Jeep Compass Facelift Review & Test Drive

Jeep Compass Overview

The Jeep brand has entered the Indian market with a top-down approach. First, they launched the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler offerings and now the American automaker is all set to introduce the ‘Made in India’ Jeep Compass. Yes, the baby Jeep is being locally manufactured in India at their Ranjangaon facility, which is the only plant across the globe producing right-hand drive Compass. FCA is betting big on the Indian market and export markets with the Compass. We test the latest Jeep in Goa to see how capable the mini Grand Cherokee is.FCA shares the same platform of the Jeep Compass within the family. It was first seen in the Fiat 500X and it is also being used to underpin the Jeep Renegade compact SUV. This is the second generation of the Jeep Compass that we’ll get in India.  Jeep Compass in Tryaldrive.

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Jeep Compass Design & Style

Talk about styling, and the Compass surely won’t disappoint. The India-spec Compass SUV borrows its styling cues from the Grand Cherokee SUV. Towards the front profile, the SUV gets Jeep’s signature 7 slat grille. The headlamp unit looks sharp and gets LED daytime running lamps and projector units. The side profile looks little-squared wheel arches. The rear profile too looks sophisticated as well while the chrome lining just below the roof rail which loops around the SUV adds a premium feel to the SUV. The rear profile of the SUV looks impressive as well with the wraparound LED taillamps. The duel tone bumpers towards the front and rear give a big appearance to the SUV.

The Jeep Compass will compete with other C-SUV segment and is based on the same platform as the Jeep Renegade, however, the Compass SUV gets a longer wheelbase and certainly gets Jeep’s offroading DNA.

Jeep Compass Cabin & Comfort

Like the exterior, the Compass’ interior is not too extravagant but it isn’t dull either. The dashboard’s design may seem flat at first but if you look closer there’s plenty going on. The trapezoidal center stack, again, is something we have seen in Jeeps previously. In the Compass, it houses a 7-inch display for Jeep’s UConnect infotainment system and further down, there’s a sturdy metal gear knob, terrain control dial and an electronic parking brake. The cabin feels extra premium and also relatively airier with the all-white leather seats although having such a light shade requires constant attention and care – our test car was less than a couple of thousand km old and had a number of scuffs and dirt marks on the seats.

Build quality and fit and finish of the Compass is quite good but it isn’t without its shortcomings. Other than the tacky gloss black panel surrounding the 7-inch display, there are noticeable dummy buttons on the steering wheel and the indicator stalks feel like they have come from FCA’s cheaper products. Also, the graining on the dash may seem like the hard, scratchy kind but it’s actually made up of soft touch plastics. The latter, along with the supple leather upholstery, lend a quality feel to the cabin. What also raise the comfort quotient in here are the large front seats which offer plenty of under thigh support and good side bolstering. The rear seat, meanwhile, is tailor made for the Indian market – the cushioning is just right and thanks to the high stance, there’s a great deal of headroom, too. Despite the seat base being made longer for the India-spec car, we feel it could do with a little more under thigh support. Nevertheless, the Compass makes for a great buy for even those looking to be driven around.

In terms of features and safety equipment, the Compass gets dual zone climate control, LED taillights, electrically retractable ORVMs, rear AC vents, a 7-inch infotainment screen with smartphone mirroring and a brilliant sounding 6-speaker audio system. As for safety, Jeep has included hill start assist, 6 airbags (on 4×4 trim), rollover mitigation system, adaptive brake lights and cornering lights.

Jeep Compass Engine & Gearbox

The Jeep Compass will be available with both 1.4-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel engine options. We got to test the 2.0-litre MultiJet diesel engine at the drive which makes its debut in the Indian market with the launch of the Compass. It produces 173 PS of power and 350 Nm of twisting force. This is one cracker of an engine that loves to pull in the magical mid-range. There is some lag under 2000 RPM post which you get fantastic acceleration. The motor keeps pulling until redline but the top end of this powerplant gets quite loud and coarse. For Jeep Compass check kotra.in 

This engine is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission and Jeep won’t be offering an auto box with the diesel motor initially. The 1.4-litre petrol will come with both manual and auto transmissions but the petrol Compass will be available later. The 6-speed gearbox is quite precise and offers great feedback while the clutch is light, making it easy to drive in city conditions. The first three gears have short ratios while the rest are long legged offering balanced driveability in both city and highway driving conditions. Ingear acceleration is good too but you need to shift frequently if you hit the turbo lag zone. NVH levels are quite strong and the motor feels smooth but once it’s past 3500 RPM, the loudness gets quite apparent inside the cabin. You can expect a fuel efficiency of 12-14 km/l in real world conditions.

Jeep Compass Driving Dynamics

Jeep has a rather sophisticated suspension setup. In fact, there’s fully independent suspension all around and what Jeep calls Frequency Sensitive Damping with variable damping rates based on road condition and driving style – basically it senses the amount of load and compression on the springs and adjusts the damping accordingly. The Compass, as it turns out, boasts an impressive blend of ride and handling, one that’s better than its arch rival – the Hyundai Tucson. Ride comfort in particular is its forte, with it being far more composed and absorbing than the fussy Tucson. The Jeep irons out small bumps and ruts remarkably well and while it isn’t as planted as the VW Tiguan at highway speeds, it’s never unsettled. We believe some of that absorbency is down to its Firestone all-weather tyres that, despite being an unknown name in India, offer good traction and compliance. While obviously it’s no high performance car, the Compass feels balanced through the corners and sits flatter than what was expected.

Jeep Compass Safety & Security

The Jeep Compass comes loaded with safety equipment such as 6 airbags, All-Speed Traction Control System (TCS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), ABS, Isofix seat mounts, Electronic Roll Mitigation, Hill Start Assist, etc. One of the biggest questions for the Compass’ success in India is the after sales and poor service network across the country. The American carmaker is setting up new dealerships but currently, there are very few of them in India. Since the Compass is locally produced, we expect relatively affordable spare parts and maintenance costs.

Jeep Compass Price in Mumbai

Jeep Compass On-Road Price in Mumbai ranges from 17,25,236 to 25,08,225 for variants Compass Sport 1.4 Multi AIR Petrol and Compass Limited 4X4 O 2.0 Diesel respectively. Jeep Compass is available in 10 variants and 5 colours. Below are details of Jeep Compass variants price in Mumbai. Check for Compass price in Mumbai at Carzprice.

Jeep Compass Verdict

Cars like the Jeep Compass leave us wondering why we do not have soft-roaders in record numbers. Extremely comfortable, versatile and efficient with on-road dynamics similar to a hatchback or a sedan, they make all kinds of sense for a lot of buyers. Jeep has nearly nailed the brief for this segment at the very least with the Compass – not only is their new product spacious and practical, its hugely capable both on-road and off it.

Jeep will launch the Compass in the next couple of months, with ex-showroom prices expected to range between Rs 20-25 lakh. At that price range, it will have the Hyundai Tucson to rival and while it’s not as refined or feature-rich as the Hyundai, the Jeep outdoes it in the ride and handling department and dare we say it, it’s better looking as well. A comparison test awaits.