Compass took Jeep in

new direction

Jeep Compass
Jeep Compass, front
Jeep Compass, side
Jeep Compass, rear
Jeep Compass, interior
Jeep Compass, action

THE smallest car Jeep has produced was the Compass, introduced in 2007, and it was also the first with all round independent suspension.

It's available with front and four wheel drive and the 4x4 system will automatically help keep you going in difficult conditions on road as well as off.

Drive is to the front wheels for normal road use and the clever system progressively adds power to the rear wheels when the going gets slippery.

The 2.2-litre diesel version, with an engine borrowed from Mercedes, was the first Jeep to better 40mpg.

There are also a 2.0-litre and 2.4 petrols but they're a lot more thirsty. The 2.4 comes with a CVT automatic gearbox as standard but performance is poor.

The diesel is not perfect, being fairly noisy and agricultural but it's still the best choice and makes up the majority of cars available second hand.

It comes with a six-speed manual gearbox, as opposed to the 2.0-litre petrol's five-speeder, and is available with either 134 or 161bhp.

Despite its height the Jeep handles reasonably well. It has less body roll than you'd expect, although it can get unsettled on rougher surfaces. The steering is pretty inert but it is well weighted.

Four-wheel-drive versions offer plenty of traction, even on loose surfaces, and a lockable centre coupling is fitted to allow for maximum traction in snow, sand or mud.

Prices for earlier cars are now down to quite reasonable levels compared to other 4x4s.

The Compass is about the same size as Ford Focus but feels more roomy inside and of course, has a higher driving position giving a great view.

FAST FACTS

Price: Pay about £8,000 for an '11 11-reg Sport+, or £11,000 for a '13 13-reg Limited

Mechanical: 134bhp, 2,143cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving two or four wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 125mph

0-62mph: 11.5 seconds

Combined MPG:46

Insurance Group: 26

C02 emissions: 161g/km

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