2018 Jeep Compass Review

The USA SUV maker, Jeep had launched the locally developed 2018 Jeep Compass SUV in the Indian market in July 2017. It is currently the most affordable Jeep model in the country. The SUV has been receiving an excellent response from car buyers. It currently commands a waiting period of around 3-5 months. The Compass is available in three trim levels – Sport, Longitude and Limited. It is being offered with two engines – a 1.4-litre Multi Air turbocharged petrol and a 2.0-litre Multijet II turbocharged oil burner.

Transmission options include standard 6-speed manual gearbox and an optional 7-speed DCT unit. The range-topping model is available with an optional 4×4 drivetrain with a Select-Terrain system that offers four driving modes – Auto, Snow, Mud and Sand. FCA claims that the Jeep Compass is equipped with 50 active and passive safety features, 30 premium features and 20 pioneering tech.

Exterior

The Compass is built on the new Small Wide platform that also underpins the global Fiat 500X crossover and India-bound Jeep Renegade. It takes plethora of design cues from Grand Cherokee. Up front, the SUV gets seven-slat chrome finished grille along with projector headlamps with integrated LED DRLs. The wide bumper, skid plates and mesh design for air-inlets inject aggression to the face. Sides of the SUV come equipped with square-like wheel arches wrapped with Grand Cherokee resembling alloy wheels. A prominent belt-line runs across the length of the SUV and meets with the taillamps. The chrome lining on the upper window frame extends to the rear windscreen. The plastic body cladding cannot be missed on the side which goes all the way to the back.

Interior

The cabin of the Compass SUV is wrapped in light grey and black dual tone colour scheme. The design of the dashboard is a bit dull and the hard-shiny plastic is a bit of a put off. It also gets piano black surrounds around the air con vents which are again not so classy. While the padded door pads and the leather wrapped steering wheel comes for the vehicle’s rescue. To carve more space on the inside, Jeep has modified the Renegade underpinnings. One must note that Compass is available in single 5-seat layout unlike rivals in the segment that offer space to accommodate two additional occupants. The seats are soft & comfortable, but they get light ‘Snow-white’ upholstery which seems a tad hard to maintain, considering the dust laden Indian roads.

In terms of comfort, the seats are snug, with comfortable leg room and shoulder space for the occupants. At the back, the bench offers good thigh support to the occupants. The entry level Sport & Longitude variants in the carline get a 5.0-inch infotainment U-Connect system, whereas the 7.0-inch system with smartphone connectivity features including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are offered from Longitude (O) onwards.

Comfort

While Compass offers comfortable seats with ample legroom and shoulder space, it gets plethora of comfort goodies including power operated and folding outside rear view mirrors, SelecTerrain 4WD system, keyless entry go with push start-stop, dual zone climate control etc. While it misses out on features such as cruise control, auto headlights and wipers, sunroof and auto-dimming mirror.

Safety & Braking

As mentioned in the beginning, the Compass SUV comes equipped with 50 active and passive safety & security features. The standard features on the line-up include dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, stability and traction control, four-wheel disc brakes and electric parking brake. In addition, it also come with rear parking sensors, rear camera and HID headlamps. One must note that the side & curtain airbags as well as rear camera are offered only on the Limited and Limited (O) variants.

Price Tag

Thanks to heavy localisation and lowered tax regime on larger cars and SUVs, Jeep has managed to price the Compass SUV aggressively in the market. The Jeep Compass prices start from Rs 15.16 lakh and goes up to Rs 19.67 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the fully-loaded top-spec petrol variant. Diesel power Compass on the flip side is priced between Rs 15.99 lakh and Rs 21.37 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).

Verdict

Aside from its rugged looks, feature packed cabin and comfortable interior, the Compass gets Jeep’s off-roading DNA. Where it scores well is the performance, something Jeep brand is globally known for. Jeep’s first made-in-India SUV with over 65% localisation, is likely to be priced competitively and this could very well work in its favour. Overall, Jeep Compass seems like a complete package with comfortable space inside and a raft of features.

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