Rs 30 lakh budget for an SUV: Jeep Compass or Hyundai Tucson

I currently drive a 2012 Honda City and looking to upgrade to an automatic SUV that I will use for at least 7-8 years.

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Hi all, the SUV bug has hit me big time and I am planning to get one soon.

I am using a 2012 model Honda City right now (manual). My budget is around 30 Lacs, can stretch it by a couple more lacs.

Driving is mostly 60% highway and 40% city with close to 10K Kms/Year.


  • Good Autobox and comfortable ride for all passengers.
  • Safety (6 airbags, good brakes, safety tech).
  • Good ground clearance in full loads (I live in BLR with lots of un-scientific speed breakers, City has taken enough underbody hits).
  • Good enough space for 4 passengers (5th passenger is very rare).
  • Tech and creature comforts (good touchscreen ICE, auto wipers/headlights… I am upgrading from basic features in a Honda City).
  • Family loves sunroof!

SUVs in contention: Jeep Compass and Hyundai Tucson Diesel Automatics

Jeep Compass test drive experience

  • Really liked the looks, build quality, handling and interior.
  • Braking, stability around corners.
  • Better looking & modern touchscreen system.
  • Gearbox felt slightly lethargic compared to Tucson in city drives.
  • Pricey. Though I liked Model S, it's very costly.
  • Limited Auto variant misses out on features like ventilated seats, wireless charging, 360 Camera!
  • Last but not the least, slightly worried about the recent issues (rattling, instantaneous mileage errors, ICE issues) reported in social media forums.

Hyundai Tucson test drive experience

  • 8-speed TC gearbox is so smooth.
  • Overall good driving experience, felt the suspension less stiff than the Compass.
  • Has all the basic features, more leg space in the rear and boot capacity.
  • Interior, though well-built, feels dated. Doesn’t give a premium feel.
  • Missed out on various features available in its less costly siblings Creta and Seltos. But on par with Jeep Compass Limited variant.
  • Not sure about the unladen ground clearance of 170mm, would it be good enough to manage most of the bad humps fully loaded?
  • Bit worried whether Hyundai will launch the upgraded version of Tucson in India soon.

Really confused between these two and request advice from this valuable forum on what could be a better choice.

This is a very expensive buy for me and I intend to keep it for the next 7-8 years minimum.

Here's what GTO had to say about the matter:

The Tucson scores on the ride quality factor, as well as a better-tuned gearbox & rear space. Frankly, the Tucson is just a superb all-rounder, with the biggest deal-breaker being its old, outdated & yawn-inducing interiors. They feel like they're from another era.

As a package, the Tucson Diesel AT is better for you.

If you can wait:

  • Next-gen Tucson. Hyundai doesn't take too much time bringing their next-gen cars here, so I expect to see it in India in 2022. Use your Honda City till then.
  • VW Tiguan update, or the Kodiaq 2.0 TSI. Both are awesome, but both are petrol, so your fuel bills will be a lot more.

Here's what BHPian lordrayden had to say about the matter:

Voted for the Tucson.

Looks like we are/were in a similar situation. I have a 2010 Honda City manual and was in the market for an automatic SUV.

I finally got the Tucson diesel automatic. I did a test drive the Jeep Compass diesel automatic too. My observations were along the same lines as yours:

  • Ride: The Jeep Compass had a much stiffer ride compared to the Tucson.
  • Interior Space: The Tucson has much more interior space both in front and in the rear. In fact, when I sat in the Jeep Compass' driver seat, I felt like I was placed in a thermocol mould with the door and center console wrapped around me tightly. While this might be good for fast switch-backs going to a hill station, 99.9% of the time it feels like a lack of space.
  • Price: Given that the Jeep offers the diesel automatic only in the 4x4, I felt I’m paying a few lakhs extra for something I don’t want at all.
  • Gearbox: The new-gen 8-speed Hyundai torque converter gearbox is brilliant. As many have noted in Team-BHP, I rarely find it picking the wrong gear. And whenever it does pick the wrong gear, it’s always on an incline. The Jeep's 9-speed gearbox feels dim-witted in comparison.

