Jeep is best-known for making the iconic Wrangler, one of the original rugged and highly off-road-capable SUVs. In 2007, the carmaker got in on the wildly popular crossover SUV trend and introduced the Jeep Compass. Largely because that coincided with the Great Recession and an extremely difficult time in the auto industry, the Compass has never gained the widespread popularity of some of its siblings – namely the Wrangler, Grand Cherokee, and Cherokee. In fact, many people believe the Compass and Cherokee are too similar.
However, the Jeep Compass is actually a (surprisingly) solid buy. It has loads of advanced technology and safety features, it’s good-looking, and according to CNET, it can hold its own off-road. If you’re considering a new one, there are some things you should know about the differences between the 2019 and 2020 Jeep Compass.
New options available across all trims
Prior to 2020, Jeep’s advanced safety features were only available on upper trim level Compass models. Fortunately, that changed with the 2020 Jeep Compass and now several safety packages are available on even the base Sport model.
The Safety and Security Group adds an anti-theft security alarm system, automatic rain-sensing windshield wipers, ParkSense Rear Park Assist System, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, and glossy black exterior mirrors.
Moving up a tier, the Advanced Safety Group offers everything from the Safety and Security Group plus automatic high beam headlights, emergency brake assist, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, forward collision warning, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a premium leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Finally, in May Jeep announced a limited run of the Sun and Safety Package for the 2020 Compass. In addition to all the features included with the Advanced Safety Group, this package adds a dual-pane panoramic sunroof, all-season tires with 17-inch aluminum wheels, and remote start. A two-tone roof is an available add-on. The Sun and Safety Package is a fantastic value as it costs just $30 more than the lower-tiered Altitude trim that comes with far fewer bells and whistles.
Jeep also added one other package, and this one is available only in Latitude, Limited, and Trailhawk trims. It’s called the Luxury Seat Group, and it adds premium ventilated leather-trimmed seats with power memory. Premium Alpine speakers are also available on these three trim levels.
The North Edition
The North Edition was introduced for the 2020 Jeep Compass along with several other models, including the Wrangler, Renegade, and Gladiator. According to Cars.com, this cold weather-focused special edition is essentially a Sport trim Compass with a host of additional features including remote start, two black front tow hooks, heated front seats, steering wheel, and side mirrors, and durable all-weather floor mats.
The 2019 or 2020 Jeep Compass?
If you’re set on a new Jeep Compass but are still undecided between a 2019 or 2020 model, consider which features are most important to you. For 2019, Jeep added a number of optional upgrades including the Upland special edition, High Altitude package, and a new exterior color, Sting Grey.
While four-wheel drive is available for both model years, the 2020 Jeep Compass has the cold weather North Edition and a number of packages that significantly expand the advanced safety features. Plus, packages are available on the base model Sport trim in 2020 that previously were not.
If you aren’t too concerned with the new safety feature offerings or the North Edition – the two things special for 2020 – you may be able to find a great deal on a fairly loaded 2019 model. On the other hand, if you’re looking specifically for a Sport model with one of the advanced safety feature suites, a 2020 Jeep Compass is the way to go.