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Jeep Compass Limited AWD – the latest model vastly improved but in a highly competitive market

Driving Jeep’s Compass Limited today – a small SUV that’s much improved in the latest model – revamped with good looks, similar to the larger Cherokee and Grand Cherokee. But it sits in the small highly-competitive SUV segment which has 24 players and the Compass has some strong competition – the dominant seller, Mitsubishi’s excellent ASX, followed by Mazda’s CX-3, Honda HR-V and Nissan Qashqui. Jeep has a strong rugged brand image but its presence here was poorly managed for some time and its only in the last 12 months that it’s been getting the attention it deserves – it has a real American character and I drove the 2.4-litre petrol nine-speed automatic AWD Jeep Compass Limited – the driving experience top class apart from the fact it’s no fuel miser, part of the reason the need to push the engine a little hard due to a lack of strong punch. Having said that the excellent nine-speed auto tends to mask the lack of torque. This aside all other aspects of this small Jeep SUV really appealed. Far better in quality, very easy to drive and really sharp in steering response, handing and braking. It should have autonomous emergency braking and some of the other driver assist technology like lane departure warning and rear cross traffic alert. Base price on the Compass Limited AWD is $41,250. As I said, its a vastly improved model now backed by a five-year/100,000km warranty and lifetime roadside assist but it lives in a tough market where there are some better small SUV choices. I’m David Berthon

 

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