Jeep Compass Facelift Review & Test Drive


Jeep Compass Overview

If you’ve lusted after Jeeps but found the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee to be way out of reach, the Compass could be the SUV that helps you live your dream of owning one. It is probably the most important model for Jeep at the moment, and that’s not just for India. After all, the Compass is the SUV that will put Jeep within the reach of most buyers wanting to own a piece of the brand’s enviable heritage.

Admit it or not, Jeep is pretty much THE word when it comes to SUVs. It is what Harley-Davidson is to cruiser motorcycles and Mustang is to muscle cars — an icon. To the point that people in our country think of Jeep as a segment of cars and not just a brand even today! Clearly, there’s a lot riding on the shoulders of the Compass then, particularly for our market, given the Indian car buyer’s penchant for SUVs. A quick experience in Goa – on and off-road both – was the perfect way to see how it feels from behind the wheel.Check for Jeep Compass price in Hyderabad,

Jeep Compass Exterior & Style

First things first, the model we get in India is the all-new second-generation Compass. Unlike its predecessor that was born in the troubled Daimler Chrysler era (Chrysler owned Jeep), this one is a product wholly developed and built under Fiat Chrysler Automobile. Fiat’s ‘Small Wide 4×4’ monocoque platform serves as the building block for the Compass and the design started from a clean white sheet of paper.

If you’ve not seen one in the metal already, you should know that the Compass is actually not as large as it appears in the pictures. The Compass’ near-4.4m length slots it in between the Hyundai Creta and the Tucson in size. What the Compass has oodles of, though, is presence. It’s a handsome and well-turned-out SUV that looks unmistakably Jeep what with that trademark seven-slat grille, and flared, and almost-square wheel arches. The family look is strong and, when viewed from the front, the Compass can easily pass off as a junior Grand Cherokee. At the same time, the Compass’ distinctive shark-fin-like D-pillar and the manner in which the roof drops down towards the rear make it abundantly clear this is no Xerox job either. Detailing is nice and the chrome highlight that runs from the A-pillar onwards and slickly wraps itself around the rear windscreen, is particularly well executed. Styling at the rear is neat and inoffensive. If there’s anything to bring up it’s that the sizeable front overhang disturbs the proportions a wee bit. Also, the 17-inch wheels look a size too small. And what’s with the rear wheels being offset towards the front under their large wheel arches?

An area where the Jeep does get a double thumbs-up is build quality. Shut lines are consistently tight, there’s not a panel that seems flimsy and everything feels properly bolted and glued. Notably, 70 percent of the Compass’ body is made from rigid high-strength steel. It’s also worth bringing in that the Compass is a Euro NCAP 5-star rated car. While the safety rating does not apply to the India-spec model (the European-spec model features advanced safety aids such as autonomous emergency braking as standard), it is at least reassuring to know that the Compass exhibited impressive structural integrity in each of its crash tests.

The 4×4 Compass comes with Jeep’s Active Drive all-wheel-drive system that features a clever rear-axle disconnect. The system works in conjunction with the Selec-Terrain Traction Management system that offers four modes – Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud, each with its own AWD calibration and electronics settings. In the default Auto mode, engine power is channelled solely to the front wheels in the interest of best efficiency, but on detecting a need for additional traction, the driveline reconnects (all within 300 milliseconds) to send requisite power to the rear wheels. Impressively, up to 100 percent of engine power can be sent to any one of the four wheels, should the need arise, and you also have the option to manually lock the AWD system in Auto mode.

Front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, all Compasses run on Firestone all-season tyres, use electric power steering, and feature all-independent suspensions with frequency selective dampers. Developed by Koni, these hydraulic dampers house an additional valve that, in effect, mechanically controls the oil flow and hence the damping force, in response to the frequency of suspension inputs. On rough surfaces (high frequency), the valve eases the flow for a smoother ride while during cornering (low frequency) oil flow is restricted for better body control.

Jeep Compass Interior & Space

The Compass’ cabin sits at a convenient height but the wide sill can prove to be bothersome during ingress-egress. Once inside, the Compass cabin can appear ordinary at first – the plain dashboard is to blame – but soon enough you’ll realise this space has a premium air about it. There’s a generous use of soft-touch materials, bits like the chunky steering feel properly expensive and even the leather seats with their contrast stitching look like they’ve been carefully crafted. Fit and finish, in general, is of a high order and most of what you touch feels built-to-last. And to our ears, the ‘clack’ from the military grade door locks is a fitting follow-up to the ‘thunk’ on door shut.

