Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies.
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The SUV segment continues to rapidly expand, forcing automakers to perfect their tall, versatile offerings. Fresh off of becoming an all-new model for 2017, the Jeep Compass has been positioned to fit nicely in between the smaller Renegade and larger Cherokee. The change puts it awfully close to the Honda CR-V"s territory, which is the granddad of the segment. Jeep may be one of the more popular automakers in America at the moment, but does its rugged compact have what it takes to draw people away from the Honda? Unfortunately, it doesn"t look like it. Read below to find out why.
See a side-by-side comparison of the Compass & CR-V »
What the Compass Gets Right
Jeep has been on a role recently, focusing on bringing more upscale features and characteristics to its off-roaders. The Compass proudly wears the Jeep badge and the brand"s seven-slotted grille, which will be enough for some consumers. For drivers that are cross shopping a Jeep against something else, they usually wind up settling for a vehicle from the American brand – chalk it up to those amazing commercials.
Just like with any other Jeep, the Compass is geared toward drivers that enjoy traveling off the beaten path. In its Trailhawk guise, the compact SUV has the brand"s iconic Trail Rated badge, which dictates that the machine has been put through some grueling off-road tests and passed with flying colors. The Compass comes with a Selec-Terrain Traction Management System that allows drivers to choose from up to five modes to get the best traction possible.
Because of the Compass" compact size, the vehicle costs less than the CR-V. The 2018 Jeep Compass has a starting price of $22,440 (including destination), while the 2018 Honda CR-V is priced from $25,245. That"s a sizable difference of $2,805.
What the CR-V Gets Right
When it comes to things that the majority of consumers are interested in, like fuel economy, on-road performance, and interior space, the CR-V is one of the best vehicles on the road.
In terms of power, the CR-V"s range-topping 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is more powerful than the Compass" sole offering, which is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder motor. The CR-V puts out 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque, while the Compass generates 180 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. Honda"s offering is also more fuel efficient with a EPA rating of 28 miles per gallon city, 34 mpg highway, and 30 mpg combined. The Compass can only muster a combined rating of 26 mpg.
The CR-V is a little larger than the Compass, which means it can hold more cargo. Honda"s SUV is capable of holding 32.6 cubic feet more of cargo with the rear seat in place. Folding the rear seat down in both vehicles results in a difference of 36.6 cubic feet in the CR-V"s favor.
In addition to offering consumers more cargo space, the CR-V also has more interior space than the Compass. The Honda has more rear headroom, rear legroom, and front shoulder room. There"s more total passenger volume in the CR-V, as well, as the SUV has 102.9 cubic feet of total space, which is 3.3 cubic feet more than what"s available in the Compass.
Is Off-Roading an Important Aspect of a SUV?
If there"s one area where the Compass can handily beat the CR-V it"s when the tarmac ends. Jeep is known for making capable off-roaders, and despite the Compass" compact size, it"s still one of the more competent machines in the segment. Out on the road, though, the Compass lacks the refinement that the CR-V has.
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Our Verdict: Honda CR-V
Putting the CR-V up against the Compass isn"t exactly a fair comparison. The CR-V is the better vehicle in nearly every aspect, making it the one we"d recommend getting.