Jeep Compass – All you need to know about the 2021 model

Jeep’s success with the Compass has given the brand a lot of confidence to move forward – and thanks to the iconic SUV brand, customers seem to have taken the plunge despite the Jeep brand being fairly new to our market. Of course, we did have the Wrangler and Cherokee brought in as CBUs, but because of their exorbitant pricing, nobody bothered spending so much on a Jeep. However, when launched in 2018, the Compass drew buyers to dealerships in large numbers, which left the brand surprised and proud. Now it may be the smallest SUV in Jeep’s line-up, but there’s no denying the fact that it has been a huge seller – or rather – a game-changer for the American brand in India. After FCA shut operations of Fiat in India, the entire focus has been on the Jeep brand; in fact, right-hand-drive Compasses are being exported to overseas markets after being locally manufactured at the Ranjangaon facility. For 2021, Jeep cars have updated the Compass to help it stay appealing amidst the ever-growing SUV market. It gets a fresher face, a reworked cabin and lots of equipment. Let’s see if the new Compass is really all-new.

Handsome hunk

The front-end of the Jeep Compass is where the most prominent of changes lie. It gets a bigger air dam, a revised Jeep grille and thank fully, there is no chrome. The logo and the seven-slat grille get a gun-metal grey finish and we think it looks fantastic. The grille gets faux inserts, while the actual intakes are placed below. The fog lights have now been pushed deeper into the front bumper and the new LED headlamps give it – what appears to be – a premium look. It even features a camera in the nose, used for the 360-degree parking assistant. The side profile is the same, but what’s new are those lovely diamond-cut alloy wheels. The square wheel arches give it great presence and the contrast roof works very well on some of the colours. The SUV’s proportions and overall stance continue to impress. While the outline of the tail lamps remains the same, the clusters are all-new. There’s even a sub-woofer in the boot and an electric close function for the tailgate.

More tech-oriented now

Step into the new Jeep Compass and that’s when the new cabin greets you with a more sophisticated look, upping the luxury game just that little bit more. Barring the seats, everything is new – including the dashboard, the digital instrument cluster, the steering, central console, a bigger touchscreen and door pads as well. The multi-layered dashboard gets double-stitching and leather, with a bit of faux leather above the dashboard along with two chrome bars bordering the centre panel. You get quite a bit of chrome on the inside, like on the dashboard, steering, gear lever and touchscreen. On top of that, you find lots of gloss black bits that blend well with the chrome. The switches and buttons have a good feel to them. Mention must be made of the new 10.1-inch U-Connect touchscreen that’s huge, almost looking like a tablet. It is brighter, quicker in responding and has a resolution that’s at par with smartphones. It features connected tech, the Jeep Life app and wireless Apple CarPlay.

The central console in the Jeep Compass sits a bit higher up and is also wider than before. Gone is the circular rotary dial for the four-wheel-drive system and in comes a metal toggle switch instead. A lot of other functions like 4WD lock, 4WD low and hill descent control have been moved just below the gear lever. The steering looks ‘expensive’ and the new digital instrument panel displays all manner of information. Features include cooled seats, a huge sunroof, eight-way powered seats with memory and a 360-degree parking camera. The designs of the seats remain the same as before, but are now powered getting seat memory and a cooling function too. At the back, there’s plenty of room and the seat base is very supportive. You will notice that rear AC vents now get piano black finish.

American muscle?

Not really, to be honest. It is powered by the same 2.0-litre Fiat-sourced diesel engine developing 170bhp and 350Nm of torque, but continues to be one of the best SUVs to drive. The suspension do feel a bit stiff at low speeds, but that also means it crushes road imperfections with ease. It rides and handles better than any other SUV in its segment and performance is strong. We just wish the 9-speed auto ‘box was a bit quicker in terms of response. Jeep Cars certainly have a lot to look forward to with the new Compass. Also, grab the latest info on the upcoming cars, only at autoX.

Thomas Salazar
the authorThomas Salazar