Given how well finished and upmarket the front seats look, you half expect them to come with power adjust. They don’t. Still, it’s easy to find a comfy driving position, the large seats are well cushioned and supportive, and what you also get is a fairly good view of the world outside. However, the thick A-pillar can be obtrusive at crossroads. Sitting pretty in the driver’s field of vision are the Compass’ stylish hooded instruments. The data-rich multi-information display shows everything from odo, trip and fuel economy readings to oil temperature, coolant temperature and battery voltage.For more information on Jeep Compass  check Ogequipment

What is an eyesore, though, are the blanked-out buttons on the steering wheel. On export versions, the buttons operate cruise control, a feature that’s frustratingly been left out for India. Another irritant is the position of the driver’s audio controls on the back of the steering spokes. The buttons are not only hidden from view, but are also small and fiddly, and easy to press inadvertently. All other controls fall easy to hand and even the 7.0-inch touchscreen, that does look lost amidst its gloss black plastic surround, is within easy reach. What is also a nice inclusion is the electronic parking brake that is standard across the Compass range.

At the back, space is reasonable but not abundant. There’s a good deal of legroom (a Tucson is roomier still), but headroom will be an issue for anyone taller than 6 ft and the cabin isn’t the most accommodating to sit three abreast in either. Rear passengers will also have to contend with an upright backrest and a slightly short squab. The fantastic seat cushioning does help the comfort factor and there’s a rear air con vent and USB port as well.

Each of the Compass’ doors houses a 0.5-litre bottle holder, there are two cupholders up front, two more built into the rear armrest and there’s also a usable bay under the front-centre armrest. A larger glovebox would have been welcome but the bigger need is for a dedicated bay for phones in the vicinity of the front USB, aux and 12V charging sockets.

The 438-litre boot has a wide opening and is big enough for two large suitcases. You can free up more room by folding the 60:40 split rear-seat backrests and you also have the option to adjust the boot floor height. You also get a full-size spare tyre (albeit on a steel rim) as standard that sits under the boot floor.

Jeep Compass Engine & Gearbox

The Jeep Compass petrol comes with a 1.4-litre Multiair engine that makes 163PS at 5,500rpm and generates 250Nm at 2,500 to 4,000 rpm. These numbers are lower than what you get in the 2.0-litre diesel that produces 173PS/250Nm. The Compass petrol comes with a 6-speed manual transmission as standard along with an optional 7-speed automatic. The petrol unit has a fairly audible note at idling speeds, that reminds me of the unit in the Abarth Punto. It is a free-revving unit but does feel sluggish at lower engine speeds. However, as its crosses 2,000rpm, the motor feels more confident and is in its true element in the mid-range section. Even the exhaust note gets a tad sportier in this range. On highways, the engine doesn’t take much effort to reach higher speeds and can effortlessly cruise at 100kmph at a lower 1,800rpm. The torque rating is lower than the diesel but feels as strong till the cut off at 6,500rpm. In our test, the Jeep Compass petrol managed to do a 0 to 100kmph run in 10.5s.

The seven-speed dual clutch transmission in the Jeep Compass is a decent unit. Had Jeep offered paddle shifters, the shift experience could have been better. The 7-speed unit is not very responsive at lower engine speeds, however the kick down at higher speeds is instantaneous. This, we believe, has been done to offer better fuel efficiency. The Compass petrol delivered 8.44kmpl in the city and 13.63km on the highways.

Jeep Compass Driving Dynamics

Unlike the diesel, the Jeep Compass is solely offered as a front-wheel drive SUV. And that is the reason there is a fair amount of torque steer which you would not detect in the all-wheel drive offering. The Compass comes equipped with MacPherson strut and independent multi-link suspension in the rear. The ride quality does feel stiff in the city but it gets better on highways with a more planted feel. Drive the Compass over undulations and bad sections, and that is where you experience the amazing suspension of this SUV. Even at higher speeds, the Compass holds on to the roads with great confidence and offers negligible body roll. This is also aided by all-disc brakes that can bring the Compass to a standstill, during an emergency situation, without any drama.

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 Hyderabad

Jeep Compass On Road Price is 20,11,186/- and Ex-showroom Price is 16,61,100/- in Hyderabad. Jeep Compass comes in 5 colours, namely Exotica Red,Hydro Blue,Vocal White,Brilliant Black,Minimal Grey. Jeep Compass comes with AWD with 1956 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 170 bhp@3750 rpm and Peak Torque 350 Nm@1750-2500 rpm DRIVE TRAIN AWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Jeep Compass comes with Manual Transmission with AWD .

Jeep Compass Final Word

We had high expectations for the Jeep Compass and are happy to report that it delivers the goods. If the attractive design and pricing are the hooks, the Compass’ tough build, high-quality cabin and genuinely good driving experience seal the deal. Importantly, the Compass feels like a true-blue Jeep. But it is not perfect. It’s not particularly spacious for its size, the engines can get noisy and it’s missing some features as well. The last bit should be a quick fix for Jeep and we don’t see too many people unhappy to pay more money for a feature-loaded Compass.

However, as with all models from FCA, our concerns go beyond the product. Fiat doesn’t have the best reputation in sales and aftersales, and there is some rub-off on Jeep too. Jeep is expanding its sales setup in India and is also offering a 2-year/unlimited km warranty to instil confidence in buyers, and we can only hope it delivers the right experience.For the moment, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. As things stand, apart from pointing Jeep in the right direction, this is the best SUV today for the money.

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