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Sedan to SUV: Replaced my Honda City with a used Jeep Compass

Decided against the Mahindra Thar due to the constrained space at the back.

BHPian deltasierra recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hello Jeepers!

I have recently purchased a pre-owned Jeep Compass 4x4 Limited Plus AT. The overall ownership experience has been good. This thread & other ownership reviews on the forum have played a phenomenal part in my finalizing of the car.

The Necessity:

With the increasingly deteriorating conditions of roads in Maharashtra and other cars owned being sedans, a need for an SUV was felt. Also, a change was required from my Honda City that has been with us since 2009. Hence, the thought of buying an SUV had been at the back of my mind for quite some time.

The main criteria were as follows:

  • Must be 4x4.
  • Should not be huge as parking becomes an issue in the city.
  • Should have a good safety rating.
  • Should be comfortable for the family as well.

The only cars that fit the above were - Jeep Compass & Mahindra Thar. The latter was never completely in contention due to the lack of rear passenger doors and the constrained space at the back. I had been procrastinating on this for a long due to a dearth of options.

The Initiation:

It started when I came across a listing for a pre-owned 2017 Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 that was a bit high on mileage but looked well-maintained. The price too looked decent and hence, I made the trip to Vashi, where the vehicle was, to visually inspect it. The dealer seemed honest and provided me with full-service history as well. I test drove the car and didn't find any red flags. The dealer informed me about another buyer interested in the car and wasn't negotiating much on the price. Though keen on the car, I didn't want to take a hasty decision and told the dealer that I needed time to mull over it before finalizing.

Once back to Pune, I had to travel for some work and any spare time was spent going through this thread in detail, taking note of usual issues and what to expect when purchasing one. I was also a bit apprehensive about the car not being on warranty, hence was putting off the decision. During this time, got a call from the dealer informing me that the car has been finalized by the other party and that was the end of that.

Now, since I had already started looking for a car, I decided to head to the Jeep dealership to check out the facelift version. The car looked quite premium, the interiors were a notch above the current one and had an upmarket feel. Though the quoted OTR prices of Rs 34.5L for AT and 30L for MT turned out to be a bummer. The said prices felt too high for what was on offer, and this too hit a dead end.

The Fruition:

As luck might have it, I came across another posting for a pre-owned Jeep Compass, this one being a top-end 2020 Limited Plus 4x4 AT variant with a dealer in Pune. I checked out the car and it was in excellent condition though, since the quoted price was quite high, I left a low-balled offer with the dealer & didn’t have much hope of finalizing this car.

I started going through various listings on the web and immediately realized the lack of 4x4 options of Jeep Compass on sale. This made me consider the above 4x4 AT more seriously and I started pursuing dealers for a better deal. I got the car checked at my expense from a trusted local workshop as well for any surprises, was given a go-ahead by them as the car was in prime condition with no foreseeable major expense in near future except the yearly service. A major positive was another year and a half of the standard warranty left on the vehicle.

Finally, after much negotiations, I was able to get 2.5L knocked off from the asking price. This was still a couple of lakhs more than what I would have ideally liked to pay but the lack of options in 4x4 variants pushed me to finalize this.

The delivery experience was good, the dealer had arranged for a cake, some chocolates and had the unveiling done.

Taking delivery:

Coming to the ownership experience, these are my observations after driving the vehicle for some 2500 odd km:

Likes:

