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Chevy Equinox vs. Jeep Compass

1. Introduction

The differences between American carmakers are becoming more and more negligible and almost too faint to produce interesting car comparison. Not so with the new Chevy Equinox and Jeep Compass; these compact SUVs are representative of their respective brands, and when seen side by side, are worthy of noting the differences. The Equinox has been lauded as a success in design and function aspects that other Chevy SUVs have lacked. The Compass is a symbol of Jeep's continued move up in the motoring world. Whereas its recent predecessors although bearing the Jeep badge, closely resembled disposable cars that would be left for dead on the side of the road. These two vehicles are almost a mirror image of one another, with the same matching trim levels and option packages. The intent of this comparison is to give the reader a clear idea of what the Compass and Equinox are so they too may decide which vehicle represents the right for them. Chevy's Equinox is a classic case in which the second attempt is far superior than the first. The first generation Equinox was a home rental car staple, in which you'd keep your fingers crossed in hopes of a Dodge Stratus being on the lot for trade in. In 2009 the second generation Equinox was released constitutes a huge leap in quality from the model previously mentioned. The exterior is a stark contrast to previous versions that were accused of blandness. Dimensionally the Equinox grew larger and subsequent interior space increased as well. The added size is not blatant as the new Equinox avoids the bulk and heft of an SUV type appearance and is actually over 400 lbs lighter than the outgoing first gen model. The roofline has a more fluid appearance instilling a bit of style and the rear of the vehicle benefited the most from the makeover. Gone is the dinky rear end which looks like the designers ran out of clay and said "screw it". The 2010 model was the same from every angle and a near clone of the close years Pontiac Torrent which rode on the Theta platform with the Equinox. The new version has wraparound rear glass and wheel arches that are a subtle nod to Chevy's Silverado pickup truck. It's easier to say that second gen Equinox looks appropriate for a Chevy crossover. [1][2]

1.1 Overview of Chevy Equinox

The Chevy Equinox is a compact SUV that has been in production since 2004 for the 2005 model. It runs from the Chevrolet marque of General Motors, who launched the first generation as a mid-size crossover SUV. The first-generation Equinox then only ran for about five years until it was replaced by a cheaper and more refined second-generation model in 2010. Chevrolet then went on to launch a third-generation version of the crossover in 2017, and this is the current model now versus the 2019 Jeep Compass crossover model. The aim of the Equinox was to replace the Tracker and was released in 2009 but sold alongside the model it aimed to replace until 2017. Throughout the three generations, Chevrolet has tried to maintain a five-seat crossover design with the implementation of features to keep it modern. Some of these features have been better than others for the Equinox and mainly vary on the technology side compared to the Jeep Compass, but we will cover the Equinox first from. For the third-generation model and the most current model for the 2019 comparison, it is the North American and South Korean versions that share the same underpinnings (Global version and mainly the European and Australian model use different underpinnings). The third-generation Equinox was first unveiled in September 2016 and was a major step for Chevrolet, declaring to be more competent than the previous generation. With a new design and fresh start regarding its mechanics, it was a new start for Chevrolet. Although it may not have as many features as the top LT and Premier trims, it had shown a larger effort in quality compared to the previous models. The model has shown potential, and after a solid first year in sales across the world, it could possibly live past the seventh-year industry norm for newer vehicles. This could be possible if future versions of the Equinox have a greater initiative of more features without sacrificing quality, along with a consistent price. This, in turn, will hopefully improve the Chevrolet marque's reputation in South Korea and on its home ground compared to American and Japanese competitors.

1.2 Overview of Jeep Compass

The Compass is one of the most affordable sport-utilities, and its size makes it the natural alternative to a sedan. But the price you pay for the low cost and good gas mileage is so-so acceleration, basic interior appointments, and a less-secure driving feel compared to many rival SUVs. The Compass has been around since 2007, and it remains one of Jeep's better global sellers. The current Compass was given a redesign for 2011 that substituted a more carlike hatchback body and more appealing interior for the original, which was usually sold at a steeper discount. The redo also landed the Compass inside the product sphere of Chrysler management's other compact crossover, the Dodge Caliber. Now, a further redesign of the Compass for 2014 has made it much more like Jeep's new 2015 Renegade model, with which it shares some powertrains and equipment. This could threaten the Compass's place in Jeep's lineup at some point. The Compass's structure, design, and features remain aimed mostly at on-road use, although its available Freedom Drive II package gives some off-road ability. In place of the old body-on-frame Jeep Cherokee and Liberty models, the Compass aims to lure buyers up from small sedans.

