Compass provides an overview of what Jeep’s plug-in can do

It’s amazing what we hold on to – for no other reason than a whimsical one.

The recent clearance of some crates of stuff under the old staircase brought little quality, but illustrated a propensity to hoard for the sake of hoarding, not even for sentimental value.

It’s so often easy to hold on to an old book because you never got around to reading it.

Or a cutlery set missing a couple of knives, or chipped china cups because of an imperceptible echo from the past that it was some kind of heirloom. Well, my bad grip condemned one of those to its eternal resting place by dropping it and breaking it into pieces.

In the end, I wondered why I’d bothered, but once committed, the rattling crateloads had to be hauled away for closer inspection in hopes that something in the inner depths might turn up something of value.

This week’s test car also holds something.

It remains a mystery about Jeep. The only thing is that it usually takes place in America, as anyone who has been there will attest.

That’s not so much the case in Europe, save for a core of jeepophiles whose enthusiasm has given the automaker credibility that there’s a bigger market to win if only it could figure out the magic formula.

I don’t think I’m exaggerating or disparaging the brand when I say that day is yet to come.

Meanwhile, current holders of larger European market shares continue to pull back, refining their wares and giving customers more of what they want. Or, as the case may be, create a new niche that people like even more.

It’s against the likes of the Nissan Qashqai, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson and many, many more so-called mid-crossovers that pitch this week’s test car, the Compass.

Based on the same platform as the Fiat 500L, it now resides in the large car group that also houses Peugeot and Citroen.

It’s a strong, tough-looking car with the famous Jeep grille up front. However, the grille is smaller than I think it needs to be if it’s going to stand out on the street or in the parking lot.

Bigger is better in our market where a lot of noise is made about how strong the front needs to be. The compass looks too shy.

And that means the car exudes an air of conservative tameness, even with 19-inch wheels and flared wheel arches.

Appearance, as I told you before, is an important factor for potential buyers who keep saying that a dynamic looking vehicle with a high driving position are two of the buying criteria.

The Compass certainly has a high riding position. I thought it was excellent. And the interior manages to remain light and airy despite the leather upholstery – thanks in part to a sizeable sunroof.

There’s ample room in the back for two adults, two and a smaller frame would probably be fine.

We used the folded rear seats primarily to carry our boxes of rattling sentimentality. Even on good roads, their rattling is not marred by a suspension that is a little too sharp – and it is noticeable. I didn’t need the all-wheel drive.

The ride was generally fair, nothing more. It lacked real dynamics and feedback, although I’ll admit that wouldn’t be the primary concern of someone buying it for a family car.

The plug-in hybrid system — petrol engine, big battery-powered electric motor — wasn’t nearly as economical as Jeeps claimed 1.9 litres/100km (‘might’ is the operative word), but that’s because I wasn’t Operation under ideal conditions.

As you probably know, plug-ins are all about being charged about every 50 km every day (e.g. at work).

I would guess from my rough calculations that the real yield is closer to 4.5 litres/100km.

That’s not too bad at all, and was based on trips through suburbs and a gentle enough twist into the Midlands – yes, to explore the depths under the stairs – and a detour for a dip (not me, oh no!) in the shallows of LoughEnnel.

What a beautiful place on a beautiful August evening. Being there added to the sentimental feel of the entire outing.

would i buy it I think I would have to pass. It was really okay, but there are so many competitors who do things a little bit differently and better.

And the price of my test car would make me wonder if I wouldn’t invest in something healthier, despite the lavish equipment.

There’s no doubt that the Compass ticks a lot of boxes (no pun intended), but it’s just a tad off the pace in a few critical areas.

Jeep Compass S fact file

Jeep Compass S, 1.3 GSE, plug-in hybrid, eAWD, 240 hp, 1.9 litres/100 km.

Reach from €43,995; Car tested from €54,995. specification for the
The S version includes multiple safety and driver assistance systems, 19-inch wheels, black roof, automatic high beams, air conditioning, leather seats, 8-way power driver’s seat, 4-way lumbar adjustment, 40/20/40 folding rear seats, Uconnect 5 R1 radio, 10.1-inch display with navigation, no-touch electric trunk lift, dual-pane sunroof, body-colored lower sills and wheel arches. Compass provides an overview of what Jeep’s plug-in can do

Fry Electronics Team

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