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Old 16th September 2017, 16:29   #1
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Default Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 : A review from the hills of Ooty

What Car?
Wheels...What can pull at a man's heartstrings as much, if you exclude love from the list. At least for crazy guys like us, this holds very true.

One for the ladies
And every once in a while there comes along a car that appeals to the head and the heart. The Jeep Compass is certainly one of them. And the surprising thing is that my wife, who has a very level headed approach towards purchases in genral and a passing interest in cars, mainly dictated by looks and cabin practicality, was totally sold on the Compass.
She had this thing for the Evoque. I looked at her in the eye, clasped her hands tightly and told her, that our collective kidneys were not for sale!! She kind of understood. And then the Jeep came along. Though we didn't have to sell body parts, it was a bit of a stretch. But the usually practical and cost conscious wifey did not bat an eyelid as far as I felt it was worth it. The reason... she felt that the Compass was as hot as the Evoque! She sniggered at the embarassing back seat width. But that's about it. She was sold.

Head and the heart
Some cars stir feelings deep inside your heart. It is always a combination of killer looks covering capable mechanics at a mouth watering price. Add to it an iconic brand name, and the package is complete and you want it so bad!! So you see, it is not a totally heart thing.
So yes, guys and gals dig the Jeep in equal measure.

Other options considered
The contenders were
a. The Innova Crysta 2.8 ZX
b. The XUV 500 w10 AT 4x4
c. The Hexa XTA 4x2
d. The Creta SX(o) manual
e. The Tucson
f. The Duster AWD 110 Manual
g. The Isuzu V-cross 4x4
h. The Jeep Compass Limited 4x4

The requirements were
1. It had to be a high ground clearence vehicle :
A large number of Indian roads are good. But an even larger number of roads are under construction and the state of these stretches on a rainy day would put some off road trails to shame! And then we have what were once roads. While cars pussyfoot on these roads, The pleasure of thundering past said poor cars on these sorry stretchs in the Duster, is sure to leave a grin on your face.
Also I find that it is much more comfortable to the eye and is not nearly as blinding, if you are sitting higher up during night drives.
Another advantage of a higher ride height is the feeling of security you get on busy highways where, if you are in a car, there is the feeling that every other guy out there is trying to bully you off the road.
All the contenders had the requisites of height and road presence. So no real dropouts here.

2. A Performance machine :
Being used to cars with power above 100 horses, it is easily discernible when a car is not sprightly on the highway. Even if a car has good low end grunt, the lack of a surge of power in the middle of the powerband during an overtaking maneavour on the highway is according to me both frustrating and rather unsafe.
Here too all cars are great performers and no real droputs.

3. Exemplary Ride quality :
Ride quality took precedence over handling, simply because a dynamically so-so car can be reigned in. But temperamentally so-so passengers after a long drive will spoil your entire trip.
The Isuzu D-Max had a very jittery ride. It is a wonderful car. But it is only a boy-toy for the ones without their own farms or businesses that involve hauling stuff. The family will curse you forever for the radical purchase and the bumpy ride. So the truck was out of our consideration.
The wallowy ride of the XUV 500 was a worry too. Not as bad as our previously owned Xylo, but still not right up there with the best in the business. Other deal breakers were that the XUV 500 is little too long in the tooth. The interiors and exteriors just do not exude a sense of premiumness despite the fact that the car is loaded to the gills. Friends who own the vehicle had a complaint with rattles and creaks which creep in after a few thousand kilometres. Also, me and my wife find automatics just too boring to drive. The manual gearbox of the XUV500 is not a good buy compared to the automatic, which we were not too keen on. The lack of the desirability factor was what took the XUV500 out.

4. What's in a name :
...As it happens, quite a lot. The name TATA wreaks the kind of fear in people's minds that would put Danaerys' dragons to shame. Despite trying to convince myself and the family that TATA is not what it was, people continued to give me the looks they reserve for a doomed man. Finally it gets to you, and I chickened out of the Hexa decision

5. Ubiquity and uniqueness:
This is where the Creta lost out. You see this car all over the place While it looked like good value mainly due to the premium interiors when it was launched against the Duster all those years back, Hyundai has been guilty of riding the wave without any major equipment upgrade. this makes it overpriced for what it has to offer by today's standards. Also I personally feel that it is too car like to be considered a real soft roader even when matched up against the Duster.

