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Compact SUV All-new Jeep Compass – Dramatically improved

Most people think of Jeeps as tough off-road vehicles that love to get muddy, but when the Jeep Compass debuted for 2007, is unlike other Jeeps. Instead, it has a car-based design built for the majority of small-SUV buyers who wanted a fuel-efficient runabout that was easy to drive around the urban jungle.

The Jeep Compass is an example of a budget crossover that tries to check every box when it comes to versatility while keeping the bottom line low. Even so, the Jeep Compass faces stiff competition among today’s compact, car-based SUVs. Taking over from the second-generation, Compass is an all-new version. The all-new model is world apart from the model it replaces in terms of performance, refinement and looks.

Striking design

The all-new Compass features a premium, sculptural design aesthetic. The exterior design is expressive and emotional with a wide stance and exceptional glass-to-wheel proportions. The all-new compact SUV is immediately recognizable as a Jeep with its distinctive traditional brand design cues.

Jeep designers gave the legendary seven-slot grille a fresh look by setting each of the individual chrome slots in a Gloss Black field. Headlamp bezels featuring a black outline add personality and attitude to the front of the all-new Jeep Compass.

The exterior of the 2017 Compass features a traditional clamshell hood with a double break line and centre bulge. A fast, dramatic roofline and muscular fenders and shoulders create a stunning profile.

The available Gloss Black painted roof adds a unique, premium appearance in the compact SUV segment. An available dual-pane sunroof provides the largest opening possible, connecting Jeep drivers and passengers to the outdoors and open-air freedom.

A standout feature of the rear of the Compass is its unique LED tail lamps. Slim and rectangular, the tail lamps flow into the tailgate for a commanding yet premium appearance instantly recognizable as a Compass on the road. For added consumer convenience, the compact SUV features a power lift gate helping ease of access to the rear cargo storage.

Refined Performance

The all-new Jeep Compass is available with a 2.4-liter Tigershark petrol engine with MultiAir2. The power unit is available in two variants. The most powerful version of the engine has an output of 134 kW (184 hp) and 237 Nm of torque. The lesser powerful one comes with 112 kW (150 hp) and a similar 273 Nm of torque. Paired with the engine is a nine-speed automatic gearbox and 4×4 configuration.

Smooth ride

FCA’s ‘small wide architecture,’ a fully independent suspension, segment-exclusive frequency damping front-and-rear-strut system, and precise electric power steering combine to deliver superior on-road driving dynamics in the all-new Compass.

Off-road qualities

The all-new Compass’ off-road capability comes courtesy of two advanced, intelligent full-time 4×4 systems: Jeep Active Drive and Jeep Active Drive Low. The Jeep Active Drive Low can send 100 percent of available torque to any one wheel when needed. Both Jeep Active Drive and Active Drive Low 4×4 systems include the Jeep’s Selec-Terrain system, providing up to five modes (Auto, Snow, Rock, Sand and Mud) for the best four-wheel-drive performance on any surface – on- or off-road – and in any weather condition.

The all-new Compass also features a disconnecting rear axle and power take-off unit (PTU), which provides 4×4 models with enhanced fuel economy. Both Jeep Active Drive and Active Drive Low 4×4 systems instantly engage when 4×4 traction is needed. For even greater Trail Rated off-road capability, Jeep Selec-Terrain also includes Selec-Speed Control with Hill-descent Control.

Advanced interior

The all-new Compass interior design displays a premium interior highlighted by sculptural surface elements and precise technical detail. The trapezoidal centre stack bezel is a characteristic Jeep design cue and sports a colour and finish that complements the interior choice. The centre stack houses the 5.0-, 7.0- or 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment systems touchscreen displays. Uconnect delivers communication, entertainment and navigation features to enhance both the driving experience and passengers’ onboard comfort. Other Uconnect features include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The centre console neatly integrates the functional features of the compact SUV, including gearshift selection, Selec-Terrain controls, electronic parking break, engine stop-start (ESS) controls, climate and volume control knobs, and easily accessible media charging and connectivity ports.

The driver’s cockpit is thoughtfully designed and features a 3.5- or 7-inch LED driver information display (DID) instrument cluster. The DID displays information that the driver may configure for easier access while driving. The Jeep steering wheel with integrated audio, voice and speed controls enables drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and attention focused on the road ahead. Clever and thoughtfully designed storage solutions are placed throughout the cabin, including a stylish mesh side pocket in the front passenger foot well that can hold a notebook or tablet device, and an inventive multi-level rear cargo floor.

Comprehensive safety

The all-new Compass offers more than 70 available active and passive safety and security features including; Forward Collision Warning-Plus, LaneSense Departure Warning-Plus (both offered as standards across the whole range), Blind-spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path detection, ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines, Fully Automated Parallel and Perpendicular Park assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, electronic stability control (ESC) with electronic roll mitigation and six standard air bags. For added protection, Compass boasts a “safety cage” construction with more than 65 percent high-strength steel.

Verdict

The all-new Compass is much improved over its predecessor. It is a good choice if you want a comfortable and affordable crossover SUV that can still handle a dirt road. The all-new Jeep Compass, however, is a much more competitive small crossover. Jeep has made the new Compass more comfortable and enjoyable to drive on the smooth tarmac, where it knows that owners will spend most of their time. The all-new Compass is expected to shake up the compact SUV market in Kenya when it debuts later this year. Production for RHD models has already commenced in India. The Jeep brand in Kenya is under the able hands of CFAO DT. Dobie located along Lusaka Road in Nairobi’s Industrial Area. DT. Dobie also has a network of branches, located countrywide, which have well stocked and equipped vehicle service centres.

Ratings

Value: 4

Presence: 4

Interior: 4

Styling: 4

Equipment: 5

Overall: 4

 

Quote: The all-new Compass also features a disconnecting rear axle and power take-off unit (PTU), which provides 4×4 models with enhanced fuel economy.

What we like    

  • Off-road capabilities
  • Spacious and striking interior
  • Rugged looking Jeep design
  • Generous list of standard equipment

What we dislike

  • Base model lacks creature comfort
  • Limited engine choices
  • Rock crawl only available on high end model