Some additional things I wanted to mention:

  • Safety: This is a CKD, with some localization from what I read. Globally, the Tucson is a Euro-NCAP 5-star car. So, the one you get here in India should be very close to that (if not the same) given that localization generally starts with non-critical parts.
  • NVH insulation: Much better on the Tucson.
  • Servicing Cost: The Tucson comes with a complimentary 3-year service and maintenance package. So practically, you will be paying little (not nothing as Hyundai would have you believe) for servicing for the first 3 years.
  • Warranty: You get something called a Wonder Warranty with the Tucson that gives you the flexibility to select years / kms from 3 options. So, if your usage is less, you can select a 5 Year / 50000 kms warranty. And you don’t have to pay anything extra for this, this is how the base warranty is structured on the Tucson.
  • Ground Clearance: The figure of 170mm is mostly laden, not unladen. I've NEVER had a problem with the Tucson's ground clearance over road humps even at speed with 3 people in the car. Having driven a 2010 Honda City, I’m all too familiar with the "Crap! Speed bump! Quickly, turn turn turn! KAARRRRRR! Damn it!" routine.
  • Discounts: You should be able to get a sizeable discount on the Tucson.
  • Waiting period: Very less with the Tucson. For me, from booking date to PDI date was 5 days. Manufacturing date as per the VIN was the previous month and SA told me it was about a week before my booking date. Jeep had a 1 month+ waiting period when I was checking. I know you are in no hurry but just thought it worth mentioning.
  • Tyres: Despite my Bridgestone hopes and dreams, I got mine with Nexen tyres. As many in Team-BHP have noted Nexens are relatively noisy and do not last very long.
  • Parts availability: This car will become "previous-gen" in a year and is a CKD to boot. But I think out of all manufacturers, Hyundai would be very close to the top of the list to be able to get spares for old cars. Non-critical parts will get delayed as other BHPians have mentioned, but you will get them. My mom's 10-year-old Elantra had its fuel pipe lunched on by Mr Rat. We were able to get a new fuel line in a day.

To be fair to the Jeep, wanted to point out its plus points:

  • Looks: Gorgeous! No denying that. It also looks more like a traditional SUV which I personally prefer. The Tucson was lower down in the looks department for me.
  • Handling: Like a car! Will be brilliant in ghat sections.
  • Build: Main battle tank! It feels heavier in build compared to the Tucson. Closing the doors was like doing the Chest-Fly exercise.

Why didn’t I want to wait for the new Tucson and was fine with the current one:

  • I absolutely hate Hyundai's new over-the-top, look-at-meee, i-is-very-different design language that they have in the current Creta/Elantra and new-gen Tucson. The current-gen Tucson is understated and looks classy and elegant. It’s like James Bond in a tuxedo vs Lady Gaga at a concert.
  • It will be more expensive than the current version by 2-3 lakhs at least looking at the typical increase in price with a new generation Hyundai car. And there will be no discounts for a while. This will make the final wallet damage even more. My budget was already stretched so the new-gen Tuscon would snap it.
  • Launch of the new-gen should be mid to end of 2022 based on what I have read and heard. If I had to wait that long, I would have scratched my already old SUV-itch so much it would have turned gangrenous!
  • Call me old fashioned, I personally don’t find the interiors as outdated as some others do. The well-built nature and premium quality of materials overshadow the slightly old design for me.

Here's what BHPian anshu1101 had to say about the matter:

As an upgrade to my 2013 Vento 1.6 TDI, I was in the same dilemma as you for a long time. I wanted to upgrade to a diesel AT SUV (preferably a monocoque). After a lot of deliberation and countless test drives, I went ahead and booked a polar white Hyundai Tucson Diesel AT AWD. It is just a brilliant all-rounder.

The car has arrived at the dealership, and I did the PDI recently. Registration formalities are in progress, and I expect to get the delivery of the car this Sunday (28 Nov).

Primary reasons for choosing the Tucson over the Compass:

  • The engine and gearbox combo is a gem. Scores better than the Compass both in terms of power-to-weight ratio and torque-to-weight ratio. The 8-speed AT in the Tucson is way better than the Compass in terms of driveability. Found the diesel AT gearbox in compass to be a little lethargic.
  • Ride quality (much better than the compass).
  • Cabin and boot space (there is absolutely no comparison here). I could not digest the idea of shelling out 34 lacs (for a Model S AT) for the kind of space that the compass offers.
  • Wide service network (I do a lot of touring).

The only points that went against the Tucson are its dated interiors, slightly lower ground clearance and the fact that this generation is on its way out in the next one year or so. However, I just could not digest the quirky looks of the new Tucson. Not sure what is up with the design language of these new Hyundai cars these days (Venue/Creta/New Tucson). The current generation of the Tucson looks handsome and timeless in terms of design.

Also, I'm a guy who keeps my cars for long (8-10 years at least). With the pace at which we are seeing facelifts and newer generations of cars coming up these days, I'm pretty sure the newer generation will also become old as far as my ownership period is concerned.

Moreover, I'm someone who prefers physical buttons in cars for the HVAC controls over touchscreens. And new Tucson has touchscreens throughout, which would be cumbersome to use while driving, and would be a fingerprint magnet.

I would like to thank BHPian LONGTOURER, whose ownership report of his Tucson and inputs were immensely helpful in firming up my decision to go with the Tucson.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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