Considering a pre-owned Compass DCT for city commutes: Worth it?

The Compass sports a fantastic build quality, premium interiors and is kitted for practicality.

BHPian pannags recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Just for the context, I’m in the market for an auto tranny CSUV and have shortlisted the Honda Elevate ZX CVT and the Skoda Kushaq Style AT. I’m specifically looking at CSUVs since this will be my daily commute (~ 300 days a year)

Meanwhile, I was notified that a friend of my colleague who is relocating has put up his 2021 Compass 1.4 DCT Limited (O) for sale. The car has done just under 15k on the odo in abour two and half years and comes with an asking price of 23L. I drove the car for a good 45 min – my first time on the Compass with the 1.4 DCT.

The Compass sports a fantastic build quality, premium interiors and is kitted for practicality. Features like electric tail gate opening, electric seat adjustment with memory function, dual zone AC, smart parking brakes, etc. easily justify the premium.

Drivers seat visibility and comfort is top notch too. The adjustment for the steering as well as the seat are the best I’ve experienced. The dead pedal was a tad bit uncomfortable with the raised angle though. Rear seats are reasonably comfortable for three adults. The coutours for the window side passengers is enhances comfort.

While everything about the drive and the way the car handles was impressive, I was underwhelmed by the performance of the 1.4 turbo mill. The car really seemed to struggle at lower speeds due to pronounced turbo lag. My assessment is that the 1.4 DCT is not the best choice for someone with 80-90% city driving.

Is the above a fair conclusion? If I overlook the subpar low-speed driving experience (will be hard to), is the asking price of 23 lakhs reasonable?

My only reason to extend my purview to the next segment is because I was notified of a well cared for car that is supposedly fun to drive, but I’m not too sure this is a great choice given my driving pattern.

Appreciate insights from those familiar with the Jeep Compass.

Here’s what BHPian Shreyans_Jain had to say on the matter:

Price is decent if the car is clean but three basic points remain

  • expect 6-7kmpl in city traffic
  • Compass is an expensive car to maintain. Service and spare part costs are in Mercedes category. Everything is high quality, but when the time to replace things inevitably comes, it will burn a hole in your pocket. Regular service for my diesel Compass costs around 30k.
  • the engine is not rated for the E12/E15/E20 petrol we are getting.

Personally, I will not suggest buying any car that is not E20 compliant, from a peaceful long term ownership perspective.

Here’s what BHPian vattyboy had to say on the matter:

My friend owns a Petrol compass. So I can give you clarity. In no sense petrol compass is slow. Initially, the 1.4 Multiair engine is slow up to 2k rpm but after that, it is very fast. It hits 100 kmph in under 10 secs with a top speed above 200 kmph matched with its solid driving dynamics and heavy build quality.

Compass is 400 kg heavier than cars like Creta, Seltos and Elevate. The Compass door is twice as heavy in comparison to the seltos. Where seltos is good in handling till 100 kmph compass is better after that till higher triple-digit speeds.

Quality comes at a price- as you are buying pre-owned you have saved money in the buying process so don’t worry about giving some extra penny for service.

My Diesel compass service cost comes between 13k to 17k ( oil, oil filter, air filter, diesel filter, alignment and balancing). Even the Petrol compass service will cost 1k less. DM me I will share pictures of Bill.

There are millions of vehicles ( which are in the majority) on the roads which are not E20 Compliant so next 10-15 years normal petrol will be available on pumps at half nozzles.

I suggest you go for it and take an extended warranty to the 5th year for 35k.

The moment the compass entered my garage. I have ditched driving the Merc ( it is ×2.5 times more expensive to maintain) and Seltos.

Here’s what BHPian ashivas89 had to say on the matter:

One word: No. You will not enjoy it much in city confines.

I drive a Skoda Slavia 1.5 DSG. The DSG is one of the best dual clutch automatic boxes money can buy even in its DQ200 dry clutch form. The 1.5 tsi it is mated to is also a very tractable engine with a decent bottom end. Despite these two factors, I find that this combo needs planning and managing and a bit of a pain on choked BLR streets (meaning that it isn’t effortless and seamless, you’re always having to think and execute). My ex Verna 6AT diesel was far more comfortable in traffic. When I visit my folks, I even prefer my Dad’s gen 5 City’s CVT and never miss an opportunity to pick that car while driving them through clogged streets because it is effortless. That my Slavia is awesome on the open roads or in free flowing traffic is a separate matter.

This is my experience with the best DCT in the business. The Compass’ laggy and thirsty engine + one of the worst DCT executions, get a huge thumbs down from me for driving around in BLR B2B traffic. You will be pulling your hair in bunches when you want to do a quick maneuver and the lag and ponderous gearbox don’t deliver.(yes, i’ve driven the car, before anyone asks).

Your use case begs a TC or a CVT. I would even nudge you towards the Elevate.

Here’s what BHPian vishy76 had to say on the matter:

All these are precisely things a city car isn’t going to do. A car that runs inside the city spends majority of its time below 2000 rpm, especially an AT. So things like outright power, 0-100 times and even driving dynamics to an extent don’t matter here.

What matters is low end torque, smooth gear shifts and ride quality. And going by reviews and some driving I have done too, the 1.4L DDCT falls flat on its face in all three aspects. The 1.4L has poor low end, typical of a small capacity petrol mated to a large turbo. The DDCT is again slow at swapping cogs in the initial gears, usual for dual clutch transmissions. Ride is on the stiffer side but I won’t take it as a dealbreaker.

I would say this is probably one of the worst choices in its segment for a pure city commuter. Even if your city: highway ratio was in the region of 60:40, this car ‘might’ have been worth considering. Not to mention the pathetic fuel efficiency of the 1.4L in peak traffic (5-6 km/L). Unacceptable for a car having a 1.4L when heavier 2.0L turbocharged engines manage similar figures.

The reliability of the DDCT is also patchy. There have been cases of overheating and two cars were waiting for a new transmission at the Jeep ASC last time I visited. DCTs hate city traffic and that’s a known fact. Service costs are par for the segment I would say. They generally don’t exceed 16-17k.

I would suggest you consider the Honda Elevate CVT or the Skoda Kushaq 1.0L TC. Your use case does not allow you to take advantage of the inherent benefits a DCT offers (excellent downshift times at higher speeds). You will also have far more peace of mind driving it around in city traffic.

Here’s what BHPian shyampsundar had to say on the matter:

I drive on the ORR in Bangalore every day and needless to say, it’s a real test of city driving.

Having driven a Compass DCT on the road and immediately going back to my MG ZS EV, the difference was night and day. The lag means bikes cut you off often. Finding a gap and quickly merging in was extremely challenging for me. Maybe over time, I would understand the car better and workaround the pitfalls in traffic but it’s definitely not an enjoyable experience.

I had new found appreciation for EVs. I finally understood the value of low end torque. Apart from city driving, even on highways, it helps you quickly accelerate upto cruising speed without any fuss.

So if it’s only city driving, I will recommend you to steer clear and check out EVs. If significant highway rides are involved then the Compass maybe a great fit.

Read BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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