Home Auto-Moto Mind-blowing Battle: A Deathmatch between the 2024 Chevy Trax and 2023 Jeep Compass – You Won’t Believe the Outrageous Winner!

Mind-blowing Battle: A Deathmatch between the 2024 Chevy Trax and 2023 Jeep Compass – You Won’t Believe the Outrageous Winner!

Mind-blowing Battle: A Deathmatch between the 2024 Chevy Trax and 2023 Jeep Compass – You Won’t Believe the Outrageous Winner!

Comparison: 2023 Jeep Compass vs 2024 Chevrolet Trax

All roads may lead to Rome, but that doesn’t mean each route is the same. Take, for example, the 2023 Jeep Compass and the 2024 Chevrolet Trax. These two subcompact SUVs are sized within a few inches of one another, yet nearly every other aspect for comparison—from powertrain to price—highlights how wildly divergent the utes are.

2nd Place: 2023 Jeep Compass

When we first tested a well-equipped Compass Latitude model earlier this year, we walked away impressed with its newfound power and improved aesthetics. The base Sport variant you see here isn’t as well equipped, but the fundamentals are the same, and they’re still worthy of commendation.

HIGHS: Standard AWD across the lineup, zippier than the Trax.
LOWS: Piles on the poundage, big price penalty.
VERDICT: Just because the Compass is better than before doesn’t mean it’s the best.

Under the hood is a new turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four, making a solid 200 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque, urge that is sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic no matter the trim. Against the stopwatch, the Latitude (we weren’t able to test the Sport) molly-whopped the three-cylinder Trax. The Compass needed 7.5 seconds to reach 60 mph, while the Trax required 8.8. At 15.8 seconds to the quarter-mile mark, the Jeep got to rest on its laurels for a whole second while the Chevy played catch-up. And the Compass’s responsive engine means that the leap from 5 to 60 mph takes only 0.4 second longer than a standing start.

As for how the Compass drives, most editors opined, simply, “It’s fine.” Around our 10Best loop, the logbook entries remarked on the Jeep’s quiet practicality and decent, if uninspiring, handling. The base Sport model, perhaps ironically, lacked a Sport mode to firm up throttle response, leaving it in a perpetual commuter-oriented mood. Nearly everyone agreed it’d be happier in the dirt, where its all-wheel drive would be more of an advantage.

If you don’t like the Trax’s wagon-ish silhouette, the Jeep’s more upright SUV form provides a nice counterbalance. The Compass roofline does lend an airier feeling for taller occupants, and we think the cabin is pleasant all around, with a clever use of warmer fabrics in place of the usual cheap-car piano-black plastic. The second row earned high marks for offering vents and outlets, which is not always a given at this price point. However, the all-wheel-drive hardware and lots of cabin features can pile on the pounds; despite having a shorter wheelbase and overall length than the Trax, at 3717 pounds the Compass is a whopping 648 pounds heavier than the Chevy.

In spite of that porcine curb weight, the Compass proved surprisingly efficient. On our 200-mile, 75-mph highway fuel economy loop, the Compass returned 31 mpg—one mpg below its EPA estimate and one mpg above the lighter front-drive Trax.

1st Place: 2024 Chevy Trax

Despite being lower, longer, and wider than the old Trax, this new front-drive-only model aims to maximize thrift by downsizing its engine and—extremely uncommon for the industry—its price tag. That places this urban runabout atop a mountain of value that the Jeep simply cannot scale, even if the Compass leaves the Trax in its dust on the way up.

HIGHS: Impressive bang for the buck, flat rear floor is a welcome addition, it’s giving tall-wagon vibes.
LOWS: No hustle whatsoever, no back-seat climate vents.
VERDICT: It may never win a race, but there’s no denying the Trax’s greatness on raw value alone.

As you might expect, the Trax doesn’t have a whole lot of motivation underfoot. Its turbocharged 1.2-liter three-cylinder makes a paltry 137 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque, all of which is routed forward through a six-speed automatic transmission. Our testing revealed a 60-mph time of 8.8 seconds, with the quarter-mile requiring 16.8 seconds. Some drivers called the six-speed slushbox pokey, which tracks with the 9.5-second run from 5 to 60 mph. Passing maneuvers aren’t much better; going from 50 to 70 mph takes a chelonian 6.4 seconds.

