MotorTrend Review: Sport Badlands vs Compass Trailhawk

mikeheel

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fossil

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"Let's cut to the chase: The name "Trailhawk" is no longer the standard by which compact SUV off-road packages will be measured. That honor now belongs to "Badlands." The Bronco Sport so thoroughly outperformed the Compass off-road, there's no saying it any other way. Other Jeep Trailhawks should take notice. "
 

AKBronc49

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That's a big OUCH for Jeep. Just wait until the Wrangler and Bronco are tested side by side.
 

North7

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Wow great read, clearly the Bronco Sport Badlands will meet the needs of many big Bronco buyers. The last paragraph said it best..

The Ford Bronco Sport Badlands plainly schooled the Jeep Compass Trailhawk on the trail, no two ways about it. If you absolutely have to have a Jeep in this price range, demand a deep discount on a Cherokee Trailhawk or consider a Wrangler with zero options. Otherwise, buy the Ford.
 

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drive21bronco

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Why aren’t they testing it against the Cherokee? I don’t get it.
Addressed in the review

"Jeep's insistence on covering every bit of SUV-market white space made us think hard about which model to invite to this comparison. The Renegade is, dimensionally, only slightly smaller than the Compass, which is only slightly smaller in turn than the Cherokee. When you drill down on it, though, the Compass is the best match against the Bronco Sport. In nearly every measure, the Ford is practically a photocopy of the Jeep."
 

Hey19

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Sorry Jeep, that was pretty brutal. Time to step it up!
 

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the Bronco Sport is closer in size to the Compass.
Seems like Bronco Sport splits the middle between them. Exterior of a Compass with the interior of a Cherokee. Interesting.

Jeep Cherokee

Wheelbase: 106.6 in
Length: 183.1 in
Width: 73.2 in
Height: 66.2 in
Passenger vol: 103 cu ft
Cargo volume: 28 cu ft
Curb weight: 4250 lb
Jeep Compass

Wheelbase: 103.8 in
Length: 173.0 in
Width: 73.8 in
Height: 64.6 in
Passenger vol: 100 cu ft
Trunk volume: 27 cu ft
Curb weight: 3420 lb
Bronco Sport

Wheelbase: 105.1 in
Length: 172.7 in
Width: 74.3 in
Height: 71.4 in
Passenger vol: 105.7 cu ft
Trunk volume: 29.4 cu ft
Curb weight: 3707 lb
 

FTBronco9

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Addressed in the review

"Jeep's insistence on covering every bit of SUV-market white space made us think hard about which model to invite to this comparison. The Renegade is, dimensionally, only slightly smaller than the Compass, which is only slightly smaller in turn than the Cherokee. When you drill down on it, though, the Compass is the best match against the Bronco Sport. In nearly every measure, the Ford is practically a photocopy of the Jeep."
They explained that in the first paragraph. If you read it it makes total sense.
I guess I’ll have to read it. 😂
 

North7

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I'd guess it's because the Cherokee has a real transfer case and would easily win the off-road battle, which would make for a boring comparison.
Instead of guessing you could just read the article, even part of it, hint, the Cherokee is $5,000 more.
When it comes to off-roading, Jeep sets the standard, especially at reasonable price levels. Other brands offer all-wheel drive, and a few of them build a seriously capable off-roader or two if you're willing to pay, but no one builds a trail-ready model in every SUV segment like Jeep does. And if you want to keep the price less than $40,000 and still get serious off-road performance, Jeep's the only game in town.

Or was. The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands is finally here to crash the trail party, and in the battle for budget off-road supremacy it most directly challenges the 2021 Jeep Compass Trailhawk.

Jeep's insistence on covering every bit of SUV-market white space made us think hard about which model to invite to this comparison. The Renegade is, dimensionally, only slightly smaller than the Compass, which is only slightly smaller in turn than the Cherokee. When you drill down on it, though, the Compass is the best match against the Bronco Sport. In nearly every measure, the Ford is practically a photocopy of the Jeep.

Check it: The Jeep has 8.5 inches of ground clearance; the Ford has 8.8. The Jeep has a 30.3-degree approach angle, 24.4-degree breakover angle, and 33.6-degree departure angle. The Ford's comparable measurements are 30.4, 20.4, and 33.1 degrees. The Jeep rides on a 103.8-inch wheelbase to the Ford's 105.1. The Jeep is slightly longer overall and narrower in width, but only by tenths of an inch.

The two even cost about the same. The Ford starts at $34,315 for the Badlands trim to the Jeep's $32,310 for the Trailhawk trim, but as tested, the Jeep is more expensive at $38,335 to the Ford's $35,905.

There's one set of numbers that doesn't match, though. Jeep only offers the Compass with its old 2.4-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine. It makes 180 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque, which is adequate but not impressive output for a motor of this size. This engine has to propel an SUV that weighs 3,803 pounds as tested. The Ford, meanwhile, upgrades the Bronco Sport Badlands trim from a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder to a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 250 hp and 277 lb-ft, and all that power only has to move 3,677 pounds. The only way you get more power in a Jeep of somewhat comparable size is to buy the larger, more expensive Cherokee Trailhawk, which boasts a V-6 engine with 271 hp and 239 lb-ft. But that Cherokee trips the register at $4,735 more to start than a Compass Trailhawk and has a final price above $40,000 when similarly specced.

 

 
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