Jeep Compass Review & First Drive

Jeep Compass Overview

The Jeep Compass has been in news since the automaker announced its plans of introducing a vehicle built in India for specifically the Indian buyers. Well, now after a wait for over a couple of years, it is finally here. And, we are immensely delighted that FCA India – the parent company – gave it a go ahead and launched it in the Indian market. The Compass is built at the Ranjangaon production facility with around 65 percent local content. The company has presented it in three trims – Sport, Longitude and Limited – with a total of 10 variants, out which 7 are in diesel fuel trim whereas 3 are in petrol guise. The SUV’s exterior styling is based on the elder sibling, the Grand Cherokee, with several sporty elements. Request a test drive for Compass in Tryaldrive

Check for Jeep Compass On Road Price in Gurgaon

Jeep Compass Exterior & Style

Like they said, SUVs these days look a bit softer and have lost that brutish SUV design. The Jeep Compass’s design however, manages to be both – modern and premium-looking as well as rugged and intimidating. When you look at it in person, it doesn’t seem very large, but in the rear view mirror, it looks quite large thanks to the wide, square-ish front. What adds that premium touch is the resemblance to the Jeep Grand Cherokee. From the side, it does look quite muscular, but not in an overwhelming way – more like a lean athlete-like rather than a bulky body builder. However, the wheels look just a little too small for the rest of the body and the rear wheel isn’t positioned at the centre of the wheel arch. The rear meanwhile, looks smart and quite interesting with the LED elements in the taillights and the chrome strip running all around the car.

Jeep Compass Interior & Space

The interiors again reminds one of the Grand Cherokee and the upmarket feel continues inside as well. The top of the dash uses soft-touch plastics which adds to the premium feel. That said, the 7-inch touchscreen could have done without the piano black surround and could have been an inch bigger. The steering wheel feels nice to hold while the instrument pods behind it wear a simple yet appealing look. The multifunction display offers a crisp resolution and a whole lot of information.One of the highlights inside is the gear lever top which is a ball of metal with a satin finish. Thanks to drafts of cold air from the blowers it stays cool and feels nice to hold. Storage space is limited with just a small cavity behind the gear lever, followed by two cup holders behind, and a glovebox under the sliding armrest.

Our test Compass came with a two-tone finish – the top of the dashboard was finished in black while its lower half and the seats were finished in white. The seats are part leather and the white hue looks good with the contrasting red stitching, but I’m afraid the seats will get covered in grime too soon and start looking dull. Of course, black hued seats are on offer as well. The quality of some of the matte black plastics like the ones on the door panels could have been better but everything inside does have a solid, built to last feel.Yes. There’s good amount of space at the front and there’s ample legroom and kneeroom for the second row as well. I’m just an inch less than six feet in height and headroom was adequate though taller people will feel otherwise. The rear seatback is set at a comfortable angle and there’s ample under thigh support thanks to the added width of the seat squab. Seating a third person at the back could be a bit of an issue though due to the contour of the seat squab and the transmission tunnel.

Jeep Compass Engine & Gearbox

When it is launched, the Jeep Compass will be offered with two engines, both with 4×2 and 4×4 options. The petrol variant will run a 1.4-litre Multiair turbo-petrol engine with the choice of a 6-speed manual and dual-clutch transmissions. The diesel variant, which is the one we’ve driven, debuts the 2.0-litre Multijet II diesel engine in India. This engine produces 173PS at 3,750rpm and 350Nm from 1,750-2,500rpm, and will be offered with a six-speed manual initially. According to Jeep an automatic variant should be on offer in the year.The Multijet II is a big improvement over the first gen engine in terms of refinement. It’s significantly quieter and more responsive too. However, it still has some of the old characteristics – a slow revving engine with turbo lag till around 1,800rpm, and then a strong rush of power till the redline. But unlike before power comes in very smoothly rather than aggressively. And despite the lag, it doesn’t struggle to pull at all even when in third gear at around 20kmph. The 6-speed manual gearbox meanwhile is really the highlight here. Gear shifts are smooth, precise and have a slight mechanical clink to it which feels great.

Overall, the engine and gearbox combination make this Jeep a pretty good performer. We managed to get a decent 0-100kmph time of 11.9 seconds, and an efficiency figure of 11.39kmpl in the city and 14.11kmpl on the highway. What’s worth noting, is that this is the 4×4 variant, and we’re not sure when or under what conditions the system is activated. The Compass is primarily a front-wheel driven car with power sent to the rear wheels whenever necessary or when the 4×4 lock is engaged. The Jeep Compass gets four off-road modes – Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud. Unfortunately, we didn’t really get the chance to test its off-road capabilities.

Jeep Compass Ride & Handling

It’s very smooth through the changes too, though it’s a bit slower to respond in heavy bumper-to-bumper traffic at times. It certainly has the smoothness to go with the Compass‘ premium appeal as well as its excellent ride quality. Like its diesel counterpart, the petrol too has the ability to swallow mostly anything that comes its way and can take on potholes or bad roads with ease. The steering feels a tad heavier but the 17-inch wheels glide over mostly all rough surfaces with no complaints. Even the mileage that you get on the automatic, 14.1 kmpl, is something that you can’t complain about.The Jeep Compass’s 2.0L Multijet diesel engine is a brilliant performer. The power delivery is smooth, while throttle response is equally great. The suspension system is immensely well tuned and absorbs majority of the pot holes, making the ride fairly effortless and comfortable. The electric power steering is worth all the applause as it responds quite well to the driver’s fingers.

Jeep Compass Braking & Safety

The Jeep Compass gets disc brakes at front as well as rear. The SUV comes with as many as 50 safety and security features in form of Four-channel Anti-lock Brakes, full-function Traction Control, Electronic Stability Control, Panic Brake Assist, Hydraulic Boost Failure Compensation, Electronic Roll Mitigation etc. Additionally, the company has incorporated 6 Airbags (side curtains for front and rear-passengers), Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) and Reverse Parking Camera to further strengthen the safety of the occupants.

Jeep Compass Cost in Bangalore

Jeep Compass Ex-Showroom Price in Bangalore ranges from 15,05,834/- (Compass Sport 1.4 Multi AIR Petrol) to 21,26,358/- (Compass Limited 4X4 O 2.0 Diesel). Get best offers for Jeep Compass from Jeep Dealers in Bangalore. Check for Compass price in Bangalore at Carzprice

Jeep Compass Conclusion

Come to think of it, the dynamic abilities of the Compass are what make it shine as an SUV. Be it on road or off it, the Compass gave us little to complain about with its handling. Sure, the diesel engine is a bit noisy but that’s something that hardly comes in the way of an engaging drive thanks to the well set-up suspension and responsive steering. Boot space could have been slightly better, but most buyers wouldn’t mind trading that for the excellent legroom for second-row occupants. The feature list, at least on the Limited version we drove, is up to the mark as well, which adds to the SUV’s appeal. Its pricing then is key to the success of the Compass in our country, which is a highly price sensitive market, and we expect Jeep to price it in the 18-24 lakh rupee price bracket. The Compass is certainly a bread and butter model for the Jeep brand in India, and if priced well at the time of its launch this August, will certainly help Jeep rake in volumes and even achieve the cult status it enjoys the world over as an SUV maker.

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