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Old 16th September 2023, 17:35   #1
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Is the Jeep Compass 1.4 DCT a capable city car?

Just for the context, I'm in the market for an auto tranny CSUV and have shortlisted the Honda Elevate ZX CVT and the Skoda Kushaq Style AT. I'm specifically looking at CSUVs since this will be my daily commute (~ 300 days a year)

Meanwhile, I was notified that a friend of my colleague who is relocating has put up his 2021 Compass 1.4 DCT Limited (O) for sale. The car has done just under 15k on the odo in abour two and half years and comes with an asking price of 23L. I drove the car for a good 45 min - my first time on the Compass with the 1.4 DCT.

The Compass sports a fantastic build quality, premium interiors and is kitted for practicality. Features like electric tail gate opening, electric seat adjustment with memory function, dual zone AC, smart parking brakes, etc. easily justify the premium.

Drivers seat visibility and comfort is top notch too. The adjustment for the steering as well as the seat are the best I've experienced. The dead pedal was a tad bit uncomfortable with the raised angle though. Rear seats are reasonably comfortable for three adults. The coutours for the window side passengers is enhances comfort.

While everything about the drive and the way the car handles was impressive, I was underwhelmed by the performance of the 1.4 turbo mill. The car really seemed to struggle at lower speeds due to pronounced turbo lag. My assessment is that the 1.4 DCT is not the best choice for someone with 80-90% city driving.

Is the above a fair conclusion? If I overlook the subpar low-speed driving experience (will be hard to), is the asking price of 23 lakhs reasonable?

My only reason to extend my purview to the next segment is because I was notified of a well cared for car that is supposedly fun to drive, but I'm not too sure this is a great choice given my driving pattern.

Appreciate insights from those familiar with the Jeep Compass.
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Old 16th September 2023, 18:06   #2
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Re: Is the Jeep Compass 1.4 DCT a capable city car?

My close friend's dad owned this for a couple of years. You have already mentioned the positives. I found the space to be less especially for taller occupants if they are sitting behind each other. But the worst part of the car was the pathetic fuel consumption. My friend quoted 5-6 KMPL in the city.
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Old 16th September 2023, 18:28   #3
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Re: Is the Jeep Compass 1.4 DCT a capable city car?

Price is decent if the car is clean but three basic points remain

- expect 6-7kmpl in city traffic

- Compass is an expensive car to maintain. Service and spare part costs are in Mercedes category. Everything is high quality, but when the time to replace things inevitably comes, it will burn a hole in your pocket. Regular service for my diesel Compass costs around 30k.

- the engine is not rated for the E12/E15/E20 petrol we are getting.

Personally, I will not suggest buying any car that is not E20 compliant, from a peaceful long term ownership perspective.

Last edited by Shreyans_Jain : 16th September 2023 at 18:31.
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Old 17th September 2023, 10:16   #4
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Re: Is the Jeep Compass 1.4 DCT a capable city car?

I own Compass and Seltos. I am writing their comparison in the Assembly line and it will be out in 2-3 days.

My friend owns a Petrol compass. So I can give you clarity.
In no sense petrol compass is slow. Initially, the 1.4 Multiair engine is slow up to 2k rpm but after that, it is very fast.
It hits 100 kmph in under 10 secs with a top speed above 200 kmph matched with its solid driving dynamics and heavy build quality.

Compass is 400 kg heavier than cars like Creta, Seltos and Elevate. The Compass door is twice as heavy in comparison to the seltos.
Where seltos is good in handling till 100 kmph compass is better after that till higher triple-digit speeds.

Quality comes at a price- as you are buying pre-owned you have saved money in the buying process so don't worry about giving some extra penny for service.

My Diesel compass service cost comes between 13k to 17k ( oil, oil filter, air filter, diesel filter, alignment and balancing). Even the Petrol compass service will cost 1k less. DM me I will share pictures of Bill.

There are millions of vehicles ( which are in the majority) on the roads which are not E20 Compliant so next 10-15 years normal petrol will be available on pumps at half nozzles.

I suggest you go for it and take an extended warranty to the 5th year for 35k.

