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Jeep Compass 2018 price and specification confirmed


New Compass takes aim at popular rivals with sharp pricing and a choice of six variants, with the top Trailhawk promising serious off-road cred.

Jeep has confirmed full pricing and specification details for the new Compass SUV, which goes on sale in Australian showrooms this week. 

The Compass sits between the small Renegade and mid-size Cherokee in the SUV brand's line-up, with smaller mid-size competitors like the Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage and Volkswagen Tiguan used as benchmarks during development.

The new Compass replaces the first-generation model which dates back to 2006, along with the Patriot that originated in 2007.

The range is split into four trim levels, with the Sport kicking off with an impressive list price of $28,850, sitting beneath the $33,750 Longitude, $41,250 Limited, and the off-road focused Trailhawk topping the line-up at $44,750. 

This price spectrum compares well with its nominated rivals, with the Tuscon spanning $28,590-$47,450, the Sportage $28,990-$45,990 and the Tiguan’s $31,990-$49,990. 

Compass Sport

Key features for the front-wheel drive (FWD) Sport include a 5.0-inch multimedia screen, DAB+ digital radio, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, reversing camera, and 17-inch alloys.

Under the Sport’s bonnet sits the familiar 129kW/229Nm 2.4-litre 'Tigershark' 2.4-litre petrol engine, with a standard six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed torque converter auto, the latter available for an extra $1900. 

Official combined cycle fuel figures are 8.6L/100km for the manual, and 7.9L/100km for the auto. Claimed 0-100km/h performance for the manual is 9.7s, while the auto drops to 9.3.

Compass Longitude

The also FWD Compass Longitude adds auto headlights and wipers, fog and cornering lamps, roof rails, tinted privacy glass, side window surround highlights, LED ambient interior lighting, and a front passenger seat that folds forward and offers storage within the seat cushion.

A larger 8.4-inch multimedia screen and dual-zone climate control are available as part of a $2150 option pack that also brings sat nav and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity.  

The Longitude is also equipped with the 2.4-litre petrol engine, but the six-speed auto is the sole transmission offered, which gives the Longitude the same combined fuel consumption and 0-100km/h performance figures as the auto Sport.

Compass Limited

  • The Limited scores the 'Jeep Active Drive' system while the lower Sport and Longitude are FWD only. The Limited scores the 'Jeep Active Drive' system while the lower Sport and Longitude are FWD only.
  • The Limited also scores 18-inch alloys as standard. The Limited also scores 18-inch alloys as standard.
  • An 8.4-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard on the Limited. An 8.4-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard on the Limited.
  • The standard 'Tigershark' 2.4-litre engine puts out 129kW/229Nm. The standard 'Tigershark' 2.4-litre engine puts out 129kW/229Nm.

The Limited is the first Compass variant to score all-wheel drive (AWD), but also brings the 8.4-inch multimedia screen with sat nav and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, plus a nine-speaker BeatsAudio sound system. There’s also a more premium interior treatment, with leather seats, powered and heated front seats, keyless ignition, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and 18-inch alloys.

The Limited also comes with bi-xenon headlights and LED tail-lights, plus front and rear parking sensors and auto parking for parallel and perpendicular situations. 

Options include a $495 two-tone black roof and a $1950 dual-pane panoramic sunroof. 

The Limited is available with a choice between the 2.4-litre petrol engine or a 125kW/350Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel for an extra $2500. Both engines are paired with Jeep’s nine-speed torque converter auto.

Combined fuel consumption is rated at 9.7L/100km for the petrol, or an impressive 5.7L/100km for the diesel. The AWD petrol Limited’s claimed 0-100km/h figure drops to 10.1s, while the diesel actually carries a quicker 9.3s claim. 

The 'Selec-Terrain' AWD offers specific drive modes for 'Sand', 'Mud' and 'Snow' in addition to an 'Auto' mode to deal with off-road conditions.

Compass Trailhawk

  • The top variant Trailhawk is priced from $44,750. The top variant Trailhawk is priced from $44,750.
  • Standard on the Trailhawk is Jeep's Low-range 4x4 system, off-road suspension and a raised ride height. Standard on the Trailhawk is Jeep's Low-range 4x4 system, off-road suspension and a raised ride height.
  • Inside, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on the Trailhawk. Inside, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on the Trailhawk.
  • The Trailhawk also scores leather seats. The Trailhawk also scores leather seats.
  • The Trailhawk can only be had with the 2.0-litre MultiJet Diesel producing 125kW/350Nm. The Trailhawk can only be had with the 2.0-litre MultiJet Diesel producing 125kW/350Nm.

The top-spec Trailhawk promises the strongest off-road capability of anything in its class, with a host of specific features to live up to its 'Trail Rated' badge.

