Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9
  • Small selection of tried and tested engines
  • Torquey diesels will make most sense here
  • All-wheel drive available across the range

Jeep Compass: what engines does it have?

All of the engines are familiar from a variety of Jeep and Fiat models, but so far there’s no sign of any part- or fully-electric propulsion options.

Jeep Compass: Diesels are a sensible choice

Even if the furthest you’ll venture off-road in a Compass is onto your driveway, the torquier diesel engines still make more sense for hauling the Jeep around.

Planning to go off-raod regularly? Go for a torquey Multijet diesel

Entry-point to the diesel range is the 1.6-litre MultiJet II with 120hp. It serves up 320Nm of torque to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission at 1,750rpm, resulting in a 0-62mph acceleration time of 10.7 seconds.

Top speed is 122mph – a figure curiously quoted for each of the diesels.

Making a better fist of things on paper is the 2.0-litre MultiJet II in 140hp guise. Four-wheel drive is standard here, but there is a choice between the six-speed manual and optional nine-speed automatic.

Regardless of the transmission selected, both produce 350Nm of torque but peaks at just 1,500rpm with the manual, some 250rpm lower than with the auto. The former has a quoted 0-62mph time of 10.1 seconds, the latter 10.5.

Want more? Then head to the punchier 2.0-litre MultiJet II with 170hp, available exclusively with four-wheel drive and the automatic transmission, although the Trailhawk has the ability to access a lower set of gear ratios to aid its off-roading abilities.

Peak torque remains at 350Nm at 1,750rpm, resulting in a 10.1-second 0-62mph time.

While this engine’s easy to modulate at low revs for off-roading and cruises quietly on motorways, it can sound on the gruff and clattery side when pulling away from junctions under harder acceleration.

The nine-speed auto’s a faithfully smooth companion to it the majority of the time, only occasionally suffering from a clunky downchange when decelerating rapidly. Around town it proved impressively smooth.

Faster, thirstier petrol-engined Jeep Compass models

Not everyone wants or needs a diesel engine, particular those looking to buy a Compass who have typically shorter, urban-centric journeys.

Starting point of the 1.4-litre MultiAir II turbocharged range of petrols is the 140hp edition, with the six-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive.

Although there’s only 230Nm of torque available, it peaks at 1,750rpm, which should make it readily accessible. Top speed is 119mph, with a 9.8-second 0-62mph time.

Quickest of the Compass range is the 170hp version of the 1.4-litre MultiAir II, exclusively pairs with all-wheel drive and the nine-speed automatic.

Peak torque increases to 250Nm but at a much revvier 2,500rpm, meaning it’ll likely require being worked harder to extract its performance.

Talking of which, the benchmark 0-62mph sprint takes 9.3 seconds, while the top speed is quoted at 126mph.

  • Cruises comfortably at motorway speeds…
  • But ruts and bumps easily upset the Compass
  • Fine off-road abilities for the Trailhawk

Jeep Compass: how does it drive?

Given how infrequently most customers will venture off the beaten path in a Jeep Compass, how it handles on the asphalt is a much more important quality – and here the answer’s mixed.

Hurtle along at motorway speeds and the Compass feels planted and assured, with precious little sign of feeling unsettled as you gently change direction. Typically, roads where such speeds can be maintained are smoother, which further flatters the Jeep.

Turn off at a slip road and head along a winding country route and the Compass is less convincing, doing little to engage the driver with its anaesthetised steering. At least it feels heavier-weighted than many of its light-at-helm rivals.

It doesn’t seem as confident at dealing with undulations that tend to pepper B-roads, seemingly tracing their relief faithfully rather than letting the suspension soak them up, resulting in a bouncy experience for passengers.

While the Compass excels off-road, on asphalt it lacks finesse

It’s less convincing at urban speed where the damping feels crashy, forcing you to slow down much more than you would in say a Kuga or Tiguan to tackle ruts and speed bumps. A more supple arrangement here would help no end.

Much more capable off-road

Jeep claims in that in Trailhawk guise the Compass sets a new off-roading benchmark for crossovers of this size.

All four-wheel drive Compasses have fine off-roading ability thanks to 20cm of ground clearance – up from the 18cm of front-wheel drive versions.

But the Trailhawk goes further still: not only is the clearance increased to 21.6cm, the bumpers have been shaved back to allow for greater agility when traversing slopes – note the 30-degree approach angle and 33.6-degree departure angles for evidence.

Additionally, the Selec-Terrain drive mode dial has a couple of additions on the Trailhawk: Rock joins Auto, Snow, Mud and Sand, together with hill-decent control - think a cruise control for off-road use – to complement the low-ratio gears.

While a hardcore Wrangler could still show its Compass cousin a clean pair of heels across tricky terrain, the Jeep will go places that a Qashqai driver can only dream of.