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LA show: Jeep steps up with new Compass

Indian express: The all-new Compass will be the first Jeep model sold in Australia to be sourced from India.

Jeep’s Mazda CX-5-baiting Compass to be sourced from India for Australian market


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17 Nov 2016


JEEP has revealed more details of its long-awaited second-generation Compass at this week’s Los Angeles motor show, a year ahead of the Australian launch in the last quarter of 2017.

Taking the fight up to the just revealed Mazda CX-5, Nissan X-Trail, Volkswagen Tiguan and Hyundai Tucson, the MP-series medium-sized SUV will also be the company’s first Indian-produced vehicle sold in Australia.

While Jeep says it is too early to talk pricing and specification, the resulting lower-cost sourcing should at least ensure competitive positioning, with the base version expected to kick off from the low-$30,000 mark.

Coming in at 4394mm long, 1874mm wide and 1641mm high, the American-designed and engineered Compass has been deliberately styled to emulate its successful Grand Cherokee big sibling, affording the mid-sizer an upmarket look and feel.

It will squeeze in between the smaller Renegade (at 4200mm long) and larger Cherokee (that stretches to 4600mm), giving Jeep one of the broadest SUV ranges under $40,000 in Australia.

Along with the usual visual branding cues such as the trapezoidal wheel arches and seven-slot grille treatment, the Compass introduces a distinctive chrome ‘headband’, rising from the base of the A-pillars around the top of the window line.

Although there are clear size and visual parities with the Cherokee, the newcomer is in fact based on the Renegade, employing a variation of its Small Wide 4x4 architecture. This means this is monocoque bodied, with a transversely mounted engine and the availability of front-wheel drive.

Despite the comparatively soft underpinnings, MacPherson strut-style suspension is fitted at both ends of the vehicle, providing up to 200mm of wheel articulation.

Additionally, there will be a choice of two lightweight on-demand AWD systems available, as well as class-competitive approach/ramp-over/departure angles and up to 216mm ground clearance on the off-road focused Trailhawk.

A single power-transfer unit with rear-axle disconnection is utilised in AWD models, featuring Jeep’s Selec-Terrain technology, offering Auto, Snow, Sand, and Mud modes in the regular versions.

As well as the additional ground clearance the Trailhawk will be offered with skid plates, all-season tyres, a full-sized spare, a unique grille treatment, the addition of a Rock Mode in the 4x4 system, and Active Drive Low.

The latter ushers in a 4.33 final drive ratio, a crawl ratio of 20:1 and up to 100 per cent front/rear torque split.

As a result, Jeep says that the Compass will be the most capable vehicle in its class.

No powertrain details have been revealed for Australia, except that four-cylinder units will rule the roost, starting with a 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbo, 2.0-litre turbo-diesel, and 2.4-litre naturally aspirated engine.

Transmission choices will be limited to six-speed torque converter items in models with front-wheel drive, while the AWD variants will employ a nine-speed auto.

A palpably higher quality cabin has been a major priority, with an emphasis on soft-touch materials. Additionally, light as well as dark materials will be made available.

Advanced multimedia connectivity will be ushered in, accessible through no less than three touchscreen choices. Plus, new-to-series options are coming, including an electric tailgate, two-part sunroof and adaptive cruise control.

Australian-bound models should feature Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Hill Descent Control systems.

There is also a decent amount of space available front and rear – the result of a 2636mm wheelbase, which measures about 60mm more than the donor Renegade.

Cargo volume varies from 438 litres to 1251L depending on the wheel and tyre package.

Jeep says any quality bugs have been sorted, thanks in part to 1.8 million kilometres of accelerated testing. Combined with road-test simulators, that figure is 25.7 million kilometres, and has included shakedowns in Brazil and China.

The SUV specialist has also talked up the greater structural robustness, in part due to the application of 64 per cent high-strength steel and composite for crash and load management.

Along with India, the Compass will also be built in Mexico, Brazil and China, making it Jeep’s most globally focussed vehicle to date.

The original, MK-series Compass was launched in March 2007. Built in Illinois, it is distantly related to the Dodge Caliber and previous-generation Mitsubishi Outlander.

Despite sales slipping 57 per cent, the Compass has managed nearly 1000 registrations year-to-date, more than its mechanically related Patroit sibling (686) and the Renegade (847).

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