Lisbon is the Capital city of Portugal and sits right on the Atlantic coast. It’s widely regarded as one of the most up-and-coming and coolest places to visit in Europe and it has been on my list of places to go for ages, so when Jeep invited me over to check out their latest model, the Jeep Compass, I didn’t have to think twice.
Not long after arriving, I could feel myself falling in love with the city. It’s hard to explain why but I just seemed to like it. In parts it seemed a little rough around the edges but I think that give it a bit more authenticity, it felt like a real place and I’d much rather visit somewhere like that than a soulless metropolis that’s uber shiny and new. I was staying at the Sheraton Lisboa, which is located right bang in the middle of an area packed with some really great street art. Unfortunately on this trip I didn’t have time to explore the whole neighbourhood in-depth but what I seen looked looked pretty cool.
The trip was short; I arrived late afternoon and headed straight to the old LX Factory for dinner and the unveiling of the new Jeep. This place was amazing, it had kind of, dare I say it a ‘Shoreditch’ vibe to it but it was definitely a lot less commercial. The LX Factory area was once a sprawling factory complex but gentrification means that it’s now home to bars, restaurants, event spaces, studios and shops. We ate at 1300 Taberna before being treated to an immersive introduction to the Jeep Compass covering aspects of design, engineering and technology.
The all-new Jeep Compass has been lined up to sit right between their popular Renegade and Grand Cherokee models and will offer an unmatched combination of attributes that includes legendary and best in class 4×4 off-road capability, contemporary design, excellent on-road driving dynamics, open-air freedom and a full array of advanced user-friendly connectivity and safety technologies. It’s refined but sporty, modern, yet classic Jeep at the same time, the design team have done a good job on this one.
The following morning I was up with the birds and looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the new Compass for the first time. Initially I took the keys to the ‘Limited’ model and headed off down the coast from Lisbon towards Sintra National Park. I really enjoyed driving the car, it was spacious inside, comfortable and responsive but I must admit at times I did I struggle to pay the car the attention it deserved while driving this route. The road along the rugged Lisbon coastline literally took my breath away. Seriously, all I could say as I turned every bend was wow!
When I arrived at the gateway to Sintra National Park (just over an hour’s drive fro Lisbon) I swapped my Compass ‘Limited’ for the Trailhawk – the off-road focused model.
The Trailhawk looks a lot more ferocious than it’s more luxurious Limited brother did, both inside and out. I instantly much preferred the darker aesthetic of the Trailhawk though and the much sportier styling throughout. It was a lot more me and would be the model/trim that I’d go for if I was buying one.
It was time for the real fun to begin as I was let loose on the purpose built off-road course within the forest of Sintra. With a few pointers from the experts on setting the on-board computer to assist with steering, torque and essentially move of the driving, it was left to me steer. Although these new additions undoubtedly make the car a lot easier to handle in extreme conditions, I can’t help but feel that all this added help takes away a little of the fun of driving in such an environment. I suppose you don’t have to use them though, you can do it on your own if you choose.
As you’d expect, a day in such a stunning setting as this one passes by pretty quickly and before I knew it, it was unfortunately time to head back to the airport.
Lisbon, I’ll be back to visit you soon.
Find out more about the Jeep Compass.