Bought a Compass petrol AT to replace my Ford Aspire: Ownership review | Daily News Byte

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I have booked the Toyota Hyryder, but I am not very happy. So, after much deliberation decided to take a leap of faith with the Jeep SUV.

BHPian yashg recently shared it with other enthusiasts.

I joined Team BHP at the beginning of this year. The signup questionnaire has a question about your dream car. My answer is definitely – Jeep Compass Petrol Model S. Now that dream has come true. Against all logic and reason, I ended up buying a Jeep Compass and that too on petrol. Automatic. 4×2. Because YOLO. Also because every time I see that car on the road, I feel like a teenager looking at their crush. Hopefully, it will be a fun and enjoyable ownership experience. This is my third American car after the Chevrolet Spark and Ford Figo Aspire. Hopefully, Jeep doesn’t flee India in the next 5 years. Keep my fingers crossed.

The desire or rather itching to get a new car started at the end of 2021. The Aspire runs well, but I want to get a car with a little ground clearance and an SUV form factor. I started looking at new cars on Carwale and discovered new features that I wanted in a new car.

In addition to what is already on my Aspire, I like the following features:

  • NCAP rating of 4 stars or more
  • Minimum 6 airbags
  • Good build quality
  • Sunroof
  • Cruise control
  • 360-degree camera
  • Comfortable seats
  • decent boot space

The budget is around 15 lakhs. I’m not looking for a car right away. I just started browsing auto portals and YouTube channels. I don’t have a specific car in mind, I’m open to every option and I’m keen on an EV too.

I started test driving a few cars.

MG Astor

This was the first car I tried. The exterior looks good. Although it has more crossover styling, it looked very good in the showroom. I found the interior OK. I don’t like red Sangria. It looks too dark and maroon in real life. It drove well, but I didn’t feel like driving like the SUV I was hoping for. Moderately different from Aspire. I liked the 360-degree camera and added it to my list of must-have features. I found the robot and voice command gimmicky. I took the pricing and moved on. I quipped to my colleague who had accompanied me for the test drive, “I can add 5 lakhs more and get a Jeep Compass.” I have no idea how much Compass costs. Compass wasn’t really on my radar then.

Kia Sonet and Seltos

After the Astor, I visited the Kia showroom. I tried both Seltos and Sonet. The Sonet I drive is a Diesel IIRC. Seltos is very beautiful. Well proportioned. I liked the built-in sunshades on the rear window. While driving it feels like my Aspire. It’s like I’m just driving a sedan. It was effortless to drive for sure but it didn’t pull at my heartstrings. After driving the Seltos too, I decided I just needed a panoramic sunroof. So that too has become a must-have feature. After looking at the Sonet, I decided there are no more sub 4 meter cars, so a whole segment of cars is out of contention. I know Seltos’ 3-star GNCAP rating, so that was also a deciding factor in its elimination.

MG ZS EV

Next up, the EV version of the Astor/ZS. This was before the facelift was launched with higher capacity. Great car. The instant acceleration is insane. I was tempted to go with the EV, but setting up an individual charger in my parking lot was an issue. I tried to install our society with common chargers. It didn’t work out. After a lot of reading and watching a lot of videos on the subject, I have decided that the EV infra will not move to our country yet. EV works best for city runs when you have a second car for long trips. I plan to go on many road trips in my new car. So the EV gets a pass for this round of upgrades.

MG Hector

As I was driving the ZS EV, I told the SA that I was also considering the Compass. So he suggested looking at Hector as well. I hadn’t thought of it before because of the size. It was just too big but decided to give it a try. Feature-wise it is packed full. It drove well. There was nothing in particular that I didn’t like. Transmission is also readily available for the petrol top variant. But in the end it was removed due to size. A bit too big for Mumbai traffic.

Toyota Hyrider

I was enthusiastic about it the moment it was announced. Toyota and Maruti took too long to reveal the features and price after the mid 2022 announcement. I got to test drive it around Diwali and booked it immediately. A very nice car, the only negatives are the very small boot space in a powerful hybrid and the mosquito net being used as a sunroof liner. At this time, only two cars remained in contention – Compass and Hyryder. I asked on this forum if I should go with Compass or Hyryder, and most members suggested Hyryder.

Cars briefly considered but never tested

  1. Hyundai Creta: I didn’t try the Creta because that car is common and it has a one month waiting period, so I didn’t review it. A few months later, its NCAP ratings were announced and the 3-star rating permanently shut it down.
  2. Hyundai Venue: Sub 4 meters, go down.
  3. Skoda Kushaq/Volkswagen Taigun: Lack of panoramic sunroof, too small.
  4. Skoda Slavia/Volkswagen Virtus: Lack of panoramic sunroof, sedan.

