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Jeep Cherokee vs Compass Size

1. Introduction

There are varied reasons people are going to the SUV market. Some just want to trade in that old minivan or wagon for a more modern, updated look. Others are looking for four-wheel drive capability, and still, there are those who want to have real SUV attributes in a package sized less than the old body-on-frame Broncos and Blazers of the past. Pricing and fuel economy are often factors as well. Both the current Cherokee and Compass appeal to current Jeep owners of those old body-on-frame Cherokees looking for a modernized Jeep that still has some semblance of the old vehicle. Fuel economy and prices at the pump in recent years have sent minivan and large truck-based SUV owners looking for a more car-like and fuel-efficient SUV. These folks are drawn to the Compass. (Hindam, 2020)(PUMA)(GAO)

Jeep automotive company has, since its establishment, made an impression and impact in vehicle technology and design through its designed vehicles, ranging from wagons to trucks, among other vehicles. However, through advancements in time, the company has produced effective SUVs that have been greatly embraced and used by several individuals and families in all overt regions. Jeep Cherokee is quite talked about and some consider it the best. In exact comparison, Jeep Compass is almost smaller in all dimensions. What's seven inches, give or take, between friends, you might ask? A lot, depending on perspective and intended use of owning the vehicle.

1.1. Overview of Jeep Cherokee and Compass

Prospective car buyers can use the fuel economy efficiency of compact SUVs, which is measured in miles per gallon, and weigh them against the larger SUVs. The goal is to maintain a higher fuel efficiency number. One can weigh the pros and cons of size and expected passenger/cargo loads. The smaller SUVs and cars will excel in their ability to save on fuel costs, while the larger vehicles will fare better with their usefulness for transporting passengers and cargo. Buyers may need to strike a balance between what they want and what they need in a vehicle. The Jeep Compass and the Jeep Cherokee are both great options from the parent brand whose goal is to offer more fuel efficiency and consumer-friendly prices. Compared to the Compass, the wrap-around body of the Cherokee is generally longer and wider. If size is important, one would need to look at what the approximated measurements of each vehicle mean in terms of passenger and cargo space. This would be crucial for those who want to transport 4 or 5 people, as SUVs traditionally have the expectation of being able to transport more passengers than the average car. A family man with kids and pets would consider the size of the vehicle to be more important than the individual who only needs transportation for himself. As a side note, pet owners who don't want to sign the death warrant of their pet due to the high gas prices of the larger SUVs may want to stick with the more fuel-efficient vehicles. (PUMA)(Hindam, 2020)(GAO)

1.2. Importance of Size in Vehicle Selection

The size of a vehicle is an important consideration in vehicle selection. Not only does size indicate the intended use of the vehicle, it also implies a certain performance level. Many times size is a non-compromising factor in vehicle selection. We want what we perceive as a large vehicle to transport people or cargo for traveling, but how we go about getting that vehicle can change. For example, someone who normally drives a midsize car may go straight to a Chevy Suburban for their travel needs, but someone else may decide they’d rather rent a Suburban when they need it and keep their midsize vehicle for day to day travel and rent a large vehicle only when needed. SUVs are the most confused type of vehicle with regard to size. The sports utility vehicle is based on a light truck platform, but since the explosion of SUVs in the late 1990s, they come in all different sizes. SUVs evolved from the traditional large vehicle to transport people and cargo for traveling. This evolved further and further into the light truck platform we know today, with the smaller SUVs being a more luxurious replacement for the minivan. This small SUV is like a midsize car all dressed up in a more expensive tux, and just as the small SUV is a more luxurious version of a midsize car today, it serves the same purpose. This is often where people falter today because there are still the traditional large SUVs just as there are still large minivans. Someone who buys a small SUV for a family of five and their equipment to use the small SUV as its predecessor will be in for disappointment with cargo room and passenger space. The small SUV is most equivalent to the midsize car today, and the only adjustment here should be changing the brand of the vehicle. It is still those with the larger vehicles that need to decide between a large SUV or a minivan.

