We Indians love our SUVs, and car makers have spoilt us for choice in recent times. There are more SUVs available in the market now than there has ever been before and next year, American vehicle maker Jeep will be adding one more to the list: the Compass. We find out how it stacks up against the Ford Endeavour and the recently launched Toyota Fortuner and Hyundai Tucson.
The Jeep Compass will be sold with a 1.4 litre petrol engine and a 2.0 litre diesel motor. Although the base variant will only have 2WD, the higher trim levels will definitely be provided with an all wheel drive system and multiple driving modes. The Hyundai Tucson is also available in both petrol and diesel guises. The petrol version is driven by a 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder, 153 bhp motor while the diesel version gets a 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder, turbocharged engine that makes 182 bhp. Both versions can be ordered with either a 6 speed manual or a 6 speed automatic gearbox.
The Ford Endeavour also has two engine options but, both of them are diesel motors. The first one is a 2.2 litre, turbocharged engine that puts out 158 bhp. The 6 speed manual version of this variant can be ordered as a front wheel drive or a 4WD model while the 6 speed automatic version comes as a front wheel drive model only. The larger 3.2 litre, turbocharged engine generates 197 bhp and it comes with a 6 speed automatic transmission only. Also, this variant is available only with all wheel drive. The new Toyota Fortuner is on sale in both petrol and diesel options with the petrol engine being a 2.7 litre, 164 bhp unit while the diesel motor is a 2.8 litre, turbocharged unit that produces 174 bhp. Both versions can be ordered with a 6 speed automatic or a 5 speed manual (petrol) or 6 speed manual (diesel).
The Compass measures in at 4420mm in length, 1820mm in width and 1650mm in height. It has a wheelbase of 2640mm which should translate into a roomy interior. The Hyundai Tucson is 4475mm long, 1850mm wide, 1660mm tall and has a wheelbase of 2670mm. As clearly evident, these two vehicles are almost identical in proportions.
The big off-roader from Ford has a length of 4892mm, width of 1860mm and a height of 1837mm. It has a wheelbase of 2850mm (which is the reason for its superbly roomy interior) and more importantly, a high ground clearance of 225mm. Looking at the numbers, it is plainly evident that the Endeavour is the biggest and most imposing SUV of the lot here. The Fortuner always had its road presence going for it; not a surprise considering the fact that it measures 4795mm in length, 1855mm in width, 1835mm in height, and it has a wheelbase of 2745mm.
The Jeep brand is primarily known for the off-roading capability of its vehicles. Although the Compass will be an entry level luxury SUV, it will be kitted out with its fair share of terrain-beating gizmos such as the SelecTerrain 4x4 system with four different driving modes. Other features will include an 8.4 inch UConnect touchscreen infotainment system with support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, electrically adjustable seats, dual zone automatic climate control and a powered tailgate, amongst others.
The Tucson, Endeavour and Fortuner are all very well equipped SUVs in their own rights as well. All three vehicles come fitted with features such as touchscreen infotainment systems, automatic climate control systems (the Endeavour and Fortuner have a dedicated secondary AC for the middle and last row occupants as well), voice recognition, multiple airbags, multiple driving modes, electronic stability control, hill start assist and downhill descent control, projector headlights, parking sensors with an integrated rear view camera and much more.
Although the currently available Jeep models are priced quite steeply, the upcoming Compass will be much more accessible. The company will looking to manufacture this vehicle locally at the Fiat production facility in Ranjangaon to keep costs in check. The biggest hurdle facing the company will be the fact that they do not have a large number of dealerships and service centres at the present moment but, Jeep had mentioned a few months ago that they are widening their sales and service network in India aggressively. Moreover, according to car buyers here, out of all the SUVs listed in this article, it is the Jeep that has the biggest brand name and that alone could work very well in favour of the Jeep Compass when it arrives here next year.