I agree on the Blazer - I had a 96 Jimmy (same vehicle essentially) and it was able to haul ass - my 2018 Compass, not even remotely. It is keeping me safe by restricting my lead-foot race car driver tendencies. Which is one of the reasons I bought it.
I'm driving a manual by the way.
We also have a 2017.5 Compass Trailhawk, so I have experience driving BOTH the manual and the automatic. The husband drives the Trailhawk daily - loves it. We have a LOT of hills where we live, and he uses the autostick a LOT. If it didn't have an autostick, I know he would be grouchy. That was the clincher for buying the Trailhawk in the first place - he thought it felt underpowered on the highway during the test drive, but really loved it otherwise. Found out it had the autostick after doing further research, so I gave it another test drive, and it made a HUGE difference being able to control the shifting, especially on take-offs. Hurts our gas mileage a little, but worth the sacrifice.
In my manual, I find myself having to drop gears a lot on the highway depending on my speed, and the grade I'm on, (again, it's kinda hilly where I am). I generally stay in 5th unless I'm able to do 80mph. As long as I'm in the right gear, it moves just fine. When I DID take the Trailhawk auto to work, I also had to switch to autostick because the transmission was just not adjusting quickly enough - traffic picking up speed, going up a slight hill - it would be in WAY too high a gear and unwilling to drop down on it's own. In another vehicle it might not have been such an issue, but with the Compass being under-powered already, the autostick is a godsend.
Grateful I am not at the mercy of an automatic transmission geared for efficiency
We wouldn't have bought the Trailhawk for the husband if it didn't have autostick. I would have kept my Honda Accord if the Cpmpass didn't come in a stick. Although, I may have broken down and bought a second Trailhawk eventually - I kept stealing the Orange one from the hubby because it is so fun to drive. My Accord was boring - but it made up for it by being fast LOL!