The Jeep Compass and the Hyundai Creta were never supposed to lock horns. In fact, the Compass is a direct rival to the Hyundai Tucson, which sits one rung above the Creta. But Jeep's aggressive pricing strategy has narrowed the gap between the entry-level Compass and top-end Creta to only Rs 1.5 to Rs 3 lakh. That’s the reason why we’re comparing both these SUVs to understand whether it would make any sense for a prospective Creta buyer to stretch his budget and go for the Jeep.
To be fair to both the SUVs, we’re comparing only the manual versions of Creta’s SX+ and SX+(O) variant with the Sport variant of the Jeep Compass. Let’s check out the ex-showroom Delhi prices first:
The price of the base variant of the Compass is higher than the SX+ variant of the Creta. The price difference between the Creta and the Compass diesel, however, is about a lakh rupees less as compared to the petrol version. But does the Compass justify the price gap? Read on to find out.
The fully equipped Creta variant with a manual gearbox is the SX+. The diesel Creta gets an optional variant which costs Rs 66,000 more than the SX+. It includes more safety features in the form of side and curtain airbags, electronic stability control and hill start assist. It also feels more plush on the inside, thanks to leather upholstery. Here’s what each of the cars get in their respective variants.
Jeep Compass Sport petrol and diesel vs Hyundai Creta SX+ petrol/diesel
(Price diff = Rs 3.08 lakh/Rs 2.17 lakh)
The additional equipment you get in the Compass is traction control, electronic stability control, hill start assist, electronic roll mitigation, 60:40 split rear seat and all disc brakes. The Creta, on the other hand, gets alloy wheels (17-inch), parking sensors with camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, electrically foldable ORVMs, climate control, projector headlamps with follow-me-home feature and cornering lamps.
Jeep Compass Sport diesel vs Hyundai Creta SX+ (O) diesel
(Price diff = Rs 1.51 lakh)
The Creta SX+(O) is more equipped, and in addition to the features that the Creta SX+ gets over the Compass Sport, this variant gets side and curtain airbags and leather upholstery. The Compass Sport, on the other hand, gets traction control, electronic roll mitigation and rear disc brakes that the Creta SX+(O) does not.
Consider only the price and features on offer, and the Creta (both SX+ and SX+(O) variants) appears to be a better value proposition than the Compass. However, we’re yet to factor in a lot more things that may alter the outcome of this comparo.
Both the Compass and the Creta are five seaters. The Compass is not only bigger in terms of size, but also has considerably more powerful engines. With its higher ground clearance, signature Jeep elements like the seven-slat front grille and obvious mass, the Compass will stand out more on the road compared to the Creta. A dekko at the specifications.
Is the bigger and more powerful Jeep Compass a better buy than the more feature-loaded and easier-on-pocket Hyundai Creta?
For those who’re zeroing in on a petrol SUV between the Creta and the Compass, the price difference is significant, and therefore, the Creta still makes more sense. The Creta packs more creature convenience and is more compact than the Compass. It will, therefore, be easier to move around in the city.
But if you’re planning to go for a diesel compact SUV and you’re ready to spend money on the top-spec Creta, the Compass is still in the hunt. It should be more relaxed and comfortable on highways and will have you step up to a more premium marque as well.
India is a manufacturing hub for RHD Compass and Jeep has started with 65 per cent localisation (and the price is competitive too!). So maintaining the Compass might not be as heavy on pocket as some of the other luxury cars (Jeep is also offering a 3yr/1 lakh km warranty on Compass). However, that doesn’t rule out the fact that the Creta should be easier to maintain overall. Hyundai’s vast service network is also an added bonus.
Jeep’s introduction of Mopar (the division that will take care of after-sales service) in India is a sign that FCA is now serious about its India operations. An aggressive price is bound to keep the sales ticking, and if they manage to handle the after-sales efficiently, expect the Compass to be in demand in the used car market as well (a few years down the line). So, if things fall into place as we expect, which isn’t too optimistic, the entry-level Compass diesel has the edge over the top-spec Creta diesel. But is the price difference of Rs 1.5 lakh/Rs 2.17 lakh too much?
Jeep Compass: Sport variant
On-road price and EMI Calculation
Readers note: We’ve included the registration cost for Delhi at 10 per cent for petrol cars and 12.5 per cent for diesel. For the actual on-road price, the insurance premium is also included. However, since there’s a minor difference of Rs 5,000 – Rs 7,000 in that, we’ve left it out for ease of calculation. Dealers may charge more for accessories and additional services like paint protection, etc. We’re calculating EMIs on the sum of ex-showroom cost and registration cost only.
The price difference of over Rs 3 lakh in the ex-showroom cost of the petrol Compass Sport and the Creta SX+ is too much for the Compass to justify its brand value, bigger size and more powerful engine. Take into account the actual finance deal, and the difference in EMI of over Rs 7,000 is also high. So, for those who're looking for a petrol SUV primarily for city use in the given price bracket, the Creta offers better value.
Features like traction control, electronic stability control and hill start assist should make the Compass more sure-footed than the Creta. It's bigger and has more powerful engines too, which should make it a better highway runner.
The diesel Compass Sport, therefore, makes for a good buy over the top-end Creta diesel. A lower EMI burden as compared to petrol makes the deal sweeter. And then, when you factor in that you get a premium brand name and a bigger SUV with a more powerful engine, the difference is further justified. The Compass Sport diesel may be less feature-loaded than the Creta SX+(O), but it’s mainly the climate control that you will miss since parking aids should be available as an optional fitment with the Jeep. So, those of you hit the highways more often and need a diesel SUV in the said price range can go for the Compass as well.