When they were launched several years ago, Chrysler's current bevy of mediocre small cars (Jeep Compass and Patriot; Dodge Caliber; Chrysler Sebring/Dodge Avenger) made me feel ashamed to be a self-proclaimed Mopar man. Unfortunately, I can't argue with any of the points made by Tingwall and DeMatio. Still, after driving this 2010 Compass, I at least was relieved to see that Chrysler has drastically improved the vehicle's interior, an update that took effect for the '09 model year. Sure, the cabin remains far from class leading, and there are still a lot of hard plastics, but their quality has been substantially improved. Also, there are far fewer sharp plastic edges, which were everywhere in the earlier interiors.
The Compass debuted for the 2007 model year, when its base price was a hair less than $16,000. Imagine my surprise when I saw the $30,130 price tag of our current test vehicle. $30,130! As my colleagues noted, there are countless better choices for that kind of dough. Choices that offer better ride and handling, acceleration, and fuel economy, not to mention more attractive styling and a back seat that doesn't require a Tokyo subway pusher to help you squeeze through the tight door openings.
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor