Jeep Compass 4X2 AT: First Drive Review

Saneet Dsilva
A Shark in Jeep’s clothing

Photography: Jeep India

The Jeep Compass has been a successful product in the American SUV maker’s India lineup and has recently added a new configuration. Previously, Jeep had provided an automatic transmission option in a 4X2 setup, albeit with a petrol engine, which has since been discontinued. This change left potential buyers with solely a more expensive 4×4 diesel automatic choice. However, with the introduction of the MY24 Jeep Compass lineup, Jeep India has addressed this issue by including a 4X2 configuration featuring the Fiat diesel engine, paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Jeep says that the MY24 Jeep Compass lineup has been exclusively developed for the Indian market. But does this new addition enhance the appeal of the Compass? Let’s find out.

Not much has changed in terms of the exterior design except for a special edition in the MY24 lineup- the Jeep Compass Black Shark edition. Swathed in a bold red and black theme, the new Black Shark edition is an attention grabber! Look closely and the unique details become apparent – a sleek black Jeep logo, Black Shark badges adorning the front fenders, glossy black 18-inch alloy wheels reminiscent of the Jeep Meridian, a fresh front grille design, and a gloss black lower fascia. The blacked-out treatment extends to the roof, claddings and ORVMs as well.

Step inside, and the all-black theme continues, creating a sophisticated ambience. Surprisingly, the red accents on the dashboard and steering wheel add a touch of vibrancy to the cabin, without feeling overtly flashy. The Compass Black Shark edition also boasts special contrast stitching on the upholstery.

In terms of features, this variant, based on the Limited model, packs an impressive array of tech and comfort, including full LED reflector headlamps, LED fog lamps, a panoramic sunroof, a 10.1-inch TFT touchscreen infotainment panel with Uconnect 5 UI, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a wireless charger, a semi-digital instrument cluster, and more.

When it comes to safety, the Black Shark trim claims to offer up to 60 standard safety measures, including ABS, EBD, ESC, hill start assist, and more.

The Compass becomes more accessible thanks to a new 4×2 configuration with the 2.0-litre multijet diesel engine paired with a nine-speed torque converter gearbox. This powertrain churns out 170PS and 350Nm. During our test runs, the Compass Black Shark edition showed off its prowess on the tarmac, managing a 0-100kmph sprint in 10.9 seconds, though Jeep claims it a 9.8 second time. The low-end torque is impressive, but it did lose some steam past the 3500-4000rpm mark.

Jeep has also fine-tuned the suspension for the MY24 Compass. It feels slightly softer compared to the previous generation but handles well on high-speed corners, potholes, and off-road terrains. Speaking of off-roading, Jeep India has built a dedicated testing ground within their Ranjangaon facility, complete with challenging obstacles. While the Compass proves itself as a capable off-roader, it faced a bit more of a challenge on low-traction obstacles, like the inclined stairs climb where a 4X4 powertrain and all-terrain tyres would have helped. 

While we prefer the 4X4 version, most potential Jeep customers simply want a 4×2 with occasional off-road capabilities at a more affordable price tag. And this new strategy appears to address precisely that. With prices for the MY24 Jeep Compass MT starting at Rs 20.49 lakh ex-showroom and Rs 23.99 lakh for AT, it’s clear that Jeep India has made the automatic transmission option significantly more affordable, a price difference of nearly six lakh rupees. The Jeep Compass with the new 4×2 configuration is a compelling option for those who want all of the Compass’ positive traits and the signature Jeep ruggedness without having to spend for the 4X4 hardware which they will rarely use. 

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