RAY MASSEY takes a peep at the new Jeep Compass 1

RAY MASSEY takes a peep at the new Jeep Compass

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Compass is designed to handle on and off-road driving: RAY MASSEY takes a peep at the new Jeep as brand celebrates 80th anniversary


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Jeep is celebrating its 80th anniversary — so it’s a perfect time to test the latest vehicle from the firm whose engineering forefathers brought a rugged 4×4 designed for the military to the fun-­loving civilian masses. 

Amazing also to think that the original go-anywhere Jeep was conceived and produced in a mere 49 days, just in time for America’s entry into World War II following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. Bringing things up to date, I have been driving the new Jeep Compass — specifically the Trailhawk trim — available for the first time as a plug-in hybrid 4×4 designed mainly for the road but with decent off-road capability. 

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This is one of four Compass variations. The base level Night Eagle (from £29,895) and Limited (from £30,895) are front-wheel drive, powered by 1.3-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engines linked to a six-speed manual gearbox. The Compass S (from £40,895) and my Trailhawk (£39,895) are 240 hp all-wheel drive plug-in hybrids with six speed auto gearboxes. The 180hp 1.3-litre petrol engine combines with a 60 hp electric motor, powered by an 11.4kW battery, driving the rear axle. 

All terrain: The new Jeep Compass is designed to handle on and off-road driving

All terrain: The new Jeep Compass is designed to handle on and off-road driving

With sharpened styling and that traditional Jeep grille, it stands out from the army of SUVs. On the road, it’s comfortable on both twisty lanes and motorways, accelerating to 62mph in 7.3 seconds up to a top speed of 124mph (80mph in electric-only mode, for which the range is 30 miles). 

It strains under hard acceleration, but in a Jeep you expect to take some rough with the smooth. The upgraded interior is comfortable, even on long motorway stretches. 

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RAY MASSEY takes a peep at the new Jeep Compass 2

RAY MASSEY takes a peep at the new Jeep Compass 4

RAY MASSEY takes a peep at the new Jeep Compass 6

RAY MASSEY takes a peep at the new Jeep Compass 8

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RAY MASSEY takes a peep at the new Jeep Compass 10

RAY MASSEY takes a peep at the new Jeep Compass 12

RAY MASSEY takes a peep at the new Jeep Compass 14

RAY MASSEY takes a peep at the new Jeep Compass 16

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Fuel economy of up to 156.9mpg is impressive and it has low average CO2 emissions of 44 to 47g/km. I confined my off-road antics to navigating a mud track, which it handled fine. 

It’s packed with hi-tech safety kit. But this was my main gripe. A bit too much nannying. I was alarmed by sudden, loud and apparently random safety warnings and alerts that failed easily to pinpoint exactly what the warning was about.

Will it fit in my garage? Jeep Compass Trailhawk PHEV 

Price: from £39,895

Price as driven: £42,645

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Jeep Compass range: from £29,895 to £40,895

Length: 4398mm

Width: (with mirrors): 2033mm

Width (without mirrors): 1819mm

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Height: 1664mm

Height (inc roof rack): 1659mm

Wheelbase: 2636mm

Wading depth: 500mm

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Propulsion: Petrol-electric Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV)

Petrol engine: 1.3 litre turbo T4 petrol (180hp) Electric motor: 60hp

Battery: 11.4kW

Total power: 240hp

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Transmission: 6-speed automatic All-wheel drive

0-62mph: 7.3 seconds

Top speed: 124mph

Top speed electric only: 80mph

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Range electric only: 30 miles

Fuel tank capacity: 36.5 litres

CO2 emissions: 44 to 47g/km

Fuel efficiency: 141.2 to 156.9mpg (provided fully charged)

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Drive settings: Sport, Auto (default), Snow, Sand/Mud, and Rock.

Drive modes: Hybrid, Electric or a ‘save’ mode.

Boot-space: 438 litres

Compass trim levels: Nighteagle, Limited, S, Trailhawk

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EXTRAS ON MY CAR

Technology and Convenience Pack: £1,750

Colorado Red paint: £700

Total optional extras: £2,750

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Alerts are fine and welcome. But they need to be more specific and easily understood.

The Compass generates its own power in transit through regenerative braking. There is voice control, Alexa, and the capacity to run up to eight electronic devices — a far cry from its World War II days. Suitably, production has switched from India to Melfi in Italy, where the original Jeep saw some action.

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Facelift for Skoda’s Karoq family 

Skoda’s Karoq family SUV has had a New Year facelift, with improved infotainment tech and a look designed to appeal to­ ­vegetarians and vegans, including seat covers made from recycled materials. 

The maker says: ‘The seat covers include details that are made of vegan, leatherlike materials and the armrests are made of Suedia (microsuede) exclusively in mocha brown.’ 

All change: The upgrade comes four years after the Karoq's launch in 2017

All change: The upgrade comes four years after the Karoq’s launch in 2017

There are five engine types: two diesels and three petrol engines from 110PS to 190PS. A 2.0 TSI (190PS) is reserved for the Karoq SportLine with all-wheel drive. The 2.0 TDI diesel (150hp) is available with front or all-wheel drive. Prices will start at £24,500. There is a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG for the three engines. 

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The upgrade comes four years after the Karoq’s launch in 2017.

Motoring myths crushed by new survey 

Myths about women car buyers, ‘miserly’ Scots and financially cautious retirees have been crushed by a new survey of car-buying behaviour that car makers and dealers should ignore at their peril. 

It reveals that, despite a marketing emphasis on the edgy ‘youth’ market, it is the retired who are most likely to buy a new car. 

In the driving seat: Women are the most likely to remain loyal to their original supplying dealer

In the driving seat: Women are the most likely to remain loyal to their original supplying dealer

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Women aged 56 and over form the biggest segment of new car customers. Women are also the most likely to remain loyal to their original supplying dealer. 

Across the UK, Scots are more likely to buy new than drivers in England or Wales, which is proportionately the biggest market for used cars. 

The study of more than 7,000 new car buyers and nearly 9,000 used car-owners was conducted by Autovia, which includes the motor magazine and website Auto Express. 

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