2020 Jeep Compass vs. 2020 Nissan Kicks

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 2020/10/20

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

The Compass has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Kicks doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

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

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Compass Trailhawk’s standard Hill-descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Kicks doesn’t offer Hill-descent Control.

The Jeep Compass has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Kicks doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

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 Kicks doesn’t offer a GPS response system, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Compass and the Kicks have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee 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, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The Jeep Compass weighs 464 to 942 pounds more than the Nissan Kicks. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

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 Nissan Kicks:

Compass

Kicks

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

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

Warranty

© 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 2020/10/20

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

Reliability

© 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 2020/10/20

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Compass has a standard 160-amp alternator. The Kicks’ 120-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

Engine

© 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 2020/10/20

The Compass’ 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 58 more horsepower (180 vs. 122) and 61 lbs.-ft. more torque (175 vs. 114) than the Kicks’ 1.6 DOHC 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Jeep Compass is faster than the Nissan Kicks (automatics tested):

Compass

Kicks

Zero to 30 MPH

3.2 sec

3.7 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

9.4 sec

10.5 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

5.1 sec

5.8 sec

Quarter Mile

17.2 sec

18 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/10/20

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 Kicks doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Compass has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Kicks (13.5 vs. 10.8 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 Kicks 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 Kicks:

Compass

Kicks

Front Rotors

12 inches

10.16 inches

Rear Rotors

10.95 inches

8” 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 Kicks. 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 Kicks (215/65R16 vs. 205/60R16). The Compass Limited 4x4’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Kicks (235/45R19 vs. 205/60R16).

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 Kicks SV/SR’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Compass Limited 4x4 offers optional 19-inch wheels. The Kicks’ largest wheels are only 17-inches.

The Jeep Compass’ wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Nissan Kicks 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 Kicks; it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling

© 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 2020/10/20

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 Nissan Kicks 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 Kicks’ 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 Kicks doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The Compass Limited 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Kicks SR (28.6 seconds @ .57 average G’s vs. 29.2 seconds @ .55 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Compass has a 1.3 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Kicks S (8.2 vs. 6.9 inches), allowing the Compass to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Compass Trailhawk’s minimum ground clearance is 1.5 inches higher than on the Kicks SV/SR (8.5 vs. 7 inches).

Passenger Space

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The Compass has 5.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Kicks (99.6 vs. 93.9).

The Compass has 3.2 inches more front hip room, 3.7 inches more front shoulder room, 5.1 inches more rear legroom, .1 inches more rear hip room and 1.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the Kicks.

Cargo Capacity

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The Compass has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Kicks with its rear seat up (27.2 vs. 25.3 cubic feet). The Compass has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Kicks with its rear seat folded (59.8 vs. 53.1 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 Kicks 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 Kicks has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

© 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 2020/10/20

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 Kicks doesn’t offer memory seats.

The Compass’ power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Kicks 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 Kicks 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 Kicks 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 Kicks’ passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

The Compass’ optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Kicks’ manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 Kicks doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Compass’ standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Nissan only offers heated mirrors on the Kicks SV/SR.

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 Kicks 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 Kicks 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 Kicks 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 Kicks doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Compass and the Kicks 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 Kicks SV/SR doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Compass Auto offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Kicks doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

To direct the driver from any location to a given street address, a GPS navigation system is available on the Compass Latitude/Trailhawk/Limited. The Compass’ navigation system also has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Kicks doesn’t offer a navigation system.

With standard voice command, the Compass offers the driver hands free control of the radio and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The Kicks doesn’t offer a voice control system.

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 Kicks doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

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 2020/10/20

The Jeep Compass outsold the Nissan Kicks by over two to one during 2019.

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

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