Sometimes brands become synonymous with the product they represent - like Xerox is a word widely used for anything copied, or Fevicol for any kind of gluing agent, and similarly Jeep is a brand that’s synonymous with SUV’s. That’s probably because they were the first to design and build a proper four-wheel drive mass production vehicle, known as the Willys. 70 years later their DNA is as strong as ever and with the current craze for SUV’s in India it’s the right time for them to have made their official entry. The Wrangler and the Cherokee were the first offerings of the brand in the country, but duty structure made them price themselves out of reach of most fans. However, with local assembly in place, Jeep is all set to find their way around the Indian continent with the Compass.
First impression - it looks very much a Jeep with the upright stance, the 7 slot grille that adorns the beefy front, the squared off wheel arches, the big wide bonnet with strong character lines, and the almost straight tailgate. Still, it has a lot of its own character with the kinks in the headlamps, in the chrome that flows from the A pillar through the roof and the tailgate, and in the tail lamps. The designer tells me that this was something that followed through from one of the first drawings of the car to the final product. These kinked lines find their way to the interior too and I notice them almost instantly in the way the blower slots are shaped