Funky crossover realigns nameplate’s heading.
As far as Jeep’s long and hallowed history goes, the outgoing Compass was sort of a… demerit on an otherwise-alright report card. It suffered from horrendous ergonomics, has as much refinement as an oxcart, and it consumed more fuel to keep it going than anything else out there. It’s safe to say that the previous Compass was headed for failure from the outset, so it wasn’t a surprise when the car was dropped from various markets worldwide.
The new Compass promises to plot a new chart for itself though, with Jeep and parent-company FCA promising that this is a truly global car with wide-reaching aspirations. Built in no less than 4 countries and set to feature in 100 markets worldwide, the new Jeep Compass is an important car for the brand, and definitely crucial to the success of Jeep in SUV-hungry Australia.
“The all-new Jeep Compass enters Australia at such a pivotal time for the brand, bringing with it unmatched attributes that include benchmark off-road capability, on-road driving dynamics, fuel- efficient powertrains and a range of advanced technology and safety features. Built around the world for customers everywhere, the Jeep Compass raises the bar in the compact-SUV segment.” — Guillaume Drelon, Head of Jeep Division, FCA Australia
The Compass will arrive on our shores in no less than 4 guises, those being Sport, Longitude, Limited and Trailhawk trims, with each offering unique positioning, with the very last promising to provide the most off-road capable experience in the segment. The Compass will be offered with petrol and diesel options, the choice between automatic and manual transmissions, in front-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations.
*2018 Jeep Compass Trailhawk
Value is a strong proposition too, with even the entry-level Compass Sport coming with decent levels of kit. Powered by a 2.4-litre ‘Tigershark’ atmo petrol engine sending power to the front wheels, the Compass Sport can be optioned with a six-speed automatic transmission to best make use of the 129kW on offer. Standard kit includes things like 17-inch alloys, a 5.0-inch ‘UConnect’ infotainment screen, reverse camera, seven airbags, leather-wrapped steering wheel, electric parking brake, and a 3.5-inch driver’s information display.
Step up to the Compass Longitude and you lose the manual transmission option, though power comes from the same engine and goes to the front wheels. Power lumbar adjustment for the driver, ambient LED lighting, roof rails, automatic headlights, foglights with cornering illumination, automatic wipers, privacy glass, and a tumble-forward front passengers seat means you can strike a comfortable balance between practicality and luxury.
The Compass Limited is arguably the plushest in the range, even though it’s not the flagship. The Compass Limited will appeal best to the occasional rough-roader or to the long-distance commuter, as it’s the most affordable way to get the 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine and all-wheel drive, with a nine-speed automatic in between (the 2.4-litre petrol is also offered, with the same drivetrain configuration). With all-wheel drive comes the company’s ‘Selec-Terrain’ system, which allows drivers to choose between Sand, Mud, and Snow driving modes, along with an ‘Automatic’ mode that lets the system do the work. Tech is well catered for here too, with autonomous parking (with parallel and perpendicular options available), an 8.4-inch ‘UConnect’ infotainment screen (replete with smartphone mirroring for iOS and Android), as well as a powerful 9-speaker Beats audio system, replete with a subwoofer for extra boom. This goes on top of 18-inch alloys, bi-xenon automatic headlights, a leather cabin, heated front seats, and powered front seats. Dual-zone climate control also gets tacked on for maximum comfort for all.
The flagship Compass is dubbed the ‘Trailhawk,’ and is the first time that the Trailhawk name and associated ‘Trail Rated’ badge has ever been fitted to the Compass, and with it comes best-in-class off-road capability. The Compass Trailhawk gets all sorts of off-road goodies to achieve that Trail Rated moniker, like its own active ‘Drive Low 4x4’ system, as well as a bespoke ‘Rock’ mode. The Compass Trailhawk gets the 2.0-litre turbodiesel exclusively, paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission, meaning it’ll be a decent partner on the motorway too.
And on the road it’ll get plenty of stares, with unique treatments to the front and rear that add aggression and increase approach and departure angles, along with a black anti-glare decal on the hood, red tow hooks on either end, and skid plates everywhere. Hill-Descent control also gets added, as well as all-weather floor mats.
Prices will be revealed closer to its December debut date, so stay tuned to CarShowroom as we bring you more updates as they come.