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.The interior cabin is quite innovative with a plethora of comfort features and storage spaces. Jeep has paid utmost importance to the safety of occupants as it has incorporated as many as a dozen contemporary features. The SUV would also feature a 4X4 drive system, while also getting an automatic transmission.
Jeep Compass Design & Style
At first glance it is easy to see what inspired the designers of the Compass – its bigger brother, the Grand Cherokee; this is especially obvious when you look at it from the front. But apart from that, the Compass has its own identity.The Jeep Compass looks tough but also premium, sophisticatedly brawny almost. At the front, the highlights include the wide swath of black that stretches from one headlight to the other – including the modern take on Jeep’s iconic 7-slat (chrome lines) grille. The headlamps have a white element in them which help them pop out – an almost animalistic ‘eyes’ look, according to Jeep’s lead designer Mark Allen. They also contain LED guide lights, these are not DRLs – the actual DRLs actually sit on the bumper, just above the fog lamps. The clamshell hood is sculpted, with a slight power bulge in the middle, but the lines on it are not harsh – Jeep wanted the Compass to look more inviting.
The Jeep logo sits on the bonnet, just above the grille. A small horizontal slat-like grille on the painted part of the bumper helps break the huge swath between the main grille and air dam, it also directs air towards the radiator. The air dam is as wide as the main grille and taller – it adds to the muscular look at the front. A chrome lip at the bottom of the air dam adds a bit of bling.The bulk of the Compass is actually hidden well thanks to the use of a thick black cladding that goes all around the car. The Jeep-signature trapezoidal wheel arches contain the 17-inch silver alloy wheels shod with Firestone 225/60 section all-weather tyres; it feels like larger wheels could have made the Compass look even better. Surface detailing like the lines over the wheel arches, the prominent line that passes through the door handles onto the taillamps etc. make the compact SUV exciting to look at. Prominent ‘Compass’ badges are placed on both the front doors.
The crowning jewel of the design here is the chrome line that separates the contrast-painted roof from the rest of the body – this line goes all the way from one outside rearview mirror (ORVM), over the windows, swoops down under the rear windshield, up over the windows on the other side to finally end at the other ORVM. The roof line seems to flow down towards the rear, while the windowline rises up, adding a kink at the very end of the windowline and the C-pillar looks like – according to Jeep – a shark fin! The roof rails and the spoiler do not stand out too much.At the rear, the design of the Compass becomes a bit sedate. Highlights here include the wraparound rear windshield with the chrome line running across its base, a two-part taillamps which consists of a prominent LED guide-light (mimicking the units in the headlamps), a slightly recessed number plate holder and a two part bumper with integrated fog lamps. The Jeep logo sits on a carved out recess just below the windshield, a unique touch.Look all around and the Jeep Compass feels solid, the panel gaps are consistent and the paint quality is impressive. The Jeep Compass is offered in five colour options – Exotic Red, Brilliant Black, Minimal Grey, Vocal White and Hydro Blue (the colour of the car you see in the pictures).
Jeep Compass Cabin & Comfort
The interiors of the Jeep Compass aren’t very swanky and lavish. The dashboard is simple yet functional having a dual tone treatment. You’ve got a chunky three-spoke steering wheel with audio controls but there are some dummy buttons for the cruise control, which is not being offered in India. The instrument cluster looks premium having a huge MID in the middle and is easy to read. There is a neatly integrated touchscreen infotainment system. The user interface looks good but the touch quality is just average. Jeep offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for smartphone connectivity. The sound quality of the audio system is rich and quite satisfying. Some of the features missing in the Compass are sunroof, electrically adjustable seats, auto headlamps, auto wipers, etc.
The ingress and egress is quite comfortable in the Jeep Compass and you don’t feel like you are sitting in a hatchback like other compact SUVs, it is relatively high and you have a commanding driving position with a good view all around. The quality, fit and finish is nice and you can hardly find any cheap quality panels inside the cabin. The seats are very comfortable and supportive, there is ample legroom and headroom at the back. Even the under-thigh support of the seats are pretty good. The boot is also well spaced out and can accommodate a lot of luggage.
Jeep Compass Engine & Transmission
The diesel version we drove comes powered with Fiat’s new generation 2.0-litre Multijet II engine that debuts in India on the Compass. It makes 173PS of power at 3750rpm and 350Nm of torque between 1750rpm and 2500rpm. The torque is available from 1800rpm onwards below which there is noticeable turbo lag. The narrow, winding roads of Goa didn’t quite allow us to accelerate hard but the motor did feel like the power delivery could have been punchier. The engine is smooth but sounds clattery at idle and is a tad noisy even on the go, especially after 3500rpm.
Interestingly, the diesel version of the Compass will not be offered with an automatic transmission and will only come with a six-speed manual transmission. There will be a 7-speed automatic on offer as well, but only with the petrol version powered by the 1.4-litre Multiair engine. That said, a new 9-speed automatic is expected to be offered in the diesel by the end of the calendar year. The manual gearbox feels slick to use though, and gear changes have a precise feel which makes shifting up or down a delight when driving enthusiastically.
Jeep Compass Driving Dynamics
The Jeep Compass’s suspension set up manages to bring a bit of comfort, ruggedness and impressive handling. It gets a MacPherson strut set-up at the front and an independent Chapman strut set-up at the back with Koni’s frequency sensitive dampers. This system works like adjustable dampers without all the expensive and complicated electrical systems. It uses hydraulic valves to control how much damping happens, depending on the frequency of suspension movement high frequency (when you drive over bad roads) will reduce damping for better ride quality, while low frequency (when on smooth roads) will increase damping for better stability and handling.
Does it work? Yes! Over bad roads, the Compass while happily absorb ruts and potholes without complaint and it also feels quite rugged. However, there is a fair amount of movement at the rear seat. At the same time, when on smooth tarmac, the Jeep Compass will stay surprisingly flat through corners even when you push it hard. At the same time, steering feels direct, weighs up well at high speeds and offers good feedback too. This makes it one of the most involving cars to drive in this price bracket.
Jeep Compass Braking & Safety
There are six airbags on the Limited variant, though lower variants could get fewer. Fog lamps get cornering function, and ABS, EBD, ESP are obviously there, along with electronic rollover mitigation. The showstopper though is Jeep’s trademark SelecTerrain system. The Compass is primarily front-wheel drive, but four-wheel drive is engaged full-time in auto mode and the system can power the rear wheels whenever it detects a slip. It also offers modes like snow, sand and mud with a mere twist of the rotary knob placed behind the gear lever. There’s hill hold too, and it worked excellently on inclines.
Jeep Compass Price in Gurgaon
Jeep Compass Ex-Showroom Price in Gurgaon ranges from 15,18,921/- (Compass Sport 1.4 Multi AIR Petrol) to 21,39,981/- (Compass Limited 4X4 O 2.0 Diesel). Get best offers for Jeep Compass from Jeep Dealers in Gurgaon. Check for Compass price in Gurgaon at Carzprice
Jeep Compass Conclusion
FCA has made a huge effort for getting the Jeep brand in India and especially setting up the Compass project in India for making it the manufacturing hub for right-hand drive export markets. The SUV is quite capable and feels good to drive too. It also comes with a reasonable amount of equipment, however, there are some missing features for a car belonging to this segment. It will be interesting to see the price point in which it is being offered and how it is positioned against the competition in the Indian market. If priced attractively, the Jeep Compass is one SUV which will pull people from both smaller and bigger SUVs as it offers the best of both worlds