness and halfshaft disengagement in the 6-speed transmissions.

The Worst Years: 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014

The worst first-gen Jeep Compass to avoid, the launch years of 2007 and 2008 and 2011, 2012, and 2014 saw significant transmission, suspension, steering, and fuel system issues.

Subframe rust leading to stability and steering issues was a major concern, alongside engine stalling and CVT problems. Necessary recall for the 2007 and 2008 models concerned ABS control module software issues, which may cause the rear brakes to lock up and sticky acceleration pedals.

In the 2011 and 2012 models, owners mostly complained about the CVT transmission overheating, causing stalling and high engine revs. The subframe corrosion persisted. Engine stalling was common, leading to power steering loss and posing a safety risk.

Necessary recalls for the 2011 and 2012 models concerned airbags and defective fuel tank transfer tubes, causing engine stalling.

Owners complained about engine stalling, mainly due to fuel system failures, electrical issues, seat belt pre-tensioners, and electronic throttle body issues in the 2014 Jeep Compass.  The 2014 model was recalled for disabled airbag and seat belt pre-tensioners due to the Occupant Restraint Control module short circuits.

See NHTSA 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017 Jeep Compass recalls and issues.

Best & Worst Years for Jeep Compass 2nd Generation (2018-Present)

Jeep Compass 2nd generation 2018 model
The 2018 Jeep Compass

The second-generation Jeep Compass, introduced in 2018, builds on the compact crossover concept with a more refined approach, targeting users seeking a blend of off-road capability and urban comfort.

2018, 2019, and 2022 are the worst Jeep Compass model years of the generation to avoid, while the best years for the Jeep Compass are 2020, 2021, 2023, and 2024

The Best Years: 2020, 2021, 2023, 2024

The best years for the second-generation Jeep Compass – 2020, 2021, 2023, and 2024 – showcase considerable reliability and feature enhancements.

These models are equipped with a 2.4L I4 (until 2023, then 2.0L I4 turbo, 8-speed transmission, standard 4WD) engine paired with a 6-speed automatic/manual (FWD) or a 9-speed automatic transmission (4WD), offering a balance of power and efficiency.

Fuel economy averages around 22 city/31 highway (2021) and 24 city/32 highway (2023) MPG, making them competitive in their segment.

Safety features have been notably upgraded, including advanced driver assistance systems like lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking.

These years also introduced more sophisticated infotainment systems with larger touchscreens, better connectivity options, and enhanced navigation systems.

Trim levels range from the base Sport to the more luxurious Limited, offering a range of options to suit different preferences and budgets.

The Worst Years: 2018, 2019, 2022

The initial years of the second-generation Compass, particularly the 2018 and 2019 model years, faced issues with the engine and electrical system.

Infotainment system malfunctions were common complaints, including radio screen problems and intermittent warning light illuminations.

While seeing some improvements in the 2022 Jeep Compass, there are still reported issues with the “auto-dim” feature and forward collision warning failures.

The 2018 Jeep Compass was subject to significant recalls, including voltage regulator failures leading to stalling, insufficient coating on rear brake caliper pistons, and lower control arm separation issues.

The 2018 and 2022 Compass models were also recalled for instrument panel illumination malfunctions, indicating ongoing electrical system reliability concerns.

These years, marked by these significant issues, make them less preferable for buyers seeking a dependable and hassle-free ownership experience.

See NHTSA 2018, 2019, 2022 Jeep Compass recalls and complaints.

Jeep Compass Resale Values

Explore the graph illustrating the average resale values of Jeep Compass models across different years.

Jeep Compass Average List Price


Wrapping up our detailed journey through the Jeep Compass’s history, I recommend opting for the best model years for the Jeep Compass, like 2013, 2015, and 2020-2024, for reliability and avoiding 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2018, 2019, and 2022 due to their noted issues.

Which Jeep Compass model year did you find most reliable?

Share your experiences and insights in the comments below!

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Jonathan Eckert

Jonathan is an ASE-certified mechanic with over 22 years of hands-on experience in the automotive industry. His expertise spans a wide range of vehicles, but he specializes in diagnosing and repairing Japanese cars. His previous workplace highly commended his meticulous attention to detail, and that's exaclty what he uses at Car Smite to craft the best guides for each purpose.