Ian Lamming meets Jeep’s latest baby, the Compass.
OLD man Jeep must be feeling kinda proud right now with its latest offering in the small SUV sector.
New Compass is a rootin’ tootin’, hum-dinger of a 4×4 made in the image of it grand-daddy, Grand Cherokee, but with a bit more funk to attract the young.
It’s a mighty fine combo because Compass looks and feels the part but also has the tools to do the job both off and on the road – and also where these environments meet.
Compass is fresh, modern, neat and tidy, with appealing lines and signature LEDs. The interior is well specified and equally highly finished, offering loads of toys and a premium feel.
But the investment has also gone into the areas that really matter, namely a very torquey, economical engine and brilliant 4×4 system for when the unpredictable weather dumps gravel and snow onto tarmac or when lifestyle sees you venture into the dirt and sand.
Compass offers the confidence that you will be able to go all-points and actually get to your final destination.
The new vehicle represents a key addition to the Jeep portfolio as it allows the brand to tackle the compact SUV segment, an area worldwide that is expected to grow by almost 20 per cent to 7.5 million in 2020.
Inside is all hi-tech. The trapezoidal centre stack bezel is a characteristic Jeep design cue and sports colour and finish that complement the interior. The centre stack houses the touchscreen displays of the Uconnect system. The centre console neatly integrates the functional features of the Jeep Compass, including gear-shift selection, Selec-Terrain controls, electronic parking brake, engine stop-start controls, climate and volume control knobs and easily-accessible media charging and connectivity ports.
The driver’s instrument cluster is thoughtfully designed and features an LED driver information display.
Advanced technology is user-friendly and includes an all-new infotainment system delivering communication, entertainment and navigation.
On the road the Compass rides exceptionally well and drivers can feel smug knowing that they possess one of the best off-road capabilities there is. Be in no doubt, this is a proper off-roader.
Jeep seems to be cooking with gas around the camp fire, if you will forgive the mixed metaphors, with its latest trenche of models and the Compass allows potential buyers to get in on the act with an affordable package which is attractive in all ways. You done good boy.
Engine: 2.0 diesel
0-62mph: 9.5 secs
Top speed: 122mph
Combined MPG: 49.6
Transmission: Nine speed auto
CO2 g/km: 148