Com­pass goes slight­ly­off path al­ready taken

Jeep reck­ons fam­ily SUVs should be able to go off-road. What­ever next? By

Hauraki Herald - - MOTORING -

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.

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