Jeep Australia is encouraging Aussies to get out and support small businesses impacted by the bushfires and have partnered with Empty Esky, a national tourism movement of foodies and adventurers. Empty Esky encourages us to head out on a road trip and buy directly from the small businesses in the towns and villages we pass through.
If you want to get even further off the beaten track on your regional adventure then a SUV like the Jeep Compass Trailhawk is a must. This trail-rated 4×4 has a number of features to make exploration easier like off-road suspension with raised ride height, black anti-glare hood decal, four underbody skid plates and a full size spare wheel. With an approach angle of 30.3 degrees and a departure angle of 33.6 degrees combined with the Terrain Type Selector that includes Snow, Sand, Mud and Rock there is not much that the Compass cannot overcome. If you are getting in to the SUV with dirty shoes on after a bush walk you will also like that there are all-weather floor mats in the front and rear foot wells.
The Compass Trailhawk is powered by a 2.0 litre, 4-cylinder diesel engine that produces 125kW of power and 350Nm of torque. The official combined fuel economy is 5.7L/100km and for my week with the Compass I used 7.7L/100km. The engine is paired with a 9-speed automatic gearbox and the drivetrain can either be in permanent or part-time 4×4 mode. When I selected the Automatic drive mode for normal urban driving conditions it felt like the Compass was front-wheel drive.
Of course going off-roading doesn’t mean you need to rough it with the Trailhawk, because you get leather seats as standard. The front seats are also heated, something you will appreciate if you head into our Alpine regions. The driver’s seat has power adjustment for recline, height, forward/back and 4-way lumbar, but no memory positions and I found that the passenger seat sat up too high, with my head almost touching the roof. There is no adjustment to lower the passenger seat and it only has manual adjustment for recline and forward/back.
The steering wheel is also leather wrapped, but there were a couple of features that annoyed me about it, the first being that the volume control is actually behind the wheel and the second was the masculine silhouette on the voice control button, which is similar to the image other car companies use.
The 8.4-inch central touch screen has sat nav to get you to your destination and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto to keep you entertained along the way. Other media sources include AM/FM, DAB+, Bluetooth, USB and AUX. At the front of the centre console are the ports to connect to infotainment system with one USB, one 12V and one AUX socket. The problem here is there is no storage cubby for your phone, so you would need to place it in one of the cup holders to stop it from moving around.
Your phone may not have a dedicated storage area, but there is good-sized drink bottle storage cubby in the front doors, a hard plastic lined storage area under the arm rest and a hidden storage area under the front passenger seat that would fit a small hand bag in it or other items you may want to keep out of sight.
The rear seats have ample leg room for adults, but I found the head room to be limited for taller individuals. There are two ISOFIX/three rear tether child seat restraint points and the centre seat can be folded down as an arm rest with two large cup holders in it. There is good-sized drink bottle storage in the door cubby and central air vents with open/close and direction control only. Under the vents there is one USB port and a 230V three-point electrical socket with a 150W limit. There is no rubber mat over the transmission tunnel, so this may get dirty and worn from children climbing over it.
The boot has powered release for open/close and can be operated from the key fob, the button in the cabin or using the button under the boot lid. One of the features I like in the Jeep is the button to close the boot is located on the left hand side in a position where a child could reach it. The boot is a good size and would accommodate provisions for a road trip or the weekly shop. There is a removable carpet mat covering the boot floor and four tie down points, but no 12V outlet. For storage flexibility the rear seats have a 60/40 split folding mechanism or the centre seat can be laid flat independently to store long items while the two rear seats are in use. The one thing I didn’t like about the boot was the flimsy locators for the string that holds up the boot cover that kept falling out, so the cover did not go up when I opened the boot.
All variants in the Jeep Compass range have a 5-star ANCAP safety rating and come with seven airbags including dual frontal, side chest and side head-protecting (curtain) airbags and a driver knee airbag. The Trailhawk also has full speed forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross path detection and adaptive cruise control plus a standard rear view camera with front and rear parking sensors.
All new Jeep vehicles come with a 5 years’ or 100,000km (whichever comes first) factory warranty that includes 24/7 roadside assistance. The service interval for diesel Jeep vehicles is every 12 months or 20,000 km and Capped Price Servicing means you will pay $399 per service for the first five services.
With great initiatives like Empty Esky and Working Far From Home Jeep are encouraging us all to get out and explore the far flung reaches of Australia and spend some money in those communities that have been hit hard by natural disasters and the impacts of COVID-19. It also just so happens that the Jeep Compass Trailhawk is the perfect vehicle to get you there. Prices start at $49,450 excluding dealer delivery and on-road costs and as tested with premium paint ($645) and dual pane sunroof, this trail-rated SUV was $52,045 excluding above costs. Head into your preferred Jeep dealer to learn more about the entire Compass range.
|It’s a trail-rated SUV||Flimsy cargo cover in the boot|
|Jeep is providing us with a great reason to explore Australia||Location of the volume control on the steering wheel|
|The button to close the boot is located low down for easy reach||Limited head room for rear seat passengers|
Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.