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2020 Jeep Compass vs Ford Escape

2020 Jeep Compass vs Ford Escape

2020 Compass vs Escape - How do they stack up? Which is Better?

Compact crossovers are ideal for drivers who aren’t looking to spend a lot of money on a new SUV. Drivers also find compact crossovers to be much easier to park in the city. While the segment is overflowing with worthy options, some models are better than others.

Some car shoppers will have their eye on the new 2020 Jeep Compass. Its Grand Cherokee-like styling and superior off-road capabilities will appeal to many people. An excellent infotainment system also helps the new Compass to stand out from the pack.

Another one of the segment’s top contenders is the redesigned 2020 Ford Escape. It returns for 2020 with more passenger room and a handful of new features. Let’s find out whether the 2020 Jeep Compass or the 2020 Ford Escape wins this head-to-head contest.

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The Powertrain

Every new Jeep Compass comes equipped with the same power source. Under the hood lies a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine. It generates a reasonable 180 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque. While a six-speed manual transmission enables the Compass to squeeze out more gas mileage, a six-speed automatic transmission is optional. Meanwhile, four-wheel-drive models receive a nine-speed automatic transmission.

The new Ford Escape gives you more than one powertrain to choose from. A turbocharged three-cylinder engine comes standard, which churns out 181 hp and 190 lb-ft of torque. This engine is actually designed to run on only two cylinders for enhanced fuel economy. Drivers who desire an even quicker performance can move up to a turbo four-cylinder engine. It raises the Escape’s output to 250 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. Both engines feed power through an eight-speed automatic transmission.

When it comes to overall performance, the Ford Escape is the hands-down winner. Many test drivers were disappointed with the Jeep Compass’ uninspiring acceleration. It takes around 9.1 seconds for this SUV to hit 60 mph. Even the least powerful version of the Escape sprints to 60 mph in 8.4 seconds. Meanwhile, models with an upgraded engine clock a 0-60 mph time of 7.7 seconds. Some automotive critics also describe the Compass’ nine-speed gearbox as being sloppy.

Drivers who need to do some towing will find the Escape to be a better option. It can pull up to 3,500 pounds, which isn’t bad for a small SUV. By comparison, the Compass has a low towing capacity of only 1,000 pounds.

The edge in fuel economy goes to the Escape. It’s rated by the EPA to return up to 27 mpg town/33 mpg freeway. Models equipped with a bigger engine can deliver 23 mpg town/31 mpg freeway. Meanwhile, drivers can trust the Compass to deliver up to 22 mpg town/31 mpg freeway. Regular gas is recommended for both vehicles.

In terms of road handling, the 2020 Ford Escape yet again jumps out ahead of the 2020 Jeep Compass. In fact, few models in the class handle better than the new Escape. Well-controlled body motions and quick reflexes make it fun to drive. Sharp steering also helps the Escape to drive like a car. Expect the Compass to feel noticeably less athletic on curvy roads.

When it comes time to go off-roading, the Jeep Compass finally outclasses the Ford Escape. This is especially true for the Compass Trailhawk. Its higher ground clearance and more rugged AWD system enable outdoor lovers to confidently venture through the rural backcountry. A trail-ready suspension, all-terrain tires, and underbody protection are also found on this adventurous model. There’s not a true off-road trim in the Escape’s lineup.

The Escape’s braking system is fairly good. When traveling at a speed of 60 mph, it takes the Escape around 125 feet to come to a complete stop. Some testers find the Compass’ brakes to be a bit grabby.

According to J.D Power’s dependability test, the Escape will be more reliable in the long run. It scored an outstanding 4.5 out of 5.0 rating. This means the Escape ranks among the most trustworthy crossovers in America. Unfortunately, results for the Jeep Compass weren’t nearly as good. It received a 2.5 out of 5.0 rating in long-term dependability.

These small crossovers break even in terms of warranty coverage. While their bumper-to-bumper warranties expire after 36,000 miles, their powertrain warranties last for 60,000 miles.


The 2020 Ford Escape has an extremely pleasing ride. Well-damped shocks enable the Escape to feel smooth on all roads. While the 2020 Jeep Compass has an okay ride, it isn't as cushy as the new Escape. Road imperfections can cause the Compass to feel just a bit bumpy at times. This is especially true for the Compass Trailhawk, which features all-terrain tires.

A quieter cabin gives the Escape yet another advantage over the Compass. Excellent soundproofing and noise-lowering acoustic glass help the Escape to stay quiet. While the Compass has a well-insulated cabin, it’s not quite as hushed. A noisy powertrain takes away from the cabin’s quietness.

Both of these compact crossovers have a five-passenger seating capacity. However, the Ford Escape is bigger on the inside. It has a total passenger volume of 104 cubic feet. Jeep lists the Compass with a total passenger volume of 99.6 cubic feet.

The Escape’s extra 0.6 inches of legroom in the rear gives teenagers just a bit more space to spread out. There’s also an extra 4.1 inches of hip room in the Escape’s second row, which enhances comfort when traveling with three passengers in the back. There’s only a small difference in front-seat legroom between these SUVs.

