Built for the United States military during world war II for combat , jeep’s were designed to be rugged, go anywhere, do anything 4X4 vehicles. It gave rise to a whole new segment of offroader’s now known as the SUV.

Infact, Jeep’s were so popular after the war, they started making civilian models which sold like hot cakes!

Now, coming from such a long and rich heritage, Jeep’ s are known to be exceptional at what they are capable of. But when Fiat brought the Jeep brand to India, we didn’t expect it to be priced so high that you would have to rob a bank to buy one!

Jeep Wrangler – Starting at 56 Lakhs

Jeep Grand Cherokee – Starting at a flipping 94 Lakhs!

So that was it, they’ve dug themselves a grave and put themselves in it..  Or have they? Soon, news leaks out that  Jeep plans to make the Compass in India to keep the costs down and eliminate import duties making jeeps more affordable !

That’s fantastic, but they could have done that with the wrangler and the cherokee too!  Why would they want their customers to pay more than twice the cost the car? The answer I got was as ludicrous (not the rapper) as the price of the cherokee.  They said they wanted to position the Jeep brand along the likes of Land Rovers and Mercedes  in the beginning and then start local production in India, which in turn cater to the masses.

If you ask me, that was a huge risk they took. It’s easy for people to ignore the whole brand considering it to be too expensive.  But, they did what they promised, they opened a manufacturing plant and produced their first car, completely made in India and this is what they’ve come up with.

The Jeep Compass

Jeep Compass

Jeep Compass

At first sight, it looks like a little brother of the cherokee. The same masculine looks, the aggressive front and the signature grill you see on the cherokee.

Looks impressive, I must say! The most attractive of them all is that the price is rumored to start around 25 to 30 lakhs. Now that’s really impressive!

Everything was fine until we got in the car and immediately there was a problem. Not “a” problem,  quite a few  actually..

Jeep Compass

To start, there is no sun roof, I hate the sun, but I would like to have a sun roof if am paying close to 30 lakhs for a car. There is no automatic transmission! Am sorry, if am paying 30 lakhs that means I don’t want to be bothered with shifting gears. That wasn’t all, there weren’t any auto headlights or auto wipers or any of that fancy wizardry you find in a 30 lakh car.

Jeep Compass

This has gone downhill pretty quickly.  Let’s look at the back. In the second row the space is as much as you would expect in a regular sedan. There’s a rear ac vent and that’s about it. But the seats are comfortable, theres more thigh support in the back seat, than any other car I’ve been in.  The alpine leather seats and the solid interior build do remind you that this is a premium car. But there are a list of things that question that.  Like the lack of electric seats, the glossy plastic on the dash, which is going to dazzle your eyes when you drive out in the sun.

Jeep Compass

Right about now,  the only thing going for the Compass is the Jeep branding and styling and Fiat’s reliable multijet  2.0 liter diesel  engine which generates 177 horses.

Jeep Compass

Jeep Compass

 

But do you know what has all these features for 30 Lakhs ?  This.

The Ford Endeavour 3.2 4×4 AT

Ford Endeavour

It’s got electric seats, auto wipers and headlamps, a sunroof, 3 rows and 7 seats and above them all, a 3.2 liter 200 horse power diesel with automatic transmission and all wheel drive. So why would someone bother with the Compass ?  Because we haven’t actually driven the Compass as there weren’t available for on road tests, we are leaving it at that, to be continued..