New Jeep Compass redefines the SUV

Shaun Naidoo

Shaun Naidoo

The Jeep brand has taken a bold step in a new direction with the introduction of the Compass Limited, which is not only a new model but an entirely new category of vehicle.

They are calling this one a URV or urban recreational vehicle, and it is set to redefine the SUV (sports utility vehicle) market.

The Compass is targeted at new, younger customers looking for an affordable vehicle that reflects the way they want to be seen.

It's a vehicle that will appeal to urban professionals who want to associate themselves with a distinctive brand that represents their spirit and projects their self-image.

Guy Franken, marketing manager of Jeep, said the Compass was intended for a fun, funky, youthful customer who is active and who is looking for adventure.

At a starting price of R244900 for the 2,4litre petrol model, the Compass comes fully kitted with all the bells and whistles one could need.

There are only three other features that customers can choose as optional extras: A sunroof, metallic paint and extra front lights, all of which will cost a little more than R13 000.

In addition to offering most creature comforts as standard, the Compass Limited also has a powerful Boston Acoustics premium sound system which includes two articulating speakers.

There is also a dual purpose removable light mounted in the back of the vehicle which acts as a torch for night-time punctures. The torch charges automatically when mounted in position.

All the models come with four-wheel drive mode as a standard feature that can be activated at the pull of a handle.

In this mode, the car automatically judges what kind of distribution is required. When driven faster than 16kmh, the system reverts to a front wheel drive.

The Jeep Compass definitely offers good value for money, but the manufacturers could have used better looking interior materials instead of the plastic option .

Load space is no problem and there is a vinyl load floor in the rear which is removable and washable.

The centre armrest moves forward to accommodate shorter drivers. It includes a flip pocket for storing a cellphone.

Some of the safety and security features on the vehicle include electronic stability programme (ESP), anti-lock braking system (ABS) and an electronic roll mitigation system.

There is also a tyre-pressure monitoring feature to alert drivers in the event of under or overinflation. This feature helps improve safety and also improves fuel consumption.

The 2,4litre engine delivers 124kW at 6000rpm and 220Nm at 4400rpm.

The Compass is also available in a 2,0 litre turbo diesel engine which has a six-speed gearbox.

The diesel option is priced at R279900 and all Jeep models include a 3 year/100 000km warranty and maintenance plan.