Want the convenience but want to cheap out over the range-topping Trailhawk version? After a considerable wait, the 9-speed auto box comes to the popular Jeep and it keeps up the promise of a smooth (but lazy) drive even on the toughest of terrains.
Finally getting the engine+gearbox of choice for off-road enthusiasts, the Jeep Compass gets another shot in the arm. Incremental changes have been made that make it stay north of its competitors. Cruise control, panoramic sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, engine start-stop button and, of course, the Selec-Terrain response dial like on all 4x4 Jeeps.
Refinement at idle is good but the engine does make itself audible inside the cabin. While the BS6-compliant engine itself is smoother than the previous gen, the cabin insulation could be beefed up for a quieter ride. Tuned primarily for urban driving conditions unlike its country cousin (Trailhawk), this one is quicker off the mark and feels better suited for overtaking moves. You’ll still need to plan those fly-bys due to the slight turbo lag, even though the 9-speed dual-clutch gearbox does its best to keep it in the right cog.
Ready to rock
The true beauty of the Compass is in its composed ride over the most badly paved sections of road. Driving with two wheels on the shoulder over potholes or rough road doesn’t upset its balance at all. Not shabby around corners too! Although it doesn’t have the rock crawl mode of the Trailhawk, the standard Compass manages most people’s cravings for off-roading well with an array of drive modes that alter throttle response, traction control and hill-start assist.
Tech needs updating
The standard audio system sounds congested and muddled but the 8.4in screen is responsive.There’s no wireless charging on offer yet nor are there paddle shifters, which would've made the drive a lot more entertaining.
It’s not as high-tech as the Kia Seltos nor as “internet” savvy as the MG, but the Jeep Compass holds its own against these with its brilliant combination of ride and handling, not to mention off-road credentials that none of its competition can match. Not even the updated Harrier with its 170hp engine. It’s soft-touch materials, superb build quality and hassle-free auto box still keep it high on anyone’s shortlist of SUVs.