Jeep's first new model in Australia for two years, the second-generation Compass, goes on sale this week.

Rest assured, it shares absolutely nothing with its predecessor and its axed Patriot twin. Instead, it's been styled outside and fitted inside with better trim, to resemble a mini Grand Cherokee.

The new Compass is pitched as a rival to the Hyundai Tucson and Volkswagen Tiguan - it sits between the baby Renegade and ever-so-slightly larger Cherokee - and is priced between $28,850 and $44,750 before on-road costs.

Jeep Australia reckons it had a very hard time convincing the powers that be to agree to this price, which matches its Korean nemesis (and a heap of others) without undercutting.

The company concedes it stuffed up the 2015 Renegade's launch pricing (which was swiftly cut back) and didn't want to repeat the experience.

Based on a reworked version of the Renegade's platform, the Compass underwent almost 26 million km of testing, which the company told us was about four-times its average. That's because this is the first Jeep made in four continents. Ours will come from India, at Jeep's first right-hand-drive specific plant.

There are four different trim-levels: Sport, Longitude, Limited and Trailhawk. There are also the options of two-wheel and four-wheel drive, manual and automatic transmissions, plus both petrol and diesel engines.

“The all-new Jeep Compass enters Australia at an incredibly pivotal time for the brand and provides us with a great opportunity in a segment that we have been vacant from for some time,” reckons Guillaume Drelon, head of the Jeep brand at FCA Australia.

“The compact SUV segment in Australia accounts for approximately 20 per cent of the SUV market which offers an opportunity for improved market share,” he added.

“In terms of refinement and the product’s offerings, Compass raises the bar in the compact SUV segment with new levels of style, advanced technology, safety features, and most importantly, capability – it’s a versatile vehicle that will relish in Australian conditions and as such we are confident that it will be well received by the market."

In brief, engines to be offered are a 2.4-litre 'Tigershark' petrol engine with 129 kW/229 Nm matched to six-speed manual or auto 'boxes with front-wheel drive (FWD) or a nine-speed auto with AWD, or a 2.0-litre Fiat diesel engine with 125 kW/350 Nm, only with the 9AT and AWD.

Jeep also claims the Compass has "unsurpassed 4x4 capability" in the class, with the diesel-only Trailhawk sporting five traction modes (Selec-Terrain), a Trail Rated certification, and best-in-class approach and departure angles.

There's also all-round independent suspension (a Chapman setup at the rear is novel), new electric steering and frequency damping.

Disappointingly, Autonomous Emergency Braking is not available on lower grades, and is only an option even on the flagships. However, we understand it'll likely be added as part of a rolling update next year.


Jeep Compass Sport

  • $28,850 (2.4 petrol 6 MT)
  • $30,750 (2.4 petrol 6 AT)
  • FWD only

17-inch alloy wheels

Reverse camera

Seven airbags

5.0-inch touchscreen

Bluetooth streaming

Six-speaker audio system

Digital radio (DAB+)

Leather steering wheel

3.5-inch instrument cluster display

Electric park brake


Jeep Compass Longitude

  • $33,750 (2.4 petrol 6 AT)
  • FWD only

Rain-sensing wipers

Auto headlights

Roof rails

Fog lights

Privacy glass

LED cabin lighting}

Power lumbar adjust

Fold-forward passenger seat

Passenger in-seat cushion storage

‘Premium Audio Package’ ($2150) adds:

  • 8.4-inch touchscreen radio
  • Sat-nav
  • Android Auto/Apple CarPlay
  • Dual-zone climate control

Jeep Compass Limited

  • $41,250 (2.4 petrol 9 AT)
  • $43,750 (2.0 diesel 9 AT)
  • 4x4

Active Drive 4x4 System

Selec-Terrain

Leather seats

18-inch wheels

8.4-inch touchscreen

Satellite navigation

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Bi-Xenon Headlights and LED tail lights

Nine-speaker BeatsAudio system including subwoofer

7.0-inch full colour instrument cluster display

Powered front seats

Front/rear sensors

Park assist

Dual-zone climate control

Heated front seats

Button start

Auto-dimming rear-view mirror

Two-tone black roof $495

Dual pane sunroof $1950

‘Advanced Technology Group’ $2450 adds:

  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Power tailgate
  • Adaptative cruise control
  • Auto high beam
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-path detect
  • AEB

Jeep Compass Trailhawk

  • $44,750 (2.0 diesel 9 AT)
  • 4x4

Trail Rated

Jeep Active Drive Low 4x4 system

Jeep Selec-Terrain with Rock Mode

Off-road suspension

Raised ride height

Unique front/rear fascia

Black anti-glare hood decal

Red recovery hooks

Hill descent control

Four underbody skid plates

Full size spare wheel

Cloth/leather seats

All weather floor mats

Reversible cargo mat

Natural grey exterior accents


Dual pane sunroof $1950

‘Advanced Technology Group’ $2450 adds:

  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Power tailgate
  • Adaptative cruise control
  • Auto high beam
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-path detect
  • AEB

‘Comfort and Convenience Group’ $2850 adds:

  • Trailhawk leather seats
  • Driver seat memory
  • Power lumbar adjust
  • Heated front seats
  • Passive entry
  • Remote start
  • Keyless go

Podcast

Listen to the CarAdvice team discuss the 2017 Jeep Compass below, and catch more like this at caradvice.com/podcast.