2018 Jeep Compass vs Ford Escape
Off-Roading: Jeep Compass
If the Jeep Grand Cherokee is too big for you but you still want a fun off-roader, the Jeep Compass ought to fit the bill. It slots between the Renegade and Cherokee targeting with razor precision the compact Jeep crowd who want to off-road on a budget. Like its bigger siblings, the Compass handles just fine off-road but to maximize that experience, opt for the Trailhawk trim.
The Ford Escape can handle itself while doing light off-roading. But escape the asphalt trail entirely? We get the impression that’s not really even a design goal. If off-roading is something you’re looking for, you may want to give the Escape a pass.
Engine Options: Ford Escape
Unfortunately, the Jeep Compass only has one engine option this year. We’ll see if that changes in the future. Your sole option is a 180-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that seems at odds with a Jeep off-roader. You can pair it with six- or nine-speed transmission but it’ll take some time to reach top speed.
The Ford Escape has more engine options. We recommend skipping the starting engine and jumping all the way to the 2.0-liter if your budget allows. Otherwise, you’ll have anemic acceleration. The Escape wins this contest by a hair, just by virtue of having one above-average option.
Fuel Economy: Jeep Compass
Watch as the 2018 Jeep Compass gently eases past the Ford Escape in fuel economy to score an overall win. The Compass gets 22-23 city miles and 30-32 highway miles per gallon. That’s not great for this class but it is slightly better than the Escape, which gets just 20-23 miles per gallon in the city and 27-30 on the highway. Add that cash you save at the pump to the cash you save buying a Jeep Compass, which comes in at almost $3,000 less than the Escape.