Why Are Jeep Compasses So Cheap?

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The economic value of vehicles is determined by several factors. There are many examples of vehicles that have had a much lower MSRP initially, yet when we look at their value today, it has completely shifted. On the other hand, when looking at the depreciation of vehicles, you will find that it’s actually very common for vehicles to depreciate in value over time in practically all cases.

Today, we are going to explain why one is so easily able to find Jeep Compasses for dirt cheap. There are many factors that play their respective roles in making the prices too good to be true, and we will be going through each and every one of those aspects. First, though, here’s a quick overview of the situation.

Jeep Compasses have always been on the lower side of the spectrum in terms of their MSRP. Furthermore, most Jeep owners are dedicated Jeep fans, and the Jeep Compass does not appeal to them since this model lacks the typical Jeep aura. They often get tagged with lower prices due to this.

However, this simple explanation does not really let you see the whole picture. Many other factors like reliability, depreciation, common problems, economic value, demand, aftermarket support (the most important), maintenance cost, and more also affect the final pricing. 

We will go through each of these factors in detail to explain how any of these play a major role in the low prices for Jeep Compasses. Please note that we won’t be going into model year differences though because it’s common knowledge that the latest models will cost more than the older ones.

Reliability is Not a Problem

The first thing any potential vehicle owner wants to know about is a vehicle’s reliability. If the Jeep Compass is not reliable, its resale will inevitably be lower. However, especially in this case, lower prices do not always suggest that the vehicle is unreliable. The majority of drivers have given the Jeep Compass a very high rating in terms of its reliability, contrary to what the pricing may imply.

When we look at reliability ratings, Jeeps overall are given a mere 3.5 out of 5.0 rating. When we look at the Jeep Compass explicitly, the data shows it coming in with a 4.0 out of 5.0 rating, meaning that Jeep Compass is actually more reliable than your average Jeep.

Common Problems with the Jeep Compass

The Jeep Compass Engine Won’t Start

This is a common issue that occurs in Jeep Compasses when the electronics system fails to identify the key fob. The wireless control module is the culprit in this situation and would require replacement. This WCM is also known as the “Sentry Key Remote Entry Module.”

When this problem is acting up, the engine does not crank. This problem has been reported in the model years ranging from 2007 to 2018. When looking for a used Jeep Compass, you’ll definitely want to make sure that it does not have this issue occurring on a regular basis. However, the diagnosis to determine if this is a problem in a specific Compass will cost you about $100.

Water Leaking from the Roof of Jeep Compasses

This is, again, one of the common problems that Jeep Compass owners have mentioned. It is important to inspect all of the roof seams for any damage that might be causing this issue. Furthermore, all of the weatherproofing should thoroughly be inspected along with all the grommets and plugs to check for any leaks.

This problem has been reported in the model years of 2007 to 2014. Make sure to pour water onto the roof of the Jeep Compass with a garden hose if you are inspecting the vehicle for potential purchase.

The Jeep Compass ‘Check Engine’ Light is On

If you are experiencing a check engine light issue in your Jeep Compass, make sure to update the software with the latest version available. Most of the time, a simple software update can solve the common check engine light problem.

The ESP is Not Turning Off in Jeep Compasses

This is a common problem that has been reported by many Jeep Compass owners, especially the ones who have the 2007, 2008, and 2009 models. This problem can be solved by simply updating the software. If the problem persists, you may be dealing with some electronics issues. 

Annual Maintenance Costs of a Jeep Compass

The annual maintenance cost for a Jeep Compass is around $550. However, the recent model years have shown an amazing, less-than-$400 annual maintenance cost, a price that lands in the Toyota category of expenses.

In other words, Jeep Compasses are doing pretty well when we look at their latest model years from 2018 and onwards.


Depreciation is a widespread problem that all vehicle owners have been facing for many, many years—until Covid happened. During this pandemic, the used vehicle market has seen a huge spike, and it has never been so expensive before.

The reason for this is that brand new vehicles have not been able to hit the market because of the chip shortage, so as an alternative, people are moving towards buying used vehicles. Due to this high demand, the prices are going up.

Dealers working in the used car market have become aware of the rise in demand, so now they are charging much more than how much they used to for used vehicles.

The depreciation of Jeep Compasses is not as significant as with BMWs, Audis, Mercedes, etc. Some BMWs depreciate as much as 70% after being on the road for five years. For the Jeep Compass, this depreciation came out to be 48%, which is much better than most BMWs out there. So, it turns out that the Jeep Compass actually retains its value much better than a BMW. Even when we keep in mind the pandemic situation, the Jeep Compass is performing well regarding the depreciation aspect.

The Jeep Compass is Not Your Everyday Jeep

Most of the dedicated fan base has refused to give the Compass a place in their Jeeptopia. And to an extent, they are not wrong in doing so. The compact SUV model suits other automotive manufacturers just fine but not Jeep.

It is true that the Jeep Compass is based on the Fiat-Chrysler platform. It’s also correct to say that most of the parts used in a Compass are from Fiat-Chrysler line-ups, making the Jeep Compass a black sheep in the community. Just like every other black sheep, this Jeep is not accepted by the majority of Jeep lovers.

The Economic Value of the Jeep Compass

The economic value of the Jeep Compass is greatly reduced when not many people put it on their wish lists. When no one wants to buy a black sheep vehicle, the market value will automatically go down. Therefore, the Jeep Compass has not been able to maintain its market value very well.

There are not many people who want to buy them in the first place. When we compared the sales figures of the Jeep Wrangler with the Jeep Compass, the data was not very surprising. The Jeep Wrangler annihilated the Jeep Compass in terms of sale figures.

YearJeep Wranglers Sold in the USJeep Compasses Sold in the US

The reason why Jeep Wranglers are doing much better than the Compasses is the Jeep symbol itself. If I were to buy a Jeep, I would much rather prefer something that is more true to its roots. If I were to buy a compact SUV, I would have a sea of options to choose from, and chances are that I would end up getting something more like a Toyota C-HR instead.

Aftermarket Support

People prefer the Jeep Wrangler because they can easily acquire and install aftermarket mods due to the market thriving with Jeep Wrangler parts.

On the other hand, if you were to go out on overlanding adventures in Jeep Compass, you would have a hard time figuring out what mods you would be able to install to improve these excursions. Honestly, you might not even find an aftermarket product that you are looking for due to how uncommon Compass parts are. 

Most people buy Jeeps to taste that certain freedom it offers when out on open terrains. The Compass, even though having a dedicated four-wheel drive, can only meet those desires to a certain extent.


After all of the research done, it’s clear that the Jeep Compass is not a bad deal. You are getting a four-wheel drive vehicle capable of doing quite a lot, including remaining reliable for a long time. If you are finding some for cheap and thinking about buying one, there is absolutely no harm in getting a Jeep Compass. However, just make sure that it does not have any of the common problems discussed above before purchase.

However, if you are a seller and wondering why people are not buying Jeep Compasses and are lowballing you with their offers, it’s pretty much simply due to the black sheep stereotype that encompasses the Jeep Compass and everything about it. The only true drawback to having a Jeep Compass would be the lack of aftermarket support.

See Also:
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Factor 55 FlatLink vs. ProLink: Which is Better?
11 Reasons Why the Jeep Wrangler is So Popular
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