2020 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2020 Jeep Compass

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 2020/08/05

The CX-5 Signature has a standard 360° Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Compass only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

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 and available all-wheel drive.

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 vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the CX-5 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Compass last would have qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

Reliability

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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 41 points higher than the Compass.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mazda vehicles are better in initial quality than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 12th in initial quality. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 17th.

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 2019 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda second in reliability. Jeep is ranked 26th.

Engine

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The CX-5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 7 more horsepower (187 vs. 180) and 11 lbs.-ft. more torque (186 vs. 175) than the Compass’ 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder. The CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder produces 70 more horsepower (250 vs. 180) and 145 lbs.-ft. more torque (320 vs. 175) than the Compass’ 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder.

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

© 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 2020/08/05

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

CX-5

Compass

2WD

2.5 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

25 city/31 hwy

22 city/31 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

4WD

n/a

22 city/31 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Manual

2.5 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

24 city/30 hwy

22 city/30 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

An engine control system that can shut down some 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).

Transmission

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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

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The CX-5’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Compass’ (2000 vs. 0 pounds).

Ergonomics

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The CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts 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 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 Compass’ rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The CX-5’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Compass’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 CX-5 has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Compass only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.

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 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Compass.

Economic Advantages

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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.

The CX-5 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the CX-5 will retain 49.18% to 50.13% of its original price after five years, while the Compass only retains 45.08% to 47.05%.

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 $101 less for a water pump, $16 less for front brake pads, $115 less for a fuel pump, $132 less for front struts and $107 less for a timing belt/chain.

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 2020/08/05

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 Ten” for 3 of the last 3 years. The Compass has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Mazda CX-5 outsold the Jeep Compass by 7% during 2019.

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

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