2. Size Comparison

As stated above, the dimensions of the Cherokee and Compass reflect a large difference, and the space and comfort between these two trucks is where most of this difference lies. In today's compact SUV market, a buyer is not fooled by the exterior appearance of a small truck and is expecting a larger interior space. The Compass is quite small on the inside and only has 126.7 cubic feet of interior space. The Cherokee, however, stands out with one of the larger interior spaces in the compact SUV market of 128.5 cubic feet. This is a rather large difference as amounts to more living space for the occupants inside the car. The larger exterior dimensions of the Cherokee also afford it with better cargo capacity. With the rear seats up, the Compass can hold 22.7 cubic feet of cargo, and with the rear seats down, that number only rises to 53.6 cubic feet. This is compared to the Cherokee, which can hold a substantial amount more at 31.8 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 54.9 cubic feet with the rear seats down.

Interior Space and Cargo Capacity

So what do these dimensions reflect on the two Jeeps? For one, having a wider, longer, and larger wheelbase truck typically means more stability and better on-road handling. The wider track of the Compass can reduce lean and improve stability during emergency avoidance maneuvers, which is definitely not a bad thing. This comes in handy for its second benefit off-road where a wider track can increase the distances between wheels on the same axle. This can stop the wheels from getting stuck in the ruts and provide a smoother, more comfortable ride off-road. On the other hand, the dimensions of the Cherokee reflect more space and better ride quality. With a higher roof, there is more front and rear headroom. The extra length can also provide more legroom for the occupant, and the larger wheelbase provides a smoother ride, more interior space, and better handling.

· The Jeep Compass is quite smaller with only 71 inches width and 65 inches in height. Length and wheelbase gap from the Cherokee is not much smaller but a little with 173 inches in length and 103 inches of wheelbase.

· The Jeep Cherokee ranges from 81.8 inches in width to 66.2 and 67.4 inches in height. Overall length and wheelbase in the Cherokee is anywhere from 182-183 inches in length and 106 inches wheelbase.

Beginning with the exterior dimensions between these two trucks, the Jeep Compass is smaller by a substantial amount of inches in mostly every category. These categories include: width, height, length, and wheelbase.

Exterior Dimensions

2.1. Exterior Dimensions

As the Jeep Cherokee and Compass are being compared, you can see a difference in the length of the vehicle. The Cherokee comes in at 182 inches long, and the Compass is 173 inches. The width between the vehicles is going to be very similar, with only an inch difference. The Cherokee is 73 inches wide, and the Compass is 72.5 inches. The height sees a bigger difference of 4 inches apart. The Cherokee is 66 inches in height, and the Compass is 63 inches. Wheelbase is an important factor in regards to stability. The Cherokee has a wheelbase of 107 inches, which is 2 inches wider compared to the Compass wheelbase of 104 inches. Step-in height is easy to enter and exit the vehicle, and they will have a 1-inch difference between the two. Step-in height for the Cherokee is 20 inches, and the Compass is 21 inches. Another difference is going to be the ground clearance, which will vary depending on the trim specification. For the Cherokee, the ground clearance will be between 5.7 and 8.7 inches, compared to the Compass having 7.8 inches of ground clearance. The size of the vehicle does have an impact on the vehicle's weight. The Cherokee will weigh between 1500kg and 2000kg, compared to the Compass between 1400kg and 1700kg. Overall, we can see that the Cherokee is a bigger and heavier vehicle, which should replicate more stability and space compared to the Compass.

2.2. Interior Space and Cargo Capacity

Passenger and cargo volume are the two nuts-and-bolts areas where the Cherokee and Compass differ most. Despite the Compass growing in its second generation, the Cherokee is substantial and a half size larger. The Cherokee provides an extra 31 cu ft inside the passenger compartment and further 10 cu ft of cargo capacity. That allowed the Cherokee to be further 4 cu ft ahead of its closest in-class competitor in total overall volume, the Chevrolet Equinox. What do those numbers look like in the real world? With the Cherokee's rear seats a few inches forward than their rearmost position, a tall person, 6'2" in this instance, could sit in the rear with the front seat set to a comfortable position for the 6'2" driver. Switching between the two driving positions, the driver's knee would never make contact with the rear passenger seat back with it all the way back while the front passenger could still be comfortable with the same seat adjustment. This is an astonishing level of space as the knee room between a driver and one rear passenger is equivalent to that of a Honda Civic (an EPA compact car) and two full-size American sedans are the same. Step up to the Compass and it seems the rest of the car did not grow at the same pace. In all dimensions the Compass trails well behind the Cherokee and at best is on par with the final generation Liberty. This isn't such a bad thing as the Liberty was still a useful vehicle, but potential buyers will want to maximize their space for the best deal between the two models. Coming from the Compass, first and second generation Liberty owners alike will feel right at home in the smaller package. A new buyer who may cross-shop the two Jeeps could trade a better equipped Compass for a lesser equipped Liberty; this is one area where the expression "you get what you pay for" rings loud and clear. Cargo space is another area where the Compass trails the Cherokee and the rest of the segment by a fair margin. The Compass' cargo space is still an improvement over its prior generation/self but it is now viewed as average in a segment that has grown in this area and it bests some of the niche micro-SUVs. The Cherokee's cargo space is more than ample and it's a benefit equipped mid-trim vehicle or greater with the tonneau cover as it isn't uncommon for new Cherokee owners to leave dealerships substituting larger SUVs and $30-40k+ trucks for a Latitude or Limited Cherokee. (March et al.)(Kaht, 2023)(Gambill)(Wietholter, 2022)

