AYMK, my 2018 Compass was totaled. Between the accident and purchasing a replacement—also a Compass, this time a 2019—I had a 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe. So I’m offering a comparison based on a couple weeks of running the Hyundai bracketed by two second generation Compasses.
The Hyundai is considerably larger, particularly noticeable in the cargo area. Not quite a cave, but definitely larger.
The exterior visibility was a lot better out of the Hyundai. Frankly, I hate backing up my Compass, camera or not. I can’t see out the windows, the mirrors are inadequate, and I still find the back-up camera more of a distraction than an asset (in either vehicle). The Hyundai had a bubble-mirror on the driver’s side so I could see vehicles in my blind spot. This is an easy upgrade: next time I’m in an auto parts store I’m going to look for a stick-on bubble-mirror for my Compass.
Surprisingly the Hyundai’s fuel economy was almost as good as the Compass. Considering its size this is a strong point for the Hyundai, but in reality the smaller Compass gets maybe 2MPG better.
Both engines have the same displacement and are within 5HP of each other. The Hyundai seemed to have better acceleration and overall more power than my 2018 Compass, but when I got my 2019 Compass, it seemed snappier yet—just shy of amazing, esp when compared to my 2018—so I guess FCA has done a good job upgrading the tranny program. With only six gears the Hyundai did less gear hunting on hills than either Compass, though the transmission in my 2019 is definitely tighter than my 2018 was.
Road handling/ride comfort:
Both vehicles are comfortable on good highways and interstates.
On rural roads is where the Compass really shines. Probably due to its smaller size the Compass is more nimble in the corners, but the big surprise was that while smaller, the Compass handles rough roads much better than the Hyundai. Maybe its just because it has ‘jeep’ in its genes but the Compass has an outstanding suspension. There is a very rough stretch of road that I frequent—several miles long—long enough that I sometimes consider taking the long way around to avoid it. (A few weeks ago I followed a couple in a tiny convertible and they were swerving wildly to avoid the worst of it, traveling well below the limit, all while bouncing around like Mexican jumping beans!) The first time I took the Hyundai over it I thought Gee, this road is even worse than I remember
. Even while staying below the legal limit I was barely in control.
I also thought I really don’t remember it feeling this bad in my Compass
. When I got my new Compass I deliberately used that road again to compare. While still a rough ride, the Compass was clearly more comfortable and I had much better control. Today I thought I’d repeat the test on that same stretch of road but (God love ‘em) the DOT had resurfaced the road
so I can never repeat that test. Still, the Compass was the clear winner in this category.
Voice recognition by the Hyundai’s bluetooth was excellent/perfect compared to my Compass which is almost laughable. Well, OK, it is
laughable. I really try to speak clearly and distinctly, but when I place a call its 50/50 that it gets it right and some of my choices have no apparent verbal connection to what I was asking. Baffling.
The Compass has the proximity key feature which I really didn’t care about at first but after getting used to it I actually missed it in the Hyundai not having it. I kept walking up to it, looking like a bystander, then having to fumble for the fob in my pocket. Its nice to have a car that recognizes me.
I think the a/c in the Hyundai was better, or at least responded more quickly. However, the last few weeks have been unusually hot (c90F) so my 2019 Compass has had a tougher row to hoe than the Hyundai did.
I never got the chance to take the Hyundai off-road and being a loaner I didn't want to take any chances. No, there are no snowy roads around here in July.
For me the big determinants are 1) fuel economy, 2) handling/comfort, and 3) power/acceleration, esp on hills. The Compass is the clear winner in the first two categories and too close to call in the third. I'm happy with my choice.