Gina Baksa heads north aboard the All-New Jeep Compass 4×4.
Last time I was in a Jeep (Grand Cherokee), we were romping over rocks in the rain- and windswept Yorkshire moors, celebrating the iconic marque’s 75th birthday. Today, the weather is 50-degrees warmer, the sky is an iridescent blue and I’m on terra firma, collecting keys to the New Jeep Compass Limited before a speedy jaunt up the M1 and across to Lincoln on the A46.
This is my first view of the stylish new Compass. Dressed in stylish Magnesio Grey, this muscly 2.0-litre SUV has a MultiJet-II diesel engine under the hood that puts out 170hp. Boasting an upgraded aerodynamic profile, thanks to the wraparound moulding, her seven-slot Jeep grille and chrome exhaust tips all contribute to a finesse that’s very easy on the eye. I’m impressed with the aesthetics.
The Compass Limited has muscly rear flanks and haunches that complement the 19-inch diamond cut alloys (optional on the Limited) framed by trapezoidal wheel arches. I like the sweeping curves and the sloping roofline. She looks rugged and ready to go: a great mix of masculine and feminine, and less boxy than some of her class competitors, despite weighing a good 1540kg. Silver roof rails atop a gloss black painted roof add to the sophisticated upgrade.
There’s keyless entry too so you can just open the door when the key is in your bag or pocket. It’s a climb in for me (don’t have the longest of legs) and once inside the soft leather seats (with cattle tan accent stitching) feel snug – and are thankfully vented – a bonus in the current heatwave (they are heated in winter). Happily, I was able to find the perfect driving position with the 8-way adjustable levers. There are also two-positions for the memory function. The stitching and Jeep logo embossed on the headrest are nice touches. And my left foot – idle in an auto – had plenty of resting space in the footwell.
Once the start/stop button is engaged, simply release the park lever and this nine-speed automatic gearbox is ready to roll. Diesel engines aren’t renowned for their silence, but the engine noise is far less noticeable once the revs kick in. On the motorway, it was barely noticeable and the sound-proofing and insulation were superb. In the recent heatwave, I made full use of the dual panel sunroof – operated by two easy levers located above the rearview mirror. The very efficient air con is thoughtfully dual zone.
On long motorway trips, good lumbar support is essential and the Jeep Compass didn’t disappoint here either – I always felt fully supported. The leather steering wheel (always feels good to the touch) has well-positioned controls to change stations on the radio, make and receive calls, and control radio volume, enabling me to keep my eyes on the road.