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2020 Jeep Compass Pros vs Cons

Why Buy a 2020 Jeep Compass?
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

Are You Considering a 2020 Jeep Compass? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

The 2020 Jeep Compass is a subcompact crossover SUV. It offers four doors for easy entrance and a rear hatch for easy loading and removal of cargo. Being a small SUV means that the Compass straddles the line between SUV functionality and sedan drivability. It's small enough to be maneuverable while still providing a roomy interior for people and items. Here are ten of the best reasons to own a Jeep Compass.

What's New For 2020?

The 2020 model of the Jeep Compass only receives some minor updates. The exterior and mechanical features remain mostly the same. The base-level Sport model now has more optional features than ever before. The Safety and Security package is now available for this model. This gets you Rear-Cross Traffic Alert, a Blind-Spot Monitor and more.

The Advanced Safety Package is also now available on the base trim. This gives you Adaptive Cruise Control and a number of great driver-assist features. On the higher-end trim models you can now upgrade the sound system to a premium model from Alpine. There's also a Luxury Seat Package for the ultimate in comfortable rides.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2020 Jeep Compass – The Pros

1. Great Engine Performance

The 2020 Jeep Compass only offers one engine option. Fortunately, it provides great performance. The engine is a 2.4-liter, naturally-aspirated I-4. It is capable of producing 184 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque at 3,900 RPMs. The Jeep Compass gives you plenty of power to haul around people and cargo. Both accelerations from a stop and passing power are more than adequate.

2. Amazing Off-Road Capabilities

Jeeps are known for their amazing off-road capabilities. The Compass won't disappoint you in this category. For the best off-road performance, you'll want to check out the Trailhawk trim package. The Trailhawk comes standard with all-wheel drive which is also an option for any trim level. The Trailhawk also gives you upgraded, trail-rated tires. You also get an improved suspension system and skid plates.

Any trim level with all-wheel drive gives you excellent traction control. You even get multiple driving modes for specific situations and terrain conditions. Snow, Mud, Sand and Rock modes are all on tap here. Rock mode turns the Compass into the ultimate crawler. You are locked into first gear and power is diverted only to the wheels that are gripping at the time.

3. Good Steering and Handling

The 2020 Jeep Compass offers excellent steering and handling no matter which trim level you choose. Steering is firm and accurate. The vehicle offers a nice, tight steering radius for easy maneuverability. You get a lot of road feedback from the steering wheel. Braking power is strong but smooth. If you get a Compass with all-wheel drive, the handling becomes even better. Handling on rough terrain or on slick pavement is impressive, adding to the safety of this vehicle.

4. The Storage Space

Storage space is one of the top reasons why people choose an SUV. The Jeep Compass has plenty of room for your precious cargo. You get a lot of options for configuring the cargo space too. With all of the seats in their normal positions, you can store up to 27.2 cubic-feet of cargo. You can increase the storage area all the way up to 59.8 cubic-feet of space by folding down the rear seats.

5. Seating Capacity

The average compact car or mid-sized sedan can seat up to four people. The 2020 Jeep Compass is a subcompact that almost seems larger on the inside than it is on the outside. You can comfortably seat up to five people in this small SUV. This makes the Compass a great choice for a family vehicle or for anyone who likes to transport their entourage around with them.

6. Roomy Interior for its Size

There is plenty of head and elbow room up front inside of the Compass. There is also an unusual amount of legroom for your rear passengers. The rear seats are not just for the kids, as is the case in some competing vehicles in this class. Average and even taller adults can enjoy a comfortable ride in the backseats of this Jeep. The Compass offers one of the roomier interiors in this class of vehicles.

7. An Excellent Tech Interface

The 2020 Jeep Compass comes with a fantastic infotainment system. The tech interface here is one of the best available. It is easy and intuitive to use. It responds almost immediately to any inputs. This is the Jeep Uconnect system. For 2020, you get plenty of connectivity options such as Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. An 8.4-inch touchscreen offers crisp, easy-to-see graphics. The base sound system is fantastic and can even be upgraded to a premium system from Alpine.

8. Standard and Inexpensive Safety Features

The Compass comes with a lot of standard safety features. You can now also get two safety packages for every trim level. This adds on a lot of driver-assist features. While added features may be pricey for the Compass, thankfully the safety packages are rather inexpensive. Now you can enjoy the best of what Jeep has to offer even on the base model.