2. Exterior Features

The designs for the 2018 Jeep Compass and the Chevy Equinox are different but appealing. The new and improved Compass takes on a bolder, more rugged look that clearly suggests it is more than capable of driving on dirt roads and trails. Whether in the city or the country, the Compass is an ideal blend of sophistication and capability. With features like the available black roof and bright chrome molding that wraps as well as highlights the entire length of the vehicle, the Compass undeniably has a more premium look. Possible interior and exterior paint combinations that are sure to turn heads include Spitfire orange and Jazz blue. Customers may choose from various rim sizes including 16, 17, 18 or 19 inches. One of the more unique options Jeep is offering for the Compass is a two-tone gloss black roof. The new Equinox has a similar, modern design however is more refined. There are some aspects of both vehicles that make the exteriors similar. Both vehicles now have LEDs located throughout the vehicle. Compass includes under the headlamp, taillamp and turn signal while the Equinox has daytime running lamps and tail lamps. Standard wheel options for the Equinox include 17' aluminum wheels with an ultra bright machined finish and painted pockets. Both vehicles also offer hidden storage options in the back, a rather inexpensive feature that can be functional for many. The storage area in the Compass is located underneath the rear cargo area while the Equinox's bin is located underneath the floor in the back. Although the Compass's exterior style is more likely to attract many customers, there is a considerable part of the market that may appreciate the simplicity yet modern look of the new Equinox. [3][4][5]

2.1 Design and Styling

The Equinox has refreshed its styling this year with new front, side, and rear styling. The front and rear fascias, front grilles, new projector-beam headlamps and LED. The new projector headlamps will come standard on all models as well as the LED daytime running lamps. The lighting systems have been redesigned for an increased presence and additional safety. The liftgate will come with new wraparound rear window and new dual round taillamps. The new body lines on the hood and new 17-inch alloy wheels add to the sophisticated look. All these changes bring a more upscale appearance to the Equinox that makes it comparable to the Jeep Compass. The Compass has been known for its rugged Jeep looks and these looks were improved last year. The Compass has the traditional Jeep seven-slot grille and steep windshield angle. The side of the vehicle displays the high fender formations and body lines are similar to that which is found on the new Chevy Equinox. The Compass does have a black roof molding that can only be found on the limited model. The rear of the Compass has changed from last year with new body-colored step pad, new LED taillights, and new rear fascia that give the Compass a fresh look. With the changes to the new Equinox made earlier in the year, it keeps it very current to the Jeep Compass and looks may be the only concern when deciding between the two vehicles. Both vehicles have a stylish crossover appearance with the Compass focusing on rugged Jeep tradition and the Equinox looking to bring a more contemporary and upscale stylistic approach. Overall exterior features of the 2016 moderately equipped Equinox were compared to those of the equally equipped Compass, both of similar prices.

2.2 Size and Dimensions

As the larger car, the Equinox provides more room for passengers and cargo. Front passengers can enjoy an extra two inches of headroom and several more inches of hip room. There is also more rear passenger space in the Equinox. Neither car offers third-row seating, but the larger dimensions of the Equinox allow for the option of a sliding rear seat, which can be adjusted to grant more rear passenger room or more cargo space, depending on the situation. The Equinox also provides slightly more cargo capacity and is rated higher for towing capacity than the Compass.

Engaging a comparison based solely around size presents some difficulties, as the difference between these two cars is only slight. However, the Jeep Compass is a compact SUV, with a body that is around 5.5 inches shorter than the Equinox. The primary benefit of this is in maneuverability, with the Compass having a much smaller turning circle than the Equinox - an advantage to consider for anyone who will be doing a lot of city-based driving. It is also slightly lighter than the Equinox, although the difference in weight is negligible. These differences in size and weight give the Compass a slight edge in terms of agility and fuel efficiency, but it loses out in terms of interior comfort.

