The 1.4 turbo charged engine comes into its element on the highway and the suspension soaks up literally everything you throw at it.
BHPian torque_87 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
Before I get to writing about my Compass (Nightfury) I would like to give you a small background as this would be my first post ever in this esteemed forum. I was with the automobile industry and I took the call to drop the much wanted consulting, FMCG companies post MBA and start my career with Bajaj Auto purely because of my love for cars. I have been a silent observer, but all my automobile decisions have been made after referring to this forum. Personally, I started “officially” driving from the day I turned 18 (yes I took my learners slightly before that) and haven’t looked back since. My garage has a Honda Jazz and a Skoda Rapid (used by my dad) and I was in the market looking for a 25L car because like the Transporter I have 3 rules:
- I will change my car every 4 years because that is when I will get close to 50K on the Odo and I believe automobile tech evolves a lot in that period.
- I will always buy a brand new car and not a used car because I want to go through the process of running in and getting acclimatized to the new car. It’s a strictly personal choice on this.
- I will always buy the top model of the car I choose even if the ROI doesn’t appeal to my head. It’s a heart decision as for the next 4 years I will have the best of what the manufacturer had to offer.
With these in mind I set out searching for a car in the 20-30L segment wanting to settle at 25L odd. The good part is there is a good set of cars in this range, the bad part is it ain’t enough. Also I was primarily looking for a petrol engine, again as a personal choice and also the limited mileage I will clock with the hybrid post COVID environment:
Tata Harrier: Made a solid proposition, imposing looks, brilliant diesel engine. However the TD car was under whelming and there was a lot of rattling. Some panels had also started vibrating at idle. Also the quality wasn’t that great at this price point and a hefty steering were all deal breakers.
Korean siblings (Creta and Seltos): Both good cars and I drove the GT for Seltos and the 1.4 DCT on the Creta. I felt the Seltos was better in dynamics, but the Creta was a better overall package. However, I dislike how the Creta looks, and Seltos was thereby a close call. Then came the NCAP test results and I humbly bid goodbye because I would like to invest in a safer car thank you very much.
MG Hector: Extremely underwhelming petrol engine and gimmicky. I stopped the test drive mid way and returned inspite of the SA insisting me to take a look at what all features the TV (pun intended) in front has.
Mahindra XUV 700: What a winning strike by Mahindra on this one. If there has to be an F1 reference, this is Mercedes in 2020 season. Unchallenged and winning every race possible. Now I loved the 200PS petrol engine and the car (except for certain pointers). However, I was willing to put my money on the AX7 and that’s when the waiting period hit me like a wall . The SA said 12 months and the website said 14 months. I wasn’t willing to wait this long!
Skoda Octavia: Being someone who drives the Rapid, I really wanted to try the Octavia out and the reviews were pretty good as well. I was not at all concerned about the lack of a sunroof. However the whole experience at the showroom was pretty bad. The Slavia had just launched, and everyone was busy with that and there was a crowd to check that car out. There was no Octavia, and the test drive car was parked somewhere in the corner of an overcrowded parking lot. It took us a good 45 mins to get it out. The test drive was really short (10 mins) and I didn’t get any idea about the engine and driving dynamics whatsoever. Looked like the SA was not interested as he was hurrying everything. One aspect I wasn’t sure was the seating position (too low for my liking) and the length of the car. Was really tough for me to manoeuvre. No call back till date from the SA so left it.
Jeep Compass: This is when a friend of mine wanted to buy the Jeep and I went on a test drive with him because he wanted me to come along. I must say it was love at first sight for me. The car looked butch and handsome, and it wasn’t trying to be something it wasn’t. It is a true blue SUV and resembles that. The SA had bought a model S diesel and I was blown by that engine. Even though the Harrier had the same one, somehow on the Compass it felt different, and I felt the beast was held back by the 9 speed box. Post the test drive when I saw the price list again the same XUV wall came and hit me. It was way beyond what I was thinking. My friend anyway was getting the petrol one so we anyway wanted to test drive that as well. I took a short drive, and must say the refinement was pretty great compared to all other cars. Finally, after that TD, my friend bought the petrol Limited variant but I was still thinking. Finally I made one more call to the SA and asked him to get the petrol model S for a TD as I wanted to do a long TD on routes I frequent. He could have said no because for him it was a 30km one way journey and he had done this thrice, but he still came. I did a TD for close to 45 mins taking the car on my office route and a few other ones which I frequent. I knew where the speed breakers and potholes were, so I used to slow down for them like I do on the Jazz. But then the SA said “Sir don’t lift off the throttle as it’s a Jeep. You don’t need to slow down”. Boy was he right, the car just glided over the potholes like it was nothing at speeds of 50-60 with no movement whatsoever.That sealed it for me. I was going to buy a black coloured Jeep Compass Model S!!!