In regard to overall seat comfort, the Escape stands out. Both its front and rear seats are supportive. Although the Compass allows drivers to sit up high, its seats feel stiffer on long trips.

The new Escape scores well in outward visibility. Drivers will be able to obtain a great view of the street. Thinner roof pillars also help reduce rear blind spots. Compass owners will also enjoy good outward visibility. However, they will be more likely to encounter blind spots when switching lanes.

Families who need to haul around more stuff will favor the Ford Escape. It provides 33.5 cubic feet of cargo space in the rear. On the other hand, the Jeep Compass offers 27.2 cubic feet of storage space behind its rear seat.

Ford’s available Sync 3 infotainment system works well. Its screen immediately reacts to your touch. The system’s controls are also easy to reach. However, Jeep’s Uconnect infotainment system is even better. It’s straightforward menu options make operation especially simple. Even amateurs will have no trouble using the Compass’ touchscreen. It’s easy to zoom in on maps when traveling.

As expected, both SUVs offer voice control technology. Ford’s infotainment system does a good job of responding to verbal commands. Jeep’s system also has accurate voice recognition, which helps keep driving distractions to a minimum.

Buying Tip:

To avoid overpaying on a new car, shop prices online first. Get up front pricing before you walk into a dealership. We recommend the following free services; Car Clearance Deals, NADAguides, CarsDirect & & Motortrend.
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The 2020 Ford Escape is made to give families maximum protection. It received a flawless score in every crash test performed by the NHTSA, thus resulting in a five-star overall rating. A Top Safety Pick rating from the IIHS also gives drivers an extra sense of security.

Safety scores for the 2020 Jeep Compass aren’t quite as great. It only received an NHTSA four-star overall safety rating. The organization found that the Compass is more likely to experience a rollover accident.

A few nice safety standard features come standard on the Compass. Aside from a backup camera, drivers will also benefit from the SUVs Rain Brake Support feature. It helps keep the brakes dry during wet conditions by removing water.

Far more active safety technologies come standard on the new Escape. Some of the key accident-avoidance features include blind-spot information, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian warning, and lane-keep assist. Compass buyers must pay extra for these help driving aids. Driver drowsiness warning also comes standard on the Escape, which the Compass fails to even offer.

Furthermore, only the Escape offers Evasive Steering Assist. When the driver isn’t able to stop in time to avoid a collision, this system helps them to maneuver around the obstacle. A head-up display, which projects the speedometer’s info onto the lower windshield, is also exclusively available on the Escape.

Another big feature not offered on the Compass is parallel and perpendicular park assist. When activating this system, the Escape can practically park itself. You also can't forget about Ford’s MyKey system. Parents can use this feature to limit their teenager’s speed and restrict the stereo’s maximum volume.


Prices for the 2020 Jeep Compass begin at $22,100. Meanwhile. Ford has given the Escape a starting MSRP of $24,885. Car shoppers can save more than $2,700 by buying a new Compass.

Some people will consider the base Compass to be a better value. Not only does the Compass demand less money, but it also comes standard with a far more appealing infotainment system. Drivers will enjoy the SUV’s 7.0-inch touch display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. To get these popular features, Escape buyers must step up to the SE trim. This trim has a steeper starting price of more than $27,000.

Drivers seeking more everyday luxury will be cross-shopping the Escape Titanium and the Compass Limited. The Compass Limited has an MSRP of $29,000, which is significantly lower than the Escape Titanium’s $33,400 price tag. Some of the common features include heated leather seats, a premium sound system, and navigation. However, folks who choose the Compass Limited will be forced to go without an automated parking system.

Which is Better?

When choosing between these vehicles, drivers must decide what they desire the most. Adventure-loving drivers will want the Compass Trailhawk. It comes loaded with all of the necessary off-road features. This crossover is a perfect match for outdoor enthusiasts.

In terms of sheer driving enjoyment on the street, the 2020 Ford Escape clearly outshines the 2020 Jeep Compass. Sluggish acceleration puts the Compass at a serious disadvantage. It also doesn’t handle as well as the new Escape. Of course, drivers who need to tow will be thankful for the Escape’s 3,500-pound rating.

If cost is a big factor, the Compass will prove to be a better choice, It enables buyers to save thousands of dollars. Don’t expect the Escape to feel far more luxurious on the inside.

Rugged exterior styling also makes the new Jeep Compass a good-looking SUV. It has the appearance of a baby Jeep Grand Cherokee. While the new Escape is attractive, there's no overlooking its more car-like exterior design.

While the 2020 Jeep Compass has some obvious bright spots, the 2020 Ford Escape wins this comparison. It simply stands out in more categories. Although the Escape is more powerful, it still manages to deliver a more efficient performance.

Families will appreciate the Escape’s more impressive safety profile. It posted better crash scores and comes standard with far more accident-avoidance technologies. Drivers who don’t plan to travel off-road should find the Escape to be the better overall small crossover.  

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