The Jeep Compass is here and we will have to give to Fiat-Chrysler for the unbelievably aggressive pricing that begins at Rs 14.95 lakh, ex-showroom, for the entry-level petrol trim. The Jeep Compass is a premium compact SUV, something comparable to the Hyundai Tucson but the price point has positioned it in a place that is actually unoccupied. So, we are left with no option but to pitch it against the cars that spawn the same price range as the Compass – the D-segment sedans.
The Skoda Octavia starts at just over Rs 15 lakh, going all the way up to 22 lakh for the top-spec car. The Jeep undercuts it by almost a lakh for the entry-level trim an over 2 lakh for the top-spec. And the Compass is an SUV so it gets the brawny points as well. The 2.0-litre Multijet diesel, the engine that is going to be on the top of the sales charts, develops about 170bhp of power and 350Nm of torque, very similar to the Skoda Octavia. While the Jeep gets four-wheel drive and the high-riding position, the Skoda gets an automatic gearbox and sunroof along with a better handling package.
Launched earlier this year, the Hyundai Elantra starts a couple of lakhs below the Jeep Compass. As you move higher up the trims of the Elantra, the features’ list keeps getting longer. The Jeep manages to match up to the Hyundai trim-by-trim. In terms of build the Jeep is at par with the world-class materials, fit and finish of the Hyundai but when it comes to the powertrains, the Jeep plainly outclasses the Elantra. The Elantra diesel comes with a 1.6-litre 126bhp diesel while the Jeep, as we know, stands at 170bhp of power.
Toyota Corolla Altis
Jeep’s utilitarian DNA trickles down to its interior. It isn’t dramatic but then it has all the bells and whistles a car of that segment needs to have. The Toyota Corolla Altis is quite barebones in spite of not having the go. Its 90bhp diesel and 140bhp petrol are quite low even for its segment competition and the plaid interior with limited equipment makes it a dud. But then, Toyota’s service and cost of maintenance come into play, trumping many a competition on its way. Jeep has claimed to have 48 points of service under MOPAR and the list should expand over time.