What is it?
Jeep India’s much awaited aggressively priced SUV which has taken heated up things in the sub 20 lac rupee segment. Is it worth all the hype? Let’s find out!
How does it look?
For starters, the front might remind you of the Jeep Grand Cherokee which Jeep had launched last year in India at a very steep price point(thanks to the CBU route). The front classic seven-slat Jeep grille is the highlight of the front end which then merges with the blacked out projector headlamps. The headlamps also get a white pilot lamp strip under the projectors which compliments the projectors beautifully. These could have played as DRL’s as well but weirdly the DRL’s are placed lower on the bumper above the fog lamps. The two-tone bumper has a wide air intake opening which looks pretty neat and is a job well done. In my opinion, the front-end of the car draws the most attention for all the right reasons. Move over the side and you’ll see a similar two-tone treatment as the front with black cladding on the lower portions. The front doors get Compass monikers. The overall side profile is highlighted by a sloping roofline which is complimented nicely with blacked out roof. The square wheel arches play host to 17″ rims with a tyre size of 225/60 which come with Firestone Destination LE2s. Minimalist styling cues define the rear end. Chrome lining runs from the side of the car to the base of the rear windshield. One cannot miss out on the fact that it is a Jeep, thanks to the prominent badging!
How is it from the inside?
Step inside and you will be greeted by white leather seats which look really upmarket and premium but will be a pain to maintain in our conditions. All the materials used inside the cabin are of pretty good quality. Plastics are soft to touch and fit and finish is good, too. Even the controls in the lower half of the centre console have been finished well and there is a fair amount of storage area. In the top end variant, you get a Apple CarPlay/ Android Auto enabled 7-inch touchscreen unit, which allows you to take charge of your phone to entertainment to even the dual-zone aircon. The steering mounted controls are placed on rear of the steering wheel which can take a while to get used to but work just about fine once you get used to them.
How does it drive?
We tested the 4×4 manual diesel variant which comes with a 2.0-litre multijet pot producing 170 bhp of power along with 350NM of torque. The VGT(variable geometry turbocharger) ensures that you have sufficient power ever down low in the rev range (reducing the turbo lag) which means you don’t need to downshift very often to stay in the meat of the powerband, which is a boon for city driving. The gear knob is nice and chunky which is complimented by nice and short throws. Shifting through the gears gives you a very positive and reassuring feel. You can achieve triple digit speeds under 2000 rpm while cruising on the highway in sixth gear which means you can expect good fuel efficiency figures as well. Shift down a couple of gears and you have enough grunt for those quick highway overtakes. Talking about the ride quality, the low speed ride is quite impressive and can absorb most of the large speed breakers and potholes. Things aren’t bad when you’re triple digit speeds either. Body roll is well contained and it feels quite at home even if you push it hard into a corner or two. Overall, top marks for the ride quality and driving dynamics too. Since we were testing the car inside city limits, we couldn’t really put the 4X4 equipment to test. However, we are planning a full blown travelogue with the Compass very soon so do watch out this space next month!
Should I buy one?
Jeep has priced the new Compass brilliantly with prices starting at Rs. 14.95 lakhs(ex-showroom). What’s really noteworthy over here is that even with the aggressive pricing, there are no signs of cost cutting anywhere. The 2.0-litre pot offers great drivability inside city limits and even out on the highways, ride quality and driving dynamics are pretty sorted as well. Further, the European spec variant of the Compass were recently crash tested by Euro NCAP and it scored a brilliant 5 star rating. After spending some days with this new American SUV, I can surely sign off by saying that the Compass is worth all the hype and if you are looking out for a capable SUV in this budget, the Compass ticks all the right boxes!
Jeep Compass Specs & Price
|Engine||2.0-litre turbo Multijet Diesel|
|Max Power||170 bhp|
|Transmission||6-speed MT, 4X4|
|PRICE||Rs. 20.65 Lakhs (Limited Option 4X4 variant) (ex-showroom)|