The moment the compass entered my garage. I have ditched driving the Merc ( it is 2.5 times more expensive to maintain )and Seltos.

Last edited by vattyboy : 17th September 2023 at 10:31.
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Old 17th September 2023, 18:17   #5
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Re: Is the Jeep Compass 1.4 DCT a capable city car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shivasuma View Post
But the worst part of the car was the pathetic fuel consumption. My friend quoted 5-6 KMPL in the city.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shreyans_Jain View Post
expect 6-7kmpl in city traffic

- Compass is an expensive car to maintain. Service and spare part costs are in Mercedes category. Everything is high quality, but when the time to replace things inevitably comes, it will burn a hole in your pocket. Regular service for my diesel Compass costs around 30k.
Many thanks for the insights. My usage is actually is on the lower side - say 500-600 km/month, but a mileage of 5-6 compares to a 2.2L NA!

I was shown the service history and the bills run between 12k and 16k. I believe you are talking about replacement parts, which is also something to be considered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vattyboy View Post
In no sense petrol compass is slow. Initially, the 1.4 Multiair engine is slow up to 2k rpm but after that, it is very fast.
It hits 100 kmph in under 10 secs with a top speed above 200 kmph matched with its solid driving dynamics and heavy build quality.

Quality comes at a price- as you are buying pre-owned you have saved money in the buying process so don't worry about giving some extra penny for service.

The moment the compass entered my garage. I have ditched driving the Merc ( it is 2.5 times more expensive to maintain )and Seltos.
Thanks vattyboy. Agree, and I apprecaite the oportunity to pick up a brilliantly cared for vehicle. I'm fine with the asking price too. The question is how much will I enjoy driving the car in conditions I will mostly use it in? Is the turbo lag something I will get used to?
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Old 17th September 2023, 20:05   #6
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Re: Is the Jeep Compass 1.4 DCT a capable city car?

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Originally Posted by pannags View Post
Many thanks for the insights. My usage is actually is on the lower side - say 500-600 km/month, but a mileage of 5-6 compares to a 2.2L NA!

I'm fine with the asking price too. The question is how much will I enjoy driving the car in conditions I will mostly use it in? Is the turbo lag something I will get used to?
One word: No. You will not enjoy it much in city confines.

I drive a Skoda Slavia 1.5 DSG. The DSG is one of the best dual clutch automatic boxes money can buy even in its DQ200 dry clutch form. The 1.5 tsi it is mated to is also a very tractable engine with a decent bottom end. Despite these two factors, I find that this combo needs planning and managing and a bit of a pain on choked BLR streets (meaning that it isn't effortless and seamless, you're always having to think and execute). My ex Verna 6AT diesel was far more comfortable in traffic. When I visit my folks, I even prefer my Dad's gen 5 City's CVT and never miss an opportunity to pick that car while driving them through clogged streets because it is effortless. That my Slavia is awesome on the open roads or in free flowing traffic is a separate matter.

This is my experience with the best DCT in the business. The Compass' laggy and thirsty engine + one of the worst DCT executions, get a huge thumbs down from me for driving around in BLR B2B traffic. You will be pulling your hair in bunches when you want to do a quick maneuver and the lag and ponderous gearbox don't deliver.(yes, i've driven the car, before anyone asks).

Your use case begs a TC or a CVT. I would even nudge you towards the Elevate.

Last edited by ashivas89 : 17th September 2023 at 20:15.
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Old 17th September 2023, 20:54   #7
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Re: Is the Jeep Compass 1.4 DCT a capable city car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vattyboy View Post
I own Compass and Seltos. I am writing their comparison in the Assembly line and it will be out in 2-3 days.

My friend owns a Petrol compass. So I can give you clarity.
In no sense petrol compass is slow. Initially, the 1.4 Multiair engine is slow up to 2k rpm but after that, it is very fast.
It hits 100 kmph in under 10 secs with a top speed above 200 kmph matched with its solid driving dynamics and heavy build quality.
All these are precisely things a city car isn't going to do. A car that runs inside the city spends majority of its time below 2000 rpm, especially an AT. So things like outright power, 0-100 times and even driving dynamics to an extent don't matter here.

