India-made Jeep Compass to be launched mid-2017

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The popular American off-road car manufacturer, Jeep, astonished us a few weeks ago by launching the Wrangler and the Grand Cherokee lineup at an unexpected price.

But, we don’t blame you FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles), as the ludicrous import duties leave little scope for the price tag of a CBU (completely built unit) unit to be anything but exorbitant. However, the two vehicles played well as brand introduction tools for Jeep India.

And, the company is now focusing on cost-effective (relative to Jeep’s own cars) products like its latest premium compact SUV, the Compass, whose Indian launch has now been officially confirmed for mid-2017.

The premium SUV will enter production at FCA India’s Ranjangaon facility, which is among FCA’s four manufacturing units spread globally. The company has released extensive details regarding the Indian-spec Compass, along with its variants.

The Compass is based on FCA’s modular platform, better known as “small-wide 4×4 architecture”, which combines the optimum amount of off-road and on-road capabilities. To take on the beaten path, the Compass features Jeep’s Active Drive SelecTerrain 4×4 system and the company claims it to be a best-in-class equipment.

The system is clever enough to send as much as 100 per cent of the available torque to any of the four wheels.

For improved on-road performance, the Compass uses a fully independent front and rear suspension system with selective damping in the front-and-rear-strut system. The monocoque chassis is composed of 65 per cent high-strength steel, which adds to the stiffness and better drive dynamics of the body shell, while keeping the weight in check.

Engines

According to FCA India’s press release, it will be available with both petrol and diesel engines in the country along with options of manual and automatic transmissions. Globally, Jeep will be offering five engines, out of which three would be petrol and two will be diesel.

Design

Staying true to Jeep’s heritage, the Compass carries a bold and brawny SUV design. It is highly relatable to its elder sibling, the Grand Cherokee. It carries the signature seven-slot Jeep grille, squared-off headlamps, a muscular clamshell bonnet, elegant shoulder creases and a raked front and rear windscreen.

On the inside, the basic essence of a Jeep vehicle has been kept in mind, with a retro dash and panel layout. The central console boasts a large touchscreen infotainment unit flanked by tall AC louvres, whereas the dual tone colour scheme with the use of contrast stitching lends the cockpit an upmarket appeal.

Features

The Compass will feature plenty of interior and exterior features such as:

  • Projector headlamps with DRLs
  • Extensive chrome detailing on the exteriors
  • Contrast roof
  • Large diamond-cut alloy wheels
  • Sleek LED taillamp units
  • Exposed tow hooks upfront
  • Twin exhaust tips
  • All-around black plastic cladding

Up inside, it will feature:

  • Uconnect infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support
  • Advance 3.5 and 7-inch driver information system and instrument cluster choice (no clarification from FCA if both options will make it to India)
  • 4×4 SelecTerrain control knob
  • Comfortable seats
  • Dual-Zone climate control
  • Engine Start/Stop controls

Safety and Security

According to Jeep, the Compass will carry more than 70 safety and security features. A few to name are:

  • The “safety cage” construction with extensive use of high-strength steel
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Hill Descent assist
  • Hill Ascend assist, etc.

FCA has planned the Compass as a mass market product and it will be available in more than 100 countries globally. Owing to this, the price is expected to be pretty competitive and might fall in the ballpark of Rs 20 lakh.

(Agencies)

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