2023 Jeep Compass (RED) Edition 4×4 Review & Test Drive

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2023 jeep compass red edition

The Jeep Compass has been one of many compact crossover utility vehicles that has marched on in a preverbal background of local American suburbs. The current generation of the Compass has gracefully aged for over 6 years. During that time, the Compass has received minor updates and additional equipment to better contend with a myriad of other similar vehicles in a vastly competitive segment. For the 2023 model year, the Jeep Compass continues its path with added safety features as standard, a more powerful turbocharged engine, and standard all-wheel drive.

Performance and Driving Character

The current Jeep Compass has only one powertrain, a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder good for 200 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The new more-powerful turbocharged engine replaces the 2.4-liter with only 177 horsepower. Power is sent to all four wheels with a respected ability to perform light off-roading duties. Out on the road, where most Jeep Compass vehicles will spend most of their time, there’s a respected feel for it being surefooted, but the powertrain feels a bit inconsistent in power delivery. Some of that inconsistency is from the 8-speed automatic transmission slow in reacting to throttle inputs for downshifting.

2023 jeep compass red edition side

While power is good and sometimes feels adequate for the small Compass, it is often lumpy in delivery, where it feels stronger in small doses but doesn’t repeat the same feeling. When things seem to work at the optimal level, the Compass hits 60 mph from a stop in 7.5 seconds, but hitting such a time doesn’t often happen where you may see more 8-second runs than its quickest. It’s possible that the 96-degree humid Florida weather may have had an effect on my time with the Compass Red Edition test vehicle, with some potential heat soak hindering power output.

2023 jeep compass red edition rear

The ride quality of the Jeep Compass is excellent, and it tends to handle itself very well. Much of the handling is thanks to the suspension tuning along with the large 19-inch wheels wrapped with decently wide 235/45R19 Continental all-season tires. There’s a respected level of agility and confidence inspired in driving the Compass Red Edition with no glaring complaints from the overall driving ability.

Fuel Economy

The new engine having more power was expected to not improve upon fuel mileage, but it does. You not only have more power to work with but a better EPA estimate of 24 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, and 27 mpg combined. Such figures are easily attainable in the real world, but somewhat like the inconstant power delivery, the mileage may vary greatly when you start to travel just above 75 mph on the intestate or push it a little harder in the city.

Interior and Technology

Being that the Jeep Compass is an interesting divide between a subcompact crossover and a midsize SUV, there’s a lot to like in the proportions, premium touches, and highly desirable amenities. The Compact Red Edition mimics the trim level equipment of the Limited trim, which brings with it many premium features, such as automatic wipers, ambient LED interior lighting, dual-zone automatic climate control, parking sensors, panoramic sunroof, heated and ventilated front leather seats, heated rear outboard seats, a 9-speaker Alpine audio system, 10.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and the latest uConnect 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen.

2023 jeep compass red edition dashboard

Overall, there’s a premium feel in the Jeep Compass Red Edition in being the highest trim level building on the Limited trim. The seating areas are generous in the Compass with respectable cargo space as well accessed through a power liftgate. The use of the touchscreen infotainment system, with integrated wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, proves to be user-friendly and responsive to inputs. There’s also a wireless charging pad to go along with the wireless integration.

2023 jeep compass red edition front seats

The uConnect system has welcomed customization to the infotainment screen, allowing you to move icons and configure quick accesses, much like what is found in other newer Jeep vehicles. The one downfall I found is having the seat heating and ventilation controls, among a few other features, require you to use the touchscreen going deep into menus instead of having a physical button.

2023 jeep compass red edition back seats


The new Jeep Compass adds safety features as standard equipment, but with the top-trim Compass Red Edition, you get the full bevy of active safety features, including adaptive cruise control and the driver assist group III package (lane keeping/centering, lane departure warning, blind-spot warning, driver attention warning, forward collision warning/mitigation, and rear seat reminder.

2023 jeep compass red edition cargo


The Jeep Compass Red Edition starts at $35,495 but can quickly increase to the as-tested price of $42,525 when you bundle up a few option packages to add in some of the desirable premium features. Such a price is a good point considering how well the Jeep Compass Red Edition bridges the gap between small crossovers and midsized models with its generous sizing for its compact classification. Having the new, more-powerful and more-efficient powertrain is also a big plus for the new model year.


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