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Jeep Compass - Test drive impressions

Discussion in 'Jeep' started by limraj, Oct 24, 2020.

  1. limraj

    limraj Esperto

    Messages:
    1,256
    Trivandrum / Bangalore
    Linea 1.3
    I found no threads under 'Jeep' section of TFI, and thought I would add my impressions after test driving the Compass. The test drive happened in Sep 2020, late by 3 years after it was introduced !

    Jeep Compass was introduced in India in 2017 (second generation of the global car), as a cross-over targetting the entry level users or aspirants of 'go anywhere' attitude wanting a legendary brand, with an ex-showroom price starting just below 15L. The vehicle created an initial buzz at the media and showrooms, resulting in about average 2000+ cars sales in the initial months. This number has settled to about 500 a month, now. While adhering to BS6 norms, Jeep has increased the prices to 16.5L for Petrol and 18L for the diesel to start with (ex-showroom) and removed the base model.

    I did not opt for a test drive in 2017, as I did not have a plan to change the car (then with 1L+ km on ODO), which I was happy with, and incur further expenses. I still do not have an intention to change/upgrade the car (with 1.7L+ kms on ODO) which serves its purpose and still plasters a smile on my face, when I take the Linea diesel for long drives. While known people from Fiat groups have ODOs of 3L+, 2.5L+ ODO readings, I plan to keep the car at least till it crosses 2L kms, which may take another 2.5 to 3 years at my current usage style. However, parts wearing out have increased, thus increasing maintenance costs on the car. Still it does not necessitate a new car purchase. But, the test drive has changed my outlook and planted doubts in my mind !!!

    While doing one such maintenance and waiting at the lounge at FASS - MPS at Singasandra, Bangalore (earlier known as PPS Jeep or PPS FCA) test driving a Jeep came to me. I saw many upscale families (husband, wife, with 1 or 2 kids, seemingly having a prosperous life) doing test drives of the car, I thought to myself "I could do a test drive, if I can avoid their follow up calls for car purchase". I asked the sales guy, if I could get a test drive though I am not going to buy.
    He agreed immediately, may be because I am using a car from the same family.
    He asked which vehicle I wanted to try, I said diesel. I have heard more about the punchy 2.0L diesel engine, with 173 bhp/350 Nm spec than the 1.4L petrol with 160 bhp/250 Nm spec. More to do with my usage. While shopping for Linea, I applied the same logic and did not try out the TJet, which I regretted later. If I would have been serious of a purchase, I would definitely try the petrol engine too, as my usage has considerably reduced (from 2500 km a month to about 1000 km a month) and also the mid-life facelift is expected to have a new 1.3L turbocharged petrol engine. He then asked if AT or manual, I said both !!!

    I was keen on the AT, for its convenience and also for the factor that wife is comfortable with AT vehicles and would not drive manual ones. I had a 'visionary' thinking, that wife would help sharing the driving duties and we could 'go further' and avoid a complaining left leg after driving in a city like Bangalore !!!

    <<TD cars>>
    IMG_3143 copy.JPG

    The manual car (white on the far right) was brought first and then AT (grey on the left), drove almost along the same route and my impressions are listed here, as a mix of manual and AT.

    Premium Interiors - The moment you enter the cabin and take drivers seat, this is the first thing that you will notice. Its leagues ahead than Linea, although I am quite happy with Linea's interior.

    Blind Spots - The thick A-piller creates a feeling of bigger blind sports. However, while driving, I did not feel it troubling as much. While doing those hair pin bends to the right, I may still have to see through either side of A-pillar, I foresee.

    Bent ORVM - The outside rear view mirrors are very helping here, having a design of the outside edge being bent, helping to see the objects closer to the car in a better way.

    Small IRVM - The IRVM is small, just enough to cover the edges of the rear glass. They could have it made a little bigger like Linea's. It has auto-dimming feature.

    Slick Gear shift - The gear shift lever has a round shape / or shape of a globe than contoured like in Linea. Its easier to hold and more importantly, the gears shift in a slick manner. Both welcome.

    Lighter Clutch, Lesser Travel - I felt the car has lighter clutch with less travel. After driving the manual around the Electronics City traffic, I even thought I could live with that clutch.

    Steering wheel - Easy to hold, just enough size. Comes back to the centre automatically, even though it is EPS. It has quite good feedback, though not as much as the hydraulic one in the Linea. Got a lot of switches in it, I did not fiddle with much, other than resetting the trip meter. It is different than Linea and would be easy once get used to.

    Engine
    - Well, this is the most important one and the most engaging one. It's really punchy. You put your foot down and see the other cars around you in your rear view mirrors in the next instant. Your grins will turn wide and wider.

    Transmission
    - The manual one is quick and smooth. The AT, although smooth, has slight lag to respond to heavy accelerator input. May be fraction of a second, might be OK once got used to. But, I found it as a bit annoying while I drove. Once it makes the first gear change after the initial delay, the next changes are quick enough. I guess, this could be addressed by a re-map. But, not sure of it. This is one feature I would want FCA to address in its next facelift.

    Handling
    - I liked the way it handled. I have driven some luxury marquees and this car has a much better control of the body roll. It is certainly not as good as the Linea, but very very close. I could make quick lane changes and take the curves without applying brakes.