I got a call from KHT Jeep that my car would be manufactured on 26th March, and they will get it by 30th March post which they would like to register on 31st. After a quick PDI on 30th, I gave them a go ahead, and thus the formalities were completed. I had to travel so I told them I will take the delivery of the car only on 9th April and they acknowledged. The whole delivery process was nothing to write much about, there was a small photo session and the SA explained the basic features of the Compass and the U-connect system. They paired my phone for Android Auto and that’s it. We left the showroom in 30 mins flat, and I made my way to the nearest Shell petrol pump to tank her up.
She has run 400 kms in 2 weeks and the following are my observations:
- Built like a tank. Everything looks like its built to last and has a really solid feel to it. The car is brilliantly put together as well. It feels like it can go through a wall and come out without a scratch.
- Exceptional highway manners – She is like a beast on the highway and nothing stops her. The 1.4 turbo charged engine comes into its element on the highway and the suspension soaks up literally everything you throw at it.
- Ventilated seats are a boon and I realized this only after I bought this car. Bangalore weather is no longer what it used to be and the long traffic jams result in a long time spent on that right seat which makes your back sweaty. With the Nightfury, I no longer get into office with a shirt that looks like its just out of the washing machine and soaking wet.
- The 9 speaker Alpine system on the Model S is pretty good. There is a difference with respect to the 6 speaker on the limited variant (trust me I checked). I am not an audiophile but this is still great for me
- The suspension at low speeds may not be the plushest but I am ok with that as it just soaks up everything the faster you go.
- The handling of this car is phenomenal. Its darts into corners and holds the line like I want to. For a heavy car with a high center of gravity I think its doing a phenomenal job. It matches and outperforms the Rapid which for me was a good handler. Body roll is well contained and the grip is just phenomenal.
- Missing out on a few aspects like ADAS which now is coming to most cars. While I am not asking for the full blown ADAS features, but a few of them would have been good.
- The 7 speed DCT box isint the best in traffic. I feel my CVT in the Jazz performs exceptionally well in traffic and at times I have to cox the DCT to shift down faster.
- Now the issue with the DCT is compounded by the lack of low end torque in the petrol engine compared to the diesel counterpart. While I was completely cognizant of what I was signing up for its still an issue.
- If you push the engine, it will come into its element like I mentioned but that is at the expense of fuel efficiency (FE). The FE really drops when my right leg works so it’s really frustrates me at times. Now I have named the car Nightfury because its black and looks imposing like a dragon, but for me like the dragon rider I have to adjust and help her come to her elements. I am still learning and so is she but I must say I am happy with my choice.
- The Auto Start Stop feature i feel is a bit over enthusiastic! It cuts in too soon and doesn’t really help in saving fuel in Bangalore traffic which is in a constant stop go fashion. What this results in is the engine switching on and off every 30 seconds with a gap of close to just 10 seconds in between. Also I have to manually switch off the system every time I start the car which is irritating.
Driving Dynamics: The car stays planted and surprisingly, the dynamics really improves as it picks up speed. I have pushed Nighfury around corners at speeds that I shouldn’t be doing in an SUV and in just 2 weeks of owning the car, but the way it tackled the corner is nothing short of phenomenal. Now the downside to this is, the ride at low speed is slightly harsh (not uncomfortable levels). I believe its the setup and for me an ideal and good balance is what my Rapid has.
U-Connect: Jeep’s proprietary system and this was advertised a lot by the SA and the team at the dealership as well. The screen for starters is very slick to use and the responses are without much lag. It controls pretty much everything on the car and is fairly intuitive to use and understand. I am personally happy with the system and the way its configured. My only grouse is the lack of any controls on the steering wheel for this system. I always have to take my eyes off the road and I firmly believe in not doing so I end up parking my car to work around this. Maybe an initial learning phase issue. An addition here is Model S (O2) which is my variant now comes with 6GB memory and thereby with inbuilt navigation. I am not a fan of the navigation system and end up using G-maps via Android Auto.
