GO WILD WITH STYLE
THE RIDE 2018 Jeep Compass Limited THE LOWDOWN
You know you’re in for a wild ride when your car has pre-programmed settings for tackling snow, sand and mud.
Jeep has spent decades cementing its credentials as the adventure vehicle of choice for hardcore bush-bashers and weekend warriors alike.
It’s also spent a small fortune positioning itself as a manufacturer of luxury SUVs, cramming its models full of creature comforts and extras designed to steer drivers from office to off-road with ease.
Jeep’s new Compass model comes in four variants and only hit Australian shores around Christmas time, sitting at the smaller end of the mid-sized SUV market alongside the likes of VW’s Tiguan and Hyundai’s Tucson.
The Limited’s capacity for off-road adventuring is anything but: a nine-speed automatic transmission, All-Wheel Drive (AWD), maximum towing capacity of 1000kg and Jeep’s Active Drive 4x4 and Selec-Terrain Traction Management systems with the aforementioned snow, sand and mud settings.
While the Compass is engineered to wind along western Queensland’s dusty backroads, the tropical north’s unsealed tracks and the southeast corner’s sandy beach “highways”, it’s also designed to get you there in style.
It has soft leather seats to cushion the roughest roads; eight-point power adjustment and heating standard on the driver’s side, and four-point power adjustment on the passenger side.
There’s dual-zone climate control, leatherwrapped steering wheel and gearstick and more than enough USB points and power outlets for young passengers to plug in and tune out during long journeys.
An impressive, user-friendly 21cm touchscreen is infotainment central for Jeep’s Uconnect system, a suite of interconnected features and apps that controls everything from streaming music to sat-nav.
THE BEST BITS
Let’s face it, most Compasses spend more time navigating smooth city street than rugged country.
Distracting from the daily grind is a rocking nine-speaker BeatsAudio sound system, complete with subwoofer, AM/FM and Digital (DAB+) radio as well as Bluetooth phone and audio streaming.
You can also connect your phone using Apple Carplay or Android Auto to access even more entertainment options for shimmying in your seat as you crawl through clogged intersections.
Even at a cursory glance, it’s clear the Compass has serious off-road credibility. What surprised me was just how well it handled simple suburban driving conditions as well. It was light and responsive on city streets and while a touch on the thirsty side – combined fuel consumption was tested at 9.7L/100km – its on-road performance gives drivers bang for their buck.
From $45,772 drive-away. Avoid the mud on your way to Cricks Mt Gravatt, 1398 Logan Rd, Mt Gravatt for a test drive. Ph. 3434 1500