Jeep Compass is a very likeable newcomer

Jeep Compass: An interesting alternative to its more mainstream rivals in the SUV range

Jeep Compass is a very likeable newcomer
Hugh maguire

Jeep has now become the generic name for a 4x4 vehicle, but it was the original, true 4x4.

The Jeep brand is owned by the Chrysler/Fiat Motor Company, but the products still demonstrate all the abilities of the true original. Show any Jeep a dirt track and it will impress with superb off-road abilities.

However the company realises that most SUV/Crossover type vehicles rarely go off-road and so now the new Compass focuses on front wheel drive though four wheel drive is available too.

There are eight models in the range with both petrol, diesel, 2 wheel drive and four wheel drive. Prices start at €27,995 for the 1.6 litre FWD diesel.

There are three trim levels, Sport, Longitude and on test here the Limited.

The front-end mirrors that of its larger stablemate the Jeep Cherokee and thats no bad thing as it looks great. The clean lines and great colour choices give the Compass a very fresh and trendy style. So yes it get full marks for great looks with street cred.

I like the high up driving position which gives a commanding view of the road ahead and all the instrumentation is clearly and logically laid out.

The driving position itself is very comfortable and the electrically adjustable drivers seat proved supportive even on long trips. Standard equipment ion the Limited model is excellent and too numerous to list here but worthy of particular mention is, dual zone climate control, Park sensors, LED lights, 18 inch alloys, Beats audio 560 watt sound system, heated front seats, blind spot monitoring, rear cross path detection, Sat Nav, Bluetooth, Cruise Control, a centrally mounted 8.4 inch touch screen for functions such as Audio, Nav, Climate, Car Settings, and so forth as well as a hot of safety features.

Accommadation is good seating four adults in comfort and the boot area is a decent size (438 litres) and can be extended by folding down the rear seats.

Performance is reasonably good and its frugal too burning just 5.8 litres of diesel per 100km. Road tax is €200. All good except that this engine is not very refined and emits quite a lot of diesel clatter at idle or low speeds. At cruising speeds this lack of refinement is less evident.

Its a versatile likeable SUV and it drives well. On the motorway it cruises happily at the legal limit but on more uneven country roads the ride can feel less supple.

Overall, then, a likeable newcomer, well priced and nicely kitted out.