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2018 Jeep Compass Limited
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After having my 2018 Compass Limited for 7 months, I was in an accident - with a total loss. I loved it so much, that I bought another one, same model just the darker blue. Was hoping to find a orange, but not a fan of Trailhawk.
 

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I can tell the same story. However, I like my 2019 better than my 2018 because it doesn't have the oil problem. I started out with the darker blue but had to replace it with gray -- dealer didn't offer much variety on the color.
 

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I like my Compass and I keep it because its financially the best option for us right now, but after getting a Cherokee for my wife and seeing how much better it is designed and built there is no way I would get another Compass if mine were totaled out tomorrow. The Compass seems great if you come to it from a life driving cars/sedans from the likes of Honda or Nissan, little did I realize how much better things could be on top of that. The Cherokee is so much better laid out and takes such a jump in build quality and design... sure it costs a lot more but knowing what I know now I would find the money someway, somehow.

The Compass looks a little sharper but I'll gladly trade the looks for the performance. The Compass doesn't even get better fuel economy than our V6 Cherokee. Thats probably been the most surprising and annoying thing we've noticed.
 

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What mpg does your Cherokee return? We're disappointed if we see below 30 in our Compass.

What is lacking in build quality in your Compass? We don't come from a background of ever having new cars, genuine question. The car is very nice in our opinion.
 

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We get 22-28 on average in both the Compass and the Cherokee so far. I know that sounds like a wide range but we have pretty heavy seasonal fluctuations in this climate going from 100+ degrees in the summer to -30 with winter-blend fuel in the winter but they pretty much have been matching each other so far for any comparable type of driving we do.

Difficult to get exact apples to apples comparisons but early on I had to make multiple three hour round-trips to a nearby city to get measured, tailored, and finally pick up some groomsmen suits for a friend's wedding over the course of a few weeks. A couple of those trips were with the Compass and one was in the Cherokee. Wind was a major factor for one of those trips, can't remember which though at this point. Either way, my takeaway from those few trips was that they pull within 2 MPG of eachother give or take the weather conditions, and it will be 2 MPG in the Cherokee's favor if the Compass is the one bucking the wind.

We've observed now the Cherokee matching or beating the Compass on fuel economy with our Thule roof box on as well on a recent trip to Wisconsin. Again not apples to apples because we were not repeating a route we had gone with the Compass and the Thule, but we've driven the Compass thousands of winter miles with the Thule and it struggled to keep a 20 MPG average. The Cherokee was 23 MPG into Wisconsin with the Thule (downhill) and 19 MPG on the return trip (uphill the whole way).

We're mostly high-speed (75-78 minimum) highway drivers and that is exactly where the Compass never shines. There is a narrow range of 55-65 MPH driving where maybe the Compass would net a higher MPG number for a given trip but if its a windy day then that gap closes, and the biggest issue is realistically there are almost no major highways left that we traverse under 70 MPH so we are always in a range where the 4 cylinder struggles and the V6 shines. 30 MPG is impossible for our particular Compass at our preferred highway cruising speeds, even with a tailwind. I have not a clue about inner-city stop-and-go driving, I avoid cities as though they were literally besieged with hordes of moronic zombies (they pretty much are). Our trips are virtually always driving away from civilization but obviously using major interstates.

If there isn't a difference of at least 5 MPG (and so far there is not), then I say the Compass gets roughly the same economy by our standards. Any difference under 5 is within the margin of varying weather/wind with or against you. Maybe this summer we'll do some closer experiments and have her swap cars each day and average it out over a period of at least two weeks where the effects of weather can be minimized. Un-scientifically though, they are both so far netting mid-20s for us and we call that basically the same in our book.

