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When it comes to all-wheel-drive compact SUVs, the Forester and Compass stand out. Both have capable off-roading trims, spacious seating, and practical interior layouts. But they also have drawbacks. Here’s a 2024 Subaru Forester vs. 2024 Jeep Compass comparison to help you decide which small crossover is right for you.

2024 Subaru Forester2024 Jeep Compass
Base Price$27,095$28,400
Engine2.5-liter four-cylinder2.0-liter inline-four
Horsepower + Torque182 hp + 176 lb-ft200 hp + 221 lb-ft
Base Transmission + DrivetrainCVT + AWD8-speed automatic + 4WD
0–60 Acceleration + Top Speed9.3 seconds + 129 mph8.3 seconds + 160 mph
Fuel Efficiency 26/33 mpg city/hwy24/32 mpg city/hwy
Cargo Capacity28.9 ft³, 74.2 ft³ max27.2 ft³, 59.8 ft³ max
NHTSA Safety Rating5 stars5 stars

2024 Subaru Forester pros and cons

2024 Subaru Forester Touring driving dynamic
2024 Subaru Forester Touring driving | Subaru of America, Inc.


  • Well-laid-out interior
  • Large cargo area
  • Smooth, comfortable ride
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Off-roading Wilderness trim


  • Slow acceleration 
  • Bare-bones base model

2024 Jeep Compass pros and cons

2024 Jeep Compass Trailhawk driving on a dirt road in the woods
2024 Jeep Compass Trailhawk | Stellantis


  • Generous standard features
  • Intuitive infotainment controls
  • Spacious cabin
  • 4×4 capability on every trim
  • Trail-worthy Trailhawk model


  • Engine noise in the cabin
  • Subpar cargo space
  • Poor outward visibility

2024 Subaru Forester vs. 2024 Jeep Compass: Driving and performance

2024 Subaru Forester Sport steering wheel
2024 Subaru Forester Sport | Subaru of America, Inc.

The 2024 Subaru Forester has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, the only engine option for all trims. That’s unfortunate if you’re looking for more power under the hood. It clocks a leisurely 0-to-60-mph acceleration time of 9.3 seconds. The base transmission is a continuously variable automatic (CVT), but higher trims have a CVT with adaptive control and a seven- or eight-speed manual mode. Overall, the Forester has responsive handling, a well-tuned suspension, and a comfortable ride.

The 2024 Jeep Compass packs a 2.0-liter engine in all trims. Its 8.3-second acceleration time is a full second faster than the Forester but still lags behind some rivals. Combined with it is an eight-speed automatic transmission that’s standard on all models. As for the driving experience, all Compass models get 4×4 capability for off-roading performance, and the Trailhawk is a true trail-going trim. However, they aren’t as good on the pavement, especially when taking corners, and suffer from engine noise in the cabin.

2024 Subaru Forester vs. 2024 Jeep Compass: Interior and tech

2024 Jeep Compass steering wheel
2024 Jeep Compass | Stellantis

The Forester and Compass provide plenty of passenger space, but the Subaru SUV has more. With the Jeep, you get 39.2 inches of headroom in the front and 38.5 inches in the back. Legroom is 41.8 inches in the front and 38.3 inches in the rear. Meanwhile, the Forester has 41.2 inches of headroom in the front and 39.6 inches in the back. As for legroom, it boasts 43.3 inches in the front and 39.4 inches in the back. 

In addition, the Forester has more cargo room than the Compass. The Forester provides 28.9 cubic feet behind the rear row and 74.2 cubic feet with that row’s seatbacks folded flat. Meanwhile, the Compass has 27.2 cubic feet and 59.8 cubic feet.

Regarding tech features, all Compass trims tout a 10.1-inch infotainment display and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Forester has wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration and a 6.5-inch standard display. Higher trims get a slightly larger 8.0-inch screen. 

2024 Subaru Forester vs. 2024 Jeep Compass: Trim levels and features

Subaru Forester Wilderness headrests
The interior of a Subaru Forester Wilderness | Subaru

Here are the six 2024 Subaru Forester trim levels, listed in order of lowest to highest base MSRP:

  • Base, $27,095 — The entry-level model has 17-inch steel wheels, LED headlights, satellite radio, and a four-speaker audio system. It also includes standard Subaru Eyesight driver-assistance tech and the Subaru Starlink multimedia system, including wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
  • Premium, $30,295 — This trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a push-button start, a panoramic sunroof, and a six-speaker audio system.
  • Sport, $31,865 — The midrange model upgrades to 18-inch black-painted wheels, LED foglights, evasive steering assistance, and blind-spot warning.
  • Wilderness, $34,920 — This off-roading trim boasts greater ground clearance, all-terrain tires, a roof rack, and 3,000-pound towing capability (the other trims can tow 1,500 pounds). That’s 1,000 pounds more than the Compass can trailer.
  • Limited, $33,975 — Moving up to this trim level brings 18-inch wheels, a power liftgate, and leather upholstery. 
  • Touring, $37,395 — Subaru loaded the range-topping Forester trim with a power-adjustable passenger seat, a nine-speaker audio system, a heated steering wheel, and a built-in navigational system.

Meanwhile, the 2024 Jeep Compass has eight trim levels:

  • Sport, $28,400 — The base model gets 17-inch alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, cloth upholstery, and a six-speaker sound system. 
  • Latitude, $33,265 — This trim adds keyless entry and ignition, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and synthetic leather upholstery inserts. 
  • Altitude, $34,565 — Access two-tone exterior color options (with a black roof) and more interior color combos with this trim, which rides on 18-inch gloss-black painted aluminum wheels.
  • Latitude Lux, $34,990 — The midrange model has 18-inch wheels, remote engine start, heated front seats, and leather upholstery. 
  • Limited, $36,245 — This trim touts a contrasting black roof, dual-zone automatic climate control, parking sensors, and ambient interior lighting. 
  • Trailhawk, $36,990 — This 4×4 off-roader touts 17-inch wheels with all-terrain tires, a raised off-road suspension, hill descent control, and premium cloth and leather upholstery.
  • High Altitude, $39,240 — The loaded 2024 Compass trim includes two-tone exterior colors with a black roof; premium LED fog lamps and LED taillamps; body-color fascias, door cladding, sill moldings, and wheel flares; 19-inch aluminum painted wheels; Uconnect 5 Nav with GPS navigation; connected travel and traffic services; voice command; premium Alpine speakers; and a dual-pane panoramic sunroof.
  • (Red), $39,515 — This special edition comes exclusively with Diamond Black Crystal Pearl-Coat exterior paint and adds special (Red)-branded badging and other details. According to Jeep, every (Red) model purchased helps support the company’s initiative to help fight health emergencies.

Which compact SUV is the right fit for you?

If you’re looking for generous cargo space in a compact SUV, look toward the 2024 Subaru Forester. The Subie offers about 15 more cubic feet of maximum storage room than the 2024 Jeep Compass.

The Forester also boasts lightly better EPA-estimated gas mileage. The Compass gets 24 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. Meanwhile, the 2024 Forester achieves 26 mpg and 33 mpg. 

In addition, the Forester Wilderness can tow 1,000 pounds more than the Compass.

However, off-roading enthusiasts should seriously consider the Jeep. The Compass Trailhawk offers off-roading-specific features, making it a winner on rough terrain.

Ultimately, the right compact SUV for you will depend on your personal needs and desires.