What matters is low end torque, smooth gear shifts and ride quality. And going by reviews and some driving I have done too, the 1.4L DDCT falls flat on its face in all three aspects. The 1.4L has poor low end, typical of a small capacity petrol mated to a large turbo. The DDCT is again slow at swapping cogs in the initial gears, usual for dual clutch transmissions. Ride is on the stiffer side but I won't take it as a dealbreaker.

I would say this is probably one of the worst choices in its segment for a pure city commuter. Even if your city: highway ratio was in the region of 60:40, this car 'might' have been worth considering. Not to mention the pathetic fuel efficiency of the 1.4L in peak traffic (5-6 km/L). Unacceptable for a car having a 1.4L when heavier 2.0L turbocharged engines manage similar figures.

The reliability of the DDCT is also patchy. There have been cases of overheating and two cars were waiting for a new transmission at the Jeep ASC last time I visited. DCTs hate city traffic and that's a known fact. Service costs are par for the segment I would say. They generally don't exceed 16-17k.

I would suggest you consider the Honda Elevate CVT or the Skoda Kushaq 1.0L TC. Your use case does not allow you to take advantage of the inherent benefits a DCT offers (excellent downshift times at higher speeds). You will also have far more peace of mind driving it around in city traffic.

Last edited by vishy76 : 17th September 2023 at 20:57.
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Old 17th September 2023, 21:50   #8
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Re: Is the Jeep Compass 1.4 DCT a capable city car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pannags View Post
Is the above a fair conclusion?
I am not familiar with the Compass so won't get into the experience/technical, as they've already been well explained.

The only point I would add is that with a 300 days/year usage, you should also check into the downtimes typically faced by Compass users in general and also of the powertrain you're looking to purchase.
Like waiting time for spares, updates, service experience in your area.

Last edited by shancz : 17th September 2023 at 21:51. Reason: typos
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Old 17th September 2023, 22:08   #9
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Re: Is the Jeep Compass 1.4 DCT a capable city car?

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Originally Posted by vishy76 View Post
Not to mention the pathetic fuel efficiency of the 1.4L in peak traffic (5-6 km/L).

You will also have far more peace of mind driving it around in city traffic.
I truly respect your point of view.

My point of view is- that in peak traffic when all vehicles are slowly crawling behind each other then having an incredibly good low-end torque is a negative point because one will always have to be careful on the throttle otherwise he will go and collide into the front car.

See my merc has no turbo lag and its turbo comes into play from a mere 1500 rpm but in city conditions, this is a negative point because you will have to be careful always on throttle. In my diesel compass also same thing happens.

I find the Compass petrol more responsive below 2k rpm also, than my seltos 1.5 NA.

Yeah, it lacks in the low end in comparison to VAG groups 1.5 turbos ( which is also due to compass being heavier than them by 400 kgs otherwise if you put this 1.4 multi air in a 1200 kg car then it will be a missile) but it truly outshines other 1.0 turbos and 1.5 NA's.

So lack of low-end torque in the city has benefits also, it will not scare you when you open the throttle inside the city so I find it comfortable.

At city speeds with traffic in my diesel compass, I will only use 100 nm of torque for acceleration out of a total of 350 nm. So the same 100 nm compass petrol can also provide me below 2k rpm.

Last edited by vattyboy : 17th September 2023 at 22:11.
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Old 17th September 2023, 22:58   #10
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Re: Is the Jeep Compass 1.4 DCT a capable city car?

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Originally Posted by vattyboy View Post
At city speeds with traffic in my diesel compass, I will only use 100 nm of torque for acceleration out of a total of 350 nm. So the same 100 nm compass petrol can also provide me below 2k rpm.
It is not just about bumper to bumper traffic in city. I have to slow down for a pothole or speed breaker and accelerate thereafter. I have to stop at signals or accelerate after a u turn. I have a short window to overtake that overloaded tempo. In all these situations, the low end torque and low weight go a long way in ensuring a happy and safe drive. A diesel with loads of torque can be handful in traffic but a light weight well tuned petrol is the best bet.

