Smaller Jeep hits the high notes

Cynon Valley - - MOTORS WALES - PETER HAY­WARD news­desk@waleson­

ISN’T it strange how car shapes change? The lat­est Jeep Chero­kee is not as good look­ing as the pre­vi­ous one to my eyes.

But the smaller Com­pass launched last year em­u­lates the de­sign of that pre­vi­ous Chero­kee and seems to be per­fectly pro­por­tioned and right on the money.

Us­ing many parts, in­clud­ing en­gine and gear­box, from par­ent com­pany Fiat’s range, this is a real 4x4 ca­pa­ble of fairly tough off-road work, while at the same time, bring­ing a good feel out on the road.

That’s where the pre­vi­ous Com­pass fell down, but this one cer­tainly moves things on a fair few miles.

I re­cently drove a 1.4 turbo petrol au­to­matic, but there are also 1.6 and 2.0-litre diesels that are likely to be far bet­ter sell­ers.

That said, the petrol is quick and com­fort­able, rea­son­ably re­fined and sur­pris­ingly ag­ile.

The 1.4 Mul­ti­air turbo is smooth and re­fined and gives ex­cel­lent urge in the low and mid-range. Ac­cel­er­a­tion is very good, bringng up the 60mph sprint in well un­der 10 sec­onds, with smooth changes from the stan­dard nine-speed au­to­matic gear­box.

Un­like most other crossovers, which are only fron­twheel drive, it has a proper four-wheel-drive (4WD) sys­tem, with se­lectable modes for snow, sand and mud, and an auto set­ting for road work.

It also comes with hill de­scent con­trol, which uses the anti-lock brak­ing sys­tem to con­trol speed when go­ing down steep off-road gra­di­ents.

I man­aged to get a lit­tle time off road and found this a very worth­while elec­tronic tool. The 4x4 sys­tem means this Jeep will go just about any­where through mud, rough tracks or sod­den fields, and, of course, will keep you go­ing in se­ri­ous win­ter con­di­tions where most soon floun­der.

It would cer­tainly show a Nis­san Qashqai or Ford Kuga the way home in ei­ther sit­u­a­tion.

The Jeep Com­pass 1.4 Mul­ti­Air Lim­ited I drove costs £33,240.

Jeep Com­pass 1.4 Mul­ti­Air Lim­ited

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