A yellow 2023 Ford Bronco Sport is shown driving along a trail on the side of a snowy mountain.

Up For Adventure: 2023 Ford Bronco Sport vs 2023 Jeep Compass

While some vehicles are designed for day-to-day tasks like going to work and running errands, others are designed to milk every drop of fun out of any experience, proving that transportation can be anything but mundane. Is it time to consider the purchase of your next vehicle? With so many options in today’s marketplace, picking out your next car can feel like a daunting task. However, having a purpose in mind can narrow down your options quite a bit. Are you looking for something to take you on your next adventure? If so, then there are a couple options that stand out from the pack.

When you’re on the hunt for a vehicle that goes beyond the everyday drive to the office or grocery store, you’re probably the type to explore SUVs that offer maximum performance and capability. These are the kinds of rides that can handle a variety of conditions with their big tires and stellar suspension. We’re talking about vehicles that like to off-road and get a little dirty. If this description is conjuring up images of Jeeps and Fords, then we’re on the right track. We took two affordable outdoorsy vehicles and put them side by side for comparison to see if one could outperform the other. With two great vehicles, the competition is fierce, and the winner is you, the driver. Let’s compare the 2023 Ford Bronco Sport vs 2023 Jeep Compass to see how they stack up.

Two Quality SUVs

The 2023 Ford Bronco Sport delivers satisfaction on steroids. The return of the Bronco was long awaited, with fans eagerly signing up for orders long before seeing the model in the flesh. While a lot of the Bronco Sport’s design elements are inspired by off-roading, it’s still versatile enough to make an excellent daily driver. Its compact size makes it easy to maneuver, while the enhanced four-wheel drive system makes it perfect for charging the trails. For 2023, Ford powered the Bronco Sport with a turbocharged engine and lifted suspension, making it a perfect companion for camping, outdoor sports, and exploring. It offers the quintessential styling that evokes excitement in fans of the older generations of Broncos. Plus, it comes in six thrilling trim levels, including the Base, Big Bend, Heritage Edition, Outer Banks, Badlands, and Heritage Limited Edition, so you can pick from plenty of options.

You can’t have a great vehicle without having an equally great rival. Enter the 2023 Jeep Compass. Jeep refreshed the powertrain for this model year, upping the horsepower from the previous model. As a whole, Jeep knows what it’s doing when it comes to designing vehicles for off-roading. Its lineup includes features like four-wheel drive and plenty of off-roading equipment. The Compass has plenty of functional features that make driving more fun in any environment and lets you customize by offering seven unique trim levels: Sport, Latitude, Latitude Lux, Altitude, Limited, Trailhawk, (RED), and High Altitude. This SUV embodies a blend of the classic Jeep aesthetic with the modern conveniences of a newly minted generation.

A white 2023 Jeep Compass Trailhawk is shown splashing through a river in a 2023 Ford Bronco Sport vs 2023 Jeep Compass comparison.

Performance Factors

For the 2023 Bronco Sport, Ford offers a few powertrain options. The standard is a 1.5L turbocharged three-cylinder engine with an output of 181 hp. However, you can also pair your Bronco with a beefier, 2.0L four-cylinder configuration. The 2.0L engine delivers 245 hp and comes with paddle shifters. Both of these options are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Bronco Sport offers generous gas mileage for a rugged SUV, with an EPA-estimated 25 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway.

Each trim level comes standard with four-wheel drive that evenly disperses torque for extra traction when you’re off exploring unconventional terrains. The available all-terrain tires are perfect for mud, snow, and wet conditions. Ford’s SUV features five GOAT (Goes Over Any Terrain) modes that quite literally live up to the name. The Bronco has an available factory one-inch suspension lift that adds ground clearance and stouter shock absorbers to lessen the impact of uneven ground. Plus, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with 23.6 inches of water-fording capability. Almost truck-like in its driving performance, the Bronco Sport handles impeccably well in challenging conditions. As an added bonus, it can tow up to 2,200 lbs when equipped with the 2.0L engine.

When looking at performance for the 2023 Jeep Compass, the refreshed powertrain for 2023 is enticing. The standard engine on the 2023 Compass is a 2.0L turbocharged inline four-cylinder. However, it only produces 200 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque. While this is slightly more than the base engine on the Bronco Sport, it’s the only available powertrain and is slower than the 2.0L on the Ford. The Jeep’s powertrain lands right in the middle of the two that Ford offers. The Compass pairs its engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission and has four-wheel drive standard on every trim. Gas mileage is similar in the two models; the Bronco has a better city rating, and the Compass has a better highway rating. The 2023 Compass gets an EPA-estimated 24 MPG in the city and 32 MPG on the highway. This engine is more efficient than the 2.4L engine in older Compass models.

Since it’s a Jeep, the 2023 Compass comes with the expected off-roading capabilities. Jeep’s Selec-Terrain Traction Management System allows you to conquer a variety of terrain types with the push of a button. The available Jeep Active Drive Low four-wheel drive system provides a 20:1 crawl ratio when you’re off-roading over rocks and boulders. Optional Hill Descent Control also comes in handy when you’re navigating uneven terrain and want to devote your full attention to avoiding obstacles.

A yellow 2023 Ford Bronco Sport Heritage Limited is shown parked in a field.

Which Style Do You Prefer?

The aesthetics of the Bronco Sport and the Jeep Compass play a large role in what makes these two vehicles so different. Both icons in their own right, they offer the unique styling that has made previous models so wildly successful. The Jeep pulls inspiration from other Jeep models, as well as previous generations of the Compass. Meanwhile, the Bronco Sport finds inspiration in Bronco models from the 1980s and 1990s. After a long period of time off the market, the modern Bronco Sport feels like the revival of an old classic.

The 2023 Bronco Sport borrows from previous generations of the Bronco while still signaling all the progress and modern features that fans of the model crave. The safari-style roof screams adventure and provides space for all of your companions. It can even support up to 150 lbs of gear. The 2023 Bronco Sport is easy to outfit with tow hooks, roof racks, and whatever else helps you get out and explore.

As for the Jeep Compass, the 2023 exterior is a contemporary take on preceding models. The seven-slot grille satisfies Jeep lovers’ expectations, and the LED lights are both attractive and utilitarian. If you want a more rugged appearance, the Trailhawk trim includes options like off-road tires and red tow hooks, displaying its off-road prowess.

Choose Your Adventure Companion

These two vehicles have many things in common with each other: off-roading prowess, iconic styling that honors the past, and powertrains that work hard without sacrificing efficiency. The 2023 Ford Bronco Sport salutes the features that made the old Bronco so popular back in its heyday while simultaneously adding all the amazing qualities that bring it into the present day. The 2023 Jeep Compass gives drivers plenty of choices when it comes to trim levels and displays familiar styling and features. Both vehicles are great companions on any adventure, and either way, you’ll be carving fun memories that’ll last a lifetime. However, with greater performance and superior off-road equipment, the Bronco Sport edges ahead of the Compass as our pick.