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Sunday, 09 December 2018
WHATEVER happened to the demand for those big, some might say overbearing 4x4s that have dwarfed cars and demanded more road space than anyone else?
Well, these larger SUVs (sport utility vehicles), though no doubt lucrative sellers globally, have been rather sidelined of late while carmakers have been concentrating on the ever-growing compact SUV segment.
This week’s drive, the all-new Jeep Compass, is a prime example of this smaller, compact SUV and brings the brand to this popular segment — which in Europe is expected to grow by almost 20 per cent by 2020.
In the UK, the all-new Compass offers two petrol and three diesel engines for a total of six different powertrain combinations and four different configurations: Sport, Longitude, Limited and Trailhawk.
I like this smaller, more compact type of SUV, which eventually must lend itself to more environmentally friendly SUVs.
The compact version of these popular types of vehicle will surely evolve into more electric and hybrid models in future.
Jeep has made sure that the Compass is immediately recognisable as a Jeep by way of traditional design features, such as the seven-slot grille and the trapezoidal wheel arches.
Designers have given the seven-slot grille a fresh look by setting each of the chrome slots in a gloss black field.
LED signature headlamp bezels featuring a black outline add to this new look, which is a great improvement.
Five wheel designs are available on the Compass: 16in (standard on Sport), 17in (standard on Trailhawk and Longitude), 18in (standard on Limited) or 19in wheels (optional on Limited).
The Compass is available in eight different exterior colours: Mojave Sand, Colorado Red, Hydro Blue, Brilliant Black, Minimal Grey, Magnesio Grey, Vocal White and Bronze.
The interior design features new materials and technical details.
The centre console integrates the functional features, including gear-change selection, Selec-Terrain controls, electronic parking brake, engine stop-start (ESS) controls, climate and volume control knobs, and media charging and connectivity ports.
The driver’s instrument cluster features a LED driver information display. The full-colour seven-inch touchscreen display is standard on Limited and Trailhawk models.
Uconnect 8.4 NAV systems feature a high definition screen with capacitive touch and include new Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (standard on Longitude, Limited and Trailhawk) features for hands-free phone, navigation and voice texting. Compass Longitude, Limited and Trailhawk models also feature Uconnect 8.4 NAV with Jeep Skills.
This application provides off-road-specific indexes that allow drivers to monitor their performance on trails.
Of course, a great feature of Jeeps passim has been their off-road ability and this feature is still a force to be reckoned with.
Off-road capability comes courtesy of two advanced, intelligent full-time 4x4 systems: the Jeep Active Drive and the Jeep Active Drive Low, the latter with 20:1 crawl ratio, each of which can send 100 per cent of available torque (pulling power) to any one wheel when needed.
Both Jeep Active Drive and Active Drive Low 4x4 systems include the Jeep Selec-Terrain system, providing up to five modes (Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud, plus exclusive Rock mode on the Trailhawk model) for the best four-wheel-drive performance on any surface — on- or off-road — and in any weather conditions.
The Compass features a disconnecting rear axle and power take-off unit (PTU), in order to provide 4x4 models with enhanced fuel economy.
Both Jeep Active Drive and Active Drive Low 4x4 systems instantly engage when 4x4 traction is needed.
All 4x4 Compass models also feature the 4WD “Lock” function, which locks the 4x4 traction permanently and can be selected by the driver with the dedicated button on the Selec-Terrain dial control.
The Trailhawk model features an increased ride height of almost 2.5 cm, skid plates, a red rear tow hook, 17in off-road tyres and up to 216 mm of ground clearance.
The Compass offers six powertrain combinations, including two petrol, three diesel engine options and two gearboxes — the nine-speed automatic and the six-speed manual.
In Britain, the Compass range is powered by two petrol and three diesel engines.
The petrol engine offering includes a 1.4-litre MultiAir2 Turbo engine with Stop&Start and the 1.4-litre MultiAir2 Turbo engine.
The diesel engine range comprises the efficient 1.6-litre MultiJet II with Stop&Start and the 2.0-litre MultiJet II with Stop&Start.
A higher output version of the 2.0-liter MultiJet II with Stop&Start completes the diesel offer available on the all-new Compass.
New Jeep Compass 2.0 MultiJet-2 170hp 4WD Auto Limited
On-the-road price with options: £38,845
Gearbox: nine-speed automatic
Drive: 4WD Active Drive with Selec-Terrain
Combined fuel consumption: 49.6 mpg
CO2 emissions: 148 g/km
Key options include:
• Metallic or Crystal Pearl Paint (£700)
• CommandView Panoramic Sunroof (£1,200)