2020 Jeep Compass vs. 2020 Honda Fit

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/12

The Compass’ pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Fit doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The Compass offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Fit doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

To help make backing safer, the Compass’ optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Fit doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Compared to metal, the Compass’ plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Honda Fit has a metal gas tank.

The Compass Latitude/Trailhawk/Limited offers optional SiriusXM Guardian, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Fit doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Compass and the Fit 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 crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear parking sensors.

The Jeep Compass weighs 536 to 1111 pounds more than the Honda Fit. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Jeep Compass is safer than the Fit:

Compass

Fit

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head injury index

140

651

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

24 cm

25 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

0%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Tibia index R/L

.45/.44

.82/.51

Tibia forces R/L

1.4/.4 kN

2.7/2.1 kN

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, results indicate that the Jeep Compass is safer than the Honda Fit:

Compass

Fit

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

102

206

Chest Movement

.8 inches

1 inches

Abdominal Force

134 G’s

217 G’s

Hip Force

335 lbs.

391 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

101

237

Spine Acceleration

56 G’s

81 G’s

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

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Compass the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 202 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Fit was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

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There are over 2 times as many Jeep dealers as there are Honda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Compass’ warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Compass has a standard 500-amp battery (650 optional). The Fit’s 340-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Engine

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The Compass’ 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 52 more horsepower (180 vs. 128) and 62 lbs.-ft. more torque (175 vs. 113) than the Fit Auto’s standard 1.5 DOHC 4-cylinder. The Compass’ 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 50 more horsepower (180 vs. 130) and 61 lbs.-ft. more torque (175 vs. 114) than the Fit’s standard 1.5 DOHC 4-cylinder.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Jeep Compass is faster than the Honda Fit (130 HP engine) (automatics tested):

Compass

Fit

Zero to 30 MPH

3.6 sec

4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

9.8 sec

10 sec

Quarter Mile

17.5 sec

17.7 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

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In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Compass Auto’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Fit doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Compass has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Fit (13.5 vs. 10.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Compass has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Fit doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Compass’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Fit:

Compass

Fit

Front Rotors

12 inches

10.3 inches

Rear Rotors

10.95 inches

7.9” drums

The Jeep Compass has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the Fit. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Compass has larger standard tires than the Fit (215/65R16 vs. 185/60R15). The Compass Limited 4x4’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Fit (235/45R19 vs. 185/60R15).

The Compass Limited 4x4’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Fit Sport/EX/EX-L’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Compass Sport has standard 16-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Fit LX. The Compass Limited 4x4’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 16-inch wheels on the Fit Sport/EX/EX-L.

The Jeep Compass’ wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Honda Fit only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Compass Trailhawk has a standard full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the Fit; it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Jeep Compass has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Honda Fit has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Compass has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Compass flat and controlled during cornering. The Fit’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Compass’ drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Fit doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Compass’ wheelbase is 4.2 inches longer than on the Fit (103.8 inches vs. 99.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Compass is 2.5 inches wider in the front and 2.4 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Fit.

Passenger Space

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The Compass has 3.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Fit (99.6 vs. 95.7).

The Compass has .4 inches more front legroom, 2.6 inches more front hip room, 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, 1 inch more rear headroom, 4.1 inches more rear hip room and 2.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Fit.

Cargo Capacity

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The Compass has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Fit with its rear seat up (27.2 vs. 16.6 cubic feet). The Compass has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Fit with its rear seat folded (59.8 vs. 52.7 cubic feet).

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Compass Latitude/Trailhawk/Limited offers an optional power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button. The Fit doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

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The Compass 4x4 w/Towing Package offers up to a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The Fit has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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The engine computer on the Compass automatically engages the starter until the car starts with one twist of the key and disables the starter while the engine is running. The Fit’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

When two different drivers share the Compass Limited/Trailhawk, the optional memory seats make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The Fit doesn’t offer memory seats.

The Compass’ power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Fit has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

The power windows standard on both the Compass and the Fit have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Compass is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Fit prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Compass’ front power windows open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Fit’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

The Compass’ power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Fit’s power window (except driver window) switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The Compass’ standard variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The Fit LX/Sport’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent. The Compass’ optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Fit EX/EX-L’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Consumer Reports rated the Compass’ headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the Fit’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Compass Latitude/Trailhawk/Limited has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Fit doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Compass’ standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Honda only offers heated mirrors on the Fit EX-L.

The Compass’ optional rear view mirror has an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Fit doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Compass Limited/Trailhawk keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Fit doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Compass’ optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Fit doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Compass has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable and it can provide a boundary between children. The Fit doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Compass’ standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Fit doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

The Compass’ standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Fit doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

Both the Compass and the Fit offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Compass offers optional rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Fit doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The Compass (except Sport) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Fit doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Compass is less expensive to operate than the Fit because it costs $27 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Compass than the Fit, including $21 less for a starter, $150 less for fuel injection, $42 less for front struts, $10 less for a timing belt/chain and $291 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/12

The Jeep Compass outsold the Honda Fit by over four to one during 2019.

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

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