Jeep Grand Cherokee vs. Jeep Compass – Which SUV Reigns Supreme?

Among SUV enthusiasts, there’s one debate that seems like it’s never going to end – it’s the Jeep Grand Cherokee vs. Compass battle. Both beasts, legends in their own right, are vying for the crown. But which of these rugged beauties truly deserves the title of the ultimate Jeepster? Let’s dive in and try to settle it once and for all. 

While the Grand Cherokee boasts more power and a much larger interior space, that doesn’t mean it’s the overall better choice. The Compass shines with its compact design and efficient use of space, which means that it all comes down to what you’re looking for in your next ride. 

Jeep Grand Cherokee vs. Jeep Compass – The Stories Behind These Iconic Models

In the realm of SUVs, Jeep’s brand has long been a symbol of an effortless blend between off-road driving capabilities and family-style vehicles. Among its impressive line-up, two contenders stand out in the mid-size and compact crossover categories. So, let’s take a closer look at the stories behind these iconic four-wheelers. 

The Grand Cherokee Was Long in the Making

This mid-size SUV takes us all the way back to 1983. The team at American Motors Corporation (AMC) had a vision – to take part in the evolution of cars and upgrade the compact XJ model. Fast forward to 1987, and with Chrysler now at the helm, this dream evolved into the first-ever Jeepster wearing the Chrysler emblem.

Ford Explorer was considered the main rival of this brand-new mid-size SUV. Yet, this four-wheeler held an advantage with its unique unibody design, setting it distinctly apart from the Explorer’s body-on-frame approach. Ever since its debut at the 1992 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, this iconic vehicle has not only highlighted the brand’s versatility over the decades but also cemented its place in the market. 

With the 5th generation making strides these past couple of model years, here are the trim levels you can choose from:

  • Laredo, 
  • Altitude,
  • Limited,
  • Overland,
  • Summit,
  • Summit Reserve. 

The Compass Is Its Younger and More Compact Sibling

Our other contender might not have such a rich history, but it’s an equally popular choice from the brand. Making its debut in 2007, it stepped onto the scene as a great compact crossover choice. 

Sharing constructional genes with the Renegade, this four-wheeler comfortably nestled itself between this tinier inspiration and the mid-size SUV it’s put up against here. Therefore, this vehicle beautifully encapsulated the spirit of adventure in a more compact package, showcasing the brand’s range and adaptability. 

This crossover compact SUV is currently in its second generation, and the recent model years are bringing you the next trim level options:

  • Sport, 
  • Latitude,
  • Latitude LUX, 
  • Trailhawk,
  • Limited. 
A Jeep emblem on a red car
These two four-wheelers are iconic models of the brand

Both Four-Wheelers Boast a Refreshed and Stylish Look

The 2022 model year brought about updated interiors and sleeker exterior designs for both of these models. On one side, the mid-sizer radiates a blend of rugged elegance with its distinctive grille, bold lines, and imposing stance, making it quite a sight on the famous routes in the US.

Its compact counterpart sports a more urban appeal. Its sleek profile, modern LED lighting elements, and dynamic design cues perfectly cater to city dwellers with a penchant for weekend getaways. But, as always, this category boils down to personal preferences. If you’re already a fan of the brand, both vehicles will be alluring options – in that case, it’s time to consider your needs and take a closer look at what each of them can provide inside. 

Jeep Compass display at the dealership
Both vehicles came with a completely refreshed look for the 2022 model year

Jeep Compass vs. Grand Cherokee Size Comparison – Which SUV Offers More Space?

Considering that these vehicles belong to different SUV categories, you’ve probably already made a guess at which one is more spacious. While both have seating for five, the mid-sizer stands out with its enhanced interior roominess, perfect for those wanting a touch of luxury and additional passenger comfort. 

However, that doesn’t mean the smaller compact version is lacking – it all comes down to your needs and preferences. The Compass makes the most of its space, blending the benefits of both a spacious family vehicle and a city car

Here’s a comprehensive size comparison:

Measurement2023 Sport Compass2023 Laredo Grand Cherokee
Length173.4 in193.5 in
Height64.6 in70.8 in
Width80 in84.6  in
Wheelbase103.8 in116.7 in
Cargo Space27.2 cu/ft37.7 cu/ft
Seating Capacity55
*For the metric system, an inch is 25.4 mm

There’s a Clear Winner if Cargo Space Is One of Your Priorities

The smaller SUV offers adaptable storage, suitable for everyday drives and weekend getaways. But if you’re all about maximizing space, the mid-sizer definitely has the edge. With its rear seats down, it boasts a spacious 68.3 cubic feet, giving those bulkier items plenty of room on the go. Moreover, there’s an L model available, introducing a third row of seating for those bigger families with a penchant for frequent road adventures. 

The interior of the Jeep Grand Cherokee
Cherokee’s interior is as spacious and comfortable as you could possibly imagine

Jeep Compass vs. Jeep Grand Cherokee – A Comparison of the Standard Infotainment Features

When it comes to comfort, it’s not just legroom and plush seats that count. In today’s tech-driven age, the infotainment features a vehicle brings to the table play a pivotal role in defining comfort, as these handy additions play an integral role in enhancing the driving experience

These features connect us to our favorite tunes, routes, and even our family and friends while on the road. They’re the touchpoints that keep our journey vibrant, informed, and entertaining, bridging the gap between mere transportation and an immersive travel experience. So, let’s see how these two iconic models stack up in the infotainment department. 

