Jeep was the first company in the world to design, engineer and build the first proper SUV. Known as the Willys Station Wagon, this great, great, great granddaddy of the modern SUV first went on sale in 1946. And it wasn’t just any old off-roader; it was the real deal, with almost every essential SUV element present. It had an upright two-box shape, plenty of space in the cabin, a tough build and, of course, a proper four-wheel-drive system that allowed it to clamber over obstacles with ease.Fast forward 70-odd years and it’s precisely these genes and strands of DNA that have given the new Compass an unassailable edge. We’ve only just driven out of the plant in Ranjangaon, near Pune, but the Compass has already made such a strong first impression that we’re scratching our heads. Is it really that good? Check Ex Showroom Price of Compass
The Jeep Compass is an all-new product with styling cues derived from the Grand Cherokee. The front fascia is a reminiscent of Grand Cherokee’s design language, which flaunts Jeep’s traditional seven-slot grille, albeit with modern updates. There are trapezodial wheel arches, which once again provides a glimpse of the rich heritage of the company products since 1940. These elements reflect the true Jeep DNA in the SUV, while several other components in form of rear fog lamps, roof rails, bi-xenon headlamps, dual-tone roof, LED tail lamps etc. give it a suave and urbane appearance. The Compass SUV is available in a total of five paint schemes: Vocal White, Hydro Blue, Minimal Grey, Exotica Red and Brilliant Black.
The Jeep Compass India gets dual tone interiors with black and sky grey colours. The instrument panel design is neat and it does stand out. There is a three-spoke steering wheel with controls, a twin dial instrument cluster with driver information system. Fiat was the first brand in its segment to offer driver information system in the Linea and even the Punto. Jeep is also setting new standards.
Jeep Compass – Rear Seats (2)The centre console has a 7-inch touchscreen system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Then there is the climate control followed by the off-road hardware. Controls to move into different modes. Then there is the electronic parking brake, which can be seen on all the models. The space on offer is good enough. The front seats offer very good bolstering and are comfortable. There is more than sufficient head room and knee room for tall persons too.
Jeep Compass Rear MotionSlide into the rear seats and you won’t be disappointed either. There is more than sufficient space for tall occupants even at the rear. The boot size is also large enough making it more than sufficient in size to carry luggage for an entire weekend. Whats more the seats fold 60:40 making it a lot more flexible too. In terms of safety, two airbags and ABS will be offered as a standard feature.
The good thing is that the Jeep Compass SUV is offered with both petrol and diesel engine options. The petrol unit will be powered by 1.4 FIRE MultiAir petrol engines which are expected to produce around 160+ Hp of peak power and 250 Nm of torque.. The diesel unit, on the other hand, gets the 2.0-litre MultiJet unit which will provide 170 Hp+ of peak power and about 350 NM of torque. The following drivetrains will be paired either to a 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Both the petrol as well as the diesel drivetrain is offered with both 2X2 as well as 4X4 wheel drive options. The Jeep’s dedicated four-wheel-drive system and also select terrain technology will also be present even in their entry level product for the Indian market which means the Jeep has shared its offroading DNA with the Compass as well. Besides all these offroading hardware the Compass will also get a differential locking system as well on the top end variant. The lower trims, on the other hand, will be offered with a two-wheel drive option.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
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.
SAFETY FEATURES ;
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.
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