Hey guys, first time popping into the Compass forum and this thread caught my eye.
A bit late but thought I'd offer some background on the article posted earlier
. Tillamook State Forest has some pretty intense trails. Things that would be very challenging for even modified Wranglers. I highly doubt they took the Compass on those trails. Most likely they traversed the forest on the logging roads. Cool. It's what the Compass was focused on.
When they hit the dunes it was at Sand Lake ORV park as noted in the article. It's a place where people can legally drive their off-road toys on the dunes and on the beach. There is a 1-2 mile stretch of beach with a broad 1/2 - 1 mile wide sliver of sand dune that cuts back into a low-lying forested basin about 4 miles. There's a mile+ long flat area that's very much like a mini-bonneville salt flat type area. Then the sand gradually climbs up a 80 ft tall mound and drops off steeply to form "The Big Bowl". Beyond this it gradually climbs again to a 50 ft ht, drops off and then stretches up to the rolling dunes to the NE (inland). In the zone where the sliver of sand meets up with the beach is a series of grassy dunes with all manner of trails cut through them. The fringes of the dunes and in these grassy areas would be where the Compass would get caught up and perhaps stuck.
I've been going down there often over the last 6 years. First with my 66 hp, slow-as-snot Suzuki Samurai and then with a custom built Sandrail. Now, what works well there would be light weight vehicles with reasonably good ground clearance. I suspect the compass would indeed to well. I would have loved to see just how well it did. There are some big flat areas, some rolling dunes. . . and a BIG sand bowl. If they stayed in the main part of the dunes they'd be fine, but if they got off onto the sand trails through the grasses or on the fringes they'd run into problems.
Here are some photos from Sand Lake ORV park:
The Big Bowl. Those dark specks you see are trucks, Jeeps and other regular cars.
An overview of the grass trails.
Even my Samurai could throw sand at 10 mph.
Close-up view of the grass trails, it's pretty smooth here.
Oh, and what I eventually built for myself.
I seem to remember reading a comment in this thread about a comparison to rally type cars like the Subaru STI or the Evo. . . . um, no.
I've driven those cars and I can tell you there is so much more under that sheet metal that would simply blow the Compass away without the cars even thinking about it. The grip those cars have in phenominal. . . just unbelievable. And the 300 hp turbo charged engine simply launch those cars down the road. They are on-par with Porsche 911s, S2000s, and faster than 350Zs, Mustangs, and Camaros. I doubt the 172 hp AWD Compass is. Coupled with outstanding shocks and some massive, HD brakes and the STi and Evo not cars to be taken lightly. I don't care what's done to the Compass but there's simply no comparison. And this is coming from a guy who would rather get just about any other car than the STI or Evo. They're not my cup of meat. But I do respect thier performance potential. They are incredible machines.
Glad to see the Compass is doing well and it sounds like it's a good match for what the owners here are looking for. I hope it does well. Always good to hear directly from people who have driven the car.