2024 Jeep Compass review
It’s a shame that Jeep isn’t as well positioned in the Indian market despite the success they’ve found with the launch of the Compass in India. With time, the mid-size SUV segment moved more upmarket and the gap between the Compass and the likes of the Creta and Seltos reduced significantly. While capability of the Compass off the road has never been in question, paying a premium for a similarly sized SUV has over time seen buyers gravitate towards the lower segment. And that brings us to the car you see in these pictures.
Jeep India under new leadership of Aditya Jairaj has rejigged the portfolio to make the Compass more accessible across segments. Prices for the updated compass start from Rs 20.49 lakh, just Rs 50,000 more than the top-spec Kia Seltos, and the 4x2 AT variant that was launched last week starts at Rs 23.99 lakh. Jeep says that across its variants, the Compass is 10 percent more affordable and the AT range is now offered at a 20 percent lower price point than before.That is a significantly more attainable price point compared to Rs 29.84 lakh for the Limited variant AT that you could buy before.
The big change to make the Compass more affordable is the deletion of the 4WD hardware in this new variant. The 9-speed AT gearbox with a 4x2 has been developed purely for the Indian market and isn’t going to be available elsewhere for now. And because the 4x2 will be primarily driven on road, the suspension has been tweaked for better on-road dynamics and ride.
We briefly drove the Compass on roads outside the Jeep factory in Ranjangaon so I shall reserve my opinions for a full review when we call the car back for a proper test but over those 15 minutes around the connecting roads of the industrial estate, the body composure on broken patches and the strength in the brakes impressed a great deal. That 2-litre diesel engine can get quite noisy in the cabin but run through the nine gears at low RPMs and you won’t be that bothered. The 168bhp and 350Nm of torque are enough to maintain good speed once you build momentum however the 0-100kmph sprint is a fairly sedate 9.8 seconds. For reference, the Seltos turbo petrol does it in just 8.9 seconds. That’s down to the shorter ratios of the gearbox, with the first gear working as a low ratio. This helps the Compass work its magic on a trail. The lower gears allow the Compass to take on steep inclines and off-road obstacles that would not be possible in other front wheel drive SUVs.
The Compass now gets wireless charging in the 4x2 AT and a panoramic sunroof is added to the features list as well. That said, on the equipment front, the mid-size SUV segment has stepped up the game so much that you will feel a bit shortchanged. Look beyond it and the solid build and tough character of the Compass is hard to match. For more presence, you could also opt for the Black Shark edition Compass. It receives the black treatment inside-out with the right amount of red, like seat top stitching, a few splatters of red on the dashboard and the very cool Black Shark badge to make it stand out.
The highlight though is the revised pricing that gives the Compass better segment coverage. It shows more effort from Jeep India in understanding the Indian market now, which comes at a slight dilution of the Jeep brand, but hey, its horses for courses.