  • Build quality – every part of the vehicle feels built to last.
  • Looks – though subjective, Compass has timeless SUV looks without being too jazzy.
  • Performance – the car has plenty of power, quick overtakes and bursts of acceleration are a breeze. Driving petrol cars for the past 5 years, I missed the initial torque of the diesel.
  • Drivability – Body roll is minimal; the car feels planted. Being a monocoque, dynamics are closer to a car.
  • Suspension – the suspension eats up bad roads like nothing. My wife jokes that she prefers Honda City as she tends to fall asleep in the Compass on long drives.
  • "SUV feel" – Coming back to SUVs after 5 years, I could not help but appreciate the dominant driving position they provide.
  • Safety – comes with both front and side airbags, 6 in total.
  • Ease – Being an automatic, driving in city traffic is a breeze.
  • Braking is good, though I would have liked the initial bite to be more.
  • I was & am concerned about the upkeep of light grey interiors, but they do make the cabin feel roomy. Sunroof adds to this, but I know it will be rarely used.
  • I am impressed with the headlamps; they do light up the road well. I was a bit concerned regarding this reading ownership reviews, but I guess they have fixed it with the xenon HIDs.
  • Passive Entry – I love the feature, something that’s amiss in my 330i GT.
  • Comes with all the basic goodies like rain-sensing wipers, auto headlamps, cruise control, 8” infotainment unit, auto-dimming IRVM.
  • NVH levels are also good, though you do hear diesel clatter at idle and the engine gets throaty at higher RPMs.
  • Gets an 8-way electrically adjusted driver seat, finding the perfect driving position is easy. Incidentally, this comes with lumbar support adjustment which again even my GT doesn’t provide. Another thing I noticed, that was new for me, is that the seat has separate height adjustments for the rear part and the front part. So you can increase or decrease the under-thigh support as per preference.
  • Sound Quality – It is much better than my Honda City and might even say better than the GT.

Dislikes:

  • As mentioned above, I would have the initial bite of the brakes to be more.
  • Light grey interiors will be a pain to manage, especially having a dog.
  • The irritating rattles from the dashboard. I do have managed to fix it temporarily with silicon spray.
  • Boot space is strictly okay, my Honda City had a larger boot space.
  • Lack of cubby holes and space to keep phones and the other items on the centre console. This was solved by buying an organizer insert from Amazon. It basically fits between the seat and the console.
  • Kickdowns – The auto gearbox was a bit hesitant to kick down when a burst of acceleration was required. This has been fixed to an extent post the updates from Jeep.
  • BS-VI – topping up DEF is an added hassle to keep track of. Also, with many DPF fitted cars failing in higher altitudes (no Jeep Compass yet though) is a concern.
  • Service – I have heard many issues with the Service Centre in Pune and most of the owners in my Jeep group are unhappy with them. The alternative is to take my Compass to Satara for annual servicing.

Sharing a few more pics of the car:

First Drive:

After Wash & Wax at home

Jeep & Beemer

Here's what BHPian Blessings21 had to say on the matter:

Congrats on your new addition to your garage.

I own a Jeep Compass Diesel MT (Night Eagle), bought in Jan 2021. I have covered 12000 KMs as of now. Thoroughly enjoying the car with the family. I acknowledge all the positives that you have listed above.

A couple of pointers:

  1. The brakes were very good and confident inspiring in the first 7000 KMs. Post that i can feel there is no gradual bite while applying the brakes. The initial 'inch' movement of the brake pedal has very less effect and then it is very sharp. The passengers were able to feel the inertia in all the recent highway trips. I am planning to get that checked during the 15000 KMs service
  2. Regarding DEF - the warning for low DEF pops up when there is about 25 to 30% DEF. So we can easily drive another 600 to 700 KMs minimum post the warning. So i have never found that as something that needs to be monitored with dedication.
  3. Rattles - very very subtle, very rarely, hear & there, but none of them was persistent.
  4. Can you please share the picture of the organizer insert and how that fits between the seats? I am planning to get one.

Here's what BHPian Axe77 had to say on the matter:

Fantastic early ownership report and interesting to see another GT owner take to a Jeep. I am really keen on a Jeep for similar reasons of bad roads in Maharashtra and just having a vehicle that can handle the rough and tumble with a little more peace of mind. The only difference is I would like my car to eventually replace the GT so I am considering the bigger Commander / Meridian variation of the Compass.

It’s nice to know that the car is built to a premium enough standard that on many fronts it can hold its own even when sharing garage space with the GT.

A bit disappointed to hear of the service issues in Pune. Will investigate what the Mumbai dealers are like on the service front before I take a final decision.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

 
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