I have often written about the lifestyle choice my husband and I have made, both as individuals, and then as we coupled up in living ‘off the beaten track’, not subscribing to the fast paced ‘London Life’. For us, living away from it all (if you can say that in the South East of England!) had far more appeal than anything else.
Living where we do, we are surrounded by nature and the elements, so our lifestyle and the products we use on a daily basis have to work well within that environment otherwise we can be really stuck.
A little under a month ago I was invited to join Jeep UK for their ‘Recalculating Tour’ as part of the all-new Jeep Compass launch. I don’t drive a Jeep myself, but it is in fact a car brand I have always admired and longed to drive due to sharing the same core values. Jeep is a brand that I instantly wanted to work with on this exciting new chapter for them.
Joined on the event by some established YouTubers, Journalists and freelance writers, I had a moment of the dreaded ‘Imposter Syndrome’ as I sat and spoke to them during pre-presentation drinks, however it wasn’t long into the exciting presentation and whilst chatting to Head of Jeep Brand at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles UK over dinner, that I realised just why I was there.
As I listened to the Head of Design at Jeep I was reminded that with a history steeped in functional, utilitarian vehicles, Jeep is a brand that sits wonderfully well with all I stand for. I am a huge advocate of well made, functional items and what a lot of people don’t know about me is that not only do I like items that are functional, whilst I choose a ‘simple life’ with very few ‘luxury items’, I am also a big car fan.
Up until I had my daughter, I always had a sporty hatchback with the latest gadgets, as well as all the in-car comforts, so whilst it might surprise some… a beautiful car like the Jeep Compass with it’s good looks both inside and out, as well as being ‘fit for function’, the Jeep Compass is exactly the car I would like to be driving on a daily basis!
So let me tell you a little about this car and the story of why Jeep have decided that 2018 is the time to launch the all-new Jeep Compass.
The Jeep Compass is a key addition to the Jeep vehicle range and this addition really allows the brand to tackle the compact SUV segment, an extremely important and ever increasing segment worldwide. The new Compass model will provide a compelling proposition to customers, simply by combining the legendary Jeep off-road capability with a distinctive design and a variety of user-friendly technologies that ensure a safe, comfortable and connected everyday driving experience.
My initial reaction when I saw the Jeep Compass was how nice it looked, I did however think it looked on the large side… perhaps because I currently drive an ’03 Toyota Rav4 which is fairly compact. Once I got up close and then inside the vehicle, I was pleasantly surprised at the size of it. It felt like a natural progression from the vehicle I currently drive which actually does often frustrate me due to the lack of space for myself, my daughter and our dogs, not to mention collecting additional children from school, so actually after my initial scepticism, I actually really liked the size of the Jeep Compass.
Whilst driving out of Brighton and onto the winding roads of the South Downs, I couldn’t have felt safer behind the wheel. As a cautious driver, the Jeep Compass felt punchy but wonderfully steady. A vehicle that reassures with it’s quick response, as well as having a wonderfully solid feel of it. It is not surprising that this new compact SUV is one of the first to be awarded a coveted Euro NCAP five-star safety rating.
Utilising more than 65 percent high-strength steel for maximising vehicle dynamics and crash performance while optimising weight efficiency, making a solid framework and shell. With more than 70 active and passive safety systems and a high-strength safety cage, this is a vehicle I felt very safe in, both driving and as a passenger.
“Since having my daughter, I want a car that will protect us in the worse-case scenario, as well as reassure myself as a driver that my family is safe and comfortable; the Jeep Compass does just that.”
There has been some ‘talk’ online about the colours that the all-new Jeep Compass is available in (available in eight different exterior colors: Mojave Sand, Colorado Red, Hydro Blue, Brilliant Black, Minimal Grey, Magnesio Grey, Vocal White and Bronze), some commenting that the colours aren’t ‘exciting’, however as someone who lives in an environment to which a Jeep is entirely suited, the subdued colours that this vehicle is available in is, I think, wonderfully inspired by the activities that this vehicle is designed for; whether on-road, off-road, in the snow, sand, rock, the colours the Jeep Compass is available in, I feel sit incredibly well with the iconic Jeep brand.