Our neighbour was frustrated with his Compass petrol because of its performance and got a Creta D auto which is his daily ride now. His use is 95% city.
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Old 18th September 2023, 09:57   #11
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Re: Is the Jeep Compass 1.4 DCT a capable city car?

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Originally Posted by vattyboy View Post
next 10-15 years normal petrol will be available on pumps at half nozzles.

Can you elaborate on half-nozzle thing?
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Old 18th September 2023, 10:29   #12
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Re: Is the Jeep Compass 1.4 DCT a capable city car?

I drive on the ORR in Bangalore every day and needless to say, it's a real test of city driving.

Having driven a Compass DCT on the road and immediately going back to my MG ZS EV, the difference was night and day. The lag means bikes cut you off often. Finding a gap and quickly merging in was extremely challenging for me. Maybe over time, I would understand the car better and workaround the pitfalls in traffic but it's definitely not an enjoyable experience.

I had new found appreciation for EVs. I finally understood the value of low end torque. Apart from city driving, even on highways, it helps you quickly accelerate upto cruising speed without any fuss.

So if it's only city driving, I will recommend you to steer clear and check out EVs. If significant highway rides are involved then the Compass maybe a great fit.
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Old 18th September 2023, 10:33   #13
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Re: Is the Jeep Compass 1.4 DCT a capable city car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pannags View Post
but a mileage of 5-6 compares to a 2.2L NA!

I was shown the service history and the bills run between 12k and 16k. I believe you are talking about replacement parts, which is also something to be considered.
I have a 2021 model Petrol DCT & get a mileage of 8-9kmpl in traffic (tank full to tank full) and have been tracking this for last ~2 years of ownership. On highways, I have got 9-11kmpl depending on route and destination (in the hills - its obviously lower)

Quote:
Originally Posted by pannags View Post
While everything about the drive and the way the car handles was impressive, I was underwhelmed by the performance of the 1.4 turbo mill. The car really seemed to struggle at lower speeds due to pronounced turbo lag. My assessment is that the 1.4 DCT is not the best choice for someone with 80-90% city driving.
we have driven ~19,700 KM in almost 2 years, close to 90% in city, and do agree that up to 10-20km/h (i.e. stop and go traffic), the car is slightly underpowered, however you wont mind that if the traffic is anyway crawling.

Once you start gently accelerating, the Petrol DCT coolly hovers around 2k RPM mark and picks up speeds that you wont expect.
It does not like to be revved high, but if you are strike a balance between being aggressive and sedate, the Petrol DCT will not disappoint you.

Above all, the ride comfort is unbeatable. I have driven my dad's Creta, test driven Seltos & Taigun multiple times and still feel that Compass has the best tuned suspensions. Personally, I would not mind a mileage of 5-6kmpl also, because for me the priority is the ride comfort. In the entire process, if the car is in the workshop for approx. 1 week out of the entire year, I would not mind. (Note: earlier this year, my Jeep was in the workshop for 3 days for battery replacement under warranty - first ever such issue in the ~2 years of ownership)

I will suggest, go for the car. you still have 2-3 more years of warranty (assuming extended warranty), you will not regret when you glide over potholes.

Last edited by aayusht : 18th September 2023 at 10:42. Reason: adding details on ride comfort
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Old 18th September 2023, 12:29   #14
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Re: Is the Jeep Compass 1.4 DCT a capable city car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shreyans_Jain View Post

- the engine is not rated for the E12/E15/E20 petrol we are getting.

Personally, I will not suggest buying any car that is not E20 compliant, from a peaceful long term ownership perspective.
OT: How can we determine if a car is E20 compliant or not? Rather at what E petrol is car, how can we determine it?
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Old 18th September 2023, 12:40   #15
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Re: Is the Jeep Compass 1.4 DCT a capable city car?

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Originally Posted by 07CR View Post
OT: How can we determine if a car is E20 compliant or not? Rather at what E petrol is car, how can we determine it?
It is mentioned in the owners manual.

The only reason why Jeep is currently not selling their Petrol vehicles is because they are not BS6.2 compliant and this compliance includes E20 compatibility.
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