The Crossover Compact SUV Has More to Offer When It Comes to Standard Infotainment Features

Here’s what the smaller of the two brings to the table as standard:

  • A 10.1-inch touchscreen display, 
  • Android Auto, 
  • Apple CarPlay, 
  • A Wi-Fi hot spot, 
  • Bluetooth, 
  • Three USB ports, 
  • Satellite radio, 
  • Six-speaker audio system, 
  • Voice recognition. 

The Mid-Size SUV Offers Less but It All Comes Down to the Exact Trim Level

On the flip side, here’s what the older and bigger sibling has to offer as standard:

  • An 8.4-inch touchscreen display,
  • Android Auto, 
  • Apple CarPlay, 
  • A Wi-Fi hot spot, 
  • Bluetooth, 
  • Two USB ports, 
  • Six-speaker audio system. 

Although the bigger SUV doesn’t pack as many default features in its base trim level, the range of add-on choices is vast. Based on the particular trim you’re considering, a variety of advanced infotainment options is at your fingertips. Allowing you to customize the infotainment system according to your unique preferences and requirements. 

The interior of Jeep Compass
The compact crossover offers more standard infotainment features

Are These Four-Wheelers Safe and Reliable?

When it comes to staying secure on the road, these SUVs don’t skimp out. Both are equipped with a variety of safety features, such as a forward collision warning and a rearview camera, ensuring that drivers and passengers can journey with confidence. 

The smaller of the two earned top marks in all six crash evaluations done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The only area it lagged in was the efficiency of its headlights in lighting up the road. On the other hand, Grand Cherokee’s 2023 edition hasn’t undergone an extensive review by top safety institutions. Yet, it bagged an impeccable five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Jeep Grand Cherokee vs. Compass – Handling, Power, and Fuel Efficiency

When it comes to any vehicle, performance is much more than just a buzzword. How these machines handle the roads, the raw power they command, and how efficient they are when it comes to fuel consumption can make or break your driving experience. So, consider this one of the most important segments of this comparison. 

But before we take a closer look at some important performance aspects, here’s an overview of the main specifications:

Specification2023 Sport Compass2023 Laredo Grand Cherokee
Type of Engine2L 4-cylinder engine3.6L 6-cylinder engine
Horsepower200 hp at 5,000 rpm293 hp at 6,400 rpm
Torque221 lb/ft at 1,750 rpm260 lb/ft at 4,000 rpm
Type of DrivetrainFront-wheel drive (FWD)Four-wheel drive (4WD)
Type of Transmission8-speed shiftable automatic8-speed shiftable automatic
Fuel Economy24/32/27 MPG19/26/22 MPG
Now that you know the basics, let’s take a closer look at the most important aspects:

Handling and Overall Feel

When it comes to the mid-size SUV, this four-wheeler is renowned for its mastery in off-roading while maintaining great handling on city roads as well. Its ride is commendable, effortlessly navigating any road, no matter what trim level and suspension type you end up choosing. 

The smaller contender, being a compact SUV, remains steady on roads with its predictable steering and lightweight feel. While there’s a slight lean on tighter turns, this is not a major issue. However, the ride might feel too stiff for some, so it’s best to take it out for a test ride before you make the final decision.

The Engine Power

There’s a clear winner in the power department. The Grand Cherokee offers much more power, anchored by a standard 3.6L V6 engine producing 293 horsepower and 260 lb/ft of torque. Moreover, an upgrade to a turbocharged V8 engine is available, dishing out an impressive 707 horsepower. In comparison, every trim of the compact crossover runs on an updated 2L turbocharged engine that generates around 200 horsepower. 

Fuel Consumption

Sometimes, having a compact car pays off, especially when it comes to fuel efficiency and ownership costs. The smaller of the two SUVs offers better fuel economy, boasting 24 MPG in the city and 32 MPG on the highway. While its contender offers great numbers seeing as it’s a pretty large vehicle, it still can’t compete in this category. 

Engine in a car
Consider engine power before buying a four-wheeler 

There’s Quite a Difference in the Price Ranges of These Models

Last but not least, the budget is an important consideration, especially with the high car prices nowadays. The Compass emerges as the more wallet-friendly option, with a starting price of $28,400 for the base model

The other SUV comes in at around $41,500, which is quite a large gap, and this price disparity remains fairly consistent as you explore higher trims. But when you take the performance aspects into account, the old saying rings true – you always get what you pay for.

Jeep Grand Cherokee on the road at sunset
This mid-size SUV might be pricier, but there’s a good reason for that

The SUV Showdown Wrap-Up

Wrapping up our SUV face-off, it’s evident both of these iconic models have their merits. Whether you’re chasing power, space, or budget-friendly options, the choice ultimately boils down to personal preference. So, think about where the road might take you and choose the ride that fits not just your driveway but also your dreams.