6.Creature Comforts:
The AWD adventure edition of the Duster also was in consideration.Though my old Duster 110 FWD was a much loved car for the ride, go anywhere capability, creamy power delivery and so on, the upgraded Duster was not different enough on the inside to provide that novelty value that is so important when you pick up a new car. And if you looked at the feature list, there is more disappointment in store. Some features like Passive entry and keyless go, specific warning of which door is open, audible and insistent seatbelt reminder, and a thoroughly modern infotainment system with Android & Apple intergration, I sorely missed on the 2016 Duster. I would have loved automatic wipers, cruise control, and hill descent control and electric seats on the Compass. I still feel a little raw that FCA skimped on this.

7. Price : while all these considerations were going on, the Jeep bandwagon was slowly gaining steam on TEAM-BHP and on all other automobile related news feeds. Then FCA dropped the price bomb. It was way lesser than what I had expected considering the good reviews that were circulating around. The Tuscon 2wd MT diesel looked like daylight robbery compared to what the Compass AWD Limited had to offer.

8. Appearance : I felt that the Toyota was worth the premium demanded, but a quarter of a crore for a van?? the family was against it. The Toyota was just too utilitarian in perceived road presence. Far from being a looker, it got shot down.

....And there you have it.The winner of this lot is the Jeep Compass. Surprisingly, The Duster 110 AWD adventure edition would have been my alternative. If only Renault had upgraded the Duster's interiors and equipment levels dramatically, maybe I would have chosen that car.

The Jeep Compass
Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 : A review from the hills of Ooty-20171019_232617.jpg
Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 : A review from the hills of Ooty-20171019_232851.jpg
Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 : A review from the hills of Ooty-_20170907_1713332016x1512.jpg

The Positives :
1. Excellent performance, amply proved by the car after I took delivery.
2. Good ride height though the wind deflector is placed a little too low.
3. Great Ride and handling. Ride not up there with the Duster. But nothing to complain about and the Compass makes up for it with the handling which I feel, is better than the Duster.
4. A very appealing design, and this car is the new kid on the block with substantially unique and catchy design elements.
5. A very acceptable pricing, Even with the GST revision if i might add.
6.The Jeep name. For those who know and surprisingly, for those who don't too. Even if a lot of people do not know the Jeep brand or who makes it, people assosiate the name with ruggedness, adventure, a devil may care attitude and oodles of style and substance. Not a bad set of traits to project yourself right? Works for me!.

The Negatives:
1.Space : The biggest negative that will hit you like an angry wife's saucepan that comes flying out of the kitchen. The Rear seat is strictly comparable to my dad's Ford Ecosport. The Duster is actually wider by half a forearm length. Me and wifey actually sat at the two corners of the rear bench in a comfortable position and measured the space between us in both cars. Dissapointing, and the boot space, equally so.

2.Equipment and gadgetry : The lack of Cruise control, Auto wipers and headlamps, electric driver seats and a sunroof have been done to death, and rightly so. It is quixotic of FCA to not add these to the limited(0) and keep it's price two lakhs above the Limited trim. What the current Limited offers is too less for the premium it demands. However with the above mentioned add-ons and an even higher sticker price than what it is now, it would definitely have made sense. I know I would have opted for it.

3. FCA's after sales : The bad experiences are present with all makes.
Probably Hyundai and Maruti are the only brands where the service is percieved as satisfactory by a large proprotion of it's clientele. This, I strongly feel, is due to the availability of service centres.
One, you can go to another one a little furthur away, if you are not happy with one that's closest to you (This is something I have heard from a lot of Maruti and Hyundai owners and have reasonable personal experience too). And two, the different service centres compete with one another to grab existing owners. As we all know, the money is in service and spares more than in sales.
Having owned vehicles from Maruti, Hyundai, Ford, Renault, Fiat, Mahindra, Volkswagen and close friends with vehicles from Mercedes, Audi and Nissan, one thing is for sure. Good and bad experiences are sprinkled everywhere. So we decided to take it as it comes.