2.3 Wheel Options

The wheel options of the Chevrolet Equinox allow the customer to choose between two sizes and styles. The base L, LS, 1LT are offered to go with the 17x7 inch steel wheels. These wheels are offered as a no-cost option for the base L and LS models, but are not available on the 1LT. The LTZ comes standard with 18x7 inch aluminum wheels. The second set of wheels for the LS and 1LT are 17x7 inch aluminum wheels. The LTZ has the option to select 18x7 chrome-clad aluminum wheels for an extra amount. All models have the option of purchasing 18x7.5 inch chrome aluminum wheels, 17x7.5 inch polished aluminum wheels, and the 18x7 inch 5-spoked all-terrain blackwall wheels. This gives the customer a good variety to choose from to make the vehicle sporty, rugged, or classy. The size and styling options of the wheels definitely set the difference between the LS, 1LT, and LTZ models. The 2011 Jeep Compass also offers many choices of wheels but only comes in one size. There are seven wheel options, the first of which are the 17x6.5 inch aluminum wheels with an optional 18" upgrade to a nine-spoke premium aluminum. The sport model can have the option to upgrade the standard 17x6.5 styled steel wheels with 17x6.5 inch aluminum wheels painted sparkle silver. The seven-slot wheel design is back for the Jeep Compass with either the upgraded painted aluminum wheels or optional 18x7 inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels. The difference in wheel options is not too wide between the various models of the Jeep Compass. All of the wheel designs are nonetheless very classic Jeep style. The main difference to notice is the color and material of the wheels between the Compass model, Limited, and the 70th Anniversary Edition.

3. Interior Features

Chevrolet Equinox offers a bigger and roomier interior compared with the Jeep Compass. Around 5.8 inches of additional legroom is possible in the front and rear of the Equinox for the passengers. Additional hip room and rear shoulder room in the Equinox allows passengers more room and comfort. Equinox crossover has a distinct advantage for its rearward front seats, which can be moved to and fro to benefit either the rear passenger legroom or cargo space. This feature is currently unavailable in the Compass which could be an inconvenience to those passengers sitting behind. A further advantage to the Equinox is the option of equipping a sunroof for the more luxurious interior feel. This is not currently a feature in the Compass. Both vehicles come in with a seating capacity of 5. In terms of technology and infotainment, both vehicles are somewhat evenly matched. Compass comes with a standard audio system with Uconnect, boasting USB connectivity and steering wheel sound controls. Uconnect has gained a wide reputation as user-friendly and the in-dash unit which activates phone, sound system, and optional navigation is definitely no hassle to those who are using it. SiriusXM, and either a 6-month or 1-year subscription for the trial period is also available. However, the Equinox boasts an additional 6 speakers and 80 watts. Compass provides a standard audio system with Uconnect, boasting USB connectivity and steering wheel sound controls. Uconnect has gained a wide reputation as user-friendly and the in-dash unit which activates phone, sound system, and optional navigation is definitely no hassle to those who are using it. SiriusXM, and either a 6-month or 1-year subscription for the trial period is also available. However, the Equinox boasts an additional 6 speakers and 80 watts. As for the cargo capacity, the Equinox jumps ahead once again with a spacious 31.4 cu. ft. of cargo space with the rear seats up. This is significantly higher than the 22.7 cu. ft. coming out of the Compass. As said before, the sliding functionality of the rear seats allowing adjustment of legroom or cargo space is an added bonus to help achieve the maximum 63.7 cu. ft. cargo volume. The Compass is capable of a max 53.6 cu. ft. cargo volume, folding down the rear seats, but it is relatively exceeded by the Equinox.

3.1 Cabin Space and Comfort

The Chevrolet Equinox provides a front important living put in of 40.9 inches, and entrance and back hip toil of 55.2 inches and 51.7 inches respectively. The Jeep Compass gives relatively backside indicated entrance important living of 39.2 inches in comparison with Equinox. The Jeep Compass gives terribly restricted entrance and back hip toil of 44.7 inches and 47.2 inches, and it to be fair wins with a rear indicated living put in of 38.3 inches, leading to Equinox taking the threshold in the case of living house. Winner: Chevrolet Equinox. Head room is actually now no longer slightly a large numerical virtue of the Equinox over the Compass. It grants a entrance and rear head room of 40.9 inches and 39.9 inches respectively in comparison with Compass's 39.6 inches and 38.5 inches. Winner: Chevrolet Equinox. An front important living elbow put in of 57.2 inches and rear elbow put in of 46.3 inches additional magnify the comfortable nature of the Equinox. The Compass does now no longer be offering any numerical virtue in the case of place and comfort when it comes to elbow room. Winner: Chevrolet Equinox. The Equinox gives a bit of bit larger entrance and rear shoulder room figures of 55.8 inches and 55.4 inches in comparison with Compass's 54.8 inches and 55.1 inches. It again takes the virtue in this aspect. Winner: Chevrolet Equinox. Although the Equinox is obviously a bigger car, the space and comfort facet appears to be a fairly transparent win over the Compass and for other folks that sit in to their cars, the Chevrolet Equinox may well be the more effective choice.

