With the kind of torrential rain Mumbai has been receiving, I was happy to have the Jeep Compass to deal with the mess that the city has become. Roads are washed out and dug up, and everything feels like the surface of the moon, but being in the Compass did help lessen the impact. It goes through rough patches in a firm yet supple manner, and the ride quality is so good that it makes it seem like the roads aren’t quite as bad as they look.
The incessant rain meant using the wipers constantly and I have a small complaint – the twist-type switch feels basic and like it belongs on a small car. Other than that, the interior really feels premium and so pleasing to be in, which is probably why the wiper switch stood out.
PLUG AND PLAY: USB port is easy to see and access.
Cutting through the perennial stream of traffic, I like the way the Compass offers me a commanding seating position and the proper feel of an SUV, but still feels compact enough when I want to tuck it into gaps.
At the end of the 50 minutes that it takes me to cover the 7km journey from the office to my home, my knee hurts. Yup, I know I am precariously close to knee replacement age, but it’s not that! The clutch of the Compass is heavy, especially when you have to modulate it in bumper-to-bumper traffic. It also releases quite late and then the car leaps off to a start; this takes some getting used to. At crawling speeds, the power delivery is a little jerky as well, so you have to perfect the art of measured throttle inputs and clutch modulation at those speeds. Speed up and the Compass is actually quite a dream to drive and its practicality is quite impressive. It feels strong and stable and offers me a nice burst of power every time I want to get moving urgently.
GETTING A BRAKE: Parking brake auto engages as soon as you switch off the car.
Knowing that the journey home takes time, the moment I get into the car I plug in my phone and either make calls or listen to music. Apple CarPlay ensures I get to do everything hands-free, also thanks to the handy steering-mounted button that activates Siri.
HEAVYWEIGHT Heavy clutch takes its toll in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Closer to home, there’s a junction I have to cross, and here I find that the thick A-pillar impedes my vision a little. However, the seat’s height-adjust allows me to sit quite high, giving me a better view out, so I am never really uncomfortable. The final run is up a steep slope, but before that, I have to stop at the local shop to pick up a few things, which brings to my notice a handy feature. The parking brake kicks in when I switch the car off, whether I use the button or not, and releases as I get going. The parking at home is quite a narrow space, between two cars, but the SUV fits in easily.
WHAT YOU DON’T SEE: Thick A-pillar creates a bit of a blind spot.
Considering the practicality, the premium feel, and the ease and comfort the diesel-manual Compass offered, I’m truly impressed.
2018 Jeep Compass long term review, first report