2021 Jeep Compass Review: First Drive

This is the first major facelift for the Jeep Compass ever since it was launched in India more than three years ago. There are quite a few changes that were obviously needed to bring the Compass back into the spotlight because the competition is heating up across all SUV segments.

By Jared Solomon | on February 12, 2021 Follow us on Autox Google News

The 2021 Jeep Compass offers better road presence, better technology and a fancier interior with the same, beautiful ride quality and capability.

We’ve finally gotten our hands on the all-new Jeep Compass. Now, this is the first major facelift for the Compass ever since it was launched in India more than three years ago. There are quite a few changes that were obviously needed to bring the Compass back into the spotlight because the competition is heating up across all SUV segments.  

Undoubtedly, it’s the technology that’s at the forefront of every new SUV entering the market, and while the Compass has always been a fantastic car, its interior and features list was not holding up to the newer entrants. With the updated 2021 Compass, it seems that Jeep has taken that extra step to make sure the Compass offers the latest and most relevant technology.  


Major changes

While the exterior design has gotten just a minor update, I think the Compass looks better now. It already had a very good road presence, but now with the newly revised front-end, the car looks more imposing. LED lights have also been added all around and the projector headlamps also get DRLs. Newly designed 18-inch alloy wheels have also been added for a fresh side profile.  

While the Exterior has only been slightly updated, it’s the cabin that’s been completely redone, and it looks and feels amazing. The entire dash is new and it features a 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Uconnect5 system. A new digital instrument cluster has also been added, and even the centre console has been replaced with a new one. The compass also gets added bonus features such as wireless phone charging including wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 360-degree camera and electric and ventilated seats.  

The cabin feels a lot plusher and more premium thanks to these updates. The Compass offers good space and comfort for all occupants and the new design adds a bit of luxury. It’s a big improvement from the previous model and Jeep has done well to make sure the Compass doesn’t get left behind when it comes to quality, comfort and convenience. The panoramic sunroof adds a nice touch of airiness and the new electric tailgate is another convenient feature as well.


Drive & Capability 

The new Compass comes with the same 1.4-litre turbo petrol producing 160bhp and 250Nm of torque and the 2.0-litre turbo-diesel producing 171bhp and 350Nm of torque. Both engine options are offered with a manual as well as an automatic transmission. However, only the diesel variant will be offered with all-wheel drive. We were obviously given the highest S variant 4x4 with the 9-speed AT to drive. 

The overall ride quality is still very much enjoyable and the suspension setup is fantastic for Indian roads. The AT also adds that convenience and effortless driving experience. The turbo diesel offers enough power for you to enjoy the car in all conditions. Driving in the city is enjoyable and comfortable but, the steering is a little heavy. On the highway the ride is pliant and smooth but, I still feel that the engine isn't the smoothest. The AT also a bit lazy as it holds gears too long. Yes, the Compass is not the most engaging car to drive, but because of that rugged feeling and the powerful engine, the drive makes you feel good and confident.

While most Compass customers don’t necessarily opt for the 4x4 variants, it’s the fact that the car has it on offer, which makes it a wonderful car to take off-road. If you do opt for the top-end 4x4 variants, you have that added confidence that you can take this car anywhere. You would never think twice before deciding to travel to a far-off location and you will never have to worry about driving on difficult terrain. This is the added bonus that no other SUV in this segment offers, and it’s what makes the Compass worthy of that Jeep badge.


Your Options 

The Compass comes with plenty of different variants to choose from. The base petrol model (without AWD) is priced at ₹16.99 lakh (Ex-Showroom), making it costlier than the outgoing model by ₹50,000. The base variant also misses out on a lot of features. It's essentially the Jeep badge and the rugged and muscular design that grabs people's attention.

However, if you look at it from a practical standpoint, the highest variant of the Kia Seltos, which sits in a lower segment, is priced almost the same. For that same price, you get one of the best urban SUVs available in India today and loaded with all the extra features. The top-end variant of the Jeep Compass that I was driving is priced at ₹28.29 lakh (Ex-Showroom) and it gets everything you could ever ask for in an SUV. That does seem a bit steep, but then again there is no other car in that price range that will offer you the same comfort, convenience, power and capability.

You could argue that the Mahindra Thar is just as capable and maybe even more so, but the Thar still has poor build-quality and interior space and practicality which is laughable at best. The Jeep Compass is the perfect package and a true SUV. The new Compass is even better than before now, and still is in my eyes one of the best SUVs you can buy in India. The Tata Harrier and the Hyundai Tucson just don’t match up to the Compass.

  • 2021 Jeep Compass Model S 4x4 AT

Engine: 1,956cc / 4-Cylinder / Turbocharged

Fuel: Diesel

Transmission: 9-Speed Automatic / All-Wheel Drive

Power: 168bhp @ 3,750rpm

Torque: 350Nm @ 1,750-2,500rpm

Price: ₹28.29 lakh (Ex-showroom, Delhi)

X-Factor: The most appealing SUV with the best capability!

• Rugged design
• Off-road capability

• Top variants are expensive

 Also read:

Jeep's Compass-based seven-seater SUV spied testing

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L debuts with three-row seating

Tags: Jeep Jeep Compass

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