Com­pass on true course

Albany Advertiser - - REV MOTORING GUIDE -

The Jeep Com­pass has been on sale on-and-off in Aus­tralia since 2007 and was the iconic Amer­i­can com­pany’s first foray into the com­pact SUV field.

The sub­ject of this week’s test, Gen 3 Com­pass, was launched at the start of 2018.

There are five mod­els in the Com­pass range, with a choice of petrol and diesel en­gines, two or four-wheel-drive and four spec­i­fi­ca­tion lev­els: Sport, Lon­gi­tude, Lim­ited and Trail­hawk.

Prices range from $28,850 for the 2WD petrol man­ual Sport through to $44,750 for the AWD diesel au­to­matic Trail­hawk.

The diesel en­gine, avail­able in Lim­ited and Trail­hawk, is a 2.0litre Mul­tiJet unit with up to 125kW of power and 350Nm of torque.

The Sport, Lon­gi­tude and Lim­ited have a 2.4-litre four-cylin­der Tiger­shark petrol with max­i­mum out­puts of 129kW and 229Nm.

Sport and Lon­gi­tude have fron­twheel drive, Lim­ited and Trail­hawk are all-wheel drive. Sport is avail­able with ei­ther six-speed man­ual or six-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion; Lon­gi­tude comes only with the six-speed auto while Lim­ited and Trail­hawk get nine­speed auto.

Stan­dard across the Com­pass range are seven airbags in­clud­ing a knee-bag, elec­tronic sta­bil­ity and trac­tion con­trol with elec­tronic roll mit­i­ga­tion, trailer sway con­trol, en­hanced ABS brakes, re­vers­ing cam­era and two Isofix child seat an­chors.

Lon­gi­tude adds au­to­matic wipers and head­lights; and fog and cor­ner­ing lamps.

As well as the Ac­tive Drive 4x4 sys­tem Com­pass Lim­ited also gets Bi-Xenon head­lights, LED tail­lights, front and rear park­ing sen­sors, and park as­sist.

In ad­di­tion to its raised ride height and off-road sus­pen­sion, the Trail­hawk has Se­lec-Ter­rain with Rock Mode, hill de­scent con­trol, and dis­tinc­tive red re­cov­ery hooks.

Dis­ap­point­ingly a num­ber of ad­di­tional safety fea­tures that are stan­dard in many of Com­pass com­peti­tors are avail­able only in a $2450 Ad­vanced Tech­nol­ogy Group.

Com­pass Sport and Lon­gi­tude use a 5.0-inch touch­screen and 3.5inch in­stru­ment clus­ter dis­play.

Lim­ited and Trail­hawk step up to 8.4-inch and 7.0-inch dis­plays re­spec­tively.

We loved the larger touch­screen in the Lim­ited that we tested. It’s al­most square in shape with large easy-to-read tabs for min­i­mal dis­trac­tion.

Satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion, An­droid Auto and Ap­ple CarPlay are stan­dard in the Lim­ited and avail­able

in the two lower-spec mod­els along with the 8.4-inch screen in a $2150 Pre­mium Au­dio Pack­age. There are USB ports at the front and rear.

There’s a feel­ing of qual­ity in­side the Com­pass that’s been lack­ing in the past. Front head­room is good de­spite the op­tional sun­roof, there’s space in the back to seat a cou­ple of rel­a­tively tall adults. Stor­age space isn’t so good with no flat area ei­ther between the front seats or be­low the dash­board.

Our test car was the Com­pass Lim­ited with the 2.0-litre Mul­tiJet2 turbo-diesel en­gine. With 350Nm of torque from 1750rpm, it is sig­nif­i­cantly sharper off the mark and for over­tak­ing than its older petrol team­mate. Well worth the $2500 sur­charge.

It’s re­spon­sive with min­i­mal turbo lag and en­joy­able to drive al- though a lit­tle nois­ier than we’ve come to ex­pect from mod­ern diesel en­gines.

The bal­ance between ride com­fort and han­dling be­lies its Amer­i­can roots with the type of road feel that Aus­tralian driv­ers pre­fer.

We tested the Lim­ited’s all­wheel-drive sys­tem in some semichal­leng­ing off-road con­di­tions, ones that we would hes­i­tate to take many of its ri­vals. The track was wet and rut­ted but the Jeep re­mained sure-footed through­out with trac­tion switch­ing between wheels when re­quired.

That per­for­mance gave a clear in­di­ca­tion that the Jeep Com­pass Trail­hawk with its higher ap­proach and de­par­ture an­gles could han­dle even more de­mand­ing con­di­tions.

Fuel con­sump­tion is fac­tory tested at 5.7 litres per 100 km. We av­er­aged 6.9 L/100 km dur­ing our week-long test.

Jeep Com­pass is now a se­ri­ous con­tender in what is one of Aus­tralia’s most com­pet­i­tive mar­ket seg­ments. It’s stylish, com­fort­able and ca­pa­ble and we’d cer­tainly rec­om­mend adding it to your test drive list.

An in­crease in the pe­riod of Jeep’s stan­dard war­ranty to five years war­ranty will re­as­sure those with re­li­a­bil­ity con­cerns although that could be off­set by its rel­a­tively lim­ited dis­tance of 100,000km.

Alis­tair Kennedy The Jeep Com­pass Lim­ited is a com­pact SUV with a fair bit of off-road ca­pa­bil­ity.

There’s a feel­ing of qual­ity in­side the Com­pass.

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