Who’s never heard of Jeep? The famous 4×4 car maker has been in existence for more than 75 years (‘Since 1941’ its special edition anniversary models proudly state) and to most people, the word ‘Jeep’ means ‘four wheel drive’.
Global sales for Jeep have risen sharply over the last seven or eight years from around 300,000 in 2009 to well over a million last year. And with those increasing sales have come some excellent new cars. One of those new to the line-up is the Compass, which I drove recently at a special Jeep event.
I remember the previous Compass which was a decent family car, very able off-road, but didn’t have the sharp, modern looks of this latest model. The new car is very obviously a Jeep, with the trademark seven-slot grille, the big wheel arches, high stance and the famous ‘Jeep’ logo boldly centred on the bonnet and tailgate.
The Jeep Compass Brought Up-to-Date
Inside, the car has been brought right up to date with a bright, airy cabin, quality feel throughout and an excellent touchscreen control centre featuring phone connectivity, a satnav, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and most of the other safety and comfort controls for the car, all in one place.
The Compass is a spacious vehicle; nowhere near as large as its massive Grand Cherokee sister, but still perfectly acceptable for four adults to ride in absolute comfort. The leather seats are supportive and on some models, are heated, as is the steering wheel, which is perfect for cold, wintry British mornings.
A Wide Range of Engines
The Compass range comes with a selection of petrol and diesel engines, in manual and automatic form, and in two wheel drive and four wheel drive, so there should be a version to suit everyone’s needs. Jeep build their cars to be off-road but, as many rarely have to venture off tarmac very often in this country, it’s vitally important to get the on-road comfort and handling right too. Jeep have certainly achieved this with Compass.
I drove the diesel-powered 1.6 MultiJet 120hp Limited. The ride was firm, comfortable and sure-footed even over some bad potholes. Steering was light and accurate, acceleration lively and the brakes were firm and controlled.
The Compass Punches Above it’s Class
Jeep should be delighted with the new Compass, which will be a welcome addition to the already crowded mid-range SUV segment of the car market. With its distinctive looks, great heritage, enjoyable drive and raft of safety and comfort features, the Compass will be well worth considering when it arrives here early next year.
While Jeep Compass prices start at £22,995 car I drove costs £28,995 and the “loaded” model is more typical of what a MAN LONDON reader would expect.