2012 Jeep Compass vs. Its Competition

2011 Jeep Compass FWD 4-door Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

The Honda CR-V reigns as the segment leader here for those who don't plan to go off-road; it's going to be completely redesigned for 2012, with expected improvements in refinement.

Among other compact crossovers, the only other one—other than the Compass's Jeep Patriot sibling—to offer a locking center differential is the Toyota RAV4, and none of them offer a lower drive ratio as enabled with both of these Jeep models' optional Freedom Drive II system.

Some also won't like the RAV4's spare tire mounted at the back hatch.

For those who never plan to go off-road, the Nissan Rogue might be the closest rival to the the 2011 Jeep Compass; it also has a four-cylinder engine and a CVT for its powertrain.

Even though Nissan uses the same CVT, it works much better in the Rogue, while the Rogue's interior feels a bit warmer and more family-oriented.

The Ford Escape is a dated, though competent rival to the Compass; and on the road, it's a much more substantial vehicle that offers V-6 and gas/electric hybrid power in addition to a four-cylinder with a six-speed automatic.

The Hyundai Tucson is a slightly smaller alternative, with an efficient four-cylinder engine and a stylish, contemporary exterior.

2011 Jeep Compass FWD 4-door Angular Front Exterior View2012 Jeep CompassBrowse Used Listings2012 Ford Escape 4WD 4-door XLT Side Exterior View2012 Ford EscapeBrowse Used Listings2012 Honda CR-V2012 Honda CR-VBrowse Used Listings2012 Hyundai Tucson FWD 4-door Auto GLS Side Exterior View2012 Hyundai TucsonBrowse Used Listings2011 Nissan Rogue FWD 4-door SV Angular Front Exterior View2012 Nissan RogueBrowse Used Listings2011 Toyota RAV4 FWD 4-door 4-cyl 4-Spd AT (GS) Angular Front Exterior View2012 Toyota RAV4Browse Used Listings
Quick Specs
The 2012 Jeep Compass looks pretty good—and its combination of versatile interior, mild off-road ability, and reasonably good gas mileage make it even more attractive—but it simply fails to feel cohesive, responsive, or refined.
The 2012 Ford Escape still antes up solid crossover bona fides, but its sluggish handling and plasticky interior are ready for retirement
The 2012 Honda CR-V is a great family vehicle, with a thoughtfully designed and comfortable interior, and improved refinement, but it lacks the confident, sprightly feel present in past CR-Vs.
One of the most improved crossovers, the 2012 Hyundai Tucson has size and value in its corner.
The 2012 Nissan Rogue's comfortable ride and versatile layout make it a good fit for a value-conscious small families--but it's far from exciting to drive.
The 2012 Toyota RAV4 remains a strong, refined choice for families, even though some of its design might be a blast from the past.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
21 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4
EPA Class     
2WD Sport Utility Vehicles2WD Sport Utility Vehicles2WD Sport Utility2WD Sport UtilityFWD Sport UtilitySport Utility Vehicle
Style Name     
FWD 4-Door SportFWD 4-Door XLS2WD 5-Door LXFWD 4-Door Manual GLFWD 4-Door SFWD 4-Door I4 (GS)
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
4 Door4 DoorSport Utility Vehicle4 Door Sport UtilitySport Utility4 Door
ManualManualAutomaticManualContinuously variable ratioAutomatic w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Jeep Compass vs. 2012 Ford Escape2012 Jeep Compass vs. 2012 Honda CR-V2012 Jeep Compass vs. 2012 Hyundai Tucson2012 Jeep Compass vs. 2012 Nissan Rogue2012 Jeep Compass vs. 2012 Toyota RAV4