The Trax deserves some credit for its around-town quietness. At idle, we recorded just 37 decibels of clamor, well under the Compass’s 43-dBA result. Its logbook showed sufficiently high praise for its on-road demeanor. Technical editor Mike Sutton said the Trax is “[n]ever exciting but composed and competent all-around.”

If you enjoy the Chevy’s carlike handling, you’ll probably also appreciate its wagon-ish aesthetic. The Trax’s top Activ trim doesn’t do much to the outside, other than adding black 18-inch wheels, but it throws some fun yellow accents into the cabin mix. We’re big fans of Chevy’s latest infotainment software, and the dashboard touchscreen looks good nestled against the gauge-display binnacle—it’s leagues prettier than the dashboard on its Buick Envista platform-mate. The Trax loses some points for lacking full rear-seat accouterments—namely, A/C vents—and some of its plastics are almost insultingly hard, but the lack of all-wheel drive means Chevy had no problem flattening the rear floor, which is a huge boon for running three-abreast.

Most of the Trax’s issues are forgiven once price enters the conversation. The cheapest Trax will run you $21,495, but the $24,995 Activ trim throws a whole bunch of great equipment into the fray, including an 11.0-inch center touchscreen, keyless entry and start, and a heated steering wheel. Our test car added on a sunroof, inductive device charging, and a $795 Driver Confidence package that includes blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control; yet, at $26,685, it’s still thousands cheaper than even the barest-boned Compass. That’s a tough deal to beat.


2024 Chevrolet Trax
Vehicle Type: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon

Base/As Tested: $21,495/$26,685
Options: Activ trim (keyless entry, push-button start, heated steering wheel, body-color grille insert, black mirror caps, 18-inch wheels, 11.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, six-speaker stereo, 8.0-inch digital instrument cluster, eight-way power driver’s seat), $3500; Sunroof package (power sliding sunroof and inductive phone charging), $895; Driver Confidence package (rear cross traffic, lane-change and blind-sport alert, adaptive cruise control), $795

turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 12-valve inline-3, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 73 in^3, 1193 cm^3
Power: 137 hp @ 5000 rpm
Torque: 162 lb-ft @ 2500 rpm

6-speed automatic

Suspension, F/R: struts/torsion beam
Brakes, F/R: 11.8-in vented disc/10.6-in disc
Tires: Goodyear Assurance Finesse
225/55R-18 98H M+S TPC 3179MS

Wheelbase: 106.3 in
Length: 178.6 in
Width: 71.8 in
Height: 61.4 in
Passenger Volume, F/R: 54/44 ft^3
Cargo Volume, Behind F/R: 54/26 ft^3
Curb Weight: 3069 lb

60 mph: 8.8 sec
1/4-Mile: 16.8 sec @ 81 mph
100 mph: 30.5 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.4 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 9.5 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 4.8 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 6.4 sec
Top Speed (C/D est): 115 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 180 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.84 g

Observed: 25 mpg
75-mph Highway Driving: 30 mpg
75-mph Highway Range: 390 mi

Combined/City/Highway: 30/28/32 mpg

2023 Jeep Compass 4X4
Vehicle Type: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon

Base/As Tested: $29,995/$41,270
Options: Latitude trim, $3995; Sun and Sound group (Alpine stereo, panoramic roof), $2695; Convenience group (remote start system, auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated steering wheel and front seats, wiper de-icer, eight-way power driver seat, power liftgate), $2095; Driver Assistance group (adaptive cruise control, surround-view camera system, inductive charging pad, automatic wipers), $1895; Sting-Gray Clearcoat paint, $595

turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 122 in^3, 1995 cm^3
Power: 200 hp @ 5000 rpm
Torque: 221 lb-ft @ 1750 rpm

8-speed automatic

Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 12.0-in vented disc/10.9-in disc
Tires: Firestone Destination LE2
225/60R-17 99T M+S

Wheelbase: 103.8 in
Length: 173.4 in
Width: 73.8 in
Height: 64.6 in
Passenger Volume, F/R: 52/47 ft^3
Cargo Volume, Behind F/R: 60/27 ft^3
Curb Weight: 3717 lb

60 mph: 7.5 sec
1/4-Mile: 15.8 sec @ 89 mph
100 mph: 20.8 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 7.9 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 4.4 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 5.4 sec
Top Speed (C/D est): 118 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 195 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.81 g

Observed: 23 mpg
75-mph Highway Driving: 31 mpg
75-mph Highway Range: 410 mi

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