Jeep, a brand which stands since 70 years now more than ever freedom and authenticity, is reinventing itself again a revised model range, whereby we focus here on the Compass. The car – and the whole revised product range -, was presented recently by Mr. Emilio Herrera and his PR team, in the magnificent setting of the Chateau d’Arville, close to Namur.
Mr. Emilio Herrera presenting the Jeep range at the Chateau d'Arville...
We were able to drive – and photograph the Compass, and also to come eye to eye with some magnificent historic Jeeps; We will let you enjoy the photos and the story of the Jeep legend in a separate page on this site, and we will report also soon about the other revised models of the Jeep range…
Hans Knol ten Bensel
The Compass, continuing the 70-year legend of Jeep...
The ever-lasting DNA of Jeep…
Before we embark to tell you more about our driving impressions of the Compass, we cannot resist to tell you some more about the JeepDNA, as so eloquently put by Mr. Herrera in his presentation of the brand and its eternal appeal.
The Compass showed its elegant lines in the courtyard of the Chateau d'Arville
Styling, functionality, craftsmanship and class-leading capability: these are the four pillars of the JeepDNA. And this is what stands behind the four letters of the word ‘Jeep’. A word that has entered the global lexicon to identify the skilled 4x4 sports utility vehicle, so typical with its hallmark seven-slot grille and trapezoidal wheel arches.
From the Brand’s iconic, Jeep Wrangler to the renewed compact SUV Jeep Compass, every Jeep vehicle tells of a legend made of extraordinary journeys and a seven-decade long passion for the outdoors.
The new Compass: showing the right direction
Mr. Herrera pointed out the importance of each model for the Belgian market, but here we further concentrate on the Jeep Compass.
The new Jeep Compass features a sophisticated new exterior design combining the styling cues of the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee and thus introducing the concept of ‘family feeling’ for Jeep.
What’s more, the new generation of the compact SUV Jeep combines SUV features and functionality to the performance, handling, fuel efficiency and price of a C segment vehicle.
The redesigned Jeep Compass boasts a completely upgraded interior compartment enhanced by soft-touch points and high-quality materials.
The powertrain range has been updated and calibrated to European customers’ needs thanks to the introduction of the new 2.2-liter turbo-diesel engine with 163 hp of power and 320 Nm of torque, which is also available in a low-output version delivering 136 hp, especially suited to the Belgian market.
Benchmark Jeep off-road capability is granted by the full timeFreedom DriveI active 4x4 system. Upgraded steering and suspension systems improve Jeep Compass’ overall performances. For the first time inEurope, Jeep Compass is also available in a two-wheel drive configuration: new front-wheel drive is standard on the 2.0-liter petrol engine and optional on the new 2.2-liter turbo-diesel. The 2011 Jeep Compass line-up features a full line of active and passive safety systems including Hill-Start Assist and is introduced in European markets in the “Sport” and “Limited trim” levels.
Driving is believing
We took the Compass for a drive on the beautiful country roads and terrain surrounding the Chateau d’Arville.
We drove the 2.2 Diesel version, and were very impressed by the vibrationless and smooth functioning of the unit, the low noise level, the excellent gearbox. The car drives smooth and effortless, showing amply the uncanny experience of Jeep in designing and building a chassis which feels completely at home in winding, hilly roads and terrain, and also shows its wonderful balance in every situation.
The suspension feels just “right”, and so is the drivers’ position behind the wheel, well cushioned in good supportive seats which warrant hours of comfortable driving.
It is a car in which one feels immediately at home, with very good ergonomics found in dashboard and cabin. Indeed, the interior design of the Compass is both timeless and pleasing.
Standard features include air conditioning, power windows, power locks, power/heated exterior mirrors, illuminated cup holders, remote keyless entry, fog lamps, speed control and sunscreen glass.
The new generation of the compact SUV Jeep has a new hood, new front fenders, new fascia, new headlamps and a new grille. The hallmark Jeep round headlamps, seven-slot grille and trapezoidal wheel arches are of course maintained. In the front, styling cues coming directly from the brand’s flagship Grand Cherokee create an original, unmistakable Jeep ‘family’ feeling effect.
