Smart-looking SUV to carry broad appeal.
American automaker Jeep may have taken quite a beating on our shores in the last couple of years, but it intends to come back fighting with its new Compass, which promises to bring the fight on to cars like the Kia Sportage and Volkswagen Tiguan. The Compass offers “legendary 4x4 off-road capabilities,” impressive on-road dynamics, and a quintessentially Jeep design which may very well be enough to win buyers over.
“The compact SUV segment in Australia accounts for approximately 20% of the SUV market, offering an opportunity for improved market share. Compass raises the bar in the compact-SUV segment with new levels of style, technology, features, and capability. It’s a versatile vehicle that will relish in Australian conditions and we are confident it will be well-received by the market.” - Guillaume Drelon, Head of Jeep, FCA Australia
The Compass will hit the market with a choice between two engines, a 2.4-litre atmo petrol engine (129kW/229Nm) or a 2.0-litre turbodiesel (125kW/350Nm), with front- or all-wheel drive, six speed auto & manual transmissions for the former driveline, 9-speed automatics for the latter, and four trim levels - Sport, Longitude, Limited, and Trailhawk. Sales begin this week.
Starting with the Sport, Jeep has done its best to pack it full of kit, while motivation comes from the petrol engine that sends power to just the rear wheels. As standard, the Compass Sport gets a six-speed manual ($28,850), though a six-speed automatic is available at a premium ($30,750). Standard kit includes:
- 17-inch alloy wheels.
- Reversing camera.
- Seven airbags.
- 3.5-inch driver supervision display.
- Electric parking brake.
- 5.0-inch Uconnect infotainment system (voice command, Bluetooth, audio streaming)
- 6-speaker audio system with DAB+
The Compass Longitude, one step up, comes with the same drivetrain, though it gets the six-speed automatic as standard and adds more convenience and comfort features. For a reasonable $33,750, the Longitude throws in:
- Power lumbar adjustment for the driver.
- Fold-forward passenger seat, with in-cushion storage
- LED cabin lighting
- Privacy glass
- Fog lights
- Roof rails
- Automatic headlights & wipers
- Premium Audio Package available for $2150, adding - 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment screen, satellite navigation, smartphone mirroring, dual-zone climate control.
The Jeep Compass Limited is the beginning of the all-wheel drive range (2.4-petrol, $41,250), and is also the entry-level trim should you want the punchy turbodiesel ($43,750). Both engines get all-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic gearbox as standard, along with a host of other additions for the step up that it commands. Standard kit includes:
- ActiveDrive 4x4 system with Selec-Terrain
- Leather upholstery
- Bi-Xenon headlights, LED taillights
- Heating for the front seats
- 7-inch driver supervision display
- 8.4-inch infotainment display with satellite navigation
- Powered front seats
- Dual-zone climate control
- Smartphone mirroring
- Nine-speaker Beats Audio system with suboofer
- Parking assistance
- Push-button start
- Electrochromatic rear view mirror
- Options include a two-tone roof ($495), a dual-pane sunroof ($1950), and an ‘Advanced Technology Group’ ($2450) (AEB, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, power tailgate, intelligent cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, auto-dipping main beam)
For $44,750 you can bag the flagship Jeep Compass Trailhawk, the very first Compass to carry the hallowed ‘Trail Rated’ badge. This off-road ready model offers plenty of revisions that help to make it the most capable off-roader in the segment, and is available exclusively with the 2.0-litre turbodiesel (all-wheel drive and a nine-speed auto are also a given). The Trailhawk also comes with:
- ActiveDrive Low 4x4 System
- ‘Rock Mode’ for the SelecTerrain system
- Off-road suspension with raised ride height
- Revised front & rear fascias for improved approach/departure angles
- Black anti-glare hood decal
- Red tow hooks front & rear
- Hill Descent Control
- Skid plates beneath (4 in total)
- Cloth/leather combination upholstery
- Reversible cargo mats
- All-weather floor mats
- Grey exterior accents
- Full-size spare wheel
- Options include Advanced Technology Group ($2450) and the ‘Comfort & Convenience Group’ ($2850) (leather seats with Trailhawk badging, drivers’ seat memory, power lumbar adjustment, keyless entry and go, remote start)
The Jeep Compass is included as part of Jeep’s ‘There & Back Guarantee,’ which throws in a 5-year warranty, lifetime roadside assistance, and capped-price servicing. The company strains that There & Back is a long-term commitment it’s making to its customers, and will form a “fundamental component” of Jeep’s business going forwards.