THE Jeep name has always been synonymous with go-anywhere, climb anything, cross everything motoring no matter how severe the weather and driving conditions, so expectations run high when the latest model is unveiled.
And the latest offering is the new Jeep Compass which, despite looking easier on the eye than previous versions, still possesses all the Jeep multi-terrain ruggedness and know-how.
The Compass looks powerful yet dynamic from any angle thanks to its aerodynamic profile with sweeping curves and that distinctive seven-slot grille.
It has LED signature lights, silver roof rails, lots of chrome trim, front fog lights, privacy glass, a panoramic sunroof and 19-inch alloys to complete the look.
The interior is very upmarket in its design and layout with a wealth of technology to explore.
Our model was in near-range-topping Limited trim level so featured the likes of leather upholstery, ambient lighting and plenty of soft touch surfaces.
Creature comforts include an 8.4-inch touchscreen with navigation, DAB radio and Bluetooth, a nine-speaker Beats sound system, full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, dual zone climate control, a heated multifunction steering wheel and seats that can be heated or cooled and boast eight-way power adjustment.
This Compass was priced at £31,495 although a number of optional extras saw the cost rise to £36,145.
It was powered by a 2.0-litre 140bhp diesel engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and could reach 62mph from a standing start in 10.1 seconds, maxing out at 118mph.
According to official figures, the vehicle can deliver combined fuel efficiency of 54.3mpg with carbon emissions of 138g/km.
Equipment levels within the Compass are very high and there is ample space in the back for a trio of adults to stretch out.
The boot is accessed via a powered tailgate and has a capacity of 368 litres (438 litres without a full-sized spare wheel). This limit increases to 1,693 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats folded flat and there are lots of handy storage compartments scattered throughout the car such as partitioned door pockets, a glovebox, cup holders, a net in the passenger footwell and a central cubby box.
When it comes to performance, the Compass is a delight to drive. There is ample power on tap from the diesel engine and the acceleration is both smooth and responsive.
There is a little engine and road surface noise at higher speeds, but generally the vehicle is nicely refined.
The road holding is assured and there is minimal body lean into bends, unless driven particularly enthusiastically. In addition, the highly efficient suspension system irons out all but the most severe bumps and dips on the road.
The driver benefits from excellent all-round visibility thanks to the elevated driving position and all controls, dials and readouts are perfectly positioned for ease of use.
Many of the car's systems can be accessed via the multi-function steering wheel which is another plus factor as it means you don't have to go searching for overcomplicated menus on the touchscreen.
Whilst we didn't venture from the Tarmac on this occasion, the four-wheel-drive (4WD) Compass does possess all the Jeep expertise when faced with off-road terrain with different settings to combat snow, sand, mud and also an auto and 4WD Lock function.
The Compass has been kitted out with a raft of safety features, such as lane departure warning, forward collision warning plus which will actively brake the vehicle if audible collision warnings are ignored by the driver, blind spot monitoring with cross-path detection and plenty more besides - all systems that helped the Compass achieve a maximum five stars when it was tested for its Euro NCAP safety rating.
And there is even parallel and perpendicular park assist so the Compass will park itself while you sit back and simply follow the instructions.