2018 Jeep Compass Trailhawk 2.4 from North America


Transmission issues.

General Comments:

Got this Jeep immediately after selling my 2 seater convertible, because the dog didn't fit in the Miata.

The good news: Off road, the Trailhawk is very capable. I've taken this thing on a trail up a steep grade in the snow and it was very competent. It has a good amount of space for its size. The 110V inverter is a real nice touch.

The bad news: this thing is SLOW! I understand that it's not a sports car, but its lack of power has become a liability in several situations, including passing safely, climbing a steep incline, and accelerating to highway speed. This is not aided by the 9 speed transmission and its dim-witted programing. Up changes are jerky and down shifts are slow and inaccurate. It feels like there is a committee sitting around a table in the TCU trying to decide which gear the car should be in. This also doesn't help the fuel economy; I average 19 on a good day with lots of freeway driving. I can't help but feel that a larger engine would have helped with all of these problems.

The infotainment system is as responsive as a coma patient, and there are already a few weird electrical gremlins like twitchy gauges and window switches that sometimes don't work as intended.

All in all, not a bad rig, but I can't help but feel that one would be better off with a Mazda or Toyota.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st June, 2018

21st Jun 2018, 17:21

Good review. I follow the local car dealer ads in my southern California area. See these vehicles pop up from time to time on their lots. Didn't really know a lot about them. Did look up on the Internet that the Compass is a world car... built in Mexico... Brazil... China and India, and they sell a lot of them in the USA... Sales were about 65000 units in 2017... That's a lot of Jeeps...

24th Jun 2018, 02:39

Good review.

What does the dealer say about the transmission?

These have been a problem since it was introduced - and not just with Chrysler/Jeep et al - Acura has had problems as well.

24th Jun 2018, 17:17

My son just bought a new black Rubicon edition and absolutely loves it. Even with the factory options, he just spent a lot of additional money on many aftermarket add ons. Literally thousands of parts available to make it all your own. Pretty classy too being it’s a Jeep. Black really makes it a standout. I doubt it will ever see mud or sand under it. Even though a winch was just added. He did a lot of aftermarket suspension work without more lift. Far better ride and steering. A nice street machine.

I once had a new black Cherokee Limited long ago in the late 80s when they first came out. Didn’t really like it after a short while, other than really its looks. Mainly the rocky side to side ride and its small gas tank requiring lot of fuel stops. I bought a small junker pickup and guys at work cut it off cab, changed out the axle to make a small matching trailer, painted matching black with the gold limited edition stripes. Used the exact same gold Jeep wheels. Diamond plated inside of the bed. For a small trailer it was really beefed up. Kind of a cool tow pair for a short while. Got the thumbs up when going down the road.

22nd Aug 2019, 03:14

Are you sure your son didn't buy a Wrangler?

2009 Jeep Compass Sport North 2.4L from North America


Long-term reliability issues


Well, quite a few things. For the first couple of years, we were quite happy with our purchase and everything went well, except for suspension parts that kept breaking (toe-link and the like). All of them were replaced under warranty, but this was not a good indicator on long-term reliability. I cannot tell you how many time we replaced suspension parts, at least once a year, and we only drive on paved roads (living in the suburbs).

Last week, we went for our regular oil change, and as usual, the mechanic went around the car and brought us the bad news: the brakes were worn-out again (brakes are an issue on Compass-Patriot), toe-links also needed replacements, and even worst: the transmission is just about to die, after five and a half years of use and only 100 000 km on the meter (60 000 miles).

This is not what I call great reliability. And I must say we are really disappointed in the overall reliability of this car in the long-term. Needless to say, we are getting a new car on Monday (a Subaru) and will probably never buy another Jeep. The 4wd was great, no complaints there, and fuel economy was good, but having to replace a transmission after only 5 years of normal use is far below average in terms of reliability. Plus, a new OEM transmission cost around 6000$, which is the amount of money we got for our Compass as a trade-in. Of course, we could have gotten a rebuilt transmission for much cheaper, but it is still insanely expensive for Chrysler to sell a new unit at that price.

Also, the heating was getting bad and it took ages to warm up the vehicle; another thing that was not right.

A friend of ours is driving a Patriot, which is a clone of the Compass mechanical wise, and he has experienced the same problems with suspension parts and brakes.

General Comments:

Fairly comfortable ride for front seat passengers, low buying price, and fairly good on gas, although you can now get better mileage out of competitors. One of the cheapest options on the market for a 4WD, which is why we bought it because we need one. But overall reliability is well below average in the long-term, and you should look elsewhere if you plan to keep the vehicle after the warranty expires.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th February, 2015

7th Jul 2016, 13:35

Be aware of mechanics who are willing to replace parts or even to give 'bad' news. Not commenting on the car's reliability, but some mechanics let customers grow in confidence in their diagnosis, then throw in a big bill. Before working on such an item as an transmission, getting a second opinion would be a wise choice.