Jeep Compass Facelift Review & Test Drive

Jeep Compass Overview

Admittedly from a very low base, Jeep’s presence in Europe is multiplying. Momentum is building because it’s making cars that suit European conditions. The Renegade was the first of them. Now the Compass, which has the potential to do better again, as it’s aiming at the biggest-selling part of the SUV market. It’s the size of a Qashqai or Tiguan or Kuga or Sportage.Or, if you like, the Land Rover Freelander, but oddly Britain’s best-known SUV maker has now absented itself from Britain’s biggest-selling off-road segment and has nothing smaller than the Discovery Sport.Anyway, Jeep’s been in the 4×4 game longer than any, and finally has a comprehensive and coherent range: Renegade (4.2m long), Compass (4.4m), Cherokee (4.6m) and Grand Cherokee (have a wild guess… alright, 4.8m). Plus, for nutty off-road wrangling, the Wrangler. Book a test drive for Compass in Tryaldrive

Check for Jeep Compass On Road Price in New Delhi

Jeep Compass Design & Style

The first-generation Compass has never been a good-looking crossover, especially before its facelift in 2011. Now, however, Jeep designers have given the compact crossover the family genes, with a Grand Cherokee-like front end, a Renegade-like D-pillar, and Cherokee-like wheel arches, complete with black molding to protect the paint from flying rocks off the tires. The Jeep’s look is very much matured for the second generation.

Getting down to the details, the front end wears a familiar face with a steeply racked lower fascia that helps with off-road approaches. The Trailhawk model gets the trim-specific red tow hooks down low, while those jeep’s with adaptive cruise control have a radar “eye” mounted next to the right tow hook. HID projector beam headlights, LED daytime running lights, and lower fog lights help eliminate darkness during a late-night trail ride. The Trailhawk also gets specific wheels wrapped in semi-aggressive all-terrain tires.

This “Trail Rated” trim also gets a unique lower fascia that vastly improves the approach angle to 30 degrees. The Trailhawk also boasts an inch taller ground clearance, which boosts its breakover angle to 24 degrees and the departure angle to 34 degrees. Impressively, the Compass Trailhawk can ford 19 inches of water. Underbody skid plates are added for protection as well.All Compass models feature a blacked-out roof with black A-, B-, and C-pillars. The thick D-pillar is painted to match the body and likely creates a hefty blind spot. Thankfully blind spot monitoring will undoubtedly be available, if not standard equipment.

Jeep Compass Cabin & Comfort

Like the exterior, the Compass’s dash design and layout is similar to the Grand Cherokee. The seven inch touchscreen dominates proceedings, which sports a high-res display. Overall the dash design is a good mix of old-school and modern themes. First impression of quality is good and all the touch points, like the hand rests, upper door pad portion, steering wheel and dash-top is either draped in leather or soft-touch plastics. Even the aluminum gear knob is of high quality and adds a sporty touch. But it’s in detail where the Compass disappoints. Although you get soft-touch dash-top, the graining could have been better. The gloss-black panel which surrounds the infotainment system is a fingerprint magnet, the stalks aren’t of the highest quality and lower-down the Air-con switches and music system controls look and feel cheap.

Front seat comfort though is first rate and the well-contoured buckets are a nice place to be in. Visibility up-front is decent too and the high seating ensures a commanding view. The rear bench is comfy with an ideal backrest angle and good lateral support. We wish it had better under thigh support though, but on the flip side you have lots of space to slide your feet under the front seats, which somewhat overcomes this deficiency. The rear seat has more than enough width and knee room but the high-window-line and the big front seats mean the rear doesn’t feel too airy.

The boot at 438 litres is smaller than the competition and the high bay makes loading heavy luggage difficult too. We also wish there were more storage spaces inside the cabin. Upfront you get two cup holders and bottle holders but the door pockets are too small and the glove box too is shallow. In terms of equipment, the Compass is a bit of mixed-bag. You get essential things like a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, dual-zone climate control, six airbags(lower variants will get four airbags), ESP and ABS. But you miss out on things like powered driver seat, sunroof and powered tailgate which its rivals offer.

Jeep Compass Engine & Gearbox

The 2017 Jeep Compass might be all-new, but its powertrain is familiar. Thankfully familiar doesn’t mean carryover, as the 2.4-liter Tigershark four-cylinder turbo enjoys a nice upgrade. The engine now features FCA’s MultiAir2 valvetrain technology with four valves per cylinder operated by an electro-hydraulically controlled variable valve timing system. The result is eight more horsepower and 10 more pound-feet of torque than before, totaling 180 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque.