HVAC system: The AC works very well and cools down the cabin quickly. The ventilation function on driver side switches on automatically when I start the car even if I haven’t switched on the AC. Found this weird, and the SA said its a new addition in the Model S (O2). One brilliant thing that Jeep has done is to keep a rotary knob for fan speed and temperature (dual zone), so I can control it without going into the infotainment screen. Call me old fashioned, but I am a fan of knobs and buttons for my HVAC. I prefer not to leave my AC in Auto and control the speed, but the max I have gone to is 3 steps of fan speed with a full load of passengers and 36 degrees outside temp.
Cabin,space and comfort: Well addressing the elephant in the room, I will admit the space is lesser compared to say a Tuscon and a Tiguan, but its adequate. However, the cabin feels like its built to last with soft touch materials. Everything you touch is solidly put together, from the moment you close the door (that reassuring thud). The model S comes with black interiors (one another reason for choosing the S over Limited which is the popular choice) and it does take away a bit of that “airy” feeling that beige interiors give, but I am happy. The leather is top notch and if maintained, I feel will age very well. Boot space of 438 litres isn’t class leading, but adequate. One eyesore for me is the cabin lights. For a car that is 30+L i would have preferred white LED lights which are soothing unlike the current ones which look out of place in an otherwise plush cabin.
Features, features and features: Nighfury is loaded with almost all creature comforts. I especially love the 8 way adjustable powered seats on the driver side, which makes finding the right comfortable driving position a breeze. The ventilation on the seat is an icing on the cake. Other useable features for me are the 360 deg camera (yes they work really well), wireless charger (Android Auto saps the juice from the phone battery) and powered tail gate. Now the powered tail gate button is placed on the left hand wall of the boot and not on the boot lid as most cars have, and I have seen reviewers call it weird. But I discovered that my mother who is close to 5’4″ in height really found this convenient and didn’t have to reach the boot lid which for them was kind of inaccessible, so for me it worked out well. There is a long list of creature comforts which is expected at this price point and Jeep doesn’t disappoint, and a few like cooled glove box which frankly I never got the point of having.
Safety: One line, I feel like it can go through a wall! That’s how solid this car feels. Every panel and the overall car has a tough and solid build which gives me the confidence. The heft on the door, the weight of the boot lid and difficulty in lifting the hood indicate how well this is put together and gives me a feeling that the money is put in the right place rather than features. 6 airbags, ABS, ESP all keep a check on proceedings. However, the jeep has a feature called rain brakes where the calipers slowly apply pressure on the brake discs to keep the water off it automatically. Well I haven’t felt that working, but I can assure you that the braking was as reassuring in the wet as it was in the dry so some magic is happening. Also, another area that Jeep doesn’t advertise is the really strong braking performance of the car. I have had one situation where I was sure I will crash my car into a notorious Bangalore autowala who cut in front of me, but these 4 discs combined were like dropping anchors, and stopped with inches to spare which I am sure other cars wouldn’t have achieved. I do miss the ADAS features I saw in the XUV, but I think given my driving cycle I will not be using it at all.
Jeep life app: The Jeep life app is Jeep’s attempt at connected car tech. It has basic features like making the car honk, switching on blinkers and locking and unlocking the car. Other manufacturers offer things like switching on the engine, pre-cooling the cabin etc which this app doesn’t offer. Features like geo fencing is available but I haven’t used it yet so I am unable to comment on this. The app kind of feels basic and more often than not, loses connectivity with the car. I may have to drop down to the service center to get this checked, but I am not really keen on making the trip for just this.
All in all, I have to say I am enjoying my Nighfury and am planning to take her on a long drive in the first week of May which will be close to 500 kms. Will learn a lot more and keep updating this thread with my observations. I have to get my first service checkup at 5k or 6 months and am planning to hit 5k rather than just the period. I was worried about rattling noise which a lot of new owners have complained about on Team BHP and other jeep forums on social media, however and I am happy to say I haven’t encountered any rattling yet, inspite of driving on rain battered and metro construction induced damaged roads of Bangalore (fingers crossed on this). Well as of now I am enjoying the #jeeplife!
P.S: While the popular choice in this forum and others is the diesel, I still went for the petrol because the 4 wheel drive hardware didn’t make sense for me and the premium for diesel too. The petrol engine according to me isn’t inferior and for my requirements, it’s a match. I genuinely hope Jeep updates this motor in the next iteration because this looks like the Achilles heel in an otherwise phenomenal package.
Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information
Source: Read Full Article