These include an 'Active Low' transmission function that permits a 20:1 crawl ratio without needing a low range transfer case and an extra 'Rock' mode for the Selec-Terrain system. 

The Trailhawk also gets reshaped front and rear bumpers (to permit 30.3 degree approach and 33.6 degree departure angles), lifted springs (that allow 22.5cm of ground clearance, and a 24.4 degree breakover angle), plus extra underbody protection, and rated tow hooks front and rear. 

These clearance figures are up from the 15.8/30.8/18.6/21.8 and 16.8/31.7/21.2/22.9 respective measurements of the other FWD and AWD variants.

The Trailhawk’s wading depth rating also steps up from 405-408mm.

The Trailhawk’s wading depth rating also steps up from 405-408mm.  

Other Trailhawk details include unpainted body sections for extra resilience, cloth and leather seats, all-weather floor mats, a reversible cargo mat and a full-size spare. 

The AWD Trailhawk is diesel-only, with the same 2.0-litre engine and nine-speed auto as the Limited, and manages the Limited’s 5.7L/100km fuel consumption figure despite its off-road focused additions. 

Trailhawk options include the same dual pane panoramic sunroof and as the Limited, plus a $2850 'Comfort & Convenience Group' which brings leather seats, heated and powered front seats with memory settings, and keyless ignition with proximity keys. 

Practicality and ownership

Jeep claims an impressive boot capacity of 438 litres, which expands to 1251 litres with the rear seats folded.

Towing is not recommended for the FWD models, while the AWDs carry a 450kg unbraked tow rating. The petrol AWD carries a reasonable 1000kg braked rating, but the diesel variants step up to 1500kg.

All Compasses are covered by Jeep’s five year/unlimited kilometre warranty, which also includes five years of capped-price servicing and five years roadside assistance (lifetime if serviced through a Jeep dealer).

Safety

The Compass has been awarded a maximum five-star EuroNCAP safety rating, with a local ANCAP result due within weeks. 

All trim levels get fundamental safety gear like seven airbags and a reversing camera, but AEB is only available as an option on the top Limited and Trailhawk grades. 

This impressive auto-braking function is generally fitted standard to new arrivals these days, but the $2450 'Advanced Technology Group' also brings forward collision alerts, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts, active cruise control, auto high beams, puddle lamps and a powered tailgate. 

Development

Riding on the same Small Wide Architecture as the Renegade with common front and rear suspension components, the new Compass has been stretched but with a lengthened wheelbase of 2636mm (+66mm) and overall length of 4394mm (+139mm). These measurements are still a significant 64mm and 230mm shorter than the Cherokee respectively. 

The new Compass is 71mm shorter overall than the previous model, with a wheelbase just 1mm longer. The slightly smaller Patriot was just 30mm longer overall. 

Speaking with CarsGuide at the new Compass’s first Australian appearance this week, chief engineer Audrey Moore told us the new model is the result of 25.7 million kilometres of testing. 

This is around five times that of previous models, and is largely a result of the Compass being produced in five different plants around the world. Like all right-hand drive markets, Australian Compasses will be sourced from FCA’s new plant in India. 

Ms Moore points to the new model’s refinement improvements as her team’s greatest success, thanks to the body’s increased use of high strength steels, improved cabin insulation and careful shaping of the A-pillars to smooth airflow. 

The new Compass is 71mm shorter overall than the previous model.

We also spent time with the Compass’s lead designer Chris Piscitelli, who explained that the new look has been deliberately styled to more closely resemble the Grand Cherokee at the more premium end of the Jeep line-up, rather than the baby Renegade which is more closely aligned with the Wrangler’s design details. 

Mr Piscitelli describes the Compass’s contrasting roof panels as his favourite design detail, which enabled his team to play with proportion and visual weight without compromising passenger visibility from within the cabin.

He also explained that the more aggressive Trailhawk was styled after the Sport, Longitude and Limited variants, with the 30 degree approach angle created by simply smashing a wooden ramp into the front of a clay model. More delicate detailing followed, but this demonstrates just how important the Trailhawk’s clearance figures were to the development team.

Like all recent Jeep designs, the new Compass hides several ‘easter egg’ design details. Unlike the recent chats with design boss Mark Allen, and new Wrangler chief designer Steve Goodric,h who were more than happy to show off the new Wrangler’s hidden details, Mr Piscitelli would prefer us to spot them for ourselves. He did hint that they can be found from the wheels up on the outside as well as the interior. 

CarsGuide was among the first in the world to drive the new Compass in Texas in February, and looks forward to delivering its local verdict when driving it on Australian roads in January. 

Are you looking for a mid-sized suv with genuine off-road capabilities? Let us know in the comments below.

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