2017 Jeep Compass Redesign vs Honda HR-V
It’s not often that a manufacturer delivers an entirely redesigned model halfway through a model year, but that’s what’s happened with the 2017 Jeep Compass. Forget what you knew and thought about the previous model because this represents significant change. But the true measure of success is how well it competes with its rivals, one of which is the Honda HR-V.
2017 Jeep Compass Redesign vs Honda HR-V
If you don’t like the Grand Cherokee you’re unlikely to like the way the new 2017 Jeep Compass looks, but you’ll also probably be in a small minority. The new Jeep Compass offers fabulously contemporary design, although an upward kick toward the rear of the passenger compartment makes its side profile distinct from that of its bigger brother. Trailhawk models get unique bumpers for improved approach and departure angles, but all versions are very attractive.
Honda has produced a crossover that’s instantly recognizable with the HR-V, although its grille and headlights could be straight from the current CR-V. It’s a little rounded compared to many of its rivals, and it seems to fall halfway between a tall wagon and an SUV. It certainly doesn’t have the “wow” factor of the new Compass, so this win goes to the Jeep.
With four trim levels and almost no end of options for the Jeep Compass, it’s not difficult to find one to suit most tastes and applications. The base Sport model is competitively priced, and standard kit includes air conditioning; power windows, locks, and mirrors; a couple of USB ports; a 5.0-inch touchscreen audio system; keyless ignition; cloth seats; and even a rearview camera.
The Honda HR-V is also tricked out very nicely at all three trim levels, but further customization is severely limited. The entry level LX trim includes power windows, locks, and mirrors; a 5.0-inch touchscreen audio system with a single USB port; Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming; 17-inch alloy wheels; a rearview camera; cruise control; and the Magic Seat. Standard equipment is on a par with the Jeep, but the lack of options gives this round to the Compass.
Just a single engine is offered in the new Jeep Compass here in America, but you’ll get a choice of three transmissions and also a proper all-wheel drive system. The engine under the hood of the new Compass is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that develops 180 horsepower and 175 lb.-ft. of torque. Most models feel checked and confident on-road, but Trailhawk models are not only the serious choice for off-road, they’re superb on the pavement too.
The engine in the Honda HR-V is a larger version of the 1.5-liter inline-four found in the subcompact Honda Fit. In this application, it produces 141 horsepower and 127 lb.-ft. of torque, which is every bit as mild-mannered as it sounds. Add the extra weight of options such as all-wheel drive and the performance suffers even more. The HR-V is pretty confident on a twisty road, but don’t expect the all-wheel drive to handle anything more challenging than poor weather conditions. Another win for the Jeep Compass here then.
Fuel economy is above average for the Jeep Compass in its class, but it does fall short of being a class-leader. Front-drive models with the manual transmission are the most frugal with EPA ratings as good as 23 mpg in the city, 32 mpg on the highway and 26 mpg combined, which isn’t bad at all.
The way the EPA has revised its testing regime has seen the Honda HR-V’s ratings fall a little for 2017, but its 28 mpg in the city, 34 mpg on the highway and 31 mpg combined with front-wheel drive and the optional CVT still make it among the best in the segment. This last section therefore sees the Honda victorious over the Jeep.
Learn More about the Jeep Compass
The Honda HR-V is a little bit like neutral paint; there’s nothing wrong with it at all but it’s a little unimaginative and safe. Although the Honda is a capable enough performer, the newly redesigned 2017 Jeep Compass is so much more desirable in almost every way.