Jeep Compass 2017 – Test Drive Experience (Not the review!)

We all are familiar with the name ‘JEEP’, the army-green colored macho metal machine with wide tyres and round headlights. Jeep is a brand of American automobiles that is a division of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US LLC. Did you know that the car brand FIAT has a full form? Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino which means Italian Automobile Factory of Turin. Interesting, right!

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Coming back to Jeep, first generation Compass was introduced in 2007 in United States of America and ten years later here comes the second generation.

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Apart from Mexico, Brazil and China, it will also be manufactured and assembled at Ranjangaon, a village located at a distance of about 50 km from Pune, India, which makes it a ‘Make in India’ product. It is Jeep’s first model to be assembled in India. The India-spec model is available with two engine options – a 1.4-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged MultiAir petrol (belts out 162 PS with a torque measure of 250Nm) and a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged MultiJet II diesel engine (drives a force of 173 PS, putting out a torque of 350Nm).

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To know more about the specifications of Jeep Compass, please visit their official website http://www.jeep-india.com/compass/

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The Jeep is now available for a test drive and I got my hands on the wheels at their Lucknow (Sector CS, Chandralok) outlet. The moment I laid my eyes on the Jeep Compass, I knew this car has a charm. The exterior has an elegant touch and is indeed a beauty! You can clearly see the DNA coming from its elder sibling – the Grand Cherokee. The Compass comes in three models (and Optionals) – Sport, Longitude and Limited (4×4 and 4×2). Here’s something you need to know about each model:

Sport: The sport model comes in an all-black interiors with no LED DRLs and halogen headlamps. It does not have alloy wheels but some brilliant mind at their design center painted the wheels blacks that gives a perception of alloy wheels, Kudos on that!!!

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Longitude: DRL in the front (no LED tail lamps) with halogens lights (not the projector ones, those comes in the Optional model!). You will definitely get the luxuriousness of not twisting your wrist to get the elegant beast started, yes you guessed it right, push start-stop button!

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Limited: My favourite. It has everything the company needs to compete with the German beauties. No HIDs (High Intensity Discharge, or as humans say ‘White Lights’) though. HIDs are available in the Limited Optional model. From seats wrapped in McKinley leather to the LED tail lamps, everything exudes opulence and modernity. Diesel Limited is driven by Fiat’s 2.0 Multijet II turbo engine.

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Let me now share the driving experience.

As I sat on the rear seat while my brother took the first turn, I felt at ease. The seats were really comfortable with ample amount of thigh support. Headroom was more than sufficient (my height: 5’8’’). From the nearest crossroad, I took over the wheels. I checked the side and center mirrors, adjusted the driver seat’s height and distance (manual system), pulled the e-handbrake switch, pushed my left foot into the soft clutch paddles and got the SUV in its first gear. The very moment I released the clutch, I knew Compass passed the test. With no/negligible turbo lag, great acceleration and light yet responsive handling, Compass was completely under my control. It didn’t feel like SUV, it felt as though I was taking a ride in a premium sedan. Nothing like a bulky SUV. For a price tag of 21 Lakhs (Limited, Diesel), it felt worth every penny at the moment. I was really impressed. The indicator control is to the left of the steering wheel. Music system is amazing too with tweeters on the dash board doing the magic and giving us that surround sound like premium experience (fancy huh?). The dashboard has soft premium plastic and the steering controls are really easy to operate. The doors are super heavy, I am pretty sure old people would need certain assistance from someone muscular around them to open the doors, well Compass is keeping chivalry alive! Also, it drips quality everywhere you see. The front engine area is covered underneath with a metal sheet to prevent any water/mouse from getting in.

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The Good: Smooth handling, easy to drive in a city, good music system, premium feel, comparatively low price.

The Bad: It isn’t the best looking SUV in the market and Mahindra’s TUV and KUV certainly resembles a lot like Compass because of the front grille and that dual tone color scheme. Compass offers an off white color which is definitely not right, just NOT RIGHT! (Sad, considering people in India now prefer white over other colors).

If you are planning to buy a SUV, Compass 4×4 and 4×2 should definitely be in your radar along with the likes of Hyundai Creta, Innova Crysta (MUV), Tata Hexa and Mahindra XUV.

Till next time!!!

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