How Are The Jeep Cherokee And Compass Different?

There are a lot of Jeep models out today. It can be hard to keep up with all of them from the daily drivers, off-roading beasts, and even the truck. The Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Compass are two models that are particularly confusing by seeming so similar. They also start at similar prices, with the Cherokee only starting around $2k more. 

To help you differentiate between these two Jeeps, let’s take a look at their differences. 

The Jeep Cherokee Vs. The Jeep Compass 

Their Looks 

The Jeep Compass and Cherokee are both compact SUV models that even look similar. We will reference the 2018 models for these comparisons. For example, the 2018 Jeep Cherokee is only 1.6 inches taller than the Compass and nine inches longer. The wheelbase is also only 2.5 inches larger. 

However, the slight size differences aren’t enough to help people easily tell these Jeeps apart. The best way to do this is by looking at the headlights and their rears. The Cherokee has iconic, narrow LED headlights that sit above darkened trim to stand out and seven-slot grille on a forward-facing bend. 

However, this distinction won’t last long, as the 2019 Cherokee received a redesign to favor to look of the Jeep Compass. The newer Cherokees will look more similar to smaller versions of the Grand Cherokee, but will still have a forward bend. The Compass also has the license plate above the rear liftgate. 

Their Interiors 

Among the 2018 models, in particular, telling these Jeeps apart is also a bit more complicated. The 2018 Jeep Compass is slightly bigger on the inside, providing a whole two extra inches of legroom. However, the larger seats may take up that space. They’re identical in head and shoulder room.

Both vehicles have similar trims, buttons, and dials. The Cherokee has a slightly wider center console. 

While the Cherokee has a higher-end trim option with leather and wood trim, that’s about all of the difference in styling and tech that these two models have. However, the Compass does have an 8.4” touch screen. 

Their Power 

The 2018 Compass and Cherokee start with the same engine, a 2.4-L 4-Cylinder that pumps out a solid 184 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque. The Compass only offers a six-speed and nine-speed options which is disappointing in terms of power. 

However, the Cherokee has another option. You can enjoy the 3.2-L V6 for 271 hp and 239 lb-ft of torque. However, this increase in power puts a slight dent in the Cherokee’s fuel economy. 

The Compass has a slight leg up on the Cherokee with an Active Low Drive setting for crawling on more rugged terrains while the Cherokee has an Active II drive system that’s comparable to a 4×4 system with low and neutral settings. 

The Cherokee offers a little more power and off-roading capabilities, but the Compass can provide savings. The light frame is more fuel-efficient, and you wouldn’t be sacrificing comfort or technology. When it comes to choosing between these two options, it comes down to if you want to floor the Cherokee a little faster than the Compass or not.