2021 Kia Seltos vs. 2020 Jeep Compass

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Seltos are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Compass doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Seltos S Turbo/EX/SX has standard Rear Cross-Traffic Avoidance Assist that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Compass doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Seltos S/EX/SX’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Compass doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Seltos 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, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

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 2020/08/09

The Seltos comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Compass’ 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Seltos 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Jeep covers the Compass. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Compass ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 30 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 41 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 24th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 17 places higher in reliability than Jeep.

Engine

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The Seltos S 1.6T/SX’s standard 1.6 turbo 4-cylinder produces 20 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 175) than the Compass’ 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Seltos gets better fuel mileage than the Compass:

Seltos

Compass

2WD

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

29 city/34 hwy

22 city/31 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

4WD

n/a

22 city/31 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Manual

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

27 city/31 hwy

22 city/30 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

1.6 turbo 4 cyl./7-spd. Auto

25 city/30 hwy

n/a

Regardless of its engine, the Seltos’ engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Jeep only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Compass Auto.

Transmission

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The Kia Seltos comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Compass.

The Seltos has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Compass doesn’t offer a CVT.

The Seltos offers an available sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Compass doesn’t offer an SMG.

Tires and Wheels

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The Seltos 2.0L’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Compass Sport’s standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Seltos 2.0L has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Compass Sport.

Suspension and Handling

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For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Seltos is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 2.1 inches wider in the rear than on the Compass.

For better maneuverability, the Seltos’ turning circle is .5 feet tighter than the Compass Trailhawk’s (34.8 feet vs. 35.3 feet). The Seltos’ turning circle is 1.5 feet tighter than the Compass’ (34.8 feet vs. 36.3 feet).

Chassis

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The Kia Seltos may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 300 pounds less than the Jeep Compass.

Passenger Space

© 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 2020/08/09

The Seltos has .8 inches more front headroom and 3.6 inches more rear hip room than the Compass.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Seltos’ rear seats recline. The Compass’ rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The Seltos has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Compass with its rear seat folded (62.8 vs. 59.8 cubic feet).

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 2020/08/09

The Seltos 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.

Both the Seltos and the Compass offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Seltos S/EX/SX has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Compass doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Kia Seltos EX/SX has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Compass doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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