Au­thor Peter Gu­ber could never have imag­ined how true this is of Jeep’s new Com­pass


FOR THREE QUAR­TERS OF A CEN­TURY, JEEP has been in­deli­bly con­nected to no­tions of free­dom, ad­ven­ture, pas­sion, and above all, au­then­tic­ity. They are af­ter all the mak­ers of the orig­i­nal 4x4. Even af­ter decades, it is im­pos­si­ble to imag­ine a Jeep with­out go-any­where abil­i­ties. The good bit is, you don’t have to. For the Com­pass is a gen­uine off-road ca­pa­ble SUV and not just an­other soft­roader.

So much so that we didn’t have to think twice be­fore putting it on a rain­swept beach in Goa when we went there to drive the Com­pass for the first time. To­tally at place on the sandy sur­face com­pacted by rain, the Com­pass al­lowed us to edge close enough to the break­ers to cre­ate waves of our own. Lit­er­ally. En­cour­aged by our sandy ad­ven­ture, we took the Com­pass into a for­est filled with logs, rocks, in­clines and slush.

Used to the soft-road­ing fare dished up by the others in its class, we came back im­pressed with how much the Com­pass could ac­tu­ally do with­out strug­gling, thanks to the Jeep’s Ac­tive Drive that seam­lessly switches be­tween 2WD and 4WD on a need to en­gage ba­sis and Jeep’s Se­lec-Ter­rain on-de­mand 4x4 sys­tem that has four modes – Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud along with an AWD lock.

That is per­haps what’s so spe­cial about the Com­pass. Jeep could have created a road-go­ing SUV with just enough off-road prow­ess to get you home when the roads turned to gravel or through some ac­cu­mu­lated wa­ter. In­stead they have gone ahead and created the real thing with proper 4x4 abil­i­ties. Au­then­tic­ity, af­ter all, can­not be faked. Peter Gu­ber would have been proud of this Jeep. ⌧

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