In-depth reviews

Jeep Compass review - Engines, performance and drive

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

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

Engines, performance and drive Rating

3.6 out of 5

Price
£33,655 to £44,455
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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. Off road though, the Trailhawk version with its extra low range gear ratios, should make mincemeat of pretty much any of its more road-focused rivals.

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. We didn't think much of the (now discontinued) 166bhp 2.0-litre diesel model when we tried it; it was let down by its noisy engine and a slow-to-respond nine-speed auto gearbox.

Although the plug-in hybrid model looks quick on paper, we found its six-speed auto 'box pretty sluggish in real-world driving and too slow to kick down when asked. The engine is noisy, too, so we'd recommend taking a more relaxed approach in driving the 4xe PHEV.

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed

The previous 138bhp 1.4 MultiAir unit generated 230Nm of torque, which helped the Compass complete 0-62mph in 9.8 seconds. The 168bhp version of the same engine made 250Nm of pulling power, but it came with a heavier four-wheel drive set-up, so posted the same 0-62mph sprint time.

The (now discontinued) 1.6 MultiJet II entry diesel, delivered 118bhp and 320Nm of torque. Paired with a six-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive, it managed 0-62mph in 11.0 seconds. Moving up to the 2.0-litre MultiJet II brought 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.

The current 128bhp 1.3-litre petrol model needs 10.3 seconds to move from 0-62mph, while the 237bhp plug-in hybrid is by far the quickest Compass you can buy - dispatching the benchmark sprint in a claimed 7.3 seconds with a 125mph maximum.

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