In fact, my daughter longs for a ‘brown car’ and the Jeep Compass in Bronze is such a wonderful deep bronze that my daughter was deeply disappointed that she didn’t get to see it other than in a photo!
Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos of the interior, which is odd for me as I just love car interiors (call me odd!), especially when they are as beautifully designed as this.
“With a clean, holistic theme, this is an interior that I felt very happy in; the interior’s colour palette is inspired by nature, once again paying tribute to the various lifestyles and environments customers will enjoy with this vehicle.”
The centre stack houses touchscreen displays of the uConnect system, with the centre console neatly integrating the functional features of the Jeep Compass, including gear-shift selection, Selec-Terrain controls, electronic parking brake, engine stop-start (ESS) controls, climate and volume control knobs, and easily-accessible media charging and connectivity ports – what more could you possibly want?
“The model I drove had heated seats, as well as a heated steering wheel, both of which I now long for! Not only because it adds to the overall comfort in a vehicle, but because living with a chronic, invisible illness, it is features like this that make this vehicle the perfect ‘tool’ for my daily lifestyle.”
This all-new compact SUV has all the Jeep characteristics such as the seven-slot grille and the trapezoidal wheel arches. The design of this stunning vehicle, both inside and out is timeless yet modern with a real sense of presence and strength, making it immediately recognisable as a Jeep.
I very much enjoyed getting the opportunity to drive the Jeep Compass and since coming home, have actively been looking around for a used Jeep to replace my current car having felt completely immersed and invested in the Jeep brand over the course of the few days I spent in their company.
During the wonderfully put together ‘Jeep Compass Recalculating Tour’ myself and fellow guests drove ourselves out of Brighton, through the South Downs and onto Barcombe Mills where the Hunter Gather Cook treehouse is situated, for a day foraging, starting fire, feasting, as well as taking part in a Masterchef style ‘cook-off’.
In the Sussex woodland we were walked around the site and taught all about the free food that is around us in the countryside, as well as the various plants that shouldn’t be picked, we collected many ingredients which were then taken back to the tree house.
After a wonderful walk and informative tour of all the ‘free food’, we were treated to the most fabulous spread in the Hunter Gather Cook treehouse; a Korean BBQ, which tasked incredible, all cooked over hot coals and with wonderfully fresh produce. We cooked and feasted on everything that the Hunter Gather Cook team had prepared in the outdoor kitchen below.
After lunch, we were formally introduced to the fabulous ‘B’ the truffle dog, owned by Hunter Gather Cook founder Nick Weston and learnt all about her incredible skills of hunting truffles! She took part in a demonstration and showed us all how well she works. Soon after we headed into the fire circle, under a parachute where Nick taught us all how to make fire for cooking. Living an active, outdoor lifestyle here in the woods myself, starting fire has only ever been done with a lighter, so this was a real thrill for me, much harder than it looks, it was hugely satisfying when finally a flame appeared.
Of course the earlier forage, feast and fire lesson was then put to the test with the final treat of the day the Masterchef style ‘Invention test’. A pile of fresh, as well as foraged ingredients, as well as locally sourced meat produce was laid out for both teams to select and create a dish… we would be marked on most skills learnt during our time at Hunter Gather Cook, so as myself and some other women set about selecting and inventing a dish, the boys set off to make fire… once the dish was decided on, we joined in building a fire and then got to work on our dish. After 45 minutes and a fairly stern judging process, our team was victorious and we were each awarded our own firesteels!
Soon I was back in my wild woods in Kent buzzing from the excitement of an exciting year ahead for Jeep, as well as smelling of wood fires and with a renewed appreciation and understanding of what is around me here in the woods.
A really fabulous few days meeting some wonderful people, chatting family and cars with Head of Jeep Brand over dinner, as well as getting to drive the all-new Jeep Compass too. Thank you to Jeep UK and the PR team who invited me on this wonderfully exciting event, it was such fun… even if now I am being taunted every time I now see a beautiful Jeep whilst out driving in my car!
Jeep Compass arrives in UK dealerships in February 2018, to find out more, please visit Jeep Compass
Please Note: I have not been paid for this post. I did however receive a night in a hotel and a day experience with Hunter Gather Cook in exchange for writing an honest and authentic review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.