What is it?
A baby Grand Cherokee. When Jeep decided to re-enter the Indian market, somehow, things didn’t work out, for they ushered in the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee as full imports, and as a result, were priced exorbitantly. However, after all the hype and anticipation, Jeep launched the much-awaited jeep Compass, which caused huge crowds to flock in Jeep dealerships. The jeep Compass is the smallest Jeep to be offered in our market at the moment, but after having seen it succeed in our market, it is clear that this an SUV with huge potential. Ever since the Compass began rolling off showroom floors, FCA India has had reasons to be smiling.
The jeep Compass may appear huge in pictures at first, but in the flesh, it is a thoroughly compact and well proportioned SUV. It has great road presence, and is unmistakably Jeep with those crisp lines and the signature seven-slat grille. It could be thought of as a baby Grand Cherokee when looked at from the front. The side profile includes flared wheel arches with a distinctive D-pillar design, and what makes things even more interesting is that tasteful chrome lining that begins at the A-pillar and goes all the way to the rear, wrapping itself around the rear windshield. At the rear, the design is neat and uncluttered with those clear-lens tail lights.
The cabin may seem a little simple at first, but it’s a generous blend of soft-touch materials and good quality plastics. The steering feels nice and solid and expensive, and the leather seats with contrast stitching look beautifully made. Fit and finish is top-notch, and leaves no room for complaints. And the doors shut with a proper ‘thunk’. The front seats are big and supportive, and you get a good view from the driver’s seat. The multi-information display shows lots of information, and the 7.0-inch touchscreen is bordered by gloss black plastic. Headroom is a bit of an issue at the rear, but there is ample legroom. And the backrest is a bit upright. The seats, though, are well cushioned and are comfortable to sit on. There are quite a couple of storage spaces around, and the 438-litre boot is large enough to swallow in a few suitcases for the airport run. It gets features like a reverse camera, 7.0-inch touchscreen, dual-zone climate control, auto start/stop, cruise control, panoramic sunroof, auto headlights and wipers, powered driver’s seat with memory, leather seats and key less entry and go.
The Jeep Compass is powered by two engine options: a 1.4-litre MultiAir turbo-petrol engine that makes 158bhp and 250Nm of torque, and a 2.0-litre MultiJet ll turbo diesel engine that produces 170bhp and 350Nm of torque, paired to a 6-speed manual gearbox. Fire up the engine, and it settles into silent idle. The Compass picks up pace seamlessly and engine has ample grunt on offer. There is a huge wave of torque between 2000 and 3500rpm. The engine is quite punchy in nature and the transmission works smoothly. But the clutch is heavy, making it a bit bothersome in traffic. At high speeds, on the highway, the motor never feels stressed and cruises rather effortlessly. However, push it hard, and the motor does feel like it is being taxed too much. The Compass feels composed over bad roads, and the bumps are soaked in with aplomb. Behind the wheel, the Compass feels a bit heavy, but is safe and predictable. You also get modes like Mud, Sand and Rock that adjust the ABS, traction control and ESP.
The jeep Compass is an American SUV that will appeal to anyone with a budget of ₹ 20 lakh, for it offers massive road presence, a powerful diesel engine and performs well on and off the road. It is also well equipped and has a cabin that is beautifully put together. And above all, at this price, you’re getting a product made by an iconic brand.