Compass goes slightlyoff path already taken
Jeep reckons family SUVs should be able to go off-road. Whatever next? By
would give a Wrangler reason to wriggle. But it was enough to give the Compass some decent offroad-cred as far as we’re concerned. It’s impressive stuff for a medium-sized family SUV.
On-road it’s not the sportiest or most rewarding SUV in its class. But Jeep does have a knack of making something modestly-sized feel really substantial and so it proves with the Compass.
The touch-points feel substantial (like the thick-rimmed steering wheel) and the ride is settled. Both outside and inside, there are Grand Cherokee styling cues that suggest this is a larger vehicle than it really is.
Perhaps it’s all part of the theme, but on tarmac Compass is built more for comfort than speed on the open road. The nine-speed transmission is smooth but it can be slow to respond to the throttle in spirited driving. As you’d expect, the Limited is more composed in corners than the softer, taller, smaller-wheeled Trailhawk, which succumbs to understeer a lot more readily in tight corners.
On paper, you can’t argue with the Longitude’s price. But it’s the 4WD models that really deliver in terms of standard equipment.
Step up to a Limited and you gain leather upholstery, sat-nav, phone projection (Longitude is restricted to a simple Bluetooth connection), gas-discharge headlights, LED tail-lamps, dualzone climate control, BeatsAudio sound system with subwoofer, more comprehensive instrumentation, poweradjustable seats, parking radar/ assistance and the full suite of driver-assistance and safety kit, including adaptive cruise control.
Add in the 4WD system and the Limited looks like a lot of extra car even for $10,000. Even if you don’t want to go off-road.
Substantial stance, but new Compass is very much a mainstream medium-SUV.