The iconic seven-slot grille contributes to a commanding front end, while squared-off wheel arches and a wide stance lend the Compass a presence that’s arguably more dominant than we’re used to from the established soft-roader set.
Peel back that exterior and you’ll find the Compass is based on Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ ‘small wide architecture’ (which also underpins the smaller Renegade), albeit here in extended-wheelbase form. A range of petrol and diesel four-cylinder engines are available – our test car came in 2.0-litre, 138bhp MultiJet II diesel flavour, with four-wheel drive and a six-speed manual gearbox.
While for most compact SUVs off-roading will likely be limited to grassy fields or a slightly muddy forest car park, Jeep claims the Compass offers class-leading prowess off the beaten track.
Suspension is by way of MacPherson struts and coil springs up front, while the rear employs a Chapman strut arrangement (read: simplified multi-link) – supposedly for greater axle articulation capabilities. High-strength steel links and an isolated subframe for 4x4 models should also bode well for off-road durability.