The Jeep Compass compact SUV will go on UK sale in February 2018, costing from £22,995.
Jeep has high hopes for the Compass, which will sit in the US manufacturer’s line-up between the Renegade and Cherokee models and is regarded as a key model especially in Europe. It enters a booming market, expected to grow almost 20% to 7.5 million by 2020, two million in Europe.
A host of rivals are bidding to enter the compact SUV market and the Compass will need to target recently launched models such as the Renault Kadjar, Peugeot 3008 and Vauxhall Grandland X, while the segment remains led by the Nissan Qashqai.
Five engines, two transmissions
UK buyers will be offered a choice between two petrol and three diesel engines, and front or all-wheel-drive transmission. Despite Jeep’s 4×4-focused heritage, the brand has to offer a front-wheel-drive model as most buyers will continue to buy compact SUVs for their appearance rather than prowess when away from tarmac.
Jeep insists, however, that class-leading off-road ability will be available, particularly on the Trailhawk model which will launch in summer 2018 and include extra body protection, raised off-road suspension, hill descent control and a rock-climbing transmission setting.
Petrol engines range across two versions of the 1.4-litre MultiAir II Turbo engine. The entry-level unit offers 140hp and 230Nm of torque matched to the six-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel-drive, while a higher-power model produces 170hp and 250Nm, paired to a nine-speed automatic gearbox and 4×4 transmission.
Entry-level diesel is the 1.6-litre MultiJet II with 120hp and 320Nm again front-wheel-drive with a manual gearbox. The 2.0-litre version offers 140hp and 350Nm, with manual gearbox but 4×4, and there is also a higher-power variant, with 170hp and matched to the nine-speed auto ‘box. This variant includes the low-range gearbox mode for serious off-road driving.
Four trim levels will be on offer, Jeep’s familiar titles of Sport, Longitude, Limited and later Trailhawk. Standard equipment on entry-level models includes 16-inch alloy wheels, LED tail lights, a leather steering wheel with audio controls, air conditioning, cruise control and a forward collision warning driver aid.
The Compass has already been tested by Euro NCAP and clocked up a five-star rating. Jeep says that more than 70 active and passive safety and security features are available including lane-departure and rear cross traffic warnings, blind-spot monitoring, a rear parking camera, parallel and perpendicular park assist and adaptive cruise control.