Is the all-new Jeep Compass going
to be the knight in shining armour for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles India? We checked
it out in the jungles of Goa to make up our mind.
2.0 litre Multijet II
171hp@3750 + or – 50 rpm
155mm (this is from the lowest point under the car as per the
new ARAI norms, calculated with laden weight including two passengers)
4395mm X 1818mm X 1640mm
438 litres / 770 litres with rear seats
Front Brakes &Rear Brakes
Kerb weight unladen/ laden
1641 kg / 2041 laden
Price (ex-showroom Delhi)
The Jeep Compass is being
offered in three variants – Sport, Latitude and Limited. The Jeep Compass comes
with two powertrain options, 1.4-litre Multi-air petrol and a 2-litre Multijet
II diesel engine. While the petrol model has an option of a 6-speed manual
transmission and a 7-speed Dual Dry Clutch Technology Automatic, the diesel
model is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission.
Interior trim levels, alloy
wheel designs and a few other features distinguish these different variants.
All variants have 60:40 split rear seats. Two front airbags and a reverse
camera with sensor are standard in all variants, along with safety features
like ABS, hill-start assist, ESP and electronic roll mitigation. We got to drive the diesel Jeep Compass
Limited 4X4 variant
The Jeep Compass looks like a
baby Grand Cherokee with its seven slot grille with chrome rings. If you see
its side profile, the silhouette reminds you of the Ranger Rover Evoque. The vehicle comes with Bi-Xenon headlamps, fog
lamps, DRLs and LED tail lamps. The square wheel arches, the ribbed roof in a
dark shade, different from the body colour, roof rails and an integrated rear
spoiler along with a high mounted stop light give the Jeep Compass a very sporty
look. Incidentally, the Jeep Compass is built on the same platform as the Jeep Renegade
but with a longer wheelbase. The vehicle sits on smart 225/60 R17 Firestone tyres
that are mounted on a five spoke alloy wheel with distinct double fins each. Overall,
the vehicle looks very boxy with strong attractive design lines. What it misses
is a sunroof and rain sensor wipers.
Step into the Jeep Compass
Limited 4X4 and you are pleasantly surprised by the ski-grey Mckinley leather
upholstery with ruby red stitching. That looks kind of cool. There is lot of
space inside, both for the driver and the rear passengers. Boot space is also
more than adequate which can be further increased by dropping down the rear
seats. The dual tone interior comes with a black front fascia which is quite
soft to feel. The centre console boasts of an Uconnect 7 inches touchscreen
with loads of piano black finish surrounding it. On either side of it are the
Just below that are the
Volume/Power knob and the radio tuner knob with Browse and scroll functions. The
infotainment system comes with six speakers and has Android Auto and Apple Car
play. There is also Bluetooth audio streaming. A ‘Screen Off’ button once pressed
blanks out the screen and by simply touching the screen you can bring it back
to life. The Mute button, the Hazard warning button and the Parking Off button
make up the rest of the functions in the space between these two knobs. Below
these are the AC controls with an “Off’ button to switch off your aircon. There
are also dual climate zones and a climate control.
On the floor console is a
large black knob that once touched, engages your 4X4 lock. By rotating it, you
can choose the different drive modes: Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud for driving on
different terrains. By its side are the USB slot and an Aux in outlet, besides
a 12V DC power outlet. The manual gear lever has a large silver colour knob
head for easy grip. An arm rest for the driver is also there with a bit of
storage space in it. The car has enough small cubby holes for you bottles and
other items. There is also a large glove box on the left.
The chunky steering wheel is
all leather wrapped, again with the red stitching. Though the seats are all
plush and comfortable there are no electric adjustments for any of them.
Controls on the steering wheel in the Limited variant are limited to the left side
for changing the driver information on the 3.5 inch graphic display, while the right
side has only blanks. Maybe in the future when this vehicle comes with an
automatic version, it may have the cruise control buttons on the right side of
the steering wheel.
Surprisingly, there are more
controls hidden behind the steering wheel on both the sides. The one on the
right controls the volume of the audio system while a tiny centre button is the
mute control. Behind the steering wheel on the left are the controls for
changing the radio stations and the centre button there helps change the modes.
The instrument cluster has a conventional tachometer and a speedometer.
With a manual transmission and
manual settings for your seats, I expected a manual lever for the hand brakes,
but the Jeep Compass comes with an Electric Brake Park. I felt this could have
been done away with for some further cost cutting.
The 2 litre diesel engine
produces 171 HP and 350 Nm of peak torque. With the Jeep Active Drive, the Jeep
Compass is an absolute thrill on all kinds of terrain because it’s here that it
comes out with flying colours, showing off its four-wheel drive capability. It
is equipped with Selec-Terrain Traction Management System. The SUV comes with a
Driveline Disconnect Technology (DDT) which essentially disconnects the drive
that goes to the rear wheels automatically when not required. This obviously helps
in fuel saving and assists safer driving.
This five-seater SUV also has Frequency
Selective Damping (FSD). This technology provides variable damping that adjusts
to road undulations. These shock absorbers use a special valve inside to enable
an optimal ride at both high and low frequencies.
On the off-road tracks we
drove into the thick jungles of Goa, a a few kilometres beyond the Natravali
Wildlife sanctuary. The Jeep Compass behaved like the Lord of the Jungles. It
simply went over all kinds of obstacles with immense ease. It was raining
heavily and the path in the jungle had turned to thick slush. I turned the drive mode to Mud and gently
stepped on the accelerator. The SUV meandered its way through the water soaked,
mud baked jungle path and refused to be bogged down by the steep inclines and
drops. I also got an opportunity to wade through a shallow stream. It was pure
A day earlier, I had driven the
Jeep Compass on both tarred roads and rocky paths when it was not raining. At
high speeds it held its weight so well and during braking, it stopped almost
instantly without a whimper. With minimal body roll and great stability, Jeep
Compass is an absolute delight when it comes to driving it. The vehicle behaves
so perfectly on and off the road.
The Jeep Compass has more than
50 safety and security features. These include Electronic Stability Control
(ESC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Dynamic Steering Torque (DST), Hill
Start Assist (HSA), Adaptive Brake Lights, Panic Brake Assist and several
others which come standard across the range. The Compass is equipped with six
airbags with dual stage passenger airbags.
The Jeep Compass Limited
variant is a handsome sporty looking vehicle that behaves impeccably on good
roads and when the roads break up into a treacherous off road path, it simply
begins to thrill you with its more than ordinary capabilities. It’s like having
the best of both the worlds.
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