For reference, a comprehensive review of the same car was done earlier in the year.
From expansive lakes to forts smeared with history, Udaipur has a lot of royal things going its way. The Jeep Compass often regarded as a do-it-anything SUV is capable of claiming terrains better than most of its rivals.
Watch | Jeep Compass Diesel AT | Travelogue
So, before we set out to follow our bucket list, the Compass had to take a bath. An overnight journey, intermittent rain and uneven patches at places ensured the Jeep wasn’t the tidiest. Above all, the pandemic has taught us to sanitise our surroundings frequently.
Meanwhile, I headed to grab some food for breakfast. The best was saved for the last, so going for a roadside stall seemed a good option.
By the time I returned, the manicure was done and the chrome-filled front grille was grinning at me. These days, car makers focus a lot on the design on the headlights. I, somehow, am not impressed with these headlights, especially due to the poor throw at night.
Compass has completed three years in the Indian market, and Jeep as progressively went on to add variants to the line-up. From 4X4 to a black edition, the Compass has helped the brand establish its ground in the country. The likes of Grand Cherokee and Wrangler are obviously there, but aren’t the most accessible ones.
The 2.0-litre diesel engine, power rated at 170 PS and 350 Nm, has a meaty torque and is now offered with the convenience of a 9-speed automatic. The transmission, earlier offered to the top-of-the-line Trailhawk, has been supplied to the lower variant. That said, I wished there was paddle shifters to take greater command of the shifts.
I had been to Udaipur a few times before this, and to me, the lakes had a greater appeal over the sprawling City Palace.
So, my first task was to set out for Badi Lake, which is on the outskirts of Udaipur. On the way, some seriously humongous craters and puddles were obstructing. The ground clearance at 178 mm isn’t the best to talk about, yet the Compass effortlessly sailed over the road imperfections. When stuck in the mud, the 4X4 was a great helping hand.
The panoramic sunroof was appropriately utilized. One-touch, and, it seemed, the green mountains could be felt. The AC knobs are study and the cabin feel durable. The light interior, however, isn’t a great choice, when you have family and friends onboard. More often than not, it is bound to get soiled.
The fun was cut short by the rain. Gods showed their will, and we were cooped up inside the Compass for a couple of hours. For the ones who have been to Udaipur, the rain turns the city into a mystic location. Lush hills and cloudy backdrop, Compass walked at its own pace over the incline and uneven surfaces.
On the way downhill through the rocky terrain, the traction control came as an aide. And as far as safety goes, Electronic Stability Control, Panic Brake Assist, Electronic Roll Mitigation and 6 airbags are there to save your back.
The sunset was nearing, and it was time for some shopping. Our next stop was Bada Bazaar, where we were looking for Bhandhni, which is a special tie-dye textile decorated by plucking the cloth with the fingernails. Colourful and vibrant, it’s a typical Rajasthani attire, used commonly in festive and special occasions.
Jooti, also known as mojari, shopping was next on the list. Handcrafted, these footwears offer an indigenous look and feel to anything you wear.
It felt as if the 440 litres of boot space was well utilised. Getting the way out of the bazaar, especially when you’re not used to the cramped lanes, is another task. I had a slight bit of issue with the headlamps, however, within the cities the cornering fog lamps are absolutely brilliant.
The day was coming to an end and we were minutes away from our return trip to Delhi. Behold, there was still a Rajasthani platter to hog on. Perhaps no other state uses as much spices as Rajasthan does in its dishes. Little did we know the Lal Maas, tandoori roti and a few other ethnic cuisines would be as spicy as it looked.
Just like us, I think, the Compass diesel is an equally hungry customer. While a full tank of gas can take you almost 600 kilometres. Drive at triple digits, the FE figure dips under double-digit. For all the safety and adventure Compass provides, it’s the tight mileage and compact interiors which seem to be a compromise.