Think of an off-roader and odds are, the seven-slat Jeep logo comes to mind. Even though the Compass is an entry-level Jeep, it’s every bit as capable of taking on off-roading duties as its larger siblings. With its latest update, however, it’s also a much nicer car to live with.
The Compass started off as a gawky SUV with the right proportions but fussy details. With this new update, changes to the outside include a new nose section, LED headlamps, new diamond-cut alloy wheels and a new grille. It’s not a very significant upgrade, but it is noticeable. Interestingly, there’s not a hint of chrome anywhere on the outside and I’m a huge fan of its blacked out logos and trim pieces. Our test car came in a beautiful purple colour with metal flake in the paint and contrast-painted roof and mirrors. Its stance and proportions still catch the eye and with this update, the car manages to look fresh, even after all these years.
Inside is where the majority of changes happened. While the earlier car was rugged and durable, it wasn’t exactly pleasing to the eye. Given the car’s off-road credentials, the large switchgear and plasticy dash could have easily been forgiven. But when cars a few segments down have better interiors, it was definitely time for a rethink. And rethink they did. Other than the shifter, I don’t think any part of the old dashboard was carried over. As is the norm these days, a large 10.1 inch touchscreen display now dominates the dash. In addition to that, you also get a new digital instrument cluster, a new steering wheel, wireless charging, eight-way power adjustable seats with memory and cooling functions and even new door pads. There’s liberal use of gloss black plastic, which does attract fingerprints, but on the whole, it feels less like a child’s toy now. The massive screen offers excellent functionality and responds well to the touch. Some vehicle functions like cooled seats are available exclusively through the touch screen, but I think Jeep has managed to strike the right balance between tactile switches and the touch interface.
The controls for the transfer case have been moved from the old rotary knob to an electronic selector now. It’s simple to use, but because of the gloss plastic on its surround, in broad daylight, you might not be able to see which mode you are in.
The Compass already has the best ride quality in its class and these upgrades only add to its appeal. With these changes, the Compass finally feels complete.
Displacement: 1956cc, I-4, turbo-diesel
Max power: 171 bhp@3750 rpm
Max torque: 35.69 kgm@1750-2500 rpm
F/R: 225/55 R18
L/W/H (mm): 4405/1818/1640
Wheelbase: 2636 mm
Ground clearance: 208 mm
Kerb weight: 1778 kg
Fuel tank capacity: 60 litres
PRICE: Rs 28.29 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai)