Euro NCAP recently published their crash test results for the 2012 Jeep Compass - scoring a lowly 23% overall and an overall crash safety score of just 2 stars. This raises and interesting point: in this day and age when vehicles regularly get 4 and 5 star ratings (it's almost routine), it would seem a manufacturer would have to go out of their way to build a vehicle this poor. Chrysler must have known it would perform badly from early on in the design process. The design software used to do stress analysis on CAD designs would have shown up the failure before a single robot had touched a piece of sheet metal. Yet it would seem they carried on and manufactured the Compass anyway, which speaks volumes about how much contempt Chrysler has for its customers. Bear in mind they're one of the manufacturers who went cap-in-hand to the Bush regime looking for a bailout. In Chrysler's case it was $12.5bn (yes, with a "B") - a deal that ultimately cost the taxpayers $1.3bn in lost costs. You'd think given their patchy history, Chrysler would be a little more careful with their products but it seems they have learned nothing. Not only is the Compass just plain ugly (and trust me, having owned two Honda Elements, I'm well qualified to talk about ugly vehicles), but now it turns out it's less than stellar in a crash. The real question now is how much will it sell? Jeep die-hards will likely overlook the Euro NCAP ratings and buy one anyway, but people who do their research and put stock and trust in the ratings of agencies like Euro NCAP, the IIHS or the NHTSA will steer well clear of it.
Another interesting point to note : the IIHS haven't rated the 2012 Compass and the NHTSA have only rated it for rollover, not crash safety. The last time either organisation tested it for crash performance was 2007 where it scored 4 and 5 stars. How is it possible that the scores in the US are so high and those in Europe are so low? Is it because of design changes between 2007 and 2012 (it's been made worse) or is it because of differences in the testing processes?
Jeep Compass Euro NCAP 2 star crash rating