Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

There’s a choice of 156bhp 2.0-litre or 168bhp 2.4-litre petrol engines in the Jeep Compass. The 2.4 only comes with the CVT (continuously variable transmission) gearbox that blunts performance and it’s only offered in four-wheel drive guise. Much better is the 2.0-litre that is smoother, quicker and blessed with a reasonably light and accurate five-speed manual gearbox. The 2.0-litre is generally quiet at all speeds.

Diesel engines

The diesels are a little agricultural at low speeds or when being worked hard – but when cruising they’re relatively refined and provide plenty of pulling power which allows for easy overtaking. The 134bhp version accelerates to 62mph in 11.5 seconds, while the 161bhp version can complete the benchmark sprint in 9.8 seconds – almost a second faster than both petrol offerings. This version is the best for outright Jeep Compass performance.

Parkers recommends

We’re drawn to the 2.0-litre petrol for its better driving manner and refinement, but the 2.2 diesel makes most sense for its economy and lower emissions.

Revised and retuned suspension has improved its on-road behaviour compared to the previous generation. Despite its height the Jeep handles relatively well when cornering. It has less body roll than you’d expect, although it can get a little skittish on rough surfaces. The steering doesn’t offer much in the way of feedback but it is well weighted and overall it is easy to drive.

Four-wheel-drive versions offer plenty of traction, even on loose surfaces, and a lockable centre coupling is fitted to allow for maximum traction in snow, sand or mud. Much like the Patriot the Compass is definitely a ‘soft-roader’ but it still packs some off-road punch and is more than capable of dealing with fields, slippery surfaces and muddy tracks.