Jeep Compass Petrol Review
Car Tested: Jeep Compass Petrol; Road Test No. 882
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 17.73 - 22.99 lakhs
The Jeep Compass petrol is very quick but is it better than the diesel variant?
The Jeep Compass has been one of the most anticipated SUVs to be launched in India this year and its arrival created a lot of brouhaha. While we drove the diesel variant earlier, we were quite looking forward to drive the petrol variant too, because the MultiAir engine seemed good on paper at least. So, when Jeep dropped off the Compass Petrol at my place, I pounced on it and took it for a longish drive in a mix of city and highway roads to figure out if buying a petrol Compass makes any sense or not.
Motor Quest: Jeep entered the Indian market last year with three of their CBU offerings - Wrangler, Grand Cherokee and SRT. All these SUVs are slotted in the luxury segments but it is the Compass that has set the ball rolling for the automaker thanks to the brilliant response that it has received in the market.
Exteriors – There are absolutely no differences between the exteriors of the diesel and petrol variants. The Jeep Compass petrol is available in Sport, Limited and Limited (O) variants only. The Limited (O) variant, that we drove, comes with 17-inch alloys that are offered on the Longitude trim with the diesel engine. Apart from this, there are no visual changes and the Compass carries the same bold styling which makes it a head-turner on our roads.
Interiors – The cabin of the Compass petrol is again totally similar to the diesel variants with no changes whatsoever. Since the petrol variant misses out on 4x4, there is no Terrain Selector available and in its place, you get a cubby hole to stow things like your cell phone or maybe some coins. Also, the petrol trim gets a different gear lever and tachometer. The dashboard comes with the same layout, with a good amount of features on offer. The seats are also comfortable and supportive but certain ergonomics could've been slightly better on the Compass. The interiors of this baby Jeep are very much practical for day-to-day usage.
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.
Verdict – Just like its diesel counterpart, the Jeep Compass petrol is also a very impressive car that drives really well but most people in this segment are on the lookout for performance as well as efficiency. While performance from the MultiAir engine isn't bad, the fuel efficiency is on the lower side. However, the automatic transmission does ease out your stress while driving in traffic. We still recommend the diesel variants of this SUV, and the petrol trims make sense only if you want an automatic SUV that is petrol-powered.
* The Jeep Compass is an absolute looker
* Superb suspension set-up, can go almost anywhere
* The petrol variant is pretty quick in acceleration
What's Not So Cool
* Fuel efficiency isn't all that great
* Gearbox isn't suited for enthusiasts
Jeep Compass Petrol Review
The Jeep Compass gets a petrol option too, which is powered by a 1.4-litre MultiAir engine. This engine has very good performance and the automatic gearbox makes the SUV a breeze to drive in the city. However, fuel efficiency is on the lower side. The Compass feels very good to drive and overall, we totally recommend this SUV.
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