    Brakes - Perfect. It comes with disc brakes in all the wheels and braking is excellent. I decided to overtake a slow moving truck through its right side, when it showed signs (of course without indicator usage) of leaving the high speed lane and moving to the middle, slower lane. Halfway through the overtake, the truck driver did not want to leave their "un-offical lane" in the highways and tries moving back to the right most lane. The space was already narrow (I like to squeeze through narrow spaces, even without honking, utilizing the handling characteristics of the car), and the situation was scary. The sales guy sitting on the navigator seat, braced for impact by outstretching his hands to the dashboard to prevent himself hitting it (he forgot there are airbags)! In the split second, I jammed the brakes...! No drama, the Compass stopped there...!!! I honked, the truck guy moved back to middle lane, letting me pass comfortably.

    Infotainment/Speakers
    - I think it is adequate. Did not experiment much. Offers both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Navigation is not directly supplied, one will have to rely on mobile phone.

    A/C - Dual Zone climate control provided. Adequate.

    Cruise Control - Did not bother to check. Even if a car is equipped with it, I may not use it. I get bored pretty soon and would start to doze off at the wheel. It is provided.

    Ingress/Egress - Pretty Comfortable. It is not much of a too tall climb in or out.

    FE figures - Under harsh driving, the manual and AT gave close numbers. With sensible driving, the car should give better FE. In the Linea, I have often beaten the ARAI figures comfortably, on full tank to full tank calculations. Reached a max of 21.16 km/l for 87km on a tank full. Jeep claims 17.1 km/l for diesel and I think I can beat it or come very close to it.

    <manual vs AT diesel>
    IMG_3138 copy.JPG

    <AT>
    IMG_3141 copy.JPG

    My Impression - It is a worthy upgrade!
    I thought I would remain a sedan guy, for its handling and ride comfort. But, after driving the Jeep Compass, I have changed my mind. I told the same to the sales guy too. But, for the time being, I will hold on to Linea. When I shop for next car, I may even consider the 7 seater Jeep Compass also.

    IMG_3140 copy.JPG

    Smile on my face summarizes how did I feel ....!!!
     
  2. BIPLAB DUTTA

    BIPLAB DUTTA Amatore

    Messages:
    82
    Pune
    Punto Evo 1.3 90 HP
    Really happy to see jeep quick review :). I feel for many of the Fiatians this will be their next choice.
     
    limraj likes this.
  3. gpunto75

    gpunto75 Regolare

    Messages:
    310
    Nasik
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Request to test drive the Harrier too. Will be a good comparison.
     
    limraj likes this.
  4. limraj

    limraj Esperto

    Messages:
    1,256
    Trivandrum / Bangalore
    Linea 1.3
    Yes, I too feel the same. More premium, more comfort, more power and more cost too ;)

    Yes, Compass vs Harrier is the only comparison that should be done, although Hector also shares the same engine.
     
    gpunto75 and BIPLAB DUTTA like this.
  5. BIPLAB DUTTA

    BIPLAB DUTTA Amatore

    Messages:
    82
    Pune
    Punto Evo 1.3 90 HP
    Infact comparision of Harrier AT vs compass AT... is interesting..... :)
     
    limraj likes this.
  6. limraj

    limraj Esperto

    Messages:
    1,256
    Trivandrum / Bangalore
    Linea 1.3
    Other reviews say Harrier's AT (sourced from Hyundai) is much more accomplished than Compass' AT. Compass' AT has a lag (only for heavy accelerator inputs), otherwise, I found it good.
    Yet to try Harrier's AT.
     
  7. naruf1

    naruf1 Amatore

    Messages:
    234
    Location:
    Namma Bengaluru
    Nice detailed review. I did a TD of the Automatic Harrier and found no lag in the DCT, however, automatic is not a personal choice as It just doesn't feel engaging. The only reason for choosing AT would be the same reason as your's, easier to convince better half.
    The one place where I believe both match are Small IRVM / rear view could be better in both cars.
     
  8. limraj

    limraj Esperto

    Messages:
    1,256
    Trivandrum / Bangalore
    Linea 1.3
    Drive Harrier AT and Compass AT back to back to get a better comparison.

    Harrier AT is using 6-speed Torque Converter (not DCT) from Hyundai (same as Creta AT ?), while Compass is using 9-speed Torque Converter in Diesel and 7-speed DCT for Petrol.

    On Cruising speeds, Compass is expected provide more FE if it uses the higher gears available.
     
  9. naruf1

    naruf1 Amatore

    Messages:
    234
    Location:
    Namma Bengaluru
    That's true thanks for correcting me. I got mixed with DCT on Hector/ Seltos.

    Leads me to another question, I may be wrong but in terms of lag does the following hold good for AT transmission ( worst to best)?
    1. AMT.
    2. Torque converter.
    3. CVT
    4. DCT

    I agree it has to do with engine power as well, let us consider same engine power.

    That said, I have heard about engine /. Transmission overheating on Creta ( experience by relatives).

    Would have to try th Jeep AT though as mentioned.

    Thanks again.
     
  10. limraj

    limraj Esperto

    Messages:
    1,256
    Trivandrum / Bangalore
    Linea 1.3
    In terms of slowness (and cheapness and complexities), 2&3 to be inter-changed.

    1. AMT
    2. CVT
    3. Torque converter/Or the traditional AT.
    4. DCT/ Also known as DSG.

    There are some AMTs with good response. For example, Nexon AMT is pretty fast (unless you drop to 0 km/h speed).
     
    naruf1 likes this.

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