The NamasteCar review:

Jeep Compass Model S 4×4

₹16,99,000 – 28,29,000

The perfect compact SUV for on-road and off-road.


WE LOVE: The new Compass still looks brilliant and has a sturdy build quality along with a premium feel. However, more than that the all new interior is stunning and it is now the most feature packed SUV in its class. On the other hand the Compass continues to feel solid and has a nice combination of ride and handling

WE DON’T LOVE: At near Rs. 30 lakh, the Compass is a lot more expensive now for the fully loaded top-variant plus we also wish that it got paddle shifters while the placement of steering controls behind the wheel itself is weird

1. Introduction

When first launched many years back, the Jeep Compass was a massive success and it immediately went on to steal the hearts of the Indian SUV buyers. There was a lot to like also with the styling and the price plus the positioning. It was above the Hyundai Creta but priced just a bit more to bring a premium quotient to it. It was initially launched with a manual while later we got more options including the more off-road focused Trailhawk version.

However since the launch of the Compass, the competition has moved on and with Kia coming in with the new Seltos and Hyundai launching the new generation Creta, the spotlight was taken away from the Compass. Jeep did launch a diesel automatic and BS6 also saw some much needed feature upgrades but till now the Compass was a bit lagging behind in terms of features or technology. Not any more though as Jeep is now back with a bang courtesy the new Compass facelift. This is not a facelift as much as a brand new car in many crucial areas with Jeep changing the exterior but more importantly also completely re-doing the interior design and putting in a lot of features. There are also variant changes and upgrades for which we would talk about below.

In total the new Jeep Compass line-up consists of 11 variants and 7 colours while the New Jeep Compass will also be available in three variants of the 80th Anniversary Limited Edition.

2. Looks from outside

The new Compass looks different but is also the same in many ways. There are many changes done to the design of the SUV especially at the front where you can see a new version of the seven slat grille being finished in a new grey colour. There is refreshingly no chrome on the grille or also used on the Jeep badge. It gives the Compass more presence no doubt. What is also new is the set of LED headlamps while you can also see a camera on the nose now.

Lower down, the new Compass also gets an updated new front bumper along with new fog lamps too. The updated new bumper looks good and gives the Compass a different look. Also new are the enhanced colour options on the car. There are in total seven colours while are available while three are new colours like Techno Metallic Green, Galaxy Blue and Bright White. There is also a new 80th Anniversary Edition which gets body painted front and rear fascia, sill moulding and fender flares, gloss black front grille, black dual-tone roof, black mirrors. Move to the rear and the changes are less but you do get new tail-lamps while the new alloys are a sporty touch. You will also see some nice and clever symbols of Jeep all over the car.

3. Driving feel

The Compass can be had either with a front wheel drive or a four wheel drive system. Engine options include  a 2.0-litre, 172 PS, 350 Nm, turbo-diesel (Multijet II) and the 1.4-litre 163 PS, 250 Nm, turbo-petrol (Multiair). The New Compass front wheel drive gets a choice of a 6-speed manual and 7-speed DDCT gearbox.

Higher up the range the Jeep Active Drive and Jeep SelecTerrain 4×4 system is available with the 2.0-litre turbo-diesel along with a 9-speed automatic transmission. You can buy it in three trims, Limited (O), Model ‘S’ and the 80th Anniversary Edition.

Driving experience

We drove the new Compass with the diesel engine along with the 4×4 system and the automatic gearbox. In terms of the driving experience the Compass feels the same and by that we mean it is still one of the best SUVs in terms of handling and ride quality. The engine is also nice with refinement being good enough along with a smooth gearbox. The automatic gearbox initially takes a bit of time but then later the shifts are smooth and faster with the speed building up. The Compass diesel can be driven hurriedly too and there, the engine has a strong power delivery with a good amount of torque helping you along the way. The Compass does not get paddle shifters but the once up-to speed the SUV is fast enough.

We would also like to say that the steering is brilliant as it is light at low speeds but builds up the steering weight and gives you confidence at high speeds. The other impressive bit is the tough suspension as it handles our bad roads with ease and the ride quality is lovely as it swallows and flattens the speed breakers or rough road surfaces. The Compass is one of those unique SUVs which has a lovely combination of ride and handling with a solid feeling when you drive it especially in terms of stability, build quality and the suspension.

Then there is the off-road capability which is an asset for the Compass since it is one of the only SUVs in its class to have 4×4 and also a system which adjusts the car according to the terrain like snow, mud or sand. The standard Compass does not have a low ratio gearbox like the Trailhawk but is still good off road and will be handy for snow or hilly conditions with decent angles for off-roading along with having the right size.

