Jeep Points New Compass At UK Dealers

The compact crossover market is one of the toughest in the UK, with 20 cars fighting for market share. To make a dent, an SUV needs to be good, cheap, economical or any combination of those. With a buzzScore of 5.9, starting prices of 18 grand and a best combined economy of 42mpg, the Jeep Compass wasn't any of those things.

Let's get the bad news out of the way for the 2014 Compass first - it's an update. Given that we got the car first in 2011, this might not seem like so much of a bad thing, but the Compass has been around since 2007 and this represents the second update to it. But it also means it's the same basic car that scored just 2 stars in EuroNCAP in 2012.

Still, Jeep has been over the Compass, fitting it with updated front, side and rear airbags, revisions of the electronic stability programme, ABS, brake traction control and "Electronic Roll Mitigation" systems and passenger active head restraints, so we'll hold fire on any conclusions about a 2014 EuroNCAP performance.

Compass buyers will recognise the interior, but it too has been refreshed with satin finish metal effects, soft-touch materials and perforate leather seats as standard on the most expensive trim (starting at 22,715). Top trim Limited buyers certainly won't feel shortchanged on any equipment - which includes a very useful Parkview reverse camera, given the size of the Compass's D-pillars.

In reality, if you can live without the camera and leather seats, the new North specification at a hair under 20k is pretty much kitted out with everything you'll ever need - while the entry level Sport looks a bit bare by comparison and not worth the saving.

The Compass's engines and transmission choices are the same line-up we're used to. There's a 154hp 2.0 petrol manual, a 168hp 2.4 petrol automatic and a 2.2 litre, 161hp diesel available with either transmission. The 2.0 petrol is front-wheel drive only, while the other options use Jeep's 'Freedom Drive I' 4WD system that powers the front wheels and redistributes torque to the rear when needed.

Priced from: 17,465 (2.0 petrol 2WD Sport)
Available from: Now

Verdict

As competitors sink billions into new cars, Jeep merely updates an already-facelifted, 7 year old car that was never highly-rated.

While they've addressed the drab interior of the old car (at least if you fork over north of 22k for the Limited) and much needed safety updates should boost the EuroNCAP score, it remains largely the same product that's been on sale for the last 3 years and which only outscores a pair of Ssangyongs amongst its peers.

It'll take more than an admittedly fairly suave exterior update to bring the Jeep into a decent conflict with the likes of Nissan's Qashqai or Mazda's CX-5 - and pound for pound the Hyundai ix35 or Kia Sportage look like they've got the measure of the Compass.

For more information, check out our full summary of the Jeep Compass alongside photos, videos and stats!

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