“Papa, this is a road trip car!” That was more than a couple of months ago when I had first driven our Compass home. But the moment the eldest of my little princesses uttered those words, the die was cast. Sooner or later the Compass would carry us on a road trip. Sooner or later turned out to be a little over two months. Now however, we’re past that milestone and the Jeep Compass has notched up its first, hopefully not the last, road trip for the family.
Before we start off on how the road trip went, it’s important to remember that we weren’t the first ones to get this Jeep Compass for a long term test. So by the time we got hold of this Limited 4×4 version, the odometer was already past the 17,000km mark. This is roughly a year and a half’s worth of running for an average Jeep owner. A year and a half’s worth of running in a vehicle that has just turned one in July! All my previous experience with vehicles manufactured by Fiat, whether branded Fiat or not and including my uncle’s old Uno, told me that the Jeep Compass should have degraded quite a bit over such usage. Yet, the Compass doesn’t feel like it has aged much. Sure, I won’t say it feels as good as new but it certainly feels much, much better than what I remember of other vehicles from the same plant.
On the trip itself, we were staring at a decent 550km round trip. Our destination? The Source at Sula, a premium resort within the vineyard of the same name. The occasion? The missus’ birthday. As you may well understand, nothing could be left to chance. So there was no question of travelling light. With the full family and all its paraphernalia arranged neatly around the Compass, I was rather skeptical about how much we would eventually be able to load into the Jeep. Twenty minutes after I started and with the littlest of manoeuvring, the 438-litre boot gobbled up everything. I kid you not, every single item we were carrying, all nine pieces of them! And, what’s more, there were little gaps still here and there for the wine bottles that we were planning to bring back. Now, if that isn’t impressive…
With the car brimming with people and half a tank of diesel, we set off from Pune. The moment we got to the highway however, I could hear my daughter’s words echoing inside my head. The Compass cruises comfortably at 120kmph and can continue to do so all day without breaking a sweat. At cruising speed, its highway composure is phenomenal. Undulations on the road, patchwork, ruts and even potholes are dealt with aplomb. The result is a cabin full of happy passengers who don’t think much of spontaneously karaoke-ing to Abba. Yes, we still love a good Abba number.
And going by what the trip computer was telling me, I should have been singing too for the fuel economy had just climbed past 19kmpl! That’s a helluva lot from a vehicle that tipped the scales at more than 1600 kilos anyway and then had been loaded to the limit of its payload. Well, that figure didn’t last forever but I was more than happy to settle for a more realistic 16.3kmpl overall by the end of the road trip. In fact, now that I’m done with the first of the road trips I can’t wait to sit and plan the next one.
There were however two niggles that troubled me. One was the screen switching itself off on a few occasions and the front power windows refusing to work on a particularly beautiful day when I wanted to go out for a nice spin with the missus in some lovely weather. Those two gremlins aside, can’t wait for the next road trip. The little princesses are going to be happy.
Date acquired: May 2018
Total mileage: 18,697km
Mileage for the month of September: 722km
Costs for the month of September: Rs 0
Overall kmpl: 16.3