4. Interior features and feel

Compared to the exterior the interior is all new and actually it was that which needed to be changed. The old Compass interior had a small touch screen and lacked the features which the Creta and the Seltos has got but now all that is changed. The new Compass interior is easily the best in class and also being able to compete with the compact luxury SUVs price way above. The top end S model that we tested has the black coloured interior while a dual tone option is also there. Whichever the colour you choose, the new cabin looks brilliant and is like a luxury car. Everything is new including the touch screen, steering wheel and even a new digital instrument cluster. Jeep has also increased the storage and built in better ergonomics.

The materials used along with quality on offer is a lot better now and there is leather along with soft touch materials used. However your attention is taken up by the massive touch screen and the fully digital dials behind the steering wheel. The new Compass debuts the latest UConnect-5 infotainment system while the screen size is at 10.1-inch (8.4-inch in Sport) in Longitude, Limited (O) and Model ‘S’. The top-end Model ‘S’ that we had, comes with a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, which has a selection of 24 different screens.

The driver can configure and change these screens at the press of a button on the newly steering wheel. While the earlier steering wheel had a nice shape the new one looks modern but oddly the steering controls for volume are located behind the steering wheel. Other features include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as wireless phone charging along with a 9-speaker Alpine sound system with a subwoofer. There is also a power lift gate, a 360 degree camera, panoramic sunroof, rear ac vents, cooled and ventilated front seats along with being powered.

Other than that there is also the SelecTerrain 4×4 system, automatic headlamps and rain-sensing wipers, Electronic parking brake, Hill hold and hill descent control, six airbags,  Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Panic Brake Assist, Brake Lock Differential, Electronic Roll Mitigation, Hydraulic Boost Compensation, Ready-alert Braking, Rainy Brake Support. The Compass also gets over the air updates along with connected car technology which gets a SIM based system which lets you control various functions of the car like remote close/open and give vehicle health reports along with geo fencing and stolen vehicle assist plus emergency services and more.

Let us talk about space now and here the Compass does not change and the small rear doors makes the sense of space at the back, a bit less airy. However the seats are supportive and hug you well plus you would not be uncomfortable after a long day sitting here. The rear can also sit three passengers easily though the middle one would not be very comfortable due to the narrow width of the car. The boot is also quite big though.

5. Ownership

The Compass is not exactly a frugal SUV being heavy and that takes an effect on its fuel economy. The Compass diesel automatic gave around 9-10 kmpl in regular city use and in the highways will give more no doubt. The 4×4 system further makes the Compass heavy and that also takes its toll with the 4×2 being more efficient. In terms of maintenance, Jeep India has worked on improving their costs and while a Kia or Hyundai might be cheaper to maintain, the Compass is cheaper than most luxury cars. It has the usual 3 year warranty too which is extendable of course.

6. Our opinion

Hence while you do pay for the Compass and it might seem expensive, the car does seem worth it over all

The Compass starts of relatively being affordable with a starting price of Rs 16.99 lakh but the top-end model that we tested is a lot more expensive with a price tag of Rs 28.29 lakh for the fully loaded model. Now that makes the Compass a bit expensive and above the Hyundai Tucson in many aspects. However the Compass in its fully loaded specification is indeed somewhat worthy of the pricing since it is more luxurious and also has a lot more features. The all digital display, the massive touch screen and the many new features makes it the best equipped premium SUV at this price bracket along with the fact that it has 4×4 capability and has a premium image along with a robust build quality. The petrol and 4×2 variants are much cheaper and while they are indeed less expensive, they also miss out in features. Hence while you do pay for the Compass and it might seem expensive, the car does seem worth it over all. If you want a premium SUV with lots of features and which also has 4×4, then this SUV is it.

Specifications –

  • Engine: BS6, 2.0 L Multijet II Diesel
  • Displacement (cc): 1956
  • Power: 170 hp @ 3750 ± 50 rpm
  • Torque: 350 Nm @ 1750-2500 rpm
  • Transmission: 9-speed ZF 948TE automatic transmission
  • Length (mm): 4405
  • Height (mm): 1640
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (l): 60
  • Front suspension: McPherson Strut with Lower Control Arm
  • Rear suspension: Multi Link Suspension with Strut Assembly
Somnath Chatterjee

Somnath Chatterjee

Been in love with cars for as long as I can remember and love writing about them along with driving them of course. Nothing makes me happier than a fast car and an empty road! Favourite Car: Ferrari 458 Speciale Quote: Life's too short to drive boring cars