3.2 Technology and Infotainment

Chevy Equinox Both the Equinox and Compass come equipped with Android Auto and Apple Carplay support. Both vehicles have touchscreens for their infotainment systems. The Compass has a 7-inch or 8.4-inch screen depending on the trim level while the Equinox has either a 7-inch or 8-inch screen. The Compass starts at $22,095 and the Equinox starts at $24,995. Most trims of the Equinox come with a 7 or 7.5-inch screen, while the Compass comes with an 8.4-inch screen. The higher resolution and the larger screen for the Compass weigh heavily on the quality of the infotainment systems. The user interface for both infotainment systems is intuitive and there aren't many issues regarding ease-of-use. The Compass's Uconnect system is generally just more responsive and user-friendly compared to the Equinox's MyLink user interface. It is also noteworthy to mention that the MyLink system required an additional amount of $1000 to use Android Auto and Apple Carplay on Chevy Equinoxes prior to the 2019 MY. This means you'd either have to get the Convenience Package on the LT model or start with the 2LT model. This was a controversial issue for Chevy customers as many car brands had already been including these smartphone mirroring functions on base model cars.

3.3 Cargo Capacity

The cargo-carrying ability is high on the priority list for many shoppers when it comes to selecting a new vehicle, and both of these SUVs offer a lot of it. The Equinox provides 29.9 cubic feet behind the rear seats. As with most vehicles in this category, the two-seat only front-drive Compass offers a bit more space, 30.8 cubic feet, but they're still a matter of the fractional percentage points and realistically, you can load similar amounts of stuff into either of these vehicles with the rear seats up. But the Compass just wins out when it comes to maximum cargo capacity. Dropping the Equinox's rear seats provides 63.7 cubic feet of space while folding down the Compass's rear seats creates a nearly flat-load surface and yields 62.8 cubic feet of cargo volume. There are additional under-floor storage compartments in both vehicles. So the Compass is the victor here, right? If maximum volume and a few cubic feet of space are the sole measure of victory, then that would be a yes. But consider this: the Equinox can be equipped with a V6 engine that can tow up to 3500 pounds when properly equipped. The Compass is rated to tow 2000 pounds. This may not sound like a cargo capacity issue, but the ability to tow heavier items can often ease the burden on the vehicle itself. Think piles of landscaping rock or a home improvement store run. Although that's not the full extent of how the Compass and Equinox stack up in ownership of vehicles regulated by the laws of physics, it's all that can fit into one cargo section. The Compass wins with a little bit more space to spare, but it's just the beginning of the Equinox and Compass comparison.

4. Performance and Safety

Safety is always a major concern with families purchasing an AWD utility vehicle. Both the Equinox and Compass have a host of safety features. Dual front, side, and curtain airbags, ABS, traction control, stability control, and tire pressure monitoring. Higher-end models of both vehicles have reversing cameras and parking aid as an option. The Equinox, however, boasts a 5-star ANCAP safety rating compared to the 4-star safety rating of the Compass.

The Compass, with its combination of V6 power and a lower step in price, has a small advantage in regard to the choices in engine power and their respective fuel efficiencies.

The Equinox has a bit more power available with an optional 3.0L V6, while the Compass offers a 4WD option that the Equinox lacks. However, the Compass's Freedom Drive I 4WD system is not a traditional 4WD like the V6 model of the Equinox offers. The V6 2013 Equinox is the same in fuel efficiency as the 2.4L 4-cylinder variant, as both have a fuel economy of 9.4L/100km. The 3.0L V6 Chevrolet Equinox is available for an additional $3,500 to the similar fuel-efficient 2.4L variant. So, if you are after a more powerful engine without sacrificing fuel efficiency, the Compass does not offer an alternative to the 2.4L 4-cylinder engine.

4.1 Engine Options and Power

The Chevy Equinox comes standard with one of the better engines in its class, offering more horsepower and better fuel efficiency than the base engine in the Jeep Compass. The Equinox's base 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine makes 182 horsepower, which is about average for the class. This engine boasts 32 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg in the city, both of which are better numbers than the Jeep Compass with its base engine. The Compass is offered with a 158-hp 2.0L 4-cylinder engine that gets 23/29 mpg and 21/27 in the 4x4 model. The real strength of the Equinox lies with its available V6 engine. The 3.0L 264-horsepower engine provides more than enough power, and while it's less fuel-efficient than the base engine, getting 25 mpg highway and 18 in the city, it still edges out the competition in both power and fuel efficiency. Unfortunately, the Compass has no answer to this, as it comes with only one other engine, a 172-hp 2.4L 4-cylinder engine that gets 21/27 mpg in FWD and 21/26 mpg in 4x4. This engine provides less power and fuel efficiency than the base engine of the Equinox, leaving the Chevy with an unparalleled balance of performance and efficiency in this class. With the Compass, it's clear that prospective buyers will have to choose between more power or better fuel efficiency, whereas the Equinox provides the best of both worlds in both of its engine options.

