Jeep Compass gets a cheaper petrol automatic variant: Tata Harrier effect?

Just weeks ahead of the Tata Harrier’s launch, Jeep India has gone into an overdrive in terms of marketing. The  American SUV maker recently launched a new TVC for the top-end Limited (O) variant of the Compass, and now,  a new variant has been launched on the petrol automatic trim.

The new petrol automatic variant is cheaper, and is aimed at those seeking a lower entry price. Called the Longitude (O) variant, it’s priced at 18.89 lakhs, ex-showroom Delhi.

Compass Black Pack Magnesio Grey Color.jpg.img.1440

As for features, the Jeep Compass Longitude (O) Automatic dumps the reverse parking camera and leather seats –  features that are available on the Limited Automatic variant. These feature deletions has resulted in a price tag that’s Rs. 1.07 lakhs lower than that of the Limited variant. Key features on the SUV include a 7-inch touchscreen  infotainment unit with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, automatic climate controls, ABS, airbags and projector  headlamps.

The Longitude (O) petrol automatic variant of the Jeep Compass is mechanically unchanged. The SUV continues to use a 1.4 liter turbocharged petrol engine with 160 Bhp-250 Nm outputs. The gearbox is a 7 speed twin clutch automatic. The SUV’s petrol variants are front wheel driven and there’s no all wheel drive mode, even as an option. The petrol variants of the Compass have been less than popular with buyers, who have shown an overwhelming preference for the diesel model. The launch of the cheaper priced petrol-automatic variant is meant to boost sales.

The Jeep Compass is also available with a 6 speed manual gearbox mated to the same turbocharged petrol engine. The other engine option on the SUV is the 2 liter Fiat Multijet diesel tuned to output 170 Bhp-350 Nm. This motor gets a single transmission option – a 6 speed manual. The diesel powered Compass gets both front wheel drive and all wheel drive options.

By the middle of 2019, Jeep will introduce a new, range topping variant of the Compass called the TrailHawk. The  Compass TrailHawk will use the same 2 liter turbocharged diesel engine but will get a new 9 speed automatic gearbox. It will also get an all wheel drive system with two additional modes: sand and rock. Suspension of the new variant will get improvements for better articulation while the bumpers feature a different design to maximize approach and departure angles. Overall, the TrailHawk edition of the Jeep Compass will be positioned as an SUV for off-roading enthusiasts. It’ll be priced the highest among all variants, with a price tag of about Rs. 25 lakhs.

The upcoming Tata Harrier – a 5 seat flagship offering from Tata Motors – is all set to challenge the Jeep Compass on the 23rd of January, 2019. The Tata Harrier is likely to be priced lower than the Compass. However, the SUV will be sold with a single diesel engine-manual gearbox combination, which also means that buyers looking for a petrol SUV will naturally look at the Jeep Compass. This is probably why Jeep has brought in the cheaper version of the Compass Petrol Automatic at this juncture.

Also Read: Mahindra Scorpio Diesel ‘runs away’: We explain what ‘diesel runaway’ is [Video]