By Mike Torpey on 2022-07-23 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Jeep Compass 1.3
Night Eagle 2WD
THE Jeep Compass is a Jeep that doesn't look like a Jeep.
Forget those squared off, boxy looks. They have been replaced by a softer design with a lower profile and sculpted contours, to the point that if you removed the badge, people would be pushed to identify the brand.
That's at least until they look to the front of the Compass and spot its trademark seven-slot grille.
The point though is that modern Jeep models aren't necessarily just about hardware and off-road ability, with some models operating in an entirely different area of the motoring arena.
While Compass models are now available as full hybrid, plug-in hybrid or with a petrol engine, our tested version featured the 1.3-litre petrol model in entry grade Night Eagle trim.
With front-wheel drive rather than as a 4x4 it is aimed at the ever-expanding medium SUV market dominated by popular offerings like the Nissan Qashqai.
So its features are all family-friendly and geared towards everyday urban conditions, with a splash of adventure in there to remind us that this is nonetheless a Jeep.
Take the interior for instance. The seats are stylishly designed with an arty fabric insert, there's a spattering of piano black around the front of the cabin, a shiny alloy billiard ball-topped gearstick, large leather-covered steering wheel and 10-inch rectangular touchscreen that's well placed and easy to access.
The latter features a pin-sharp reversing camera as well as the latest Jeep Uconnect infotainment set-up plus Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Space in the rear is fine for two, even with the front seats slid fully back, but a little perched and firm for a centre rear passenger - best suited to a pre-teen.
You also get an adjustable split level boot that can be expanded further courtesy of the 60/40 folding rear seats.
As for power, there are no longer any diesel engines available with the Compass and our Night Eagle featured the 130bhp 1.3-litre petrol variant which comes with a six-speed manual gearbox.
Performance figures of 0-60 in 10.3 seconds are nothing special but adequate for most town and country motoring and the Jeep's raised driving position ensures a superior view of the road ahead and surroundings.
On the downside, the steering doesn't feel overly positive and there's a fair amount of body roll through corners that becomes particularly noticeable round country lanes.
Fuel economy is reasonable though and our own return of 41 miles per gallon, achieved over 200 miles of mixed urban and motorway driving, compared favourably to the official Combined average of 42.2mpg.
Night Eagle models include kit like LED headlamps, 18-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats with lumbar support and a reversing camera while safety gear includes a forward collision alert, lane departure warning and six airbags. Alpine White is also a stand-out colour
Jeep Compass 1.3 Night Eagle 2WD
Mechanical:130bhp, 1.3-litre, 4-cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via six-speed manual transmission
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