First Drive

2017 Jeep Compass review, test drive

The locally manufactured Compass is coming soon. We find out if it lives up to the hype.

DETAILS
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photos

What is it?

Jeep was the first company in the world to design, engineer and build the first proper SUV. Known as the Willys Station Wagon, this great, great, great granddaddy of the modern SUV first went on sale in 1946. And it wasn't just any old off-roader; it was the real deal, with almost every essential SUV element present. It had an upright two-box shape, plenty of space in the cabin, a tough build and, of course, a proper four-wheel-drive system that allowed it to clamber over obstacles with ease.

Fast forward 70-odd years and it's precisely these genes and strands of DNA that have given the new Compass an unassailable edge. We've only just driven out of the plant in Ranjangaon, near Pune, but the Compass has already made such a strong first impression that we're scratching our heads. Is it really that good?

Our test car was finished in silver, and while it isn't its most fetching colour, it does allow the lines to come shining through: the well-defined shoulder line, the sharp lines on the bonnet and those typically square and tough-looking wheel arches. The focus, of course, is that seven-slot grille and those slightly sunken headlights. And yes, it does look like a baby Grand Cherokee – the handsome lines and a square jaw easy to appreciate. But there is a hint of ungainliness from certain angles due to the flat bonnet and long cabin, and bigger wheels would have helped the aesthetic. Still, there are some extremely well-executed details, like the shark fin-like D-pillar and the manner in which the roof drops towards the rear in an almost Range Rover Evoque-like manner.

Fact File

Price Range (in lakhs)*

Ex-showroom price (Delhi) Rs 18-25 lakh (estimated)

Engine

Fuel Diesel
Type 4 cyls, 1956cc, turbo-diesel
Power 170hp at 3750rpm
Torque 350Nm at 1750-2500rpm

Transmission

Gearbox 6-speed manual

Dimensions

Length 4395mm
Width 1818mm
Height 1640mm
Wheel base 2636mm
Boot volume 408-1191 litres

Chassis & Body

Weight 1717kg (extimated)
Tyres 225/60 R17

Economy

Tank size 60 litres

About the author...

Shapur Kotwal

Deputy editor at Autocar India.

Shapur is at the forefront of the magazine's extensive road testing activities and oversees the test instrumentation and data acquisition. Shapur has possibly the most experience among all road testers in the country.

Recent articles by Shapur:
See more about:  jeep compass review
comments powered by Disqus

notSet

Descending roofline in black looks sleek. Ground clearance is plentiful.
Performance from the 170hp diesel is strong, but it feels a bit strained at high engine speeds.
The cabin has a quality vibe to it, especially the leather-covered bits and soft-feel plastics.
No powered seats, but front chairs very supportive and good even for large frames.
Rear seat very comfy, offers plenty of thigh support and cushioning is super.
The steering is super accurate and joy to use.
6-speed manual light and slick to use.
Select Terrain system workable via dial.
Apple CarPlay improves functionality.
408-litre boot is wide and deep and you get a full-size spare under the floor.
Seven-slot grille is a dummy, real air inlet is below.
Part-time four-wheel-drive system can be locked.
All-terrain Firestones a first for India.
Door locks close with a solid ‘clack’.
Fiat’s 2.0 Multijet diesel makes its India debut here.
Capless diesel nozzle could be confusing at pumps.
Jeep totems and logos all over the SUV.
We’ve exclusively driven the third-gen Maruti Swift, compared the Dzire with all its compact sedan rivals, and tested the all-new Volvo XC60. That and lots more in the July 2017 issue!
What's in this issue?

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Autocar Magazine

Issue: 215 | Autocar India: July 2017

We’ve exclusively driven the third-gen Maruti Swift, compared the Dzire with all its compact sedan rivals, and tested the all-new Volvo XC60. That and lots more in the July 2017 issue!
Autocar Magazine
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