2012 Jeep Compass

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2012 Jeep Compass
2012 Jeep Compass

Key specs

Base trim shown


The good:

  • Grand Cherokee-inspired styling
  • Ease of entry/exit
  • Versatility
  • Standard safety features

The bad:

  • Limited towing capacity

3 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2012 Jeep Compass trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Optional flip-down liftgate speakers
  • Front- or four-wheel drive
  • Manual or automatic transmission
  • Available Trail-Rated off-road model

2012 Jeep Compass review: Our expert's take

Vehicle Overview

Built on a car-based platform shared with the Dodge Caliber, the Compass is one of two front-drive-based models from Jeep — the other being the compact Patriot. Compass competitors include the Honda CR-V and Nissan Rogue.

New for 2012
Jeep has modified the calibration of the available continuously variable automatic transmission to deliver better launch acceleration, smoother deceleration, reduced mid-throttle engine rpm and heightened gas-pedal sensitivity.

The Compass shares a few styling cues with its big brother, the Grand Cherokee SUV. Similarities are most evident in the front bumper, grille and headlight styling. Exterior features include:

  • Standard 17-inch aluminum wheels; 18-inch rims optional
  • Standard fog lights
  • Optional chrome exhaust tip
  • Optional power sunroof

The interior features a 60/40-split folding rear seat and an optional fold-flat front passenger seat. Other interior features include:

  • Standard cloth upholstery; leather optional
  • Standard air conditioning
  • Standard cruise control
  • Standard heated power side mirrors
  • Standard illuminated cupholders
  • Optional navigation system
  • Optional Boston Acoustics speakers
  • Optional Uconnect hands-free phone connectivity

Under the Hood
Two four-cylinder engines are offered in the Compass, and buyers can choose from three drivelines: front-wheel drive; Freedom Drive I four-wheel drive with lock mode; and Freedom Drive II Off-Road Package, a Trail-Rated four-wheel-drive system. Freedom Drive II has a CVT that incorporates a low range for off-road driving. The package also includes 17-inch all-terrain tires, a full-size spare tire, an extra inch of ground clearance for 9.1 inches overall, a skid plate for the gas tank and tow hooks. Mechanical features include:

  • Base 158-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder
  • Available 172-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder
  • Both engines use regular gas
  • Five-speed manual or CVT
  • 2,000-pound towing capacity when properly equipped

Safety features include:

  • Standard side curtain airbags
  • Standard electronic stability system with electronic roll mitigation
  • Standard antilock brakes
  • Standard traction control
  • Optional seat-mounted side-impact airbags for the front seats



Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.2
  • Interior design 4.2
  • Performance 3.8
  • Value for the money 4.1
  • Exterior styling 4.2
  • Reliability 4.2

Most recent consumer reviews


Rusted crossmembers - subframe

I bought a used jeep compass from a dealership that did not disclose it had rusted cross members. Jeep covered the cross members. They did not cover any of the other parts. Here I am with a jeep I had for literally 2 weeks shelling out almost $1000 in parts because of jeeps design of the vehicle and they will not help cover the cost.


not good

trans went out,$2700, on board computers went $4000. A real piece of junk. If this is the best that Jeep can do Toyota here I come


Excellent AWD small SUV

I've had VW Jetta TDI, 5 Subarus, and a Jeep Liberty TDI. Due to no longer needing the towing capacity of the diesel we traded in for the 2012 compass and never looked back. Cute little SUV, have had many questions about it as it is attractive. MPG is 21 - 29. Needs minimum maintenance, as it is a "world vehicle" [can be serviced anywhere without special tools, parts or knowledge.]-- basic and simple, uses ordinary spark plugs, oil etc. However in spite of manual advice, CVT fluid must be changed every 35 to 40K miles to ensure longevity. Adequate engine performance, very quiet except for sound of ram air intake system. Able to tow 2000#. Now 8 years old and still on original battery, brakes, etc. Internet review reveals this vehicle getting well over 100K with normal maintenance. Of all the vehicles of this type now available, I still choose this one -- best value and reliability!

See all 60 consumer reviews


New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Jeep
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
5 model years or newer/less than 75,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
3 months/3,000 miles
7 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
125-point inspection
Roadside assistance
View all cpo program details

Compare the competitors


Kia Sportage


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Kia Forte


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Jeep Patriot


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See all 2012 Jeep Compass articles