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2020 Jeep Compass vs 2020 Toyota RAV4 – Costa Mesa, CA

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  • 2020 Jeep Compass

    A black 2020 Jeep Compass is angled left.

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    2020 Toyota RAV4

    A silver 2020 Toyota Rav4 is angled right.

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    8Available Trims6
    2,000Towing Capacity (lbs)1,500
    8.4-inchLargest Infotainment Screen Size8-inch

    These days, it seems that almost every automaker has a compact SUV in its vehicle lineup. A big reason for this is that many people have found the compact SUV to be a very versatile and convenient vehicle to own. The good ones combine the advantages of a compact car, such as fuel economy and drivability, with the benefits of an SUV, such as roominess and cargo space. However, many on the market end up as a poor compromise, combining the ungainliness of a midsize SUV with the cramped passenger of cabin of a compact car. This is not the case with two of the best compact SUVs on the market, the 2020 Jeep Compass vs 2020 Toyota RAV4.

    This may have to do with the fact that both of these models have a very long history. Jeep introduced the Compass with the 2007 model year, while the Toyota RAV4 premiered in 1994, making these models two of the longest built compact SUVs on the market. In other words, Jeep and Toyota are not Johnny-come-lately to this type of vehicle. Rather, they were both pioneers. As a result, the Jeep Compass and the Toyota RAV4 have emerged as industry leaders in the compact SUV market. This has led these two automakers to include many similar great features in their vehicles. For example, both the Jeep and RAV4 feature an excellent infotainment system. The Jeep Compass has the Uconnect system with either a 7-inch or 8.4-inch touchscreen, while the RAV4 has the Toyota connected services with a 7-inch or 8-inch touchscreen. These integrate the vehicle's information system with an entertainment platform, including Bluetooth connectivity. In addition, both compact SUVs feature many exceptional safety features, including rearview cameras and four-wheel ABS breaks. However, there are a number of differences that emerge when you compare the 2020 Jeep Compass and 2020 Toyota RAV4.

  • Performance

    A white 2020 Jeep Compass is driving around a rocky highway near Costa Mesa, CA.


    Both the 2020 Jeep Compass and the 2020 Toyota RAV4 have one standard engine with no options. The Jeep Compass features a 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir2 I4 gas engine. This efficiently utilizes its four cylinders to produce 180 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque. The engine on the RAV4 is a 2.5-liter Dynamic Force 4-cylinder gas engine. As expected for a slightly larger engine, it produces 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque.


    While the 2020 Toyota RAV4 has one standard transmission, the 2020 Jeep Compass gives you the choice of three different transmissions for your vehicle. The RAV4 is equipped with an 8-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. Jeep offers three different transmissions on the Compass. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard on lower trims, and provides great performance and control. For quick and smooth shifting, the 6-speed automatic transmission is standard on several trims. Finally, the 9-speed automatic transmission is standard on 4x4 trims, and optimizes engine output for a great ride. By giving you this option, Jeep allows you to choose the type of transmission you are most comfortable using.


    The 2020 Jeep Compass and 2020 Toyota RAV4 have both front-wheel drive and four/all-wheel drive available, with several trims on the Compass only available with a 4X4 drivetrain. The first thing you may notice when driving is that the Jeep Compass has a tighter turning radius than the RAV4. This is due to the extra long wheelbase on the RAV4, which is 105.9 inches, over two inches longer than the 103.8-inch Compass. This will give you better overall handling in the Compass. The second thing is that the Compass has a more rugged stance. This is especially so when equipped with the four-wheel drivetrain. If you are looking to go off-roading, a trail-rated 2020 Jeep Compass is a better bet than a 2020 Toyota RAV4 with all-wheel drive. The RAV4 has a slight edge for overall pickup, but while both have decent acceleration, neither of these vehicles are intended for race-worthy performance.

  • Practicality

    A red 2020 Jeep Compass is parked on a rocky beach after winning the 2020 Jeep Compass vs 2020 Toyota RAV4 comparison.

    Fuel economy

    As you would expect, both these vehicles provide exception fuel efficiency. The 2020 RAV4 has a slight edge over the 2020 Jeep Compass. The RAV4 with front-wheel drive will get an estimated 27 miles per gallon in city driving, 35 miles per gallon on the highway, and 30 miles per gallon combined. By choosing the RAV4 with an all-wheel drivetrain, your fuel economy will decrease to 25 miles per gallon in the city, 33 miles per gallon in highway driving, and 28 miles per gallon combined, depending on specific trim. This is only a little better than that on the 2020 Jeep Compass. The front-wheel drive compass with a manual transmission has an estimated mileage of 23 miles per gallon in city driving, 32 miles per gallon on the highway, and 27 miles per gallon combined. Both the Compass with four-wheel drive and manual transmission, as well as front-wheel drive and automatic transmission provides the same fuel economy of 22 miles per gallon in the city, 31 miles per gallon on the highway, and 26 miles per gallon combined. If you choose a Jeep Compass with four-wheel drive and automatic transmission, you will get an estimated 22 miles per gallon in city driving, 30 miles per gallon in highway driving, and 25 miles per gallon combined. While the Toyota RAV4 has better fuel economy numbers than the Jeep Compass, they are not significantly larger, as both vehicles are truly fuel-efficient.


    Despite being slightly smaller, the 2020 Jeep Compass outperforms the 2020 Toyota RAV4 when it comes to towing. The Compass can tow up to 2,000 pounds, while the RAV4 can only handle 1,500 pounds. This is a significant difference if you are looking to tow a recreational vehicle on a trailer bed with your compact SUV. The number is somewhat surprising since the RAV4 is slightly bigger than the Compass, and its engine produces more torque.

  • Interior Space

    A couple is loading luggage into the cargo area of a 2020 Jeep Compass.

    If you are looking to enjoy your compact SUV, you want to know that you and your four passengers will have enough room to stretch out when you go for a ride or a road trip. The last thing you want is for the three passengers in the back to constantly complain, "Are we there yet?" because they are getting leg cramps. That is why the better choice for roominess is the 2020 Jeep Compass. The engineers at Jeep have apportioned the 100 cubic feet of cabin space in such a way as to ensure that all passengers are comfortable regardless of whether they are seated in the first or second rows. Legroom is a key factor, and the Compass provides a full 41.8 inches of legroom to the front row passengers and 38.3 inches to those in the rear. This is an advantage over the 2020 Toyota RAV4, which only has 41 inches of legroom in the front row and 37.8 inches in the rear seats. This carries over to the headroom, with front row passengers in the Compass getting 39.2 inches and passengers in the rear enjoying 38.5 inches. While the RAV4 does a good job of providing headroom to rear seat passengers, a full 39.5 inches, the front hs only 37.7 inches of headroom. Finally, the rear seat on the RAV4 may be a little cramped if three passengers are seated there, as there is only 47.7 inches of hip room provided, much less than the 49.2 inches of hip room on the rear seat of the Jeep Compass. It is interesting since the RAV4 is slightly larger than the Compass with a longer wheelbase. It appears that Jeep did a more efficient job designing the interior space of the Compass than Toyota did with the RAV4.

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