The 2.0-litre MultiJet II diesel engine in the Compass has been in service throughout FCA for a decade now – and, at times, particularly when the car’s starting from cold or when hauling hard from low speed, it sounds and feels every inch the decade-old power unit.
Though it’s crotchety under load and often feels soft in its responses to the accelerator pedal, however, the diesel isn’t actually short on outright torque or real-world pulling power.
The boosty, mid-range-centric power delivery became very apparent on the day of our testing. The Compass needed plenty of revs to make a fast getaway, but then insisted on upshifts no later than 4000rpm in order to maintain the best rate of acceleration. Other more modern diesels are certainly more flexible.
But compare the Compass’s in-gear acceleration with that of its rivals (30- 70mph in fourth: 12.1sec) and you’ll find empirical evidence to support our observation that, in its sweet spot, the Jeep can certainly knuckle down; it would have plenty of low-rpm torque for assertive off-roading or towing, for instance.