Last edited by igp_79 : 30th October 2017 at 16:23.
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Old 18th September 2017, 17:25   #2
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Default re: Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 : A review from the hills of Ooty

The buying experience:
My dealer was SR Tranzcars, Coimbatore. My experience was a pleasant one. There was no drama this way or the other. Neither were they too disarming, nor was there anything to complain about. Quite professional. Just the way I like it.
After the online booking, the call came in a day. From then on, they were in touch. When the display car arrived and then when the test car arrived they informed me promptly.
They promised me the tentative date of delivery and with the GST Hike imminent, they did all they could to invoice the car earlier and delivered as promised.
Would recommend doing business with them.
The big positive was that they did not ladle me with mandatory add-ons. It was entirely my choice. I did not even opt for the floormats. A big thumbs up to that.
The handing over also was a low key affair. But not an indifferent one.

Last edited by igp_79 : 18th September 2017 at 17:33.
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Old 19th September 2017, 10:10   #3
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Impressions of the interiors

Some 'Love it' aspects and some glaring omissions. While the official review is the absolute last word for a detailed review of the interiors, I would like to make a few personal observations.

The seats: In a word GREAT.
Maybe the upholstery will take up dirt easily. But the Whitish Grey seats with the red stitching looks really upmarket at first sight.

There is no lumbar adjustment. But the bolstering is good and I feel they support all the right places. Even with Lumbar support I found my Duster's seats gave me a mild backache a few times, after a long drive. When I took the delivery of the Compass, I had a dull backache that day and 70 kms to drive back to my place. After the drive, my back surprisingly, felt better. Even the angulation of the head rest was just right.

No electric seat adjust. The manual levers are as well made and as easy to use as you can expect of a manual adjustment

The Interiors: Par for the course.
While there is nothing stellar about the interiors, they look adequately upmarket.I found the bottle holders, the under armrest stowaway compartment and the glove box adequate. The unfinished bits that the official Team-Bhp review so minutely pointed out (like the metal plate holding the Hood opening lever and the cutout for the glove box light which had no plastic covering) are not visible until you very specifically look for it. Kudos to you guys for combing through the car with such microscopic precision. What would we ever do without the Team-Bhp reviews!!

There is a feel of quality about everything. For example, the seatbelt rollers are a lot smoother when you pull on them to strap yourself. The holding straps of the parcel tray have a nice click-snap housing instead of the usual eyelets, the opening of the boot floor to expose the spare wheel and tooling has a well finished press and lift handle, The very dull lighting within the doorpockets, door handles, the central bottle holders and on the entire central console all add to an understated sense of quality. No real rough bits here.

Ergonomics: Spot on.
Except for the lighting stalk and the wiper stalk retaining their left hand drive orientation, I found the ergonomics to be good.

The steering mounted controls, with the volume rockers to the right and the source and track navigation to the left are beautifully positioned at the back of the steering wheel spokes. MID controls are to the left with those horrible dummies to the right.

The dead pedal positioning is absolutely perfect for my foot size (9 UK). Never used it in any of my other cars past and present, as I had to move my foot too far away. In the Compass, it is placed close and at the same angle as the clutchpedal. It just feels more natural to take my foot off the clutch and rest it on the dead pedal. Big thumbs up to that.

Last edited by igp_79 : 9th October 2017 at 11:23.
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Old 19th September 2017, 17:17   #4
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The In car entertainment system

The ICE has a loaded settings menu, which controls Audio, Reverse assist, Lighting of the interior and exterior, Electric park brake automatic on/off, some MID controls such as units of measure to use, climate control. These have been described in detail in the official review.

Some observations from my end.

1.The music playback is good, but not exceptional.

2.Autoplay of the last played app and track on the mobile resumes automatically on bluetooth hook up. Track navigation and volume controls work just fine.

