Jeep Compass S 4xe

PHEV

Jeep Compass, 2022, front
Jeep Compass, 2022, side
Jeep Compass, 2022, rear
Jeep Compass, 2022, interior
Jeep Compass, 2022, rear seats

JEEP'S reputation as a macho, tackle any sort of off-road conditions vehicle is second to none.

So the concept of the newest models doing exactly that on electric rather than purely conventional petrol or diesel takes a little getting used to.

But the new Jeep Compass 4Xe uses both petrol and electric to give the best of both on and off-road driving.

This is a plug-in hybrid which combines the power of an electric motor with that of a 1.3-litre petrol engine to deliver 237 bhp and make it the fastest Compass ever, with a 0-62 miles per hour time of just over seven seconds.

At the same time the use of electric motors actually improves its off-road capability thanks to their extra torque in extreme conditions where often just the gentlest of power is needed to edge forward slowly.

On normal roads the Compass works out when it's best to operate on electric, petrol or a combination of both to give the ideal performance in any given situation, although you can switch to pure electric and run for some 30 miles at speeds of up to 80 miles per hour should you opt to.

And while to get the best out of this type of vehicle it's best to charge it overnight at home, you can flick a switch on the dashboard to charge the battery - which produces the electric power - from the engine.

This model uses a six-speed automatic gearbox and in true Jeep style comes with 4WD low ratio, 4WD lock and hill descent, all operated via a series of switches near the gear shift.

You can also lock in whatever driving mode you prefer including auto, sport and for off-road work sand, mud and snow.

Minor changes to the exterior of the Compass, including to the traditional seven slot grille, the front bumper and the daylight running lights give a fresh new look while the addition of LED headlights improves night driving.

And now there‘s a new powered tailgate which can be opened and closed by making a kicking action under the rear bumper.

Step inside and there's an upmarket yet rugged look to the cabin with nice leather upholstery, electrically adjustable driver's seat and a 10.1-inch touch screen to operate onboard features.

The latter, however, was not the most intuitive set-up and some features took too much time to locate while trying to keep your eyes on the road.

The screen gives a great view of what's behind you, however, as well as a bird's eye view for easy reversing.

On the road the Compass is lively but never feels quite as quick as the claimed 0-62mph acceleration time and it does tend to be noisy under hard acceleration.

Drive it less harshly and it's a comfortable enjoyable ride more than satisfying both front and rear seat passengers.

Road holding is excellent although there is some roll as you would expect on a vehicle designed as much for off-road as on-road work.

With CO2 emissions of just 44 g/km it's an ideal company car too, as business users will only pay 8% benefit in kind tax.

If you can charge the Compass at home overnight you are on to a winner, especially if you are not a heavy mileage user.

If not you might well have to do your maths as the consumption I recorded from the petrol engine was around 35 mpg.

The choice of the TomTom navigation system means reliable and precise instructions and I liked the voice recognition system which allows you to alter the air conditioning, music and navigation settings by simply saying "Hey Jeep" followed by your command.

The Compass is a rugged, comfortable and enjoyable vehicle which - with electric power - is now bang up to date.

FAST FACTS

Jeep Compass S 4xe PHEV

Price: £40,895

Mechanical: 237 bhp from 1.3-litre, 4cyl petrol engine and electric motor driving all wheels via six speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 124 mph

0-62mph: 7.3 secs

Combined MPG: 148.7

Insurance Group: 29

C02 emissions: 44 g/km

Bik rating: 12%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles, 8yrs/ 100.000 battery

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