The Jeep Compass is entirely made in India with a high percentage of localisation. The American carmaker is also exporting the SUV to all the right-hand drive car markets from India. FCA initially launched their premium products including the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Wrangler for brand building in India. They expect the Compass to churn out high volumes in the market giving a tough fight to the SUVs of its segment. With a desirable package of styling, features and strong performance, the Jeep Compass is already a success in the Indian market, writes Indian automobile website MotorBeam.com.
The Compass looks like a mini Grand Cherokee when you look at it for the first time. The front profile of the Compass is quite striking having the signature 7-slat Jeep grille. Some highlights include massive wheel arches, clean character lines, chrome strip across the body and shark fin design on the C-pillar. It comes with projector headlamps, LED DRLs and LED tail-lights. It also comes with optional black contrast roof.
The American SUV comes with a simple yet functional dashboard having a dual tone treatment. There is a neatly integrated touchscreen infotainment system but the touch quality is just average. It offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and the sound quality is rich and satisfying. Some missing features include sunroof, electrically adjustable seats, auto headlamps, auto wipers, etc. It comes with a commanding driving position with a good view all around. Quality, fit and finish is nice and you can hardly find any cheap quality panels inside the cabin. Seats are very comfortable and supportive, there is ample legroom and headroom at the rear. The boot is also well spaced out and can accommodate a lot of luggage.
The Jeep Compass is available with both 1.4-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel engines. The 2.0-litre MultiJet diesel engine makes its debut in the Indian market with the launch of the Compass. Producing 173 PS of power and 350 Nm of twisting force, it is a cracker of an engine that loves to pull in the mid-range. There is lag under 2000 RPM post which you get fantastic acceleration but the top-end of this powerplant gets quite loud and coarse. It gets a 6-speed manual transmission which is quite precise and offers great feedback while the clutch is light, making it easy to drive in city conditions. You can expect a fuel efficiency of 12-14 km/l in real-world conditions.
Jeep is offering Frequency Selective Damping suspension in the Compass which is dynamically rich both on and off-road. The ride is fantastic, filtering out bumps and potholes very well. There is some body roll when you push around the bends but the steering feel is quite impressive. The AWD system comes with four modes - Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud. The power is front wheel biased and when it feels the need, the rear wheels come to action. The ground clearance is good but still, the front lip spoiler manages to touch the ground. The brakes are quite effective and offer strong stopping power.
FCA has made big efforts for getting the Jeep brand in India, setting up the Compass project for making India 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. The pricing is spot on and the Jeep Compass is one SUV which will pull people from both smaller and bigger SUVs as it offers the best of both worlds.