Three transmission choices are available. The Compass comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission. It can be paired with either FWD or 4WD drivetrain systems. The manual has a 6.68 ratio spread and a 4.438 final-drive ratio. A low 18.4:1 first gear is designed to help with fast acceleration and good low-speed torque delivery. Next, a six-speed Aisin automatic is optional for FWD models. It has a 6.635 ratio spread and a 3.502 final-drive ratio. On higher trim levels, FCA’s nine-speed automatic transmission can be had on 4WD models. The EPA has rated this 4WD version with the nine-speed automatic at 22 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined. Future testing will likely soon announced fuel economy estimates of the FWD versions with both six-speed gearbox options.

Speaking of 4WD systems, the Compass has two available: Active Drive and Active Drive Low. Most Compass models with 4WD will come with the Active Drive system. It’s a full-time 4WD system and delivers torque to the front wheels until slippage is detected. Power is then routed rearwards for additional traction. It can also deliver up to 100 percent of the engine’s power to a single wheel, should it be the only wheel with traction. All this takes place without the driver having to do anything.The system does allow the driver to select one of four driving modes thanks to Jeep’s Selec-Terrain system. They include Auto, Snow, Sand, and Mud. The driver can also lock the center differential, splitting the torque equally between the front and rear axles. This is ideal for severe weather conditions or slick terrain like a dirt or muddy road.

Jeep Compass Ride & Handling

The highlight of the Compass though is its ride and handling package. It is suspended via an all-independent setup and the dampers it uses are quite high tech too. The Compass’s shock absorbers uses Koni’s FSD(frequency selective damping) technology where an in-built valve filter out both high and low frequency shocks depending on the driving conditions. For example when this Koni damper experiences cornering and heavy braking forces, the valve, doesn’t allow oil-flow for stiffer damping, to reduce body roll or nose dive.

On the flip-side, when exposed to rough roads, the valve opens to soften the damping, giving the car suppleness. This technology isn’t as high-tech as magneto damper’s but this tech is cost effective and has done wonders to the way the Compass drives. At low or high speeds, the Compass always feels supple and it retains remarkable composure over worst of roads. The ride is quite flat too and except getting caught-out by sudden sharp bumps there is not much to complain. Its handling is pretty good too, but it lacks the VW Tiguan’s finesse, which we recently drove. Quick change of direction is where the Compass struggles as it feels heavy, steering feels inert and it lacks VW’s fluidity. Yet it always feels safe and predictable and the compact dimensions make it easy to drive on narrowest of roads. The brakes though are disappointing as the pedal feels wooden and a sharper bite would have made it feel much better.

Jeep Compass Safety & Security

The Jeep Compass gets disc brakes at front as well as rear. The SUV comes with as many as 50 safety and security features in form of Four-channel Anti-lock Brakes, full-function Traction Control, Electronic Stability Control, Panic Brake Assist, Hydraulic Boost Failure Compensation, Electronic Roll Mitigation etc. Additionally, the company has incorporated 6 Airbags (side curtains for front and rear-passengers), Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) and Reverse Parking Camera to further strengthen the safety of the occupants.

Jeep Compass Cost in Mumbai

Jeep Compass Ex-Showroom Price in Mumbai ranges from 15,08,080/- (Compass Sport 1.4 Multi AIR Petrol) to 21,29,708/- (Compass Limited 4X4 O 2.0 Diesel). Get best offers for Jeep Compass from Jeep Dealers in Mumbai. Check for Compass price in Mumbai at Carzprice

Jeep Compass Conclusion

The Compass is more of an SUV than a soft-roader. And it’s closer to European tastes than stereotype American ones. It’s got diesels, it’s space-efficient, it’s reasonably well-finished, it goes around corners. People will buy it for the Jeep name, even if this Jeep’s substance doesn’t have the all-American feel that say a Ford Mustang does. But at the same time it’ll benefit from Jeep’s American branding of freedom and ruggedness.Trouble is, in pitching for Europe its dynamics are patchy. The noisy powertrains and hard low-speed ride drag it down.But the off-road ability, good infotainment and strong exterior looks will pull it back up for enough people to assure Jeep’s sales growth plans.

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