4.2 Fuel Efficiency

Fuel economy is very important in our current economy. Spending more money than you have to, to get from point A to point B is not what many individuals want to do. With the Chevy Equinox and the Jeep Compass being in the same category and potentially taking on the same consumers, fuel economy is something to take a look at. The Compass comes in first place when comparing the two. The 2.0L I4 engine with the Dual VVT gets around 23 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. The 2.4L I4 engine with the Dual VVT gets 23 mpg in the city as well, and 28 mpg on the highway. The Compass has a 13.6-gallon fuel tank, so with today's gas prices a fill up wouldn't hurt the purse too much. The Equinox takes a slight hit on the Compass. The I4 engine gets 22 mpg city and 32 mpg highway, the same as the LT optional engine. The length of the highway miles are the farthest between the two, but the Equinox falls short of the heavy-footed city drivers. The one thing that might make up for it is the Equinox has an 18.8-gallon fuel tank. Getting only 23 mpg, the Compass definitely has a leg up on the Equinox. Cheaper fuel-efficient cars are the craze in today's economy so it would seem the Compass wins this round above its GM competitor. Both of these vehicles have Advanced Multistage Front Airbags, Front and Rear Side Curtain Airbags, and a Rear Stabilizer Bar. To many, this could be considered a safety feature in its own because the driver feels well protected while having to change nothing in vehicle performance. This puts the Compass and the Equinox at a tie. Coming in third would be the Compass with the Brake Traction Control System. This feature makes sure that when the driver has a heavy foot on the gas, there is no slippage. This could help in getting the vehicle up an icy hill or just trying to escape the wrath of a bad weather situation. Last but not least, Chevy's Equinox has OnStar. With a turn-by-turn navigation system, and surrounding this in-depth safety system, this comes in handy for all drivers. Because OnStar is a pretty nice feature and is actually a safety feature in itself, we will give the Equinox an unmentioned tie with the Compass. Overall, the Compass and Equinox are two vehicles rich in features and their good real-world crash rating shows just that. Step outside your big truck or SUV and into one of these without the sacrifice. With gas prices continually hovering around a bazillion dollars a gallon and winter getting ready to take its icy grip, the Equinox and Jeep Compass are both suitable choices.

4.3 Safety Features

Both the Chevy Equinox and Jeep Compass have received excellent safety ratings. However, the Chevy Equinox is a IIHS top safety pick (2010) if safety is an essential factor high on your list. High safety pick vehicles are generally less likely to have a severe injury or fatality in a crash. Chevy's 5-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty could be a good measure of their faith in the vehicle, including its safety. This gives peace of mind for potential buyers and is an indication of the vehicle's long-term reliability.

The Equinox also comes standard with multiple airbags, including front, seat-mounted thorax, head curtain side airbags, and also one for the driver's knees. Front, side, and rear head airbags are also standard in both the Equinox and Compass. Side airbags are optional on the Compass. This may give the Equinox an edge when it comes to airbag coverage. Overall, the airbags give a higher level of safety in the event of a crash.

The Equinox comes standard with 4-wheel disc brakes, antilock brakes, and StabiliTrack, which is a stability control feature. StabiliTrack works by detecting whether the car is staying straight on course whenever the driver is using more steering input than usual. If it detects a difference, the system uses selective brake application to slow the vehicle. If the 4-wheel antilock brakes or traction control need to intervene, StabiliTrack will enhance the operation of these other systems. This is all intended to keep the vehicle under better control.

Both the Chevy Equinox and the Jeep Compass offer desirable safety options. Chevy, being most known for their safety and performance, offers plenty of safety choices for potential Equinox buyers. Safety is such a priority that the Chevy Equinox has been honored by receiving several prestigious safety awards.

Safety features are extremely important in our daily lives. When purchasing a car, one should always consider the safety of the vehicle - for themselves and others. Safety features can help reduce the potential for accidents, keep passengers protected during accidents, and aid in the event of an accident. Safety features have become an essential consideration for car buyers.


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