Jeep Compass First Drive & Transmission

Jeep Compass Overview

For ardent fans of Jeep, the Compass is really good news with the prospect now of owning one of the brand’s vehicles at a more approachable price. The choice at the time of the brand’s entry was limited to the Jeep Wrangler and Grand Cherokee, both of which were imported as completely built units and priced way past their segment peers. FCA officials haven’t announced the price range for the locally produced Compass, but we expect it to be about ₹18 lakh to ₹25 lakh. With the local content at about 60-70 per cent at the time of launch and plans to export out of here to many right-hand drive markets, it looks promising from two perspectives – one that the Compass can be priced aggressively and two despite relatively low volumes it can still shore up FCA India’s bottomline. So is it the compact SUV you have been waiting for? Here is our first impression. View offers on Jeep Cars from Jeep dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop

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Jeep Compass Style

The first-generation Compass has never been a good-looking crossover, especially before its facelift in 2011. Now, however, Jeep designers have given the compact crossover the family genes, with a Grand Cherokee-like front end, a Renegade-like D-pillar, and Cherokee-like wheel arches, complete with black molding to protect the paint from flying rocks off the tires. The Jeep’s look is very much matured for the second generation.

Getting down to the details, the front end wears a familiar face with a steeply racked lower fascia that helps with off-road approaches. The Trailhawk model gets the trim-specific red tow hooks down low, while those jeep’s with adaptive cruise control have a radar “eye” mounted next to the right tow hook. HID projector beam headlights, LED daytime running lights, and lower fog lights help eliminate darkness during a late-night trail ride. The Trailhawk also gets specific wheels wrapped in semi-aggressive all-terrain tires.All Compass models feature a blacked-out roof with black A-, B-, and C-pillars. The thick D-pillar is painted to match the body and likely creates a hefty blind spot. Thankfully blind spot monitoring will undoubtedly be available, if not standard equipment. Sadly, the Compass does not feature a removable roof like the Renegade, electing only to have an optional panoramic moonroof.

Around back, the 2017 Compass features a rather attractive rump, with clear-lens taillights and a deeply scalloped tailgate. Chrome accent strips near the D-pillars flank a smallish rear window, while brightwork inside the taillights further add character. A satin-chrome accent panel looking like a skid plate rides under the rear bumper, along with twin exhaust pipes on the Limited trim. Other models made do with a more subtle single exhaust outlet under the bumper. A distinctive character line runs from above the front fender, through the door handles, into the rear lights and meets just under the Jeep logo, creating the lip above the license plate. All told, the second-generation Compass is a far more handsome vehicle than the crossover it replaces.

Jeep Compass Space

Like the exterior, the Compass’s dash design and layout is similar to the Grand Cherokee. The seven inch touchscreen dominates proceedings, which sports a high-res display. Overall the dash design is a good mix of old-school and modern themes. First impression of quality is good and all the touch points, like the hand rests, upper door pad portion, steering wheel and dash-top is either draped in leather or soft-touch plastics. Even the aluminum gear knob is of high quality and adds a sporty touch. But it’s in detail where the Compass disappoints. Although you get soft-touch dash-top, the graining could have been better. The gloss-black panel which surrounds the infotainment system is a fingerprint magnet, the stalks aren’t of the highest quality and lower-down the Air-con switches and music system controls look and feel cheap.

Front seat comfort though is first rate and the well-contoured buckets are a nice place to be in. Visibility up-front is decent too and the high seating ensures a commanding view. The rear bench is comfy with an ideal backrest angle and good lateral support. We wish it had better under thigh support though, but on the flip side you have lots of space to slide your feet under the front seats, which somewhat overcomes this deficiency. The rear seat has more than enough width and knee room but the high-window-line and the big front seats mean the rear doesn’t feel too airy.

The boot at 438 litres is smaller than the competition and the high bay makes loading heavy luggage difficult too. We also wish there were more storage spaces inside the cabin. Upfront you get two cup holders and bottle holders but the door pockets are too small and the glove box too is shallow. In terms of equipment, the Compass is a bit of mixed-bag. You get essential things like a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, dual-zone climate control, six airbags(lower variants will get four airbags), ESP and ABS. But you miss out on things like powered driver seat, sunroof and powered tailgate which its rivals offer.

