Not a bad steer
Simple to use
Quick, decent to drive, stands out
Loud, only one
No way to go faster
Still an SUV though
Tough to place
Plastic boot liner
No park aids
Only one model
Not pretty, plasticky interior, loud
The Compass' enormous wings bulge out disproportionately while the kicked up rear glasshouse and OTT chunkiness all smack of trying too hard. This is the first Jeep not to have any real off-road ability so I guess some overcompensation is expected.
Despite the noise, the Compass is actually pretty rapid by SUV standards, hitting 100km/h in 11 seconds and cruising well even when fully laden. Top speed is 189km/h and economy is impressively low at 6.5L/100km.
It's surprisingly decent to drive, the Compass, but then Jeep does have some great chassis engineers. It's based on the Dodge Caliber so its car-like handling should come as no surprise but we didn't expect it to grip or ride as well as it does.
The cabin is well laid out and very functional once you figure out how the busy American stalks work and locate the remote stereo controls on the back of the steering wheel. Visibility is effected by the odd window-line and its bulging bodywork bulges make it tough to find the edges too.
The Jeep's biggest problem is quality. The cabin is badly made from cheap plastics and the whole interior looks unfinished and slapped together. The engine, too, sounds loud and rough and doesn't do Jeep's upmarket pretensions any favours.
The Compass boasts six airbags, ISOFIX child seat mounts, seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters, ESP, AWD and grippy 18-inch tyres as standard. Automatic lights and wipers and parking aids are not offered, though. No NCAP score yet.
It's very roomy inside thanks to its deep footwells and high roofline. The boot's vast too but the plastic boot floor grips nothing and things rattle around in there. In dash storage is exceptional with its integrated iPod holder and big cupholders.
The Compass is good value considering how much kit is thrown in but would sell better if non-leather models were offered. It's priced not to clash with the Dodge Caliber but because it's a little pricey residuals won't hold up. Running costs are family car low.
Only one model is offered and it comes with six airbags, ESP, AWD, 18-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, a multipurpose centre console, heated leather seats, remote stereo controls and privacy glass. In short, it's pretty loaded but options are scant.
Only one engine offered in Ireland, a VW-sourced 2.0-litre TDI producing 140hp and 310Nm. It copes well with the Compass and thanks to a 6-speed gearbox it never feels slow but it is a disappointingly raucous when pressed and rattly at idle.