Jeep Compass 2.0

MultiJet Limited

Jeep Compass 2.0 Limited, parked
Jeep Compass 2.0 Limited
Jeep Compass 2.0 Limited, side
Jeep Compass 2.0 Limited, profile
Jeep Compass 2.0 Limited, dash
Jeep Compass 2.0 Limited, face

THERE are two types of SUVs - the ones that look like they can scale a mountain track... and the ones that actually CAN.

The Jeep Compass falls most definitely into the second ‘can do' category.

Rugged, driven by all four wheels and with sufficient ground clearance to avoid protruding boulders and jagged rocks, it delivers more than it promises.

But for the vast majority of buyers, it is the high-riding looks and outdoor image that are the main attractions to the surging trend of SUVs.

So the Compass will inevitably tend to be judged more on its on-road behaviour and creature comforts than its ability to romp across muddy fields and negotiate rough terrain.

With its distinctive seven vertical bar grille and rounded shape the re-invented Compass has the enticing looks of a current SUV, and there is no shortage of tasty treats included in the spec of the £31,000 Limited version we drove - electric folding mirrors, leather seating, heated seats and steering wheel, rain sensitive windscreen, rear view camera and sat nav are all there.

Despite the cosseting luxuries, the Compass feels les car-like than much of the opposition, probably because it has a far greater capability off-road. Less athletic and agile than a 3008 or a Tiguan, it has a slightly utilitarian feel reinforced by the robust switchgear.

No shortage of torque from the 2.0-litre diesel engine - Fiat Chrysler derived - which will appeal strongly to those who tow a caravan or boat, and outright acceleration is par for the course with 62mph coming up in around 10 seconds. The engine is a tad clattery at low speed but smoothes out as momentum builds.

Coupled to a six-speed manual gearbox and Jeep's own Active Drive system, you can choose from several settings according to the surface. The gearchange is quite long-throw but ratios are well chosen and the clutch is light enough.

Cornering roll is kept well checked considering this is a genuine off-roader where a degree of suspension movement is vital for the rough stuff when the Compass really comes into its own.

It sits high, so there's ample headroom, and enough space to stretch your legs front and back. Plenty of cubbies, bottle holders and storage bins, too, for the usual family clutter.

Care must be taken getting out from the front seats if you want to avoid leaving muddy marks on your trousers or bare legs - I learned this the hard way.

Long distance drivers may find boot space to be a bit on the miserly side. Capable of absorbing 438 litres of luggage, it's smaller than most of the direct opposition. Of course the rear seats can be folded to boost carrying capacity if just two are onboard.

With all-paw drive and a substantial body, fuel thirst is bound to be greater than some. But our average of 41mpg illustrated that a cautious right foot can produce economical results.

FAST FACTS

Jeep Compass 2.0 MultiJet Limited

Price: £31,495

Mechanical:140bhp, 1,956cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 118mph

0-62mph: 10.1 seconds

Combined MPG: 54.3

Insurance Group: 23

C02 emissions: 139g/km

Bik rating: 34%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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