It’s a cool crisp morning deep in the Kildare countryside and today I find myself sitting proud in the new Jeep Compass. I am cruising to meet a contractor for an interview in one of our upcoming magazines and while the sun is out I take the opportunity to get some snaps of this neat little Sport Utility Vehicle. I first clocked eyes on the new Compass at the Geneva Car Show where I had to battle through people to get a decent look at the compact 4×4. Jeep as a brand have been around forever in the States under the watchful eye of the parent Chrysler Group company but over here people are still only building confidence in the marquee. After listening to discussions about various models over the recent months I believe it’s our job here at auditbg to put your mind at ease and be specific about the Compass. Let’s start with the power train. The engine is a 2.2-litre turbocharged CRD unit, which has been proven bullet proof in many vehicles using the same block. It produces 161bhp at 3600RPM and 320Nm of torque, which is very evident as you pull effortlessly through the six-speed gearbox.
The four-wheel drive system is electronically switchable from front to four-wheel drive and on my test drive it performed admirably both on and off road whilst sporting road tyres. At the nose there is 205mm of travel, which is more than adequate for light to medium off-roading and the short chassis means it doesn’t ground out easily. We put it through its paces up and down some challenging trails and not once did the Compass get stuck. You can feel the differentials working to pull you through tricky conditions. Back out on the road and I had more time to admire my surroundings. Although this model has been recently converted to commercial it is far from a workhorse! I like the idea that you can drive the vehicle comfortably on the road and then use it for work purposes when needed. Having a workhouse that drives like a truck on the motorway is no fun! In the Compass you can sit back, relax and listen to one of your six favourite CD’s thanks to the onboard entertainment system. The particular test vehicle I had was complete with contrasting tan leather and a well-appointed dash sporting tasteful chrome surrounds.
From a safety perspective the Jeep Compass ticks all the boxes. With front, rear and curtain airbags along with Brake Assist and ABS it really is a safe place to be. People feared 4×4’s in the past because they are easier to turn over, but with perfect weight distribution and no shortage of safety features, fears are eliminated. After driving the Jeep Compass for a full week I can safely say it’s a vehicle well worth considering. The frugal diesel engine delivered just shy of 45km per gallon and I got out of it feeling relaxed after each journey. This Compass with all the extras including the 18-inch alloy wheels will set you back €26,900 and with commercial tax of €310 you could do a lot worse than test drive one of these at you local dealership.[table “99” not found /]