In 2016, Jeep started its journey in India with the introduction of the Wrangler Unlimited and the Grand Cherokee. Although both models are sold in India as Completely Built-Up Units (CBU) which led to the disappointment for some potential customers, the company did announce that the next introduction will be a locally manufactured model. After a lot of anticipation from the market, Jeep India is all geared up to launch the Compass in the next few weeks in India. Powering the Jeep Compass is one petrol and one diesel engine option. The 1.4 litre petrol motor, mated to a 6-speed manual as well as a 7-speed automatic transmission, generates 160 hp of power and 250 Nm of torque. The 2.0 litre Multijet diesel unit which would be mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, produces 172 hp of power and 350 Nm of torque. An automatic transmission is expected to be offered later in the year. A number of speculations have been going around with regard to the price as the company did mention some 'first-in-segment' introductions. Although Jeep India has been very tight lipped around the Compass' pricing, the expected retail is said to hover between Rs 18 and Rs 25 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi. If the Jeep Compass is launched at this price point, here are the top features that would make it unique when compared to its competitors
All-wheel-drive system for different terrains
The key differentiating factor for the Compass will be that the all-wheel-drive system that is also a shift-on-the-fly drive selector knob, will have snow, sand and mud. This system would come handy while tackling such terrains and also calibrate the all-wheel-drive system to have a different behaviour suited for the said terrains. There is an Auto mode as well which detects what terrain the car is on and adjusts the settings of the all-wheel-drive system accordingly. This all-wheel-drive system will be available on in the top-end versions, Limited and Limited (O).
First-in-India laser welding technology for door frames
At the unveil, Jeep India stated that most of the panels, after being hot stamped will be welded to each other using a laser welding technology, a first for locally manufactured car. This technique, according to the company, will enhance structural rigidity while making it light compared to the conventional methods. This would also improve the build quality, which essentially means that a car owner would not hear squeaks from the doors after a few years. That's what Jeep claims!
Standard safety features and some more
Jeep will offer the Compass with a four-channel ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) and ESP (Electronic Stability Program) as a standard kit. Optional safety features would include Panic Brake Assist, Brake Booster Failure Compensation, Roll Mitigation, Brake Pre-Fill as well as six airbags. While some of the optional features are available in its competitors, what stands out as a subtle feature is that the electric parking brake turns off only when the driver seat belt is engaged.
Feature-rich right from the base version
The Jeep Compass will be loaded with features right from the base version itself. It will be offered in five trims in total, Sport, Longitude, Longitude (O), Limited and Limited (O). While the base version, Sport, may have conventional halogen headlamps and steel wheels, what you will get is a 5-inch touchscreen infotainment screen in this version as well. As you move up along the variant list, equipment such as projector headlamps with HID (High-Intensity Discharge), alloy wheels, reverse parking sensors, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay make it into the SUV.
Considering the market speculation of a starting price around Rs 18 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi, the Jeep Compass is somewhere in the middle when compared to its competitors. The expensive ones have more features but if one was to look at the practicality of a touchscreen infotainment system, it would be available right from the base version of this premium SUV. Considering its competitors, if it's priced between Rs 18 lakh to Rs 25 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi, the Compass will be positioned somewhere between the top variant of the Tata Hexa and the base versions of Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour. The features and other details of the Compass are already known and now the only missing link in the puzzle is the most important one, the price. The Compass, if enjoyed competitively, will enjoy the comfort of lesser competition but that won't be the only hurdle to overcome for the brand. Jeep has a very limited after sales network in the country right now, compared to the competition and although the company is trying to add more, the limited network might be a limitation for some. What would be a competitive price then? Considering the feature list and the powertrain, the Compass in our opinion should start at around Rs 16 lakh or so and top-out at about Rs 23 lakh (introductory-pricing) if it has to make a lasting impression on the potential consumers.