GO WILD WITH STYLE

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS -

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.

THE VER­DICT

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.

THE DEAL

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

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