Jeep Compass review - Engines, performance and drive

Terrific off-road, especially in Trailhawk spec, but the Compass loses ground to rivals on tarmac

On the road, the Jeep Compass is not quite as planted as the best crossover rivals, but feels competent enough. There’s too much body roll if you attempt to take corners with gusto, and the chassis begins to feel unsettled at higher speeds that cars like the SEAT Ateca take in their stride.

The steering is decently weighted and the ride composed – at least on smooth tarmac – but the overall experience is less fun than the best rivals. That disappointment was exacerbated in the top 2.0-litre diesel model that we’ve tried by a noisy engine and a slow-to-respond nine-speed auto gearbox.

Off road, the Trailhawk version with its extra low range gear ratios, should make mincemeat of pretty much any of its more road-focused rivals.

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed

There are two petrol options in the Compass, starting with the 138bhp 1.4 MultiAir unit. It makes 230Nm of torque, and helps the Compass do 0-62mph in 9.8 seconds. If you want a punchier petrol model, there’s a 168bhp version of the same engine with 250Nm, but that only comes with four-wheel drive and the nine-speed auto box. The 0-62mph dash takes 9.8 seconds and top speed is 126mph.

The entry diesel option is the 1.6 MultiJet II, delivering 118bhp and 320Nm of torque. It's available with a six-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive, managing 0-62mph in 11.0 seconds.

Moving up to the 2.0-litre MultiJet II brings the combination of all-wheel-drive and a nine-speed automatic transmission, along with an increase in power and torque to 168bhp and 320Nm. The top-spec oil-burner reaches 62mph from a standstill in 9.5 seconds with a 122mph maximum.

Next Steps

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.6 Multijet 120 Sport 5dr [2WD]
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £22,815

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.6 Multijet 120 Sport 5dr [2WD]
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £22,815

Fastest

  • Name
    1.4 Multiair 170 Longitude 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £29,440

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