Words by Aninda Sardar
The brand new made-in-India mid-size SUV that we often saw doing test rounds around our office has finally been officially unveiled in India by Jeep. The iconic American SUV manufacturer today unveiled the Compass at its factory in Ranjangaon near Pune, Maharashtra, only a short eight months after the launch of the Wrangler, the Grand Cherokee and the iconic brand itself in Jodhpur.
Stabbing directly at the heart of the C segment, in Jeep’s own words, the Compass will be offered in India with two engine options – a 1.4-litre Multi-Air petrol engine with over 158bhp and 250Nm on tap and a 2-litre diesel engine with 168bhp and 350Nm. Each of these two engine variants will be offered with two transmission options, namely a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual dry clutch transmission or DDCT in Jeep-speak. Indian buyers will also be able to choose between a 4×2 or a 4×4 variant as well.
Following a design direction that merges the best of two iconic Jeep design philosophies, one seen in the Wrangler and the other in the Grand Cherokee, the Compass seeks to combine the robustness of the former with the elegance of the latter. The new Compass also boasts a long equipment list that includes multiple creature comforts and no less than 50 active and passive safety features that the company has said it will offer as standard fitment.
For those who opt for the 4×4 variant, they will get the benefit of Jeep’s Active Drive system that is equipped with Selec Terrain Traction Management system that intelligently deploys power and torque to the wheels, varying the distribution as required, for maximum traction on all sorts of surfaces and conditions. The 4×4 variant will also get the Driveline Disconnect Technology or DDT that will help reduce fuel consumption and improve on road performance when driving on tarmac.
The new Compass will be produced at Jeep’s manufacturing facility at Ranjangaon and local production of the vehicle will start from June onwards with exports from this factory happening only to the right hand drive international markets.
“The local production schedule of the Jeep Compass is firmly on track and we are all set to begin local production of the Jeep brand’s global SUV by June this year,” said Kevin Flynn, President and Managing Director, FCA India. “One of the important highlights of the Jeep Compass is that both the export as well as the India models will be identical in terms of build and quality,” he added.