The legendary brand – Jeep entered Indian market amidst a lot of criticism. The expensive price tags on the Jeep range in India did not go down well with the enthusiasts. Taking things forward, Jeep decided to set-up an Indian plant and make their next product here. This gave the birth to the Jeep Compass, the first made-in-India Jeep that is expected to carry a price tag of Rs. 20 lakh, when launched, is the most awaited SUV of the year. Jeep will roll out the Compass from the Fiat’s Ranjangaon facility and will export to the international markets.
Before the launch of the vehicle, we have spent some time with the Compass. Here is what the car feels like.
The Jeep Compass gets inspired by the Grand Cherokee’s design. The Compass is targeted to the urban road users and does not gets rugged looks. There is 7-slat signature grille of Jeep at front with LED DRLs and headlamps. The Compass gets massive wheel arches and minimal shoulder line. There’s a chrome strip that runs on the side of the body and gives the car a premium finish. At the rear too, the Compass gets a minimal design with LED tail-lamps.
The Compass also gets contrasting roof colours that add a floating roof appearance.
The Jeep Compass does not feel very luxurious. It gets a dual-tone, simple looking dashboard with functional equipment. The steering wheel is a 3-spoke unit with audio control, but there is no cruise control in the Indian version of the vehicle. The instrument cluster is quite large and looks premium. There are two analogue dials showing engine RPM and speed while a big information display is placed between them which is quite easy to read. The infotainment system is a touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.
Images provided by the writer : Shantonil
Engine and drive
The Compass comes with 1.4-litre petrol and a 2.0-litre diesel engine option. We only drove the diesel engine option that produces a maximum power of 171 Bhp and 350 Nm of maximum torque. The engine has good pull and has strong mid-range. There’s turbo lag under 2,000 rpm after which the car pulls strongly. The diesel engine comes with 6-speed manual transmission.
The Compass comes with a lot of electronics that makes driving experience very engaging. The Dynamic Steering Torque (DST) adds a really good feeling to the steering wheel. There is also Selec-Terrain and Jeep Active Drive system available that changes the drive system for different types of situations.
The suspension is tuned according to the Indian conditions. It takes on the potholes and bumps really comfortably, but there is some amount of body roll when you push the SUV around the corners.
The AWD system also comes with four modes – Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud. The system changes according to the conditions and the engine send different ratio of power to the front and rear axle according to the mode the vehicle is in.
Should you get one?
The Compass offers Jeep brand name with some essential features in the segment. The Compass is quite capable and comes with different modes to take on different terrains. It will be the cheapest Jeep on offer when it launches in August. The Compass will have a brand value that no other manufacturer can offer in the same price segment. We will only get to know the real worth of the product once Jeep launches the Compass in August, but if the Compass is launched at around Rs. 20 lakh, it will become the most tempting vehicle in the segment.