2020 Kia Soul vs. 2019 Jeep Compass

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Soul S/EX/GT-Line’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Compass doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Soul has a standard 760-amp battery. The Compass’ standard 500-amp battery and largest (optional) 650 amp battery aren’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 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 30 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 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 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 41 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 24th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 17 places higher in reliability than Jeep.

Engine

The Soul GT-Line Turbo’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 GT-Line Turbo is faster than the Jeep Compass (automatics tested):

Soul

Compass

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

10.5 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

17.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.7 MPH

76.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Soul gets better fuel mileage than the Compass:

MPG

Soul

FWD

Manual

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/31 hwy

Auto

EX 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

29 city/35 hwy

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

27 city/33 hwy

GT Turbo 1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

27 city/32 hwy

Compass

FWD

Manual

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

23 city/32 hwy

Auto

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

22 city/31 hwy

AWD

Manual

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

22 city/31 hwy

Auto

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

Regardless of its engine, the Soul’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Jeep only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Compass Auto.

Transmission

The Soul offers an optional continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Compass doesn’t offer a CVT.

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

The Soul stops much shorter than the Compass:

Soul

Compass

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

144 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Soul LX/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

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Soul is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 2.1 inches wider in the rear than on the Compass.

The Soul GT-Line Turbo handles at .86 G’s, while the Compass Trailhawk pulls only .73 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Soul GT-Line Turbo executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.8 seconds quicker than the Compass Trailhawk (26.8 seconds @ .66 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

The Kia Soul may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 600 pounds less than the Jeep Compass.

The Soul is 7.8 inches shorter than the Compass, making the Soul easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Soul has 2.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Compass (102.2 vs. 99.6).

The Soul has .2 inches more front headroom, 1 inch more rear headroom, .5 inches more rear legroom and 3.6 inches more rear hip room than the Compass.

The front step up height for the Soul is 3.2 inches lower than the Compass (16.2” vs. 19.4”). The Soul’s rear step up height is 3.3 inches lower than the Compass’ (17.4” vs. 20.7”).

Cargo Capacity

The Soul has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Compass with its rear seat folded (62.1 vs. 59.8 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Soul easier. The Soul’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 29.8 inches, while the Compass’ liftover is 31.1 inches.

Servicing Ease

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

The Soul GT-Line Turbo has a standard heads-up display that projects speed readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Compass doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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.

Economic Advantages

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, $32 less for a muffler, $16 less for front brake pads, $152 less for a fuel pump and $186 less for front struts.

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

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