Jeep Compass And ‘Wow’ Pricing: Should You Buy It?
Launched with a price range of INR 14.95 – 20.65 lakhs, offered in 3 trim levels.
We know that the all-new Jeep Compass is going to be the legendary brand’s least expensive model in India, but the real pricing of the car actually made me feel like “am I getting the figures right??”! Perhaps, the company seems to have finally understood the importance of pricing in Indian market now, as the pricing of their previously launched models Jeep Wrangler and Grand Cherokee was totally not-in-sync with the market trends. It’s time to redefine our impression on the Jeep brand uh? The answer is Yes and No.
The Jeep Compass is being locally produced at Fiat’s Ranjangaon facility, with over 65 percent of localisation, and the new GST structure has also helped the company a bit to price it competitively. At this price range, the Compass locks horns with a wide spectrum of rival cars including Hyundai Creta and Mahindra XUV500 to Volkswagen Tiguan, Tata Hexa, Hyundai Tucson, Toyota Fortuner, and Ford Endeavour. The key point here is that the Compass is well positioned in the mainstream budget of Indian car market, therefore is likely to appeal to a wider customer base, given the popularity of the brand and the high spots of the car.
Further, the company seems to have given a clever package with the Jeep Compass so as to match the prices. The diesel versions, in particular, comes with 7 variants for the buyers to choose, including the Jeep’s Selec-Terrain all wheel drive system in the top-end Limited trim. The diesels are powered by 2.0-litre next-gen MultiJet II engines that churns out 173 hp and 350 Nm of torque, paired to 6-speed manual transmission only. The petrol version with 1.4-litre Multi-Air Turbo motor making 162 hp of power and 250 Nm of max torque, on the other hand, is available in 3 variants, but no 4×4 option. The sad part is that the 7-speed DCT automatic is available only in the petrol variants, while the diesels get the four wheel drive technology, so the combo of diesel automatic and four wheel drive is ruled out.
The equipment list is also decent, although some of the critical features like LED pilot lamps, tail lamps, and DRLs, front fog lamps, 17-inch alloy wheels, 7-inch U-Connect infotainment system, keyless entry, push button start, rear parking sensors, and dual-zone climate control are not available in the Sport trim. The Longitude (O) sub-grade swaps the halogen headlamps with projector-type units and adds roof rails, while the Limited Option fetches dual tone paint shades and Bi-xenon HID headlamps. But yeah, prices shoots up for these optional packs. Safety features like dual front airbags, Electronic Stability Control, Traction control, ABS with EBD assisting four disc brakes are all standard across all trims.
Okay, all seems fine. But there is something that is likely to hold up your buying plans for this car – the dealership network and hassle-free service. This factor wouldn’t matter for a typical Jeep buyer, but with the Compass, the company is approaching at a different customer base that is both tech-savvy and cost-conscious. Every other rivals of this car in the same price point have established service networks with decent reputation for easy and not-so-costly spare availability and service. As a newly debuting brand in India, Jeep is also fighting against the brand image of its sister brand it is associated with, Fiat, which is again very poor in dealerships and service.
That is perhaps why FCA India is introducing the Mopar brand with the launch of Jeep Compass. Mopar will take care of handling after sales services for the brand, with exclusive and upmarket customer experience assured. The company says that 48 dealerships across the country are Mopar-ready, but we have to wait and watch how this actually turns out to be in terms of bringing some feel-good factor in the minds of buyers. The previous efforts by FCA to set up Fiat Cafe showrooms did not reap any fruit. But with Jeep, there is a new ray of hope for FCA in India.