By FOCUS REPORTER
DIRECTION. You are definitely lost without it. Living in the hustle and bustle of a city like Johannesburg, one needs the right machine to tame these mean streets.
The idea of the Crossover is a sensible one. The hardcore off-road enthusiasts certainly have much to say about the soft nature of these urban-orientated vehicles. But the sales units seem to speak for themselves.
Almost every car manufacturer these days has a Crossover in the product line-up. Right from Geely, with their LC Cross all the way to Mini with their Countryman. And even Jeep has pandered to the Crossover crowd.
Models like the Compass are adaptations for the concrete jungle, rather than the authentic rough-and-tumble off-road settings usually conquered by models like the famous Wrangler and Grand Cherokee.
The idea of an urban Jeep works well in reality, it must be said. The Compass has a high driving position, which gives off a sense of security and confidence. We like the interior layout, with its large steering wheel, circular air-vents and chunky dials for the air-conditioning.
It feels like a balance of luxury and ruggedness in the Compass. Leather upholstery is a premium touch and some of the surfaces are hard without feeling cheap and rough.
The Compass breaks away from the usual Jeep tradition, in that it is a two-wheel drive model, rather than having all-wheel drive. Power comes from a 2-litre petrol engine and it produces a healthy 115kW of power and 190Nm of torque.
Everybody has different tastes when it comes to styling. The Compass is easily identifiable as part of the Jeep family. This updated model has ditched the round headlamps of the outgoing version, in favour of a face that looks more like that of the larger Grand Cherokee.
From the side it incorporates hatchback and wagon-like cues, it has more of a smoother, rounder shape than models like the Patriot. Pricing starts off at R287 990 for the manual version and the model with the Continuously Variable Transmission costs R294 990. Optional extras include the sunroof which is R11 000 extra and the MyGig Navigation system which costs R17 900.
What is very appealing about the Compass, is that apart from these two options, everything you need comes standard. This is unlike German counterparts, which tend to charge a great deal for extras.
Heading to a Jeep dealership to check out the Compass is definitely a step in the right direction.