Jeep Compass, which is the most affordable product from the American brand in India has become quite popular. The monthly sales figure of the Jeep Compass has settled down at around 1,200 units on an average, and it is currently the best-selling vehicle of FCA in India. The Jeep Compass is available in both 4X2 and 4X4 options, but a significant portion of the sales is contributed by the 4X2 variants. Being a proper SUV, the customers of Jeep Compass see it as an off-roading vehicle. However, can a 4X2 Jeep Compass climb down the stairs? Here’s a video that shows just that.
Jeep Compass Sport coming down the stairs
The vehicle shown in the video is the Jeep Compass Sport variant, which is the entry-level version of the SUV and is only available in 4X2 set-up. The video tries to show the capability of the Jeep Compass by making it go down the stairs, which is used by customers for entering the Jeep dealership.
The Jeep Compass can be seen taking the stairs cautiously. The driver first puts the right-hand side tyre first and then steers the vehicle to slowly climb down the stairs at an angle. This ensures that the car utilises its ground clearance completely and one of the tyres from the front and rear axle stays on the ground. This method ensures maximum stability.
The Jeep Compass comes down the stairs without much of a problem and without the underbody getting scratched by the surfaces. The Jeep Compass gets a ground clearance of the 205mm, which is quite high. Even though there were only a few stairs, they were quite steep and could have gone wrong. Yes, any SUV with ample ground clearance would be able to climb down any stairs. However, there are a few dangers that everyone doing such kind of a challenge should keep in mind.
How is this dangerous?
This looks pretty simple and doable in the video, but things could have gone horribly wrong for the car. The Jeep Compass gets Independent Front Suspension (IFS), which can move independently without affecting the other wheel on the axle. Such suspension ensures that they keep the vehicle stable on the road and also increases the comfort. However, all the IFS have maximum travel and it cannot be stressed much beyond that. Stressing the IFS beyond a point can damage the suspension system. If the vehicle is turned too much while coming down the stairs, the IFS can just snap and breakdown. The CV joints are quite prone to snapping in the IFS vehicle if the vehicle is steered too much while coming down.
Also, a lot depending on the speed of the vehicle. If the car is at higher speed and the driver is not gentle while bringing the vehicle down, the jerks can damage the vehicle’s steering system and other vital components. Also, if the vehicle’s break over angle vehicle is low, the underbody can get damaged, and a hit from the stairs can also damage the transmission of the car. Breakover angle of a vehicle depends on the ground clearance and the wheelbase of the vehicle. Also, if the departure angle of a vehicle which is climbing down the stairs and a the approach angle of a vehicle, which is climbing up the stairs is low, the bumpers can get damaged.
So you should not do it?
This is not as simple as it looks like. Only professionals, who have done a good amount of off-roading in the past and someone who understands the vehicle should do such stunts. Such challenges where the immediate terrain is not visible to the driver should always be done with a spotter who can guide the driver to take the best route while doing a challenge.