UPDATE, 8 April 2021, 10:15am: Jeep Australia has confirmed the updated Compass will arrive locally in the third quarter of 2021 (July to September inclusive).
Our original story continues below.
8 April 2021: The 2021 Jeep Compass facelift has been unveiled for Europe.
While the updated Compass was first revealed for the Chinese market in late 2020, its European debut provides a further clue of what to expect on the design, interior, and safety fronts when Jeep's revised small SUV arrives later this year.
Styling is all but identical to the European model's Chinese counterpart, with facelift highlights including a restyled front bumper with a new grille and slimmer LED headlights, and new alloy wheel designs filling the arches.
Updates are far more comprehensive inside the cabin, where a redesigned dashboard is home to a new 8.4- or 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen running the brand's new 'Uconnect 5' operating system.
Debuted on the new Fiat 500 electric hatch, the Android-based Uconnect 5 system offers more processing power than before, and enables TomTom satellite navigation with over-the-air updates, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, support for Amazon Alexa, customisable driver profiles, and a 'Hey Jeep' voice assistant function.
A new 10.25-inch configurable digital instrument cluster sits in front of the driver, while available interior features include a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot, a 15-watt wireless smartphone charger, and a suite of connected services, including an app allowing owners to check tyre pressure, battery charge, vehicle location and preload navigation routes from their smartphone.
Materials have also seen an upgrade, with flagship models offering nappa leather trim on the dashboard and leather-trimmed seats, and aluminium or carbon-fibre-effect trim materials throughout the cabin.
Jeep has also bolstered the Compass's safety suite, with the combination of adaptive cruise control, lane-centring assist and an array of cameras to enable Level Two semi-autonomous driving, by accelerating, braking and centering the SUV within its lane on freeways.
Autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, intelligent speed assist, driver fatigue monitoring, traffic-sign recognition and lane-departure warning are now standard across the European range.
A 360-degree camera is available on higher-grade models, offering four different views at speeds up to 12km/h.
European buyers will have a choice of five powertrains, covering petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid power.
Non-hybrid options comprise a 96kW/270Nm 1.3-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder paired to a six-speed manual, a 110kW/270Nm 1.3-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch auto, and a 96kW/320Nm 1.6-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder mated to a six-speed manual – with all three being front-wheel drive.
Two '4xe' plug-in hybrid models are available, pairing a 96kW or 132kW 1.3-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder driving the front wheels with a 44kW/250Nm electric motor powering the rear wheels for combined outputs of 140kW or 177kW, depending on the petrol engine tune selected.
A six-speed automatic transmission sends drive to the ground, enabling a 0-100km/h sprint time as low as 7.5 seconds, towards a top speed of 200km/h in hybrid mode.
Switch to all-electric mode and Jeep claims a WLTP-rated driving range of 47 to 49 kilometres, thanks to an 11.4kWh lithium-ion battery that's recharged through regenerative braking or an AC home wall-box. Top speed in electric mode is rated at 130km/h.
However, it's unlikely the facelifted Compass range in Australia would stray from its current engine line-up, comprising 2.4-litre naturally-aspirated petrol and 2.0-litre turbo diesel engines.
Six variants will be offered in Europe: Sport, Longitude, Limited, S, Trailhawk and the 80th Anniversary special edition.
The Trailhawk scores an off-road focused design and unique suspension – enabling 30.4-degree approach, 20.9-degree breakover, and 33.3-degree departure angles, with 213mm of ground clearance – while the 80th Anniversary features unique badging and 18-inch wheels, LED reflectors, and a selection of Neutral Grey and Gloss Black accents.
The 2021 Jeep Compass facelift will go on sale in Europe in the coming months, with the Level Two driving feature to come online in the second half of the year.
UPDATE, 8 April 2021, 10:15am: The 2021 Jeep Compass will go on sale in Australia in the third quarter of 2021.