What if I want to go South?
When it comes to Jeep, I'm a huge Wrangler fan. The fewer doors and the more mud it has, the better. That's a real Jeep. It's rough, it's tough, it's hardcore to the chassis. Take it anywhere, drive it over any surface and it's going to give it its all. What a man's vehicle.
Then I get behind the wheel of a Jeep Compass/Patriot, and all those Jeep ideologies and feelings kind of float away on the generic styling and overall feel of the car. Perhaps that's a bit harsh, and I don't mean it to be, but after hearing Jeep's latest ad campaign slogan—“your name is what defines you, what makes you unique”—it was hard not to feel that way when I got behind the wheel of the 2011 Jeep Compass North.
Born and bred from an army vehicle built to withstand the harshest terrains and environments, the newest Jeeps are definitely far-removed from the originals. However, some of the original brutish strength and personality reside in the Wrangler—which is why I feel like that's the only real Jeep of the bunch.
But let's get to the vehicle at hand; the 2011 Jeep Compass North. Sitting there in typical red paint (now the third Jeep I've had in said colour), that word “unique” flitted in and out of my brain once again as I actually had to look at the red bumper to ensure I was getting into the Compass and not the Patriot I'd had just a few weeks before.
Equipped with a 2.0L engine, the Jeep Compass pushes out 158 hp. The CVT ensures fuel efficiency and an ultimately smooth ride thanks to zero gearshifts. Jeep claims the Compass will do 9.6 L/100 km on the highway and 7.4 L/100 km in the city. I'd like to say I averaged those numbers as well, but I'm not sure I did.
I drive approximately 100 km a day to and from work; 95% of that drive is highway. After only 2 days of driving the car, I was left with a 1/4 tank of gas, and the Compass has a 51L reservoir. I visited the pumps three times with the Compass throughout the week; twice to fill up and the third to top it off after arriving at work with more than a 1/4 gone from my drive in.
More than 2 trips to the pumps in one week is normally unheard of with my testers, unless I'm doing some major road-tripping. The Compass drank gas like it was secretly harbouring a V12 and weighed about 900 lbs more. Could it be that the CVT does more harm than good when put in situations that require quick speed build-up? Like mashing the throttle therefore sky-rocketing the revs where they stay till the move is complete?
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