A Jeep Compass with a diesel engine and an automatic transmission. How we have waited to see this combination on the compact SUV, and it's been a long time coming. There was finally some silver lining to the dark cloud when the company introduced the Compass Trailhawk with a diesel engine and an automatic transmission. Of course, it was a no brainer then that we would soon see the combination in a more affordable option. Jeep India took its time and finally this month launched the diesel automatic in two variants- Longitude and Limited Plus. But there had to be more on offer this time around and now we realise why the company waited this long. The engine on the Compass diesel automatic is now BS6 compliant and that's big news! Big enough to notice the change in the car.
First things first, it's refined and the hushed tone of the engine even at idle takes you by surprise. Why? Because the last time around we heard the grunt of the engine even on idle and that was in the Trailhawk. So, yes, it's quietened down. The 2-litre turbo diesel engine, which is, as we said, BS6 compliant, churns out 170 bhp and that's about 2 bhp more than the Trailhawk and any added power is always good news. The torque figure remains unchanged at 350 Nm and that's enough to push this car quite efficiently. I use the word efficient because the company has calibrated the fuel mapping of the engine in such a way that it suits the urban environment and fuel efficiency plays a big role here especially for a big car like the Compass.
The new diesel automatic is certainly more eager to get off the line than the Trailhawk and acceleration too is brisk. I say this while knowing that the car comes with a 9-speed automatic transmission. We've had a sense of what the ZF-sourced automatic transmission can do on the Trailhawk but, in the 2020 version of the Compass, it all makes sense. The shifts of the gears are seamless and there's enough power provided to you by the gearbox especially if you start engaging it in manual mode and that brings out a different aspect of the car. We sorely missed the paddle shifters on this one as it would have just upped the game for Jeep.
The power delivery is not too exciting though, it's more gradual and the linear delivery of the power kind of makes you go into cruise mode rather than flooring the accelerator and leaves you wanting more from the engine. You have to keep a close eye on your speed-o-meter though because the smooth acceleration takes you past the three-digit mark very quickly and the ride quality is sublime. The potholes or the unevenness on the road is dealt with ease and the other area which the Compass scores high on is low-speed ride quality, which was a bone of contention on the SUV right from the beginning.
As far as changes to the exterior or interior go, there are none, however, there are distinct feature offerings on both the variants. So, the Longitude variant comes with a 7-inch UConnect screen with reverse camera and dynamic guideline functionality, dual-zone air conditioning and two-tone interiors, passive entry to the vehicle and push-button start. Safety features like - ABS with EBD, electronic stability control (ESC) traction control, and hill start assist, disc brakes on all four wheels, electric parking brake and frequency damped suspension are on offer.
The top-spec Limited Plus, that we have, comes with a larger 8.4-inch UConnect Infotainment screen, dual-pane panoramic sunroof, plush leather interiors, an 8-way powered seat for the driver, auto headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming IRVM and six airbags and of course larger 18-inch alloy wheels.
So, is it worth buying then? Hell yeah! It's the best of all the worlds in the Jeep Compass range and we won't bat an eyelid before recommending it. The BS6 diesel automatic is a treat. But it comes at a price and one that slides on the more expensive side. With prices starting at ₹ 21.96 lakh going all the way up to ₹ 24.99 lakh, the diesel AT is just about ₹ 2 lakh less expensive than the Trailhawk. So, the diesel automatic then is for those who love cruising in and out of work, tackling the daily traffic and of course if you wish to throw in the occasional outdoor activity of off-roading, it does not disappoint on that front either.