Drive down any highway in America, and you’re sure to pass a crossover SUV. The versatile vehicles provide enough space for families without compromising performance or reliability. The automaker Jeep, known for SUVs and off-roaders, puts its reputation behind the subcompact crossover Renegade and compact crossover Compass. Offering affordability and classic styling, the brand’s products hold up to the competition in a crowded segment.
When comparing the Jeep Renegade and the Compass, there are some noticeable differences. Most apparent is the bigger price tag on the Renegade. Though the number is only marginal, consumers are left to wonder why a cost difference exists at all.
A side-by-side comparison of the Jeep Renegade and Compass
The Jeep Renegade shares a base 2.4-liter I-4 engine with the Jeep Compass. It’s capable of putting out 180 hp with 175 lb-ft of torque. An optional 1.3-liter four-cylinder turbocharged platform is also available in the Renegade. The engine provides 177 hp with an increased torque power of 210 lb-ft.
The EPA estimated fuel economy for the Jeep Renegade is 24 to 27 mpg combined, whereas the Compass is similarly rated at 25 to 26 mpg. Both models come with standard front-wheel drive with the option of an all-wheel-drive system. The “Trail Rated” Trailhawk edition on the Compass is an impressive option that offers unexpected off-road capabilities.
The Jeep Compass stands out among rivals thanks to its optional manual transmission, uncommon in compact SUVs. Its design is comparable to that of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, although the Compass doesn’t offer the same flair found in the Renegade.
Both models offer appealing interior and exterior features, but the Compass is rather bland and not overly impressive. By comparison, the Renegade is far from boring with the availability of interior leather seating and trim, a premium audio sound system, and plenty of rear storage space. This versatile vehicle meets adventuresome drivers’ needs.
The Renegade’s interior is also slightly larger than that of the Compass. It provides features that are more comfortable for the driver and passengers. Both models’ infotainment system includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
The Renegade’s safety features are more abundant, and its rigid body offers better protection in crash-test scenarios than the Compass. There are also many more driver-assist mode functions in the Renegade, a welcome addition for any driver.
Why the Jeep Renegade costs more
The 2020 Renegade’s starting MSRP is $23,870, whereas the entry-level 2020 Compass starts at $23,795.
The marginal difference is perplexing, considering the Compass is slightly larger, classified as one of the bigger compact SUVs.
It’s odd that the Renegade would cost more since it’s firmly rooted in the subcompact crossover segment. MotorTrend suggests, “Maybe Jeep is charging a style tax for the Renegade, which is admittedly quite adorable with its boxy body and round headlights.”
Where the price difference matters
The price difference begins to matter in the higher-end trim levels of both the Jeep Renegade and Jeep Compass.
The 2020 Jeep Renegade tops out around $29,000 for the fully loaded, top-of-the-line Trailhawk. The 2020 Jeep Compass four-wheel-drive High Altitude starts at $31,145. Higher-end Compass models are far pricier than the Renegade, by about $2,000.
When compared side-by-side, the Jeep Renegade offers better value than the Compass. The Renegade’s enhanced off-road capabilities, advanced safety systems, handsome styling, and attractive pricing add to the total package.