Jeep Compass plug-in hybrid headed for UK

The plug-in hybrid Jeep line-up in the UK is set to expand, with a 4xe version of the Compass joining the Renegade and upcoming Grand Cherokee

The range of plug-in hybrid Jeep models on offer in the UK is set to expand, as the Jeep Compass 4xe and recently revealed Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe are poised to join the line-up alongside the existing Jeep Renegade 4xe. The plug-in hybrid version of the Wrangler, however, has still not been confirmed for sale in the UK.

The Compass 4xe uses the same petrol-electric powertrain as the Renegade, as well as some of the same blue styling accents. It was initially not offered in right-hand-drive territories, but has now been confirmed as going on sale here later in 2021, giving the brand a rival to other low-emission family SUVs such as the Ford Kuga Plug-In Hybrid and Peugeot 3008 Hybrid on the UK market.

The '4xe' badge on the plug-in Compass signifies its electrified status. It uses a 1.3-litre petrol engine driving the front wheels and an electric motor that drives the rears, and combined the two power sources produce a maximum of 237bhp, which should mean it takes around seven seconds to go from 0-62mph. Driving on electric power along, the Compass plug-in should be able to travel for 30 miles before needing to use the petrol engine. Sub-50g/km CO2 emissions and a charging time of just over an hour and a half from a 7.2kW wallbox are the other headline figures.

Jeep Compass 4xe hybrid trims, specs and practicality

Depending on the market, 'Urban' or 'Off-Road' versions of the Compass are available. Both include what Jeep describes as "comprehensive technological and driving assistance features as standard, along with a full package of home and public recharging solutions" and come with the most powerful 237bhp form of the Jeep PHEV drivetrain.

Urban configuration rides on 19-inch wheels, while the more off-road-orientated model gets 17s with chunkier tyres. Standard equipment on both encompasses bi-xenon headlights, the Jeep 'Uconnect' navigation system, smartphone integration, an 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen and driver-assistance features such as a rear-view camera, park assistance, parking sensors, powered door mirrors and keyless go.

The regular Compass 4xe line-up includes three trim levels: Limited, S and Trailhawk. All have four-wheel-drive and six-speed automatic transmission. A range of customisation options is available, with up to 22 exterior colours. These include Alpine White, Glacier, Granite Crystal, Jetset Blue, Blue Shade, Sting Grey, Colorado Red, Carbon Black, Solid Black, Ivory Tri-Coat, Blue Italia and Techno Green. In addition, up to seven wheel designs are available.

Jeep says that the small size of the charging module in the boot and the arrangement of the electric motor under the floor means that boot capacity is almost the same as for the conventional-engined version of the Compass, at 420 litres. The hybrid gets the same dual-function boot with a raised loading surface at the top and maximised loading capacity at the bottom. This layout means a spare wheel can be housed under the boot.

Off-road technology

Speaking about the hybrid models' off-road prowess, Jeep's head of product marketing, Marco Pigozzi, has said that "The move from mechanical to electric all-wheel-drive is a massive improvement – it’s more capable than the conventionally powered Jeep. The enormous torque on offer from the electric motor allows [the car] to easily crawl over rocks and obstacles. And the fact that it’s mounted on the rear axle means [the car] is pushed up hills rather than pulled.”

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Jeep says its plug-in hybrid technology enhances the off-road capability of the Compass, with the combination of two power sources resulting in more torque (50% more in the case of the 237bhp hybrid model versus the 168bhp diesel). Furthermore, as the rear axle is driven by a dedicated electric motor and not a prop shaft, the two axles can be separated and their torque controlled independently in a more effective way than a mechanical system. The Jeep Selec-Terrain traction-control system offers five driving modes for different on and off-road conditions (Auto, Sport, Snow, Sand/Mud and Rock) as well as hill-descent control.

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