3.Android auto ( I am an android user) starts up on connecting to the USB ports. Android auto, I find, is surprisingly handicapped when it comes to versatility. The stock version of android auto which is displayed on the infotainment screen cannot play music from any other app except Google play music. So I installed Cardroid from the play store, which is essentially a skin over android auto with assignable shortcuts to about 12 of your favorite apps. However, on selecting these apps, Cardroid hooks you up to the app on the phone's screen. This does not reflect on the Car screen. The audio alone gets streamed to the car's music system. So selecting tracks and navigating tracks have to be done on the phone screen only and not through the car screen or the steering mounted controls. This is sad since Google play music is not very versatile. While your phone screen shows your selected app on it's screen, The car screen displays the stock android auto screen with notifications and navigation options.
Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 : A review from the hills of Ooty-20170921_085750.jpg
Thankfully, navigation can be viewed and controlled from the car's screen even as Cardroid streams music from an external app such as Gaanaa.
This is nothing against the car's infotainment system. This is just an Android irritant. So a good mobile phone holder is required. How I wish there was a contraption like in my Ford Figo for resting the mobile! Pure genius that!!
Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 : A review from the hills of Ooty-20170921_085834.jpg

4. The phone menu on the HU is really good with assignable Favourites for one touch calling of your loved and feared ones. It is as comprehensive as the phone's inherent call options, all this over Bluetooth. Great integration of the phone functionality.

Last edited by igp_79 : 30th October 2017 at 17:31.
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Old 19th September 2017, 19:47   #5
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Now getting to the meat of the matter:

The Drive

I will categorize this as
1. Performance
2. Ride
3. Handling
4. Braking
5. Ground Clearence
6. Driver safety aids
7. Fuel Efficiency

Undoubtedly, for those of us who are graduating from 100-110 bhp cars that have a Bhp/ton ratio in the region 80-90, the Jeep comes across as a real fast car. Acceleration is linear and the car gets off the line in 2nd gear without a fuss. Me and my wife kept stalling the engine for the first day or so. I realized that this is simply because the inclines which the Duster would do in the second gear, the Compass was doing in the 3rd gear. However, due to habit, we were not shifting down at the right time since we were absently thinking that the car is in the second gear as in the Duster. The engine is really relaxed at low speeds, on inclines.
On the highway, The vehicle feels powerful and overtaking is a breeze with a burst of power available when needed.
The clutch pedal is light and the position of the dead pedal is spot on.
The gear shift action feels just like the other cars I have driven and could not feel any marked difference.

Here again I can draw a parallel with the Ecosport rather than the Duster. The ride is firm at lower speeds with a lot more rocking/vertical/jolting movement than the Duster while climbing humps and on potholes and broken roads. The Duster is a true sponge in that aspect. at higher speeds the difference though present, is not very marked. As a past Duster owner, I am plain dissapointed with the ride.

EDIT: I feel that the ride has mellowed down a little bit after 3000kms. If there is something like the suspension settling down, this must be it. Or I am getting used to the Compass' ride characteristics. Or may be the tires at delivery may have been overinflated and have now let off some air.

Now this is where the Compass is truly exemplary. Oh, you should take her for a spin on the twistys. Not with your family though!! You will come back grinning like a fool. Let's see what brings it all together. For one, the steering is razor sharp. Like the Ecosport or the Vento. Next up, the amazing tractability of the engine. You don't have to upshift during deceleration in the middle of the curve or hairpin bend, as the vehicle has enough oomph to pull through the curve even with an incline thrown into the mix. Then comes the superb roll control that the car is blessed with. I can easily carry 20% more speed into a sharp corner without being tossed around uncomfortably. All this makes the Compass more of a well sorted car like handler rather than an SUV. I don't really know if this agility is to do with the ESP kicking in at the right time and in right amounts, but the handling is stellar, and a hill drive pure bliss.

Another area where the Jeep excels. Absolutely no drama whatsoever. The braking is very linear and even with sharp braking from a relatively higher speed, the car comes to stop without the occupants feeling the inertia. After some time you start placing absolute confidence in the brakes which in turn eggs you on to drive with more speed.

