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Jeep beats ANCAP’s AEB deadline

Brakes on: The new Jeep Compass has a forward collision warning but no autonomous emergency braking (AEB) on any variant.

Autonomous emergency braking not included in new Jeep Compass

Jeep logo13 Dec 2017

JEEP’S freshly launched Compass is being crash tested by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) this month, just before the independent safety watchdog’s new rules requiring autonomous emergency braking (AEB) for a five-star rating kicks in on January 1.

The new Compass does not have AEB on any variant, which would mean it would have been awarded a maximum of four stars if it was tested from next month.

However, Jeep has promised that if Australian customers demand AEB on Compass, it would look at including it in a future model update.

The new Compass rolls into Jeep showrooms this week with four model grades kicking off from $28,850 plus on-road costs.

Only the higher-grade Limited ($41,250) and flagship Trailhawk ($44,750) are available with an optional $2450 Advanced Technology Group pack that adds a forward collision warning, among other active safety features, but no full autonomous emergency braking.

When asked why AEB was not offered across the range, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Australia head of Jeep brand Guillaume Drelon said: “We don’t need that.”

FCA Australia CEO Steve Zanlunghi highlighted the extensive safety offerings in the Compass, but suggested AEB could be added in the future if there was sufficient consumer demand.

“Clearly safety is paramount to us. But you saw that list of 70 standard safety features that we put up on there,” he said. “And if we get feedback that it absolutely, positively must be on there then we will take a look at it.”

Mr Zanlunghi said he anticipated that the Compass would achieve a five-star crash safety rating when the results of the test are handed down by ANCAP.

Jeep management denied that the company had accelerated the timing of the ANCAP crash test to ensure it fell in 2017, before ANCAP rules change.

A company spokesperson said that running changes to models happen far more regularly now and that the addition of something like AEB would not need to wait for a mid-life or full-model update and could be included as part of regular model-year changes.

Some rivals in the small and medium SUV segment offer AEB on some variants. The Kia Sportage has it on the flagship Platinum, while the recently updated Nissan Qashqai and the Volkswagen Tiguan have the tech as standard across the range.

On top of the forward collision warning, other features included in the Advanced Technology Group Pack include a lane departure warning, an exterior mirror courtesy lamp, power tailgate, adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go, auto high beam and blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

Depending on the variant, Compass also has a reversing camera with dynamic grid lines, automated parallel and perpendicular park assist, electronic stability control with electronic roll mitigation, and six airbags.

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