The grille has been detailed with subtle chrome surrounding the traditional seven slots found on all Jeep vehicles. Forward lighting performance is improved with the use of quad reflector headlamps, and the fog lamps are now high-output projector lamps. Adding an element of muscle, the hood has been enhanced with a subtle power bulge. The result is a vehicle that projects an attitude that is much more serious and conveys the Compass’ capability in all driving conditions.
New brightwork throughout the exterior lends an upscale touch. A band of protective cladding has been added for 2011, serving to fend off debris when driving in challenging off-road conditions whilst providing a new appearance.
This trend continues with enhancements to the rear of the vehicle. A new rear fascia, new body-color rear spoiler and subtle, upscale touches including new LED tail lamps adorn the new 2011 Jeep Compass. The Limited model delivers an even more sophisticated look by adding bright trim on the step pad and a chrome exhaust tip. A new set of roof rails were designed with a slimmed down appearance and a small amount of brightwork.
New 17-inch aluminium wheels for the Sport model and 18-inch aluminium for the Limited explore Jeep Compass’ dual nature: 4x4 capability and on-road sophistication.
Broadened Powertrain Lineup
The Compass engine lineup features the new 2.2-liter turbo-diesel engine with 163 hp of power and 320 Nm of torque and two petrol World Engine engines with dual VVT: a 2.4-liter power unit producing 170 horsepower and 220 Nm torque and a 2.0-liter engine with 156 hp and 190 Nm of torque. Only the 2.0-liter Petrol engine is available on the Belgian market.
We are anxious to try the Compass with this 2.0-liter petrol World Engine with dual VVT, which provides power of 115 kW (156 hpDIN) and torque of 190 N•m (140 lb-ft). This engine, which is coupled with a five-speed manual transaxle and the front wheel drive configuration only, is said to provide fuel economy of 7.6 L/100 km (combined cycle) and CO2 emissions of 175 g/km.
The new 2.2-liter turbo-diesel will also be offered in a low-output version delivering 136 hp of power in order to meet the European customers’ needs for downsizing.
As we pointed out, we drove the 2.2-liter turbo-diesel, which proved to be uncannily smooth. The 136 HP unit still delivers 320 N•m (236 lb-ft) of torque across 1,400-2,800 rpm. The new 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine is paired with an Aisin BG6 six-speed manual transaxle with a three-shaft gear train, and the box proved to be a delight.
All-road capability with choice of two drivetrains
As pointed out above, the Compass is available in a two-wheel-drive configuration: new FWD is standard on the 2.0-liter petrol engine and optional on the new 2.2-liter turbo-diesel.
The4x4 Freedom DriveI features a lockable center coupling, giving drivers the possibility to put the Jeep Compass in four-wheel-drive Lock mode (4WD Lock).
An Electronically Controlled Coupling (ECC), which is attached to the Jeep Compass’ rear differential, is the heart of the Compass’ Freedom Drive I four-wheel-drive system.The Compass’ECCsystem is easier to calibrate, more flexible, more precise and lighter than viscous-coupling or gerotor systems. This system does not require any driver input and it delivers 95 percent of the torque to the front axle in normal driving conditions.
The ECC transmits torque to the rear wheels through a two-stage clutch system. An electromagnet powered by current from the electronic control module operates a low-torque clutch.
A cam-and-ball mechanism amplifies the force of the low-torque clutch, applying the main clutch that transmits torque to the rear wheels. The control module calculates vehicle speed, turning radius and wheel slip and transfers torque based on these conditions.
The unit seamlessly interacts with the Electronic Stability Control (ESC), anti-lock braking system (ABS) and Brake Traction Control system to ensure torque is transferred as needed, providing the best handling and traction characteristics. Experience really shows.
We show you some photos of this very able compact SUV, and promise you further driving impressions of the car, also with a petrol engine, soon…
Hans Knol ten Bensel