Ground Clearance
An area of utter confusion with new figures thrown around every once in a while. The Compass has adequate Ground clearance and feels just as high and invincible as the Duster on bad or broken roads. It is the wind deflector at the front end that gets scraped every now and then.

One place which is a good place to check for the approach and departure angle is the slope leading to my house. It is a 35 degree gradient (approximately). Any vehicle that clears this is acceptable for potholes or undulating mud trails. No sedans will clear this angle. The wind deflector of the Compass just about cleared it. Incidentally, this is a breeze for the Duster.
Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 : A review from the hills of Ooty-20170920_155726.jpg
Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 : A review from the hills of Ooty-20170920_155447.jpg
Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 : A review from the hills of Ooty-20170920_155653-1.jpg
Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 : A review from the hills of Ooty-20170920_160636.jpg

Driver safety aids
The auto park brake: Excellent. since it engages as soon as the vehicle is turned off. But when you want it to work while moving the car, you need to raise the car and slip clutch till the parking brake disengages. I feel very uncomfortable doing this. So I manually disengage before driving off.
The Hill start assist: This is nothing but the parking brake engaging and disengaging in about three seconds of releasing the brake pedal.
Here, raising the RPM feels a lot more normal as that's how you normally move from standstill. so I have chosen to keep this function on.
I haven't had occasion to test the other features like ESP, Roll mitigation, Traction and ABS.
Other aspects of significance are that both driver and passenger need to be belted up to stop the warning chimes.
Auto door lock and unlock features are present.
Reverse camera with options for audio warning and dynamic guidelines are present.

Fuel Efficiency
Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 : A review from the hills of Ooty-20171031_073003.jpg
12 kmpl is the average I got with 1000 kms of spirited driving in the hills. The Duster returned the same. As a frame of reference, the Figo 1.5 diesel gives me an average of 15.5 kmpl. This is almost entirely hill and in town driving. Should be equal to the city mileage.
I did one long drive on the hills and highway that was around 200kms. The car returned a figure of 14.5 kmpl. Again, comparable to the Duster which usually returns 15kmpl for the exact same route.
One drive, I did with a light foot on the A pedal. No revving and letting the vehicle pick up it's pace with small throttle inputs. Speeds at 60-80kph, moderate traffic, Air conditioning at 22.5. This was a well laid inter town riad and the span was about 50 kms. I was rewarded with 18kmpl.

All in all, the Compass is a driver's delight.

Last edited by igp_79 : 4th December 2017 at 09:07.
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Old 30th October 2017, 16:40   #6
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Accessorising the car:
A car truly becomes yours only when it undergoes a little customisation that makes you feel at home every time you get in. So I set about putting in place some practical and some not so practical accessories.

The Jeep branded under armrest tray :
From Ali express.
Rough cost: INR 800-1000.

Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 : A review from the hills of Ooty-20170920_154924.jpg
Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 : A review from the hills of Ooty-20170920_154909.jpg

Sits snug inside the cavernous under armrest storage, with some space to spare below it. It has removable rubber pads with Jeep branding in red. The overall quality is good

Last edited by igp_79 : 30th October 2017 at 17:25.
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Old 30th October 2017, 17:07   #7
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The 3M Gloss Roof Wrap

From: I got this done at the TV Swamy road franchisee at RS Puram, Coimbatore. The guy who runs this place, Sudan is very sweet and really passionate. It is important that good people do the wrap, since the ribbed roof and roof rails make it difficult. These guys were very thorough. they removed the spoiler and the roof rails. Stuck the wrap and then screwed the Rails and spoiler back. The finish is way better when done like this. It took more than 4 hours.
Price: INR 21000.

Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 : A review from the hills of Ooty-_20170907_1704221512x2016-1.jpg
Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 : A review from the hills of Ooty-roof-wrap-resized.jpg
Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 : A review from the hills of Ooty-roof-wrap-resized-2.jpg

The roof wrap is not quite like painting the roof black. But the big plus is that the vehicle's original paint job is left intact.

