2019 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2019 Jeep Compass

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the CX-5 and the Compass have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and lane departure warning systems.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Mazda CX-5 is safer than the Jeep Compass:

CX-5

Compass

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

82

196

Neck Injury Risk

23%

41%

Neck Stress

274 lbs.

445 lbs.

Neck Compression

23 lbs.

38 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

160/307 lbs.

326/489 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

156

172

Chest Compression

.5 inches

.8 inches

Neck Stress

205 lbs.

235 lbs.

Neck Compression

86 lbs.

92 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Mazda CX-5 is safer than the Jeep Compass:

CX-5

Compass

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

81

102

Chest Movement

.5 inches

.8 inches

Abdominal Force

126 G’s

134 G’s

Hip Force

189 lbs.

335 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

524 lbs.

928 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

32 G’s

39 G’s

Hip Force

435 lbs.

663 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the CX-5 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 45 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Compass was last qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the CX-5’s reliability 54 points higher than the Compass.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 21st in reliability. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 24th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda third in reliability. Jeep is ranked 22nd.

Engine

The CX-5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 7 more horsepower (187 vs. 180) and 11 lbs.-ft. more torque (186 vs. 175) than the Compass’ 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 70 more horsepower (250 vs. 180) and 135 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 175) than the Compass’ 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

The CX-5’s 2.2 turbo diesel produces 115 lbs.-ft. more torque (290 vs. 175) than the Compass’ 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Mazda CX-5 is faster than the Jeep Compass (automatics tested):

CX-5 4 cyl.

CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature

Compass

Zero to 60 MPH

8.3 sec

6.4 sec

10.5 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

14.9 sec

17.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

80.4 MPH

93.6 MPH

76.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the CX-5 gets better fuel mileage than the Compass:

MPG

CX-5

FWD

Auto

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/31 hwy

AWD

Auto

2.2 turbo 4 cyl. Diesel

27 city/30 hwy

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

24 city/30 hwy

Compass

FWD

Manual

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

23 city/32 hwy

Auto

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

22 city/31 hwy

AWD

Manual

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

22 city/31 hwy

Auto

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the CX-5 2.5 non-turbo’s fuel efficiency. The Compass doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The CX-5 FWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Compass (14.8 vs. 13.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The CX-5 AWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Compass (15.3 vs. 13.5 gallons).

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mazda CX-5 higher (7 out of 10) than the Jeep Compass (3 to 7). This means the CX-5 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Compass every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

The Mazda CX-5 comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Compass.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Compass:

CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature

Compass

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

10.95 inches

The CX-5 stops much shorter than the Compass:

CX-5

Compass

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

144 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

144 feet

151 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the CX-5 has larger tires than the Compass (225/65R17 vs. 215/65R16).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CX-5 Sport/Touring has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Compass Sport.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CX-5’s wheelbase is 2.4 inches longer than on the Compass (106.2 inches vs. 103.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the CX-5 is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 2.5 inches wider in the rear than on the Compass.

The CX-5 Grand Touring AWD handles at .81 G’s, while the Compass Trailhawk pulls only .73 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The CX-5 Grand Touring AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.8 seconds quicker than the Compass Trailhawk (27.8 seconds @ .59 average G’s vs. 29.6 seconds @ .53 average G’s).

Passenger Space

The CX-5 has 4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Compass (103.6 vs. 99.6).

The CX-5 has .5 inches more front headroom, 1.1 inches more front hip room, .4 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, 1.3 inches more rear legroom and 6.1 inches more rear hip room than the Compass.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the CX-5’s rear seats recline. The Compass’ rear seats don’t recline.

The front step up height for the CX-5 is 1.8 inches lower than the Compass (17.6” vs. 19.4”). The CX-5’s rear step up height is 2.5 inches lower than the Compass’ (18.2” vs. 20.7”).

Cargo Capacity

The CX-5 has a much larger cargo volume than the Compass with its rear seat up (30.9 vs. 27.2 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the CX-5 easier. The CX-5’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 29.4 inches, while the Compass’ liftover is 31.1 inches.

The CX-5’s cargo area is larger than the Compass’ in every dimension:

CX-5

Compass

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

38”/n.a.

32.4”/65.7”

Max Width

57”

53.8”

Min Width

41.3”

38.1”

Height

32.4”

29.6”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the CX-5’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Compass doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Towing

The CX-5’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Compass’ (2000 vs. 0 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Jeep Compass 4x4 is only 2000 pounds. The CX-5 offers up to a 3500 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

When two different drivers share the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature, the memory seats make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The Compass doesn’t offer memory seats.

The CX-5 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Compass doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The CX-5’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Compass’ rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

Consumer Reports rated the CX-5’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Compass’ headlights, which were rated “Good.”

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The CX-5’s headlights were rated “Good” to “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Compass’ headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

The Compass Latitude/Trailhawk/Limited’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature’s standard adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

Both the CX-5 and the Compass offer available heated front seats. The CX-5 Grand Touring also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Compass.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the CX-5 (except Sport/Touring) keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Compass doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the CX-5 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the CX-5 with a number “1” insurance rate while the Compass is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-5 is less expensive to operate than the Compass because typical repairs cost less on the CX-5 than the Compass, including $97 less for a water pump, $15 less for front brake pads, $110 less for a fuel pump, $132 less for front struts and $105 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mazda CX-5, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Jeep Compass isn't recommended.

The CX-5 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 2 of the last 2 years. The Compass has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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