An extremely interesting offer in the compact SUV segment
The brand Jeep - one of those names of the automobile sky, the meaning of which is difficult to describe only in the language of words and facts. For decades, Jeep has been synonymous with the true American spirit, the pursuit of nearly limitless freedom, off-road capability, tough temper, endurance ...
The very fact that the word "jeep" continues to be used as a name for SUVs to this day speaks volumes of any verbal explosions. Today, however, with the almost countless varieties of SUV and crossover models on the market today, it seems that in Europe the mention of Jeep is more reminiscent than an association with the company's current lineup.
Which is actually completely undeserved - for at least three reasons. First, in the face of the timeless Wrangler classic, the Italian-owned American company currently has one of the few surviving true SUVs in its portfolio that has almost no obstacles to overcome.
Second, the brand can offer exceptionally good, albeit often unreasonably undervalued, products such as the Grand Cherokee - in fact one of the best value cars in its class for its price. And the third reason, in turn, is called "Compass", and now we will tell you in more detail why we think so.
SUV among compact SUV models
To describe the nature of the Compass as succinctly as possible, it would be most appropriate to say this: this car is exactly what the Jeep brand befits as a weapon in the compact SUV segment.
The car is undoubtedly one of the most passable in its category and in an original way conveys the atmosphere of real SUVs in a class, where the adventurous spirit is often the result of marketing proposals rather than real opportunities.
The Compass is a true flesh and blood jeep, with potential beyond paved roads as a matter of honor, and with its signature American style in its very DNA. In appearance, the car is not only a real Yankee, but also elegant and modern enough to adequately meet the requirements of a modern audience.
There are many references to the company's glorious past, but unlike the smaller Renegade, here they feel more like a modern interpretation of classic detail than an attempt to play with the nostalgic mood in the audience.
The interior is also typical for a jeep - wide and comfortable seats, plenty of space in both rows of seats, rich equipment, excellent audio system and good ergonomics. The style here is very different from what we are used to seeing in most competing models - the desired feel, which is slightly different from the usual, is fully achieved.
One of the few objective parameters on which Compass is inferior to its most serious opponents is the luggage compartment volume, which is fairly average for the class level.
A real jeep both on and off the road
After the first minutes at the wheel of the Compass, we fully confirmed our opinion that here we are dealing with a really interesting symbiosis of a modern SUV and a classic SUV, with a strong bias towards the qualities of the first category, but not completely devoid of the characteristics of the second.
The car drives smoothly, but does not stumble either on unpleasant swaying at turns and stops, or on unpleasant swaying on bumps. The handling is calm and the driving behavior is predictable and unobtrusive, not necessarily predisposing to a sporty driving style.
The operation of a two-liter turbodiesel at 140 horsepower and a nine-speed automatic ZF is also very typical - the thrust above 1800 rpm is good, the gearbox responses are balanced, and the timbre of the engine does not hide its diesel character.
In this model, you feel like in a classic American car, for which ride comfort and a sense of freedom are much more important than the search for selfish dynamics. And speaking objectively, since the term "sport utility vehicle" in 95 percent of cases is still an outright contradiction in real life, with Compass, virtually everything is in place.
The presence of different modes of operation of the dual transmission and electronic systems, as well as the ability to lock the gears on the two axles of torque in the 50:50 position, clearly show that the Compass will not be transmitted for sure until the first troubles it encounters outside roads.
The combination of relatively high ground clearance and reliable underbody and body protection against impacts and scratches also gives the driver a solid dose of confidence that he can stay calm with this car, even in adverse conditions.
As for the pricing policy, it is quite adequate for a company of the Jeep rank - Compass, of course, not the cheapest representative of its class, but considering its capabilities, it is by no means expensive.
For people who are looking for all the benefits of a modern compact SUV, but at the same time sticking to the off-road and longing for something different and authentic, this car can undoubtedly be an extremely interesting alternative.