Performance – The petrol engine offered on the Jeep Compass is a 1.4-litre MultiAir unit, that has the power of 163 horses along with 250 Nm of twisting force. The engine comes mated to a 7-speed dual dry clutch automatic gearbox. The petrol engine has a very noticeable turbo lag below 2000 RPM and the bottom-end feels quite lacking in terms of punch. However, the turbo boost in the mid-range is very strong which results in a very quick 0-100 km/hr time of 10.91 seconds according to our VBOX tests which makes the petrol Compass pretty quick. There is also a considerable amount of torque steer if you pin the throttle in lower gears. The engine also feels very free-revving all the way to its 6500 RPM redline. However, it isn’t very refined, especially at high revs when it tends to become noisy. 100 km/hr comes up in 3rd gear slightly over 5000 RPM while in 7th gear it hovers around the 2000 RPM mark.
The sudden spike in power after the turbo lag makes the Compass feel quick
The DDCT gearbox has been matched well to the engine. However, the gearbox itself is pretty lazy and takes time to react to aggressive throttle inputs. It works well if you intend on driving sedately though. Also, there is no Sport mode on offer and paddle-shifters have also been given a miss, but what you do get is a Manual mode which comes out to be very useful for quick overtakes. The fuel efficiency of the Compass petrol is quite a downer though, as we barely got 5-6 km/l in our city tests and around 9 km/l out on the highways.
Driving Dynamics – The Jeep Compass has an excellent ride which is very well-suited for our roads. The ride feels a bit stiff at city speeds but otherwise it is extremely good and no matter what the condition of the road is, the Compass will take it all in its stride and glide over bad terrain confidently. It is also a very good handler with controlled body roll and predictable handling characteristics. The only one complaint we have is with the brakes. The brakes have good bite when you press the pedal gently, but if you tend to slam the brakes hard, the car has a tendency to twitch and the body also loses some composure.