Cruising through the city, you’ll notice some interesting quirks of Singaporean drivers – we don’t like to signal, we’re impatient and we love driving SUVs – especially compact SUVs.
Compact SUVs have been hogging the limelight for quite some time now, and the light doesn’t look like it’s fading. While many automakers have designed their own version of a crossover, many of these have failed to hit the mark. But that’s not the case for the All-New Jeep Compass Limited.
The Compass received a much-needed update which should help the American automakers build a bigger presence in Singapore. The five-seater compact SUV will catch your eye and that’s not only because of how commanding the Compass looks. From the get-go, we were captivated. You just wouldn’t imagine a car that looks so bulky can also look so sexy.
A lush and premium interior complements theeye-catching exterior. While All-New Compass is undeniably beautiful, her driving leaves much to be desired. It’s a decent drive for the average Singaporean. But it might leave other drivers craving for more. It feels like the Compass lacks the power to carry it around, which is such a shame.
Despite all these, we think that the Compass is worth it and believe that you should seriously consider this Compact SUV.
“Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.” It’s common to hear the phrase being thrown out in conversations about art or architecture and especially someone’s looks. But that’s not the case for the all-new Jeep Compass. Her beauty is undeniable and everyone that has seen this sexy machine agrees with us.
Looking at the Compass head-on, chills will be sent down your back. She has a very strong and imposing figure which is accentuated by the signature seven-slot grille. While many Compact SUVs are designed to look cute and nimble, the tough-looking Compass brings a much-needed refreshing take to the Compact SUV market. The tall, fat and wide front is the star of the show and gives it even more character.
Sculpted to perfection, the Jeep Compass is the epitome of aggression and elegance. With subtle depressions and defined curves throughout, the SUV has an aura of undeniable class. But thankfully, the classy SUV doesn’t lose the ruggedness that’s associated with the Jeep brand.
The high arches surrounding the wheels, boxy front and tail give the SUV that off-road vibe that many of us love. However, we feel that the rims are a bit too small. The rims-to-body proportions look slightly off and we’d prefer if the rims were bigger. But no biggie, the Compass still looks stunning.
Premium & Spacious Feel
Throughout the many reviews we’ve done, (you can find them here) it’s obvious that we’re a stickler for a quality infotainment system. We think that if you’re going to put a touchscreen system in the car, then you better make sure that it’s good and more of a help than a hindrance. Thankfully, the Compass’ infotainment system is amazing.
The 8.4-inch screen, powered by Fiat-Chrysler’s infotainment system UConnect, is responsive, easy to use and enhances the driving experience. The system and its accompanying controls are intelligently designed. You’ll find 16 buttons laid out on the face of the steering wheel with six more hidden at the back. Sounds a bit excessive? Probably. But everything is designed with the driver in mind, making it easy to navigate.
Further enhancing the feeling of excellence is the use of quality leather throughout the cabin. Seats, steering wheel, gear stick and door trims. It makes everything feel premium. Even the plastics around the dashboard have that premium feel.
Music buffs are going to love this. The Compass comes with a nine-speaker Beats stereo system, which is a cut above the rest. We thought that the Bose stereo system found in the Infiniti was good. But boy oh boy, the Beats system is simply amazing.
The Compass also has many practical features. For one, the cabin has more than enough storage compartments to meet the demands of the average family man. And the trunk boasts a capacity of 438 litres, making it one of the best in its class.
Most importantly, the cabin is spacious for the driver and his passengers – both in terms of legroom and headroom. Also, we were able to comfortably fit four people at the back without compromising (too much) on their comfort.
Comfortable Drive but Lacks Some Oomph
The All-New Jeep Compass is undeniably beautiful and comes packed with premium technological and practical features. She ticks all the boxes so far. Now on to the crucial question. How does she drive?
Well… it really depends on what you’re looking for in the drive. The Compass is fitted with a 1.4L Inline 4-cylinder Turbo Charged Engine and produces 168bhp at 5,500rpm – which are decent numbers. The 9-Speed Automatic Transmission and all-wheel-drive system help in fuel efficiency, averaging 6.9L for every 100km.
But it feels like the SUV needs (a lot) more horsepower. The Compass isn’t particularly quick, requiring about 10 seconds to go from 1-100km/h. While testing the Compass, the SUV’s slow pick-up became increasingly annoying. At times, it felt like you’ll need to push your foot all the way to the floor to get it moving.
And at the other end of the spectrum rests the brakes. We felt that the pedal was rather touchy and a bit too sensitive for our liking. Which meant that stopping wasn’t smooth and at times quite choppy.
Nonetheless, we still enjoyed the ride. For a pretty chunky SUV, the Compass was easy to handle. Maneuvering tight corners and getting in and out of traffic was a breeze. The easy handling allows you to go through twists and turns at speed without worry. Cruising down the highway was pretty smooth. But there were some noticeable road and wind noise. Don’t worry though, it’s something you can live with.
We also liked the massive presence that the Compass commands on the road. With a relatively tall body and a broad width, it’ll make you feel like a king. Also, the tank-ish body gives a sense of safety to all onboard.
The All-New Jeep Compass Limited is a thing of beauty and practicality. Despite its American origins, the SUV is more of a continental car. The cabin is equipped with advanced technology, quality materials and practical features are huge plus points for the average buyer in Singapore. The drive is comfortable and the beast is easy to handle.
But the only issue is with the power (or lack thereof) under the hood. Yet, you can expect the Compass to do alright in the market. Because in the minds of many drivers here, sometimes how she looks on the outside trumps her ‘inner beauty’ and the Compass is, without a doubt, a thing of sheer beauty.
Anyway, in Singapore’s dense roads, power is more of a want than a need.