2.3. Maneuverability and Parking

The difference in size between the Compass and Cherokee is apparent in their maneuverability. As a bigger vehicle, the Cherokee just isn't as agile in parking lots, crowded streets, or on narrow, twisting roads. The Compass, being a foot shorter and 4 inches narrower, is right at home in these types of environments. The turning circle for the Compass is 35.6 feet, which is a full 6 feet smaller than the Cherokee. This is significant when it comes to making tight U-turns or maneuvering in confined areas. In general, the Compass is just a more nimble and maneuverable vehicle than its bigger brother, the Cherokee. This can be a deciding factor for someone who frequently drives in urban environments. This sort of driving environment can also be rough on the exterior of your vehicle, resulting in lots of potential dings and scratches. The small size and improved turning circle of the Compass make parking a breeze and will help avoid this type of damage.

3. Performance and Handling

Considering the 4cyl, it is even better than the Compass at 22mpg in the city and 31mpg on the highway. If you are a Jeep fan and yet a fuel-conscious individual, the Cherokee 2WD with the 4cyl engine is the ideal vehicle for you. The other engine on the Cherokee is a 3.2L V6, which gets 271hp. This is a lot of power for an SUV of the Cherokee's size, and it is quite fun to drive. This engine is standard on the Trailhawk and Overland while being optional on the Sport and Latitude. The 3.2L engine loses a bit of fuel economy, getting 20mpg in the city and 29mpg on the highway. However, it may be worth the fuel economy difference due to the substantially higher horsepower.

The Cherokee offers a 2.4L 4-Cylinder as its standard engine, which gets 184hp. This engine sounds a little underpowered for what the vehicle is, but it is an efficient engine. Its fuel economy is quite exceptional for an SUV of its size.

Engine options and power are very important in vehicles. A faster vehicle can never be too fast, and a vehicle which is a tad slow can be an irritant to the driver. This is one area where the Cherokee and Compass are very distinct.

3.1. Engine Options and Power

Coming to their engine options, the Cherokee has a possible of 5 different configurations, including the all-new 3.2-liter Pentastar V6 engine, which will now be upgraded from a 9-speed transmission to a 9-speed Heavy Duty transmission. The other choice of engine will be the 2.4-liter Tiger shark, which will be upgraded to the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. On the other hand, the Jeep Compass will feature two choices of engine worldwide. The American models will come with a 2.4 Tigershark engine, and the others will come with a 1.4-liter turbo 4-cylinder engine. Looking at their capabilities and availability, the Cherokee takes the lead due to its variety of engines capable of achieving different needs for different consumers. As for its power capability, both of the new Compass trims with a 2.4-liter and 1.4 turbo will be equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive, with the option of upgrading to a high-performance nine-speed automatic transmission as well as an all-wheel drive system. These are all the information about the 2017 Jeep Cherokee vs Compass size. Next, let us see the fuel efficiencies of the 2017 Jeep Compass, as well as the engine options and their emissions.