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In terms of build quality, to swat at the low-hanging fruit you obviously don't hear of issues with oil consumption with the V6 Cherokees (got my "Customer Satisfaction" notice for our Compass yesterday in the mail). The shift programming of the ZF9 in the Cherokee is easily 10x smoother and better, and my dealership tells me I have all the TCM updates for the Compass. The Cherokee gets nice struts for opening the hood while the Compass gets a basic manual prop. The engine bay fuse box is an ill-conceived, sideways-mounted thing crammed up against the side of the battery that is difficult to access and requires a tool to get into. The Cherokee engine fuse box is up top, flat, and accessible with no tools. The V6 Cherokee uses only one, large battery (but still has ESS), so there is none of this dual-battery nonsense like in the Compass yet the Cherokee can still do stop start just as well. Actually, the stop/start/ESS is better in the Cherokee, the engine starts more smoothly and quieter than the cheap engine in the Compass. The Cherokee has a page in the vehicle info section of the cluster to show you the oil life % remaining, something the Compass unfathomably lacks and makes it hard to know if you are going to get an oil change message halfway through an upcoming road trip. All the seats in the Cherokee are better but especially where the rear seats are concerned, much more plush and a better angle for people's backs. The center console has two tiers in the Cherokee while the Compass has only one (half the people on this forum have bought an aftermarket tray to get that effect in their Compass). The Cherokee has a locking glovebox. Can't forget, there is actually a nice designated place to put your cell phone in a Cherokee... To rub salt into that point, there are not one but two cubbies for sunglasses (overhead and in the dash) that the Compass completely lacks. Although we only have active drive I on our particular Cherokee, you can get a real low range on a Cherokee while thats never going to happen on a Compass... Then there are some things that are probably more attributable to the passage of time from a 2018 model to a 2020 but the Uconnect is much faster and more responsive in the Cherokee.

I could go on and on, but the point is the Compass is nice, the Cherokee is very nice. Much better thought out, much better designed, much better implemented. And that V6 motivates the car properly without really sacrificing anything measurable to us in fuel economy. The Cherokee is better because Jeep made sure it would be better. The Compass is still great if you don't know any better and are coming from almost any other competitor.
 

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2019 Jeep Compass Latitude
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...In terms of build quality,...
Nearly everything you mention is related to how the Compass is designed, not build quality.
 

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Wow. See responses inserted in Red in quote below.

We get 22-28 on average in both the Compass and the Cherokee so far. I know that sounds like a wide range but we have pretty heavy seasonal fluctuations in this climate going from 100+ degrees in the summer to -30 with winter-blend fuel in the winter but they pretty much have been matching each other so far for any comparable type of driving we do.

Not a wide range, we've seen as low as 24.5, and as high as over 35. Winter we are averaging 28-31.

Difficult to get exact apples to apples comparisons but early on I had to make multiple three hour round-trips to a nearby city to get measured, tailored, and finally pick up some groomsmen suits for a friend's wedding over the course of a few weeks. A couple of those trips were with the Compass and one was in the Cherokee. Wind was a major factor for one of those trips, can't remember which though at this point. Either way, my takeaway from those few trips was that they pull within 2 MPG of eachother give or take the weather conditions, and it will be 2 MPG in the Cherokee's favor if the Compass is the one bucking the wind.

We've observed now the Cherokee matching or beating the Compass on fuel economy with our Thule roof box on as well on a recent trip to Wisconsin. Again not apples to apples because we were not repeating a route we had gone with the Compass and the Thule, but we've driven the Compass thousands of winter miles with the Thule and it struggled to keep a 20 MPG average. The Cherokee was 23 MPG into Wisconsin with the Thule (downhill) and 19 MPG on the return trip (uphill the whole way).

We're mostly high-speed (75-78 minimum) highway drivers and that is exactly where the Compass never shines. There is a narrow range of 55-65 MPH driving where maybe the Compass would net a higher MPG number for a given trip but if its a windy day then that gap closes, and the biggest issue is realistically there are almost no major highways left that we traverse under 70 MPH so we are always in a range where the 4 cylinder struggles and the V6 shines. 30 MPG is impossible for our particular Compass at our preferred highway cruising speeds, even with a tailwind. I have not a clue about inner-city stop-and-go driving, I avoid cities as though they were literally besieged with hordes of moronic zombies (they pretty much are). Our trips are virtually always driving away from civilization but obviously using major interstates.

We Live away from civilization, in the northern Rockies, we drive a 100 mile trip to buy groceries, harvest our electricity from the sun, plow a mile long driveway that you probably couldn't drive up, and drive 65-80 all the time. Our 4cyl sips quite reasonably at 2100-2400rpm, and when we get under 30, we complain. On winter fuel we're used to as low as 28mpg. At 80 we've seen over 30.

If there isn't a difference of at least 5 MPG (and so far there is not), then I say the Compass gets roughly the same economy by our standards. Any difference under 5 is within the margin of varying weather/wind with or against you. Maybe this summer we'll do some closer experiments and have her swap cars each day and average it out over a period of at least two weeks where the effects of weather can be minimized. Un-scientifically though, they are both so far netting mid-20s for us and we call that basically the same in our book.

---------------

In terms of build quality, to swat at the low-hanging fruit you obviously don't hear of issues with oil consumption with the V6 Cherokees (got my "Customer Satisfaction" notice for our Compass yesterday in the mail). The shift programming of the ZF9 in the Cherokee is easily 10x smoother and better, and my dealership tells me I have all the TCM updates for the Compass.