Jeep Compass Engine

The Jeep Compass will first be offered with the 2.0L Multijet II diesel engine. This engine will be paired only with a six-speed manual transmission. But, FCA India plans to also offer the vehicle with a 1.4-litre Mair petrol engine about six weeks after the diesel version hits the showrooms. This petrol version will be offered with the option of the six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual dry clutch automatic transmission. Both the petrol and diesel versions are likely to be offered with three variants each – Sport, Latitude and Limited. We, however, got to experience only the diesel-manual top-trim (Limited) variant during our test drive.

The two-litre Fiat multijet engine is a good fit for the Compass in terms of its broad performance character. The engine produces a healthy 173 PS of peak power and 350 Nm of peak torque. The typical diesel clatter overpowers you outside, but in the cabin considerable work on the NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) parameters helps keep the noise levels down at slow speeds. However, after we pick up speed and the engine revs past the 3,200 rpm level there is a fairly loud engine boom that sets in. The powertrain doesn’t suffer from offering sufficient pulling power, though there is a bit of turbolag until the needle crosses the 1,700 rpm level.

Jeep Compass Driving

The highlight of the Compass though is its ride and handling package. It is suspended via an all-independent setup and the dampers it uses are quite high tech too. The Compass’s shock absorbers uses Koni’s FSD(frequency selective damping) technology where an in-built valve filter out both high and low frequency shocks depending on the driving conditions. For example when this Koni damper experiences cornering and heavy braking forces, the valve, doesn’t allow oil-flow for stiffer damping, to reduce body roll or nose dive.

On the flip-side, when exposed to rough roads, the valve opens to soften the damping, giving the car suppleness. This technology isn’t as high-tech as magneto damper’s but this tech is cost effective and has done wonders to the way the Compass drives. At low or high speeds, the Compass always feels supple and it retains remarkable composure over worst of roads. The ride is quite flat too and except getting caught-out by sudden sharp bumps there is not much to complain. Its handling is pretty good too, but it lacks the VW Tiguan’s finesse, which we recently drove. Quick change of direction is where the Compass struggles as it feels heavy, steering feels inert and it lacks VW’s fluidity. Yet it always feels safe and predictable and the compact dimensions make it easy to drive on narrowest of roads. The brakes though are disappointing as the pedal feels wooden and a sharper bite would have made it feel much better.

Jeep Compass Safety

The Jeep Compass gets disc brakes at front as well as rear. The SUV comes with as many as 50 safety and security features in form of Four-channel Anti-lock Brakes, full-function Traction Control, Electronic Stability Control, Panic Brake Assist, Hydraulic Boost Failure Compensation, Electronic Roll Mitigation etc. Additionally, the company has incorporated 6 Airbags (side curtains for front and rear-passengers), Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) and Reverse Parking Camera to further strengthen the safety of the occupants.

Jeep Compass Cost in Hyderabad

Jeep Compass Ex-Showroom Price in Hyderabad ranges from 15,12,221/- (Compass Sport 1.4 Multi AIR Petrol) to 21,34,798/- (Compass Limited 4X4 O 2.0 Diesel). Get best offers for Jeep Compass from Jeep Dealers in Hyderabad. Check for Compass price in Hyderabad at Carzprice

Jeep Compass Conclusion

The updates Jeep has brought to the Compass have done wonders to its appearance and we’re betting its performance and drivability will also boast remarkable improvements. The Compass’ new appearance is far more mature and handsome. Gone is its mismatched angles and oddly-shaped D-pillar – all replaced with a baby Grand Cherokee styling language that pushed the envelope for the segment. Inside, the story is the same thanks to a well-designed instrument panel that’s filled with the latest technology and convenience features. Top that off with an available Trailhawk trim package that pushes the Compass far past any of its competitors in terms of off-road performance.

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