The Jeep we’d all been waiting for came, saw and has seemingly conquered. Time to see if the Compass is as good as it’s made out to be.
Jeep’s re-entry into India didn’t begin on the right foot. The launch of the iconic SUV brand was put on hold for a year by parent Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), thanks to a weakening rupee which threw Jeep’s cost structure out of the window. And when Jeep finally did decide to take the plunge, it found few takers for the fully imported Grand Cherokee and Wrangler that were simply priced out of contention. But matters are very different today. There’s a massive buzz at Jeep dealerships and it’s all thanks to the Compass. The Compass may be a small SUV in Jeep’s line-up but it’s a model with big sales potential. In fact, bookings crossed the 12,000 mark in four months since its launch, making it the most successful model from FCA in India in years.
India also happens to be the mother plant for right-hand-drive Compasses and FCA has spent big (Rs 1,800 crore) to modernise its Ranjangaon facility to manufacture the SUV to the highest international standards. The benefit of local manufacture and component sourcing to you, the buyer, is keen pricing. The Compass range that comprises a petrol manual, a petrol auto, a diesel 4x2 manual and a diesel 4x4 manual starts at Rs 15.16 lakh and tops off at Rs 21.37 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
So, it’s got the right price. It’s got the right shape. But why else should the Compass interest you? A detailed road test of the petrol auto and the range-topping 4x4 diesel should give the answer.