Find Your Way
No matter what your destination is, with the all-new 2018 Jeep Compass you’ll take the long road home. Or perhaps no road at all
Where would you go if you could go anywhere? I’ve asked myself this question many times, but it
normally involves me getting on a plane
when I give my answer. But if an airport isn’t
nearby, or ﬂying isn’t within your monthly
budget right now, is it possible to still get
away and take that ‘road less travelled by’?
It has been a couple of years since we’ve
seen the Jeep Compass on the market,
but as it has returned this year completely
redesigned with a whole new range of new
tech jammed into it, the answer is a giddy
NURTURING TRUE NATURE
Walking the line between the rough and
tumble Jeep Wrangler and the smooth and
sophisticated Jeep Grand Cherokee, the
Compass is the right balance between the
two to make it nearly impossible not to usher
in your next adventure.
The limited version is laden with comfort
from front to back. The piano black and
silver bezels on each instrument panel as
well as the chrome knobs all add upscale
distinction to this diamond in the rough.
The black leather with accent stitching
reminded me of the interior of a finely
tuned supercar rather than the off-road
wanderer that I was sitting in.
The all-new Uconnect technology system
has taken a leap forward as well. You can
now scroll, swipe, drag and drop, pinch
to zoom, and shrink and move images to
meet all your needs.
Even from the driver’s steering wheel,
interaction is keener on being like the
Compass’s bigger more luxurious sisters
than that of the Wrangler. Fingertip
controls allow you to scroll through a
selection of data displayed on a 7-inch
full color screen in the middle of the driver’s console. Information includes
navigation, capability data, performance
statistics, vehicle dynamics, alerts and
But let’s not forget that this is half
Wrangler. Underneath the hood the 2.4
litre Tiger Shark engine brings with it 180
horse power; more than enough to get you
through the rough bits when you’re not
on pavement. Connect this with the nine speed automatic transmission and you’ll
have the power when you need it with less
overall noise and vibration.
Working our way down to the ground,
the Selec-Terrain Traction Management
System does the rest for you. This system
has settings for snow, sand, and mud.
However, simply leaving it in ‘auto’ will
make the system do all of the work. It will
automatically adjust vehicle dynamics to best suit the road conditions. When not
needed the rear driveline disengages and
it becomes a standard front-wheel drive
vehicle, helping to save on petrol.
THE ROADS LESS TRAVELLED
For the weekend, I planned on putting it
through the paces. Driving on city streets
as well as the highway was comfortable
enough; however, I thought that since
it was the upscale version that power
seats should have come standard. Ones
that were ventilated would have also
been nice for the weekend that I had it,
as temperatures closed in on 42 degrees
It handled well though with a minimum
amount of body roll, which made me more
enthusiastic about taking it off the beaten
path to see how dusty we could get it.
The engine has a nice bit of horsepower,
but nothing that is ever going to beat
anything off the line; which is ok. It has
enough spirit to overtake somebody easily
and with the nine-speed gearbox it doesn’t
take much effort anyway.
I didn’t have the opportunity to try the
‘snow’ setting, but I did utilise the ‘sand’.
With the body design that resembles the
larger Grand Cherokee, I was not confident
about taking it for a true ‘dune bashing’
afternoon. However, it did manage a rather
smooth ride over the rougher gatch tracks
and smaller dunes.
The throttle was more aggressive, and it
tackled the looser, sand-covered surfaces
with ease. Even with a little slip from side
to side, I always felt in control.
GET LOST, IT’S OKAY
Overall, I like the Compass. It brings Jeep
into the compact SUV segment that I’ve
experienced with other lines, but it does
it with a sense of Jeep adventure that
has been the trademark of the brand for
years. It’s certainly more spacious than it
looks and if you’re looking for something
a bit more upmarket yet rugged then the
Compass ticks all the boxes.
It might not be as cushy as some of
the higher end Jeeps or even some
competitors, but I don’t feel this is where
the Compass is trying to be. It will get
you where you need to go, and it won’t
complain while you’re going. It does
exactly what an SUV is supposed to do,
but with an attitude and ability that is