First review: with the Jeep Compass 4Xe plug-in hybrid, the beauty is now also inside

What is striking about the Jeep Compass plug-in hybrid?

The motor changes that the brand made in the past year. The Compass had an outdated offer last year: an old 1.4-liter petrol engine and an equally not so young two-liter turbo diesel. The Netherlands seemed to have forgotten the Compass: last year Jeep only managed to sell out two cars in the first four months of the year.

The resurrection is sensational: this year the counter has already reached 230. Although the explanation for the renewed interest is simple: production was moved from the United States to Europe, which resulted in a short production stop. But perhaps the motor changes, which were already implemented at the end of 2020, will also contribute. Especially the arrival of the 240 hp plug-in hybrid was a dire necessity in order to reduce the average CO2 emissions of the brand. The Fiat Group (to which Jeep belongs, now part of Stellantis) even had to buy emission credits from Tesla, which partly as a result made a substantial profit in the first three months of 2021.

The dashboard has now also been renewed. That was necessary too, the old interior consisted of a lot of hard plastic and with its design threw you back in time at least ten years. The appearance was only very modestly changed: a new bumper with integrated fog lights and other headlights with LED lighting instead of xenon.

What’s good about the Jeep Compass plug-in hybrid?

The appearance of the Compass, which has been for sale since 2017, was still quite enjoyable. It is smart that Jeep mainly cared about the inside: engines and dashboard. A plug-in hybrid in the price list in 2021 makes as much sense as a Bayern Munich player with a championship scale. A dashboard with a decent multimedia screen, actually. It now measures 10.2 inches (in the expensive versions) and looks completely up to date again. The system has DAB + radio and Apple CarPlay. Furthermore, the instruments are now digital and you can charge your smartphone wirelessly (standard from Longitude version).

Jeep is delighted to have opted for physical buttons instead of touchscreens for the main functions, making operation easy. Volkswagen group, are you reading?

The interplay between the electric motor (60 hp) and the petrol engine (180 hp) goes smoothly. It is striking that the electric motor does not provide a higher torque: that is 240 Nm in all versions of the Compass (even without plug). The performance of the 4Xe plug-in hybrid is decent: a top of 183 km / h and a hundred sprint in 8.3 seconds. Purely on the electric motor, you can reach 135 km / h. The Compass 4Xe is linked to a regular automatic transmission, the versions without an electric motor have a manual gearbox or a CVT transmission.

What could be better about the Jeep Compass plug-in hybrid?

Consumption is always a pain for plug-in hybrids. According to WLTP standards you always get sensational figures, but the consumption stated by Jeep of 1 in 50 you will not quickly achieve. Our average was 6.6 l / 100 km (1 in 15.2), without doing our best to drive economically. 1 in 20 should be easily achievable. The fuel tank of the plug-in hybrid is 14 liters smaller than that of the other versions of the Compass, but you can turn that disadvantage into an advantage if you charge well. After all, then you have to refuel less… Purely on the electric motor, Fiat promises a range of around 50 kilometers.

A more important disadvantage of the plug-in hybrid is that its towing weight is lower. A Compass with only a petrol engine can tow a trailer of 1750 kilos, with the Compass 4Xe the trailer weight is limited to 1250 kilos.

When will the Jeep Compass plug-in hybrid come and what is the price?

The Jeep Compass plug-in hybrid is already at the dealer. All models (including plug-in hybrids) have a 1.3-liter turbo engine under the hood. Prices start at 34,190 euros for the 1.3T with 130 hp. You will not get four-wheel drive. As you have to do with all ‘normal’ petrol versions with only front-wheel drive. A version with 150 hp is also available of the 1.3T, for which you pay 39,190 euros.

The Jeep Compass plug-in hybrid is only for sale as a 4×4, for a price from 39,990 euros (190 hp, Limited Lease Edition). The 240 hp version with which we drove, costs at least 45,490 euros.

And the diesel? It has been condemned to the history books by the Compass.

What do I think of the Jeep Compass plug-in hybrid?

The new interior is a great improvement: the finish is beautiful and the multimedia system now looks modern. The Compass doesn’t have much in common with the tough Jeep Wrangler, but most people spend their time more on the tarmac than on muddy tracks. In that respect, the comfortable and quite economical Compass does nothing wrong.

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