2019 Kia Soul vs. 2018 Jeep Compass

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Both the Soul 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 crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Acceptable” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Soul its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2018, a rating granted to only 27 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Compass was last qualified as only a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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The Soul 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 Soul 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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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Soul has a standard 550-amp battery. The Compass’ 500-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Soul’s reliability 45 points higher than the Compass.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 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 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 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 fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 66 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 28th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia third in reliability. Jeep is ranked 20th.

Engine

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The Soul !’s standard 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. produces 21 more horsepower (201 vs. 180) and 20 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 175) than the Compass’ 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Soul + is faster than the Jeep Compass (automatics tested):

 

Soul

Compass

Zero to 60 MPH

8.3 sec

10.5 sec

Quarter Mile

16.4 sec

17.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86.2 MPH

76.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Soul Auto with its standard engine gets better fuel mileage than the Compass FWD 6-speed Auto (26 city/31 hwy vs. 22 city/31 hwy).

Transmission

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The Soul 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.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Soul stops much shorter than the Compass:

 

Soul

Compass

 

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

144 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

135 feet

151 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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The Soul’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Compass Sport’s standard 65 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Soul is 1 inch wider in the front and 1.9 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Compass.

The Soul ! handles at .80 G’s, while the Compass Trailhawk pulls only .73 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Soul ! executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.7 seconds quicker than the Compass Trailhawk (27.9 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 29.6 seconds @ .53 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Soul’s turning circle is .5 feet tighter than the Compass 4x4 Trailhawk’s (34.8 feet vs. 35.3 feet). The Soul’s turning circle is 1.5 feet tighter than the Compass’ (34.8 feet vs. 36.3 feet).

Chassis

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The Kia Soul may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 400 pounds less than the Jeep Compass.

The Soul is 10 inches shorter than the Compass, making the Soul easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The Soul has .4 inches more front headroom, 1 inch more rear headroom, .8 inches more rear legroom and .1 inches more rear hip room than the Compass.

The front step up height for the Soul is 2.5 inches lower than the Compass (16.9” vs. 19.4”). The Soul’s rear step up height is 4 inches lower than the Compass’ (16.7” vs. 20.7”).

Cargo Capacity

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The Soul has a larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Compass with its rear seat folded (61.3 vs. 59.8 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

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The Soul uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Compass uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

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The Compass’ standard power locks don’t automatically lock the doors. The Soul’s standard doors lock when a certain speed is reached. This is an important feature for occupant safety. Locked doors are proven to open less often in collisions, and they are also effective in preventing crime at traffic lights. (The power lock’s automatic feature may have to be activated by your dealer.)

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Soul’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Compass’ headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

The Soul 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 has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Latitude/Trailhawk/Limited.

Both the Soul and the Compass offer available heated front seats. The Soul +/! also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Compass.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Soul + keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Compass doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Soul + offers an optional Smart Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Compass doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Soul owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Soul with a number “1” insurance rate while the Compass is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Soul is less expensive to operate than the Compass because typical repairs cost less on the Soul than the Compass, including $8 less for a water pump, $30 less for a muffler, $15 less for front brake pads, $145 less for a fuel pump and $186 less for front struts.

Recommendations

© 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 2020/05/28

The Kia Soul has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

 

Soul

Compass

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

FALSE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Soul first among compact MPVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Compass isn’t in the top three.

The Soul was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 2 of the last 2 years. The Compass has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

The Kia Soul outsold the Jeep Compass by 39% during 2017.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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