Let’s talk about the Jeep Compass.

I know Jeep is a standalone brand. I don’t know who owns it or what cars it made. Its existence is only vaguely known. I noticed this when the Compass was launched in India in 2017. I wasn’t in the market for a car then, I saw it was more expensive than the Creta and forgot about it. I didn’t notice it especially on the roads. After I mentioned to my colleague that I can spend 5 Lakhs more and get a Jeep, all I knew was that Jeep is a premium brand and expensive. Then I looked at the prices and features on Carwale. The features ticked every box I wanted. Jeep really hit it out of the park with the 2021 facelift, but it’s also priced a good 10L above the Creta/Seltos etc. That’s sad. But somehow, the car stuck in my mind. I think it was around January 2022 when I first called the Jeep showroom and asked about the Compass. I didn’t book a test drive. I know I won’t be buying it anytime soon. Also applied for Team-BHP membership around this time and mentioned the Compass as my dream car.

And the months passed, and I continued to test the vehicles mentioned above. And I started to notice the jeeps on the road. Whereas before I didn’t pay much attention to them, now every passing Compass got my attention. Then one fine day, I broached the subject to my husband that I was seeing cars and a car worth 30L+ was in my mind. His first reaction was, “Are you mad?” His second question, “What car is that?” My husband has never heard of the Jeep brand. He thought the Jeep was a type of vehicle used by the police. Even later on when I told my father about it, his reaction was “Jeep also makes cars? Will there be a cloth top?” The word Jeep is synonymous with SUVs. Even at the toll plazas, they mention the jeep as a separate category of vehicles. It’s hard to explain the rationale of a 30L+ car from an unknown brand to my wife. More so because he is a Chartered Accountant and understands that it is a depreciating asset.

Inspired by the article on almost new used cars, I’m also open to a pre-owned Compass. I test-drove a 2019 Limited Plus. It doesn’t have cruise control! The top petrol Jeep model from 2019 does not have cruise control. So it is out of dispute. It was parked in the basement of a mall, and the car had a really hard time going up the steep ramp. I went home unimpressed and a little disappointed. Later, I found a 2021 model S listed online, called the owner and asked the reason for selling the car for a year, he said he was moving abroad. He also mentioned that he is an actor. I Googled him and found his wife is also an actress that I have seen in several movies and shows. So it seems like they are just an excuse to move to another country while having a thriving acting career in India. I decided not to get a pre-owned Compass.

Then on Diwali, I booked a Hyryder. But, I was not happy. It’s like making a compromise. At the same time, seeing multiple threads of brand new Compasses breaking within days of delivery keeps me worried. However, after much thought and thought, I decided to take the plunge. Will I regret it? Only time will tell.

Started with a budget of 15 Lakhs, and ended up with Compass. Jatey sila Japan, pahunch gaye Cheen… (We started for Japan but ended up in China – a famous Kishore Kumar song from the movie Chalti ka Naam Gaadi)

Booking and PDI

Booked the car at Landmark Worli in exotic red + gray roof. A discount of 1 lakh was given on the ex-showroom price. I chose direct insurance. VIN shared same day. A WhatsApp group was also created. I asked for the VIN to be sent via official email which they did. This is a vehicle built in September 2022. I set up an appointment for PDI for a day later. Based on the Team-BHP checklist, I created a bullet list of things to check during the PDI. The PDI will happen at their Ghodbandar stockyard. I took a friend with me for PDI. He’s not a car person so I took him along to look at the car and point out anything unusual. I explained the PDI concept to him and he was like, “Isn’t it the dealer’s responsibility to inspect the car before they sell it to you?” I was a little taken aback by that simple question, but I had to explain to him why a PDI is needed and how dealers can slip you a defective car. Before leaving for PDI, I asked for a photo of the odometer, which was shared. It showed odo in H mode with 21 KM.

We arrived at the stockyard and inspected the vehicle according to my checklist. Found a panel gap on both front doors which I think is minor and asked them to fix it before delivery. There are some water marks around the body, which just need a proper wipe with a towel. The wheels were made in the 36th week which coincided with the month the car was made. All electronics checked including individual charging ports. Paired my phone with the Jeep UConnect over Bluetooth. Worked well. My friend asked the SA about how many customers come for PDI, and 1 in 10 answered. SA also showed us how the door opens automatically when you put your hand on the handle. I asked if I could ride inside the stockyard, but was denied.

I sent the pictures of the panel gap to Landmark SA and fixed the vehicle. Some pictures from PDI:

Continue reading BHPian yashg ownership experience for more insights and information.

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