Last edited by igp_79 : 30th October 2017 at 17:26.
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Old 31st October 2017, 10:59   #8
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7 Layered floor mats:

From: This is an Indian manufacturer with a well designed and professional looking website and an online store.
Price: 8500-9500.

Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 : A review from the hills of Ooty-20171016_082455.jpg
Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 : A review from the hills of Ooty-20171031_072423.jpg
Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 : A review from the hills of Ooty-20171031_072403.jpg
Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 : A review from the hills of Ooty-20171031_072338.jpg
Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 : A review from the hills of Ooty-20171031_072444.jpg

The fit and finish of the floor mats were really good. The noodle mats are removable via a twistable clip. The art leather diamond patterned floor mats cover the entire floor area of the car rather snugly. Way better than those awfully cheap cab grade full cover mats that the accessory shop guys try to sell you. The purchase was well worth the premium. These mats are available for all cars and can be bought on their website. Shipping took some time, But otherwise, it was a hassle free purchase and self install.

Car Cover:
Price: 1400

Good quality. Will last for about an year or so.

And that about winds up my review of the Jeep.

Last edited by igp_79 : 4th December 2017 at 08:55.
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Old 4th December 2017, 17:50   #9
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Default Re: Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 : A review from the hills of Ooty

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 4th December 2017, 18:46   #10
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Default Re: Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 : A review from the hills of Ooty

Let me be the first one to congratulate you, the Compass is looking superb with the glossy black roof! Superbly detailed and unbiased review. Wish you many miles of happiness on and off the road! Please keep updating this thread.

Edit: You have mentioned that you would buy the Duster AWD if the interiors was upgraded, is it from the ride quality and price point of view? As I understand, Compass is a far more safer vehicle than the Duster and if one can afford the Compass there is no point in going for the Duster.

Last edited by BlackPearl : 4th December 2017 at 18:50.
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Old 4th December 2017, 18:54   #11
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Default Re: Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 : A review from the hills of Ooty

Wonderful review, having been a Jeep Grand Cherokee owner in the middle east this was a very pleasant read for me. Hope you enjoy the ride for miles to come. Looking forward to a long term ownership report in the future.
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Old 4th December 2017, 19:13   #12
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Excellent review and congratulations for your compass. May you munch endless miles on your new possession and yes the glossy black roof looks great. FCA clearly dropped a bomb during price reveal and this is showing in the sales of the compass.
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Old 4th December 2017, 19:46   #13
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Default Re: Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 : A review from the hills of Ooty

Congratualations on your jeep purchase. Very nice choice!

What an excellent and exhaustive review. Rating the review 5 stars.

Originally Posted by igp_79 View Post

The stock version of android auto which is displayed on the infotainment screen cannot play music from any other app except Google play music.
Gaana app can be played on the car's screen. There are a few music apps that can do that apart from Play Music. I have Gaana and Beyond Pod installed and both of them can be controlled from the car's screen. There is a little arrow that comes next to the music icon on the android auto screen from which you can select the player of your choice. Let me know if you have trouble finding it and I can post some pictures.

Last edited by govigov : 4th December 2017 at 19:51.
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Old 4th December 2017, 20:25   #14
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Default Re: Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 : A review from the hills of Ooty

Congrats bud on the new ride. Pleasantly flavored pics and presentation.
It would be great if you look out for any untoward turbo-lag below 2000 rpm during cold-engine starts of the Compass. We own one 4x4 Limited MT and are sadly having some niggles related to the same noticed since last week.
We are trying to escalate the issue as the dealers have slithered-off from our issue stating that it is a unfortunate feature in all 4x4 Compasses.
Your observation and input regarding the same will be valuable.
Thank you in advance.
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Old 4th December 2017, 22:08   #15
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Default Re: Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 : A review from the hills of Ooty

Congratulations buddy! I did visit ooty two weekends back

Itís pretty nice to see how well youíve jot down your observations with respect to your car. The approach angle pic is one such example. I liked the pics and god I love the car. Me and my wife give compass a second look all the time we meet one in person. Silver and Black are my favs combos in Compass.

Enjoy your drive and have a safe one!
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