~~By Yatin Kumar
The modern SUV segment has evolved greatly over the few years. Earlier, the popularity and market share of SUVs on a whole was low, negligible compared to what the other segments were. The SUVs were often seen as over-sized utility vehicle which consumed an entire fortune in the form of fuel and had constants troubles of parking due to its size.
However, the present generation SUVs are far away than what the entire story suggested a few years ago. The new generation of SUVs grew smaller, smarter and more powerful. Large-sized SUVs still exists, but they are made of new genes altogether.
Out of them, there are some SUVs, like the upcoming Skoda Kodiaq and the already launched Jeep Compass, that have managed to attract a large share of demand towards the segment.
The Skoda Kodiaq in India is slated to be launched in October while the Jeep Compass was launched on the last day of July 2017. With the two cars ready to take up the roads soon, let’s get into the in depth details and find out how the two cars would perform if ever there was a virtual competition between them.
Undoubtedly, the Skoda Kodiaq is the most attractive SUV from the company in the Indian market. It is designed with the perfect amalgamation of soberness and wildness, and that is evident in every inch of it. Up front, it holds a radiator grille that is mouldedin a butterfly shape, commonly found in all Skoda cars. The air flaps are vertically placed while the grille seamlessly flows into the headlamps, the ever so sleek ones. The headlamps also get an underlining of the DRLs. There aren’t many character lines apart from just one along the shoulder strip.
This attractiveness is carried to the rear end as well. The tail section gets LED units that are sharp and split at the tail gate. The bumpers get a thin strip of black plastic cladding and are a little on the squarer side.
The Jeep Compass, on a similar note, is attractive to its core. And why not? It the perfect baby for the bigger Grand Cherokee. However, the designing of the Compass is not very loud. It is plain and elegant over with almost no sharp cuts or bends. But, the wheel arches are prominently squarish, a little more than the Kodiaq. Up front, the grille is designed uniquely, just like the Cherokee, with square blocks of air intakes. The headlamps, with projector lights, may not be as sleek as the Kodiaq but are enough to entice the muscular appearance.
However, it is the rear section that differentiates between the Kodiaq and the Compass. The tail lights itself are not sharp, but the entire rear profile is. The uneven gradient along the skid plate, bumper and tailgate make it look great.
The Skoda Kodiaq is the first 7-seater SUV from the company’s stable. But guess what, it is spacious and leaves behind no reasons to complain. With the third row folded, the Kodiaq offers 2,065 litres of boot space, which seems to be enough to host almost all of your cargo packs. The dashboard is nothing more than what you will find in any SUV. However, the entire space is constructed and presented in a cleaner and likeable manner. The massive 8-inch Columbus touchscreen infotainment system comes with Skoda Connect connectivity along with a 4G SIM slot. However, this is available on the top end trims only.
The Jeep Compass is one of the most premium 5-seater passenger SUVs and is placed in the league of the Volkswagen Tiguan and the Isuzu MU-X. Even with the rear seat up, the boot space is huge, may be not as much as the Kodiaq, but ample to get the job done. Heated front seats and dual-zone climate control are few of the comfort features fitted in the Compass. On the dashboard, the infotainment system differs based on the variant chosen. There are 3 choices in the segment, an 8.4-inch, a 7-inch and a 5-inch touchscreen infotainment system, all of which are UCONNECT systems. The top two system comes with both Apple CarPlay as well as Android Auto connectivity while the lower one Voice Command, Bluetooth, Handsfree and Voice Text Reply. However, it does not have iPhone compatibility.
The power source
The Skoda Kodiaq will be available in both petrol as well as diesel powertrains. There will be the same 2.0-litre turbocharged power plant doing the duties under the bonnet of both the variants. However, the power delivery will vary from 150 bhp to 190 bhp, depending on the variant that you choose. The maximum amount of torque produced by the engine will be anywhere between 340 NM to 400 Nm. As for the transmission, there will be a 6-speed manual and a 6/7 speed DSG automatic transmission gearbox unit doing the duties. The company may even introduce a smaller 1.4-litre unit later down the line.
The Jeep Compass, on the other hand, has a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged diesel engine on offer. It is capable enough to produce a maximum power of a massive 171 bhp along with a peak torque of 350 Nm. This, of course, leaves behind no such difference between the Kodiaq and Compass in terms of the power, though the top-end Kodiaq is a touch more powerful than its counterpart. The transmission duties are done by a 6-speed manual transmission only, while the automatic variant is not on offer.
Considering that the Kodiaq is the first proper SUV from the company that too, a 7-seater, the company has done fairly well by offering the best in the segment. Each of the sections complements the other in a wonderful way, just like the big size makes way for a comfortable seating position along with a big boot.
The Jeep Compass, on the other hand, is attractive, no doubt about that, but the level of attractiveness in the design all over the body is different. Mechanically too, the Compass is not as vast as the Kodiaq, which is offered in both fuel options (the Compass has diesel only).
It is now just a waiting game till the Kodiaq is launched and we can get a better insight to the quality and performance in a much more concrete way.
(Yatin Kumar is a professional wordsmith with 4+ years of experience in Content writing and Editing in automotive industry. He possesses excellent skills in Creative Writing, Corporate Communication, Digital Marketing, Public Relations, Advertising and Management.and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)