OD SUV Slugfest: Jeep Compass
This is Jeep's most successful SUV in India till date and is helping to increase its reach and popularity.
Styling and street presence
The design is a blend of traditional SUV and more modern styling elements. The Compass smart, handsome and compact in size. With its harmonious proportions and striking Jeep grille and face, it has a considerable street presence too.
Seating and visibility
The Jeep Compass has possibly the thickest A-pillars in this contest and they obstruct the view around turns. But the low dash top ensures frontal visibility is clear. The wiper sweep area is fine but it does not cover some portion along the right edge of the windscreen and this also restricts vision. The doors open wide and ingress and egress is convenient and the height is also ideal.
The ground clearance is reasonable and the Compass has lockable all-wheel drive with a well-engineered terrain management system with 4 modes Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud. But this is just available in the diesel version and only with a manual transmission. Although it has hill-start assist to prevent rolling back on slopes, it does not come with hill-descent control.
The spare wheel is in the boot and easy to reach and the cargo room is decent with a wide loading area that makes for trouble-free stacking of stuff. It also has heavy duty rubber floor mat, but storage bins in the cabin are limited and door pockets are shallow.
Touring ability and performance
The diesel engine is peppy with a good low end and the touring range is about 950km. The braking is reassuring and the Compass is an excellent long distance companion with the Frequency Selective Damping (FSD) suspension providing a comfortable and composed ride. But the heavy clutch also has a long travel and such a sudden bite point, that if you don't push it down fully, it's easy to stall the Jeep Compass.
The Jeep Compass is fun to drive off-road with the steering and suspension setup being very good. The terrain management system works well, changing the throttle response, power delivery and gear shift points to suit the terrain and driving environment. Despite this, the power delivery could be much smoother and may have resulted in a faster time if the power did not come surging and rushing in all of a sudden past the 2,000 rpm mark.
Price: Rs 26.64 lakh (on-road, Mumbai)
Engine type: 2.0D/173PS/350Nm
Fuel Economy: 15.9kmpl
Fuel capacity & Range: 60l/950km
4WD lock: Yes
Diff Lock: No
Ground Clearance: 201mm
Dimensions (LWH) mm: 4,385 x 1,818 x 1,640
Weight: 1,641kg (kerb)
Off-Road Driving Modes: Yes
Headlight Washers: No
Boot Capacity: 438l
Starts Rs 15.35 Lakhs
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