2021 Jeep Compass Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Powertrain and structure issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

Jeep is known for making capable, sporty SUVs, so how does the 2021 Jeep Compass stack up? According to the manufacturer, it’s going to help “make an impression,” but that might not be a good thing. In fact, this defective powertrain and shoddy structure are what is causing a stir, but not for favorable reasons.

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Problems with the Powertrain

For a vehicle to be reliable and dependable, the transmission must work as expected. However, Jeep Compass owners are flooding the internet with complaints about the powertrain.

Here’s one from Edmunds. “The problem is the transmission – leave it in automatic mode and you’ll never see that power, it shifts into high gears early and STAYS THERE… Oh, if the problem ended there. While this technique works (I use it every time I go out), the engineers have designed a delay in the downshifting to prevent numbskulled drivers from downshifting too fast into a gear that’s too low.  Wish they wouldn’t do that, I’m not an idiot.  At the very least, they could make this delay settable in the Settings on the info screen.  Would also help if it had shifter paddles flanking the steering wheel but I suspect the built in radio buttons are in the way of that idea.”

The powertrain is a basic component of any vehicle. With that in mind, any decent automaker should know how to make one. However, Jeep can’t seem to get any basic systems right. Just look at a recent class action lawsuit that involved the previous Compass model. It appears that oil was burning far faster than it should have, resulting in critically low levels. Not only was this defect causing the Compass to stall, but it would also lose power without warning in the middle of the road. It’s unclear if the 2021 Compass suffers from the same defect, but it shows how incompetent the brand is. A stalled Compass is sure to “make an impression,” one that causes the driver deep embarrassment.

Problems with the Structure

The criticism goes beyond the consumer but overflows to the automotive publications. No one seems impressed with the build quality of the new Compass.

Here’s what Car and Driver had to say. “Its ride and interior quality are less refined than many of its direct rivals…it’s one of the least desirable compact crossovers.”

At this point, one has to wonder if Jeep knows how to build vehicles at all. Just look at Service Bulletin #S2008000176. It shows that the heated seats can’t be used in any level but High. To resolve the situation, drivers have to physically shut down the SUV and turn it back on. It’s like rebooting a computer when it’s not working right, except the driver might be in the middle of the highway when their rear-end is being burned. It would be difficult to do a “reboot” right then. What kind of impression does Jeep hope this Compass will make? Because right now, most people agree it belongs in the junkyard.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Jeep pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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3 COMMENTS
  • Bengt H

    Kjøpt demo Compass S 2021 modell. 22′ km. Bilen lever sitt eget liv om natten. Parklysene kommer på el motoren summer og speilene kommer ut. Noen som har opplevd lignende.

    Translation: Purchased demo Compass S 2021 model. 22′ km. The car lives its own life at night. The parking lights come on, the engine buzzes and the mirrors come out. Anybody who has experienced similar?

  • Grace V

    I purchased 2021 jeep compass 12 miles on when purchased its 2022 check engine light is on warranty 60000 a course i have 64000 it never fails. It’s getting harder to start I have the oil change religiously a censor went out a month ago What next, I’m single I thought I had a good car so many problems.

  • samantha

    my compass started to leak oil early on. it has stalled on me once when turning. it has a 60000 mile powertrain warranty. i have it scheduled for the dealership at 9 am monday. i get nervous about this bc i didnt buy it at this dealership and i have struggled with dealerships not wanting to work on a vehicle and then making it out that it is my fault. i really wish i could get out of this compass. i need something dependable as i drive often.

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