Blah blah blah automatic transmission something something who cares.

The Cherokee gets nice struts for opening the hood while the Compass gets a basic manual prop. The engine bay fuse box is an ill-conceived, sideways-mounted thing crammed up against the side of the battery that is difficult to access and requires a tool to get into.

Smaller, significantly cheaper car & associated packaging, not build quality. These items all function just fine as intended.

The Cherokee engine fuse box is up top, flat, and accessible with no tools. The V6 Cherokee uses only one, large battery (but still has ESS), so there is none of this dual-battery nonsense like in the Compass yet the Cherokee can still do stop start just as well. Actually, the stop/start/ESS is better in the Cherokee, the engine starts more smoothly and quieter than the cheap engine in the Compass.

Blah blah blah automatic transmission something something who cares.

The Cherokee has a page in the vehicle info section of the cluster to show you the oil life % remaining, something the Compass unfathomably lacks and makes it hard to know if you are going to get an oil change message halfway through an upcoming road trip.

My odometer works perfectly.

All the seats in the Cherokee are better but especially where the rear seats are concerned, much more plush and a better angle for people's backs. The center console has two tiers in the Cherokee while the Compass has only one (half the people on this forum have bought an aftermarket tray to get that effect in their Compass). The Cherokee has a locking glovebox. Can't forget, there is actually a nice designated place to put your cell phone in a Cherokee... To rub salt into that point, there are not one but two cubbies for sunglasses (overhead and in the dash) that the Compass completely lacks.

Cherokee costs 50% more... What do you expect?

Although we only have active drive I on our particular Cherokee, you can get a real low range on a Cherokee while thats never going to happen on a Compass... Then there are some things that are probably more attributable to the passage of time from a 2018 model to a 2020 but the Uconnect is much faster and more responsive in the Cherokee.

Lack of low range is my #1 complaint about our Compass. Don't care about the phone/car crap. Ours works fine in any case. While I am whining, I wish we had a regular mechanical key instead of the dumb wireless crap. The batteries in these stupid "keys" die if they get below about 20*, which means we can't leave the keys in the car overnight in the wintertime. What was wrong with mechanical keys??

I could go on and on, but the point is the Compass is nice, the Cherokee is very nice. Much better thought out, much better designed, much better implemented. And that V6 motivates the car properly without really sacrificing anything measurable to us in fuel economy. The Cherokee is better because Jeep made sure it would be better. The Compass is still great if you don't know any better and are coming from almost any other competitor.



Well, you explained why a Cherokee costs 50% more than a Compass. Now were you saying something about build quality? Automatic transmissions now have 9 forward gears and still can't get as good of fuel economy (not even close) as the cheaper manual transmissions, yet you candy-asses keep buying them and complaining about fuel economy. Oil changes have stopped requiring any attention to be paid to the interval, engines consume oil at a far younger age than they should, and those of us actually paying attention note that the "change oil" light doesn't come on for over 8000 miles. Boy, I wonder why newer car engines (across the board) consume oil more than they used to. Maybe you were too busy timing the cell phone connection between your cars to notice?
 

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Chapped some asses, did I? 😆

I can see that I typed too much because Wombat clearly did not read it, hence the non-sensical "replies", but your replies are made even worse with your lack of knowledge. The Cherokee is 25% more expensive, not 50. Don't make stuff up that you don't actually know about or didn't research.

georgef is correct in saying my points are really more about design than build quality, that being said assembly, fit, finish, etc are all better on our Cherokee its just harder to articulate specifics in that regard. The Cherokee is made in the USA, the Compass is not... pretty much all you need to know about build quality right there (if you have any semblance patriotism in you).

I don't know what else to tell you guys. I have a Limited trim 2nd gen Compass in the driveway that stickered at 32k, and a High Altitude Cherokee that stickered at 40k. The Cherokee is better every which way except perhaps for subjective styling preferences, and the way we drive them we don't see any meaningful difference in fuel economy between either one despite the Cherokee having a V6. The Cherokee is better, and worth the extra money in my opinion now that I have the option to switch back and forth every day. You spend more, you get more, and the USA-built one is simply superior in every way. Jeep has done this on purpose so its no big surprise.

If a Compass is all a person can afford, its pretty good. If you can scrounge up a few more bucks you clearly, unarguably get a better vehicle in a V6 Cherokee. Better built, better designed, more capable. That's all there is to it. I got a great deal on my Compass, I like it for the price I paid, but I'll never buy another one if mine gets smashed tomorrow.
 
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