We have already covered what is included in these packages in the above section on what's new for 2020. Some of the notable standard features include a rear-view camera, Rear-Park Assist and seven airbags for every model. The high-strength steel frame was designed to project crash energy away from the driver and passengers.

9. Great Ride Quality

The 2020 Jeep Compass offers an excellent ride quality. Comfortable seats provide plenty of support. The driver's seat keeps you firmly in place whether you're taking a tight curve or doing some rock crawling over rough terrain. The interior remains surprisingly quiet for an SUV. You'll hear very little engine or road noise. The suspension system is wonderful. Even with the base model, the suspension was engineered to be able to handle off-road driving. This means it can take bumps in the road in stride and soak up whatever the pavement throws at it.

10. The Stylish Exterior

Last, but not least, the Jeep Compass is an attractive vehicle. It offers rugged yet elegant looks. It also comes in a wide variety of colors from the conservative to more bold choices like Spitfire Orange and Laser Blue. The Compass can go anywhere and is sure to turn heads wherever you're at.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2020 Jeep Compass – The Cons

1. A Sluggish Transmission System

The 2020 Jeep Compass has a good 6-speed manual-transmission system. There is also a 9-speed automatic transmission for the Limited and Trailhawk trim levels. Unfortunately, the 9-speed automatic system can feel a bit sluggish at times. It sometimes feels like it waits longer than needed to shift gears. It's not the worst transmission system and is better than most CVTs on competing vehicles, but its performance is still disappointing.

2. Mediocre Fuel-Economy Ratings

The fuel-economy ratings for the Jeep Compass are not terrible, but they often fall behind those of competing vehicles. They're in that category of not bad but not great. These mediocre ratings feel especially disappointing when you compare the Compass to a vehicle that offers a hybrid model. At best, you will get a combined fuel-economy rating of just 26 miles-per-gallon.

3. Adding Options Can Quickly Get Expensive

The 2020 Jeep Compass has a wealth of options and additions you can make to each trim level. Unfortunately, they're not all standard. Adding safety features and convenience features can quickly become expensive. To a degree, this can be said of most vehicles. It would have been nice if more of the top features were standard.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition:

The Jeep Compass faces competition from the likes of the Ford Escape, Chevrolet Trax and Subaru Crosstrek. All of these subcompact crossover SUVs are fine vehicles. The Jeep Cherokee may also be a valid alternative to the Compass. It's a little bigger and is in a different class, being a compact crossover instead of a subcompact.

The Ford Escape and Jeep Compass are similarly priced, but the Jeep is a bit less expensive. Ford offers more powertrain options like a turbo-charged 4-cylinder or a hybrid power plant. With the Jeep, you can only get the 2.4-liter I-4 engine. The Compass offers much better off-road performance, especially with the Trailhawk trim level. It also gives you a more comfortable interior and a better tech interface.

The Chevrolet Trax gives you a similar price point as the Jeep. Both vehicles offer seating for five and 4-cylinder, naturally-aspirated engines. The Jeep does a better job of transferring its horsepower to the wheels. You get better acceleration and much better off-road capability from the Jeep. The Jeep has more cargo space as well.

The Subaru Crosstrek, while still not as off-road capable as the Jeep Compass, comes very close. It does offer standard all-wheel drive on every trim level. The Crosstrek also offers a plug-in hybrid model for those who want to go green. The Jeep Compass has significantly more power, better acceleration and a higher towing capacity.

Choosing a Jeep Cherokee makes for an interesting alternative to the Compass. It's a bigger vehicle for not a lot more money. It features a lot of the same great features and performance stats as the Compass. If you need the extra space, it may be worth a look. If not, the Compass is more maneuverable and will save you a little bit of money.

In Conclusion:

The 2020 Jeep Compass is one of your best options for a subcompact crossover. It's a rugged yet stylish little SUV. You get plenty of room for passengers and cargo. This little beast can even tow a boat or do some off-road adventuring. This Jeep is a reliable vehicle that gives you a ton of safety features too. It's hard to beat the Compass in this class of vehicles.

Previous Jeep Compass Buying Guides:

Why buy a 2019 Jeep Compass? w/ pros vs cons