3.2. Fuel Efficiency

The smaller size and lighter weight of the Jeep Compass makes it more fuel efficient than the Cherokee. Fuel efficiency in the Cherokee varies depending on the engine and transmission choice. The 2.4L 4-cylinder engine achieves 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway in a 4x2 drive train, and 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway in a 4x4. This is better than the V6, with the FWD and 4x4 both achieving 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. The 9-speed automatic transmission available with the 4-cylinder Tigershark engine has helped to improve fuel efficiency. Step up to the 3.2L Pentastar V6 engine and the Cherokee consumes more fuel, with front wheel drive achieving 20 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway, and 4x4 getting 20 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway. The Compass has remained relatively the same in regards to powertrain options, with the 2.0L and 2.4L 4-cylinder engines being the only choices. The 2.0L World Engine is available in FWD and 4x4 and getting 23 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway. The Compass is arguable most fuel efficient with the 2.4L 4-cylinder engine and the 4x2 drive train, getting 23 mpg in the city and 30 on the highway. This is better than even the smallest Cherokee. As is the case with most Jeep vehicles, they are typically more fuel efficient when compared with their larger and powerful predecessors, and this is certainly the case when comparing the Compass to the Cherokee.

3.3. Suspension and Handling Characteristics

The Cherokee and the Compass share a similar McPherson strut front suspension, but the Cherokee boasts an independent 4-link rear suspension and frequency-sensitive damping. The independent 4-link suspension will improve the ride and handling of the Cherokee by providing better isolation from road shock and vibration. This type of suspension also allows each rear wheel to move independently, which allows the wheels to stay perpendicular to the road on uneven surfaces, leading to better traction and handling. Frequency-sensitive damping is another feature that will improve the ride and handling of the Cherokee. FSD is a type of shock absorber that automatically adjusts to the frequency of the road impact and continually changing road conditions. This will prevent the Cherokee from bouncing on the springs over bumps and will prevent the shock from bottoming out on rough roads. The result will be a smooth ride at any speed and even better handling in all conditions, since the shock absorber constantly changes damping characteristics between rebound and compression. In contrast, the Compass has a solid rear axle with Chapman strut suspension. This type of suspension is not as sophisticated as the one in the Cherokee, and the solid rear axle does not allow for independent movement of the rear wheels. Therefore, the suspension in the Compass will not isolate bumps and provide as much traction and handling as the Cherokee. The only benefit for the Compass is that this type of suspension is generally lighter and less expensive to manufacture.

4. Conclusion

The Jeep Cherokee and Compass are both very similar vehicles at first glance. However, when one looks deeper into the specifics, it is clear that the Cherokee is far superior for personal needs and has significant advantages over the Compass. It takes the name of an "ideal SUV" to a more fitting level than the Compass. Due to its better safety, reliability, quality, comfort, room, power, and ability to drive on various terrains. The Jeep Cherokee is capable of passing as a good family vehicle with increased safety and plenty of space, while still taking it outdoor and living up to traditional Jeep expectations. This easily justifies the small increase in price from the Jeep Cherokee with respect to the Compass.

Factors to consider in choosing between Cherokee and Compass: Deciding between the Cherokee and the Compass should come down to your inherent needs and budget. This is a tight race, and if you are someone who is more interested in saving some money and getting a reasonably reliable small SUV, the Compass is the way to go. The fuel economy is better, and you save a bit upfront on the price. However, if you are not on a strict budget and want a vehicle that is moderately full of features, then the Cherokee is the choice for you. You will be getting a vehicle with a bit more power and capability, more room, and is more comfortable for daily driving.

4.1. Factors to Consider in Choosing Between Cherokee and Compass

Here are some hypothetical situations. To illustrate, consider a consumer who currently owns a 2010 Compass, has been happy with it, likes its size, appreciates the fuel economy and overall cost of ownership, and is generally satisfied with its performance. There might be some features the consumer would like to have that the Compass doesn't offer, such as a moonroof, power seat, or automatic climate control. These are features offered on some Compass models, and are also available on the Cherokee, but as the consumer has been pleased with the Compass, it would be easy to understand how a consumer in this situation might simply get another Compass, albeit newer and with more features. In another example, take a consumer who currently owns a 2006 Grand Cherokee, but finds the price of a new Grand Cherokee is too high. The consumer may want to downsize, but doesn't find the Renegade to be a good fit for a number of reasons. This consumer is used to a certain level of comfort and utility in a midsize SUV, and might find the Compass to be a suitable replacement, particularly if the consumer actually prefers the "look" of the Compass over the Cherokee. The higher price of the Compass might be a turn-off here, but it could be reasoned that the Compass on the whole would still be a viable alternative to another Grand Cherokee. In another scenario, a consumer might be enticed by the price and features of a Latitude trim Cherokee, but would find the total cost to be too high compared to a similarly equipped Compass.


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Jeep Cherokee vs. Compass Size

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