Jeep India has finally launched the much-awaited Compass in India in an attractive price range of Rs 14.95 lakhs – Rs 20.65 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi). The five seater SUV comes loaded with features and carries a formidable Jeep badge that is world renowned for its off-road abilities.
However, the Compass enters into an odd price range. Before the Compass, the other SUVs that became the default choice of car buyers with a budget of sub-Rs 18 lakhs were the Mahindra XUV500 and the Tata Hexa. Both the Indian bred SUVs are seven seaters and have their top-spec variants undercutting that of the American. Now that the Compass joins the fray, see how the trio compares on paper.
Exterior and Styling
The new entrant, the Compass, is a handsome looking SUV. At 4395mmx1818mmx1640mm, the Compass is a lot more compact than the other two cars here, but is more SUV looking given its allegiance to its bigger sibling the Grand Cherokee. The Hexa looks large and much like an MPV,and stands a step higher than the older Aria.The new XUV500, on the other hand, is very macho and in-your-face with its large proportions.
The Compass wears a seven-slat grille up front. The squared-off wheel arches, roof-floating D-Pillar and roof-rails complete the appearance of this puny American off-roader. The flagship XUV gets an LED strip in headlamps, dash of chrome on the fascia and a bulbous posterior with body cladding all around. Meanwhile, the Hexa brings in the new design philosophy of Tata with its honeycomb grille, modern headlamps, square-ish tail lights faux skid plates and body cladding for the rugged SUV appeal.
Interior and Features
As mentioned earlier, both the Indian SUV, unlike the Compass, comes with a three-row configuration. The Hexa feels big on the inside, while XUV isn’t too small either, but both the cars look bit outdated compared to the modern looking Compass’ cabin. The Grand Cherokee influence is evident, with soft touch plastics and gloss elements. The Compass gets a seven-inch infotainment system with smartphone integration. Dual stage airbags come as a standard, apart from six airbags, ESP and ABS. However, it misses out on powered driver seat, sunroof and a powered tailgate.
The Hexa gets an all-black interior, automatic climate control with a separate zone, AC for the rear and third-row passengers, leather upholstery, steering mounted controls, electrically mirrors touchscreen display with USB, AUX and Bluetooth connectivity.
Mahindra isn’t far behind in terms of features. There’s a multifunction steering wheel and a dual-tone dashboard housing a seven-inch touchscreen with Mahindra’s BlueSense App. The new XUV500 also comes with leather upholstery and a smart key
Engine and Gearbox
The XUV500 is powered by the 2.2-litre mHawk diesel engine with 140bhp and 330Nm mated to a six-speed transmission. It does get a four-wheel drive layout as well. The Hexa comes powered by a 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine developing 154bhp and 400Nm mated to six-speed manual gearbox whereas a six-speed torque converter automatic is also available. It also gets all-wheel drive system but it is only restricted to the manual gearbox.
The Compass gets two engine options – the 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine and the 2.0-litre turbodiesel. The former is Multi-air petrol engine developing 160bhp/250Nm. The 2.0-litre turbodiesel, on the other hand, develops over 170bhp of power and 350Nm of torque. The petrol engine gets an optional DCT transmission while the diesel only comes mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. The all-wheel-drive is offered only on the top-spec Limited trim.
The Compass comes into a niche pricing segment which has been dominated by the D-segment sedans all these years. The SUVs like the Hyundai Tuscon and Honda CR-V are priced higher, while the Hyundai Creta are much lower. So the Compass is an excellent choice for someone who wants a potent, feature loaded, high-riding vehicle under Rs 20 lakhs.