Hannah Gordon checks out the all-new Jeep Compass
What is it? The Jeep Compass sits in-between the Renegade and Cherokee vehicles within Jeeps SUV only fleet.
Who is it aimed at? With the booming SUV market Jeep are hoping that the reworked Compass can capture a few hearts. The Compass will appeal to families, couples and people who may want to go off the beaten track occasionally as the Compass does have the option of four-wheel-drive.
Styling? Jeep has worked hard on designing a car that has kerbside appeal, the rugged nature of old Jeeps has stepped aside for a curvier streamlined vehicle that we now see with the Compass. The iconic seven-slated grille remains and a bullish front end is imposing, the Compass does resemble a shrunken down Grand Cherokee which is no bad thing. In Limited spec 18”alloy wheels and chrome exterior trim details come as standard.
Under the bonnet? There are five engines available for the Compass, the diesel options are the 1.6-litre Multijet 120 and 2.0-litre Multijet 140 which are both only available as front-wheel drive vehicles, the 2.0 Multijet 170 is the most powerful and torquey engine in the range and that comes with all-wheel-drive and a 9-speed automatic gearbox.
There are a couple of petrol engines to choose from, they are both 1.4-litre Multiair but one has a power output of 140bhp and the other is 170bhp. The smaller output petrol derivative is only available in front-wheel-drive but the more powerful petrol can be chosen with all-wheel-drive and an automatic gearbox.
What about inside? As Jeep is now in with Fiat a lot of the parts are now shared, the interior features plenty of Fiat switchgear which does make it feel cheap and crowded. The 8.4” UConnect touchscreen works well and includes navigation, DAB and Bluetooth. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also fitted as standard from Longitude trim level upwards. The seating position is nice and high but has plenty of adjustments so finding the correct position shouldn’t be too difficult.
Boot space isn’t the best in its class and depending on whether you get a full-size spare wheel the space can be reduced to a small 368 litres, there is also a lip on the boot making luggage removal that bit more difficult. Space within the cabin is good though and adults should have no trouble in the front and rear of the vehicle.
On the road? The test car came with the 2.0-litre Multijet 170 Diesel engine that incorporated the 9-speed automatic and all-wheel-drive system, the engine was fairly though refined with minimal cabin noise intrusion. The all-wheel-drive system handles easy off-roading with aplomb but the on-road manners still aren’t as good as rivals with cars such as the Peugeot 3008 offering a smoother drive. In town, the light steering feels better than when you are driving around country roads and the automatic gearbox can be slow to change whilst the manual is more precise.
What about safety? The Jeep Compass received the top 5 stars in the Euro NCAP test and comes with a whole host of safety features such as lane departure warning, forward collision warning and blind spot monitoring. Front and rear parking sensors, as well as adaptive cruise control, are also available as options.
What are my Options? The Compass comes in four trims, the Sport is the base level which is sparsely optioned, the Longitude, Limited and the top spec Trailhawk. The Longitude spec has plenty of extras such as Apple Carplay/Android Auto, 17” alloys and leather interior.
The Premium pack includes adaptive cruise control with stop and go and a power lift tailgate, this pack costs an extra £1000, the Visibility Pack which includes HID headlamps and auto high beam costs £600 extra. If you are purchasing the Compass for towing duties then the Towing pack costs £650 and includes a Goose-neck towing hitch and 13-pin wiring harness.
Will it break the bank? The 2.0-litre Multijet 170 diesel manages around 49mpg and emits 148g/km of CO2 which means a first-year tax payment of £515 in the UK. The most economical is the 1.6-litre Multijet 120 which aims for 64mpg and a CO2 output of 117g/km.
The petrol engines manage low 40’s mpg and between 143-160g/km of CO2, amongst rivals, the petrol figures aren’t as good, especially against Peugeot’s 1.2-litre Puretech.
So to the verdict? It certainly has the looks of a blossoming quality SUV product but the Jeep Compass is let down by the intrusion of Fiat (FCA) products. The engines seem outdated and gruff whilst the interior is lacking some serious high-end feel. The price suggests that it has been pitched up there with brands of quality but once you get behind the wheel of the Compass you feel slightly let down. There is no question Jeep can produce decent off-road vehicles but trying to break into the growing small SUV market will be difficult with the Jeep Compass.
Why you’ll buy one? Off road ability, brand appeal
Why you won’t? Price; Lacklustre diesel engines, dull interior
Jeep Compass 2.0 Multijet 170
Max speed: 122 mph
0-62 mph:9.5 seconds
Emissions: 148 g/km
Model price range: from £23,355
No of Doors: 5
Euro NCAP : 5
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 49.6 mpg
Boot Capacity Seats up: 368-438 litres
Length: 4394 mm
Width: 2033 mm
Height: 1644 mm
Wheelbase: 2636 mm
17th December, 2018