Jeep officially entered India last year with the launch of the iconic Wrangler and the Grand Cherokee – the latter offered as a diesel and as high-performance Grand Cherokee SRT. Later in the year, the automaker revealed the all-new Jeep Compass, a mid-size SUV, along with its intention to bring it to India. Shown to the Indian media for the first time a few days ago, the India-spec Compass is expected to launch sometime in August this year, which is in close proximity to Jeep’s first anniversary here.
Here are the five things you should know about Jeep’s first locally-assembled SUV.
1) Design and platform
The Compass shares a lot of its design cues with the current range-topping Grand Cherokee. Common design cues include squared-off wheel arches, the seven-slat grille, projector headlamps with LED treatment, high ground clearance and big alloy wheels. The Compass is based on the same platform (small, wide 4x4) as the automaker’s entry-level SUV, the Renegade. The new Compass, however, features a longer wheelbase to improve cabin space.
2) Spacious and upmarket cabin
Inside, the new Compass will give the feel of a much larger SUV. The India-spec version will get plenty of metal brightwork, or bracketing, and features like Terrain Select dial, a full-colour 7.0-inch or smaller 3.5-inch driver information display and a large 8.4mm touchscreen. Higher trim models are also likely to get leather seats and dual-tone upholstery, apart from off-roading gear such as a terrain select system and locking differentials.
3) New diesel powerplant
The Compass will also feature a Fiat-sourced diesel engine but, unlike the current 1.3-litre and 1.6-litre units used by Indian automakers, the Compass will feature a new 2.0-litre Multijet II four-cylinder unit developing over 170hp. Also on offer will be a new 1.4-litre Multi-air turbo-petrol motor developing in the region of 160hp. The petrol engine will be offered with a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, while the diesel for now will be offered with only the former.
4) Off-road credentials
Jeep will differentiate itself from the crowd by retaining off-road skills that are so central to its brand. Top-of-the-line versions will come with a dedicated four-wheel-drive system and Jeep's Selec-Terrain Traction Management system that optimises the SUV for conditions like snow, sand, mud and rocks. More expensive versions will get a differential locking system that works by braking individual wheels. Jeep, however, will also offer a two-wheel-drive or front-wheel-drive version, so as to allow for a good spread. The automaker will also bring in the more off-road Trailhawk variant to India as well but only early next year.
5) Locally assembled
Unlike its earlier products launched here, the Compass will be both manufactured and exported from Fiat's Ranjangaon plant outside Pune and will feature an extremely high level of localisation. This allows Jeep to price its SUV competitively, somewhere in the region of Rs 18-25 lakh.
More on the Jeep Compass
India-spec Jeep Compass will also be exported
Jeep Renegade India bound
Jeep Compass image gallery
Send a message to Rayomand Buhariwalla
Issue: 213 | Autocar India: May 2017
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