The Jeep Compass has been a much talked about SUV in India. So much so that we wanted to live with this American SUV to understand a typical owner experience. And we didn’t limit ourselves to the confinements of Delhi NCR. 33 days and 2900 km are good enough figures and the Compass ended up taking us to places like Jaipur and Corbett. So, what do we think about the Compass. Just another over-hyped product or does it really make sense?
I will not talk about the design factor much – this is a subjective area. And though I wished we had been given one in red, this ‘minimal grey’ color option grew on us. The Compass did turn heads in my living area and quite a few colleagues didn’t mind waiting patiently for a quick drive at the end of the office day. The L shaped LED pilot lamps look great but these aren’t DRLs – a bit of a disappointment and as I found out multiple times, when you switch off the car and walk away, these remain ON and there is no warning either from the car. Did end up draining a lot of battery, I think.
I will, however, talk a lot about the cabin. Agreed it doesn’t offer the bling factor of the Tucson but the interiors are well-built with a solid feel. The touch and feel is nice and there is a whole lot of premium-ness about how the cabin makes you feel. The Compass is an ergonomic dream for drivers – everything falls into your hands so well and this can be a boon for long city usage. The dead pedal is generous, the arm rest slides to and fro by a good margin and the seats take good care of your backside. That said, when I am paying over 20 big ones, I do expect an auto-dimming day-and-night mirror and a place to keep my expensive shades somewhere.
Space is never a problem in the Compass. It’s a proper 5-seater with generous numbers for leg room, shoulder space and headroom. You can easily have two 6-feet tall people sit back-to-back, and the rear occupants are taken care of well. This includes the arm rest with cup holders, a charging point and big windows. However, the ride does feel a bit firm and this can spill your drinks on the move. Err.
One of the highlights is the 170 bhp+ diesel motor that is so addictive. I personally drive a XUV500 with a 2.2-litre 140 bhp engine so you have an idea where I come from. The Compass simply loves to be driven fast (given the roads) and it rewards you so well. This includes the tank like feel and excellent handling, both on open roads and twisty mountain stretches. The shortcomings? A hint of turbo lag and that heavy clutch. No, the diesel does not come with an automatic, but just yet.
There is more to talk here but I will now let the video do the talking – do watch it completely to see how we managed to get over 31 kmpl from the Compass and also have our share of fun off the road. Enjoy the video.