Every other car brand is seeking advantage of the hot SUV segment which has been catching the fancy of Indian car buyers. Tata Harrier is the new candidate to join the bandwagon. But the road to success is not easy as there is already a formidable option available in the form of Jeep Compass.
So which one of the two meets the criteria of striking road presence, contemporary equipment and value for money quotient? Let’s find out.
Tata Harrier outshines Jeep Compass in terms of road presence as it is longer, wider and comes with high ground clearance. The front is striking with atypically placed xenon headlights and LED DRLs and aggressive grille. The Compass is sober appearing and follows a conservative path with seven-slat grille and squared-off design. But the striking alloy wheels and contrasting roof adds to the style factor.
Interior & Comfort
The cabin design of the Harrier is clean and tasteful to the eyes incorporating a blend of piano black and faux wooden inserts. The quality of materials is top notch and with the sheer amount of room, you get that ‘big car’ feel. The front seats are wider and offer nice shoulder support while the rear has an ample amount of space for the passengers.
It seems everything in Jeep’s cabin has been put together elegantly. The Compass offers the best driving position of the two with outstanding all-round visibility and a range of steering adjustment options. However, the rear seats aren’t much comfortable as it has firm cushioning and cannot absorb three adult occupants restfully.
In terms of equipment, Tata Harrier gets automatic headlights/wiper, cruise control and 9-Speaker JBL sound system, all which are missing in the Compass. On the flipside, you get dual-zone climate control, powered driver seats with memory function and sunroof in the Compass.
The areas where both the SUVs come on a common ground include touch-screen infotainment unit with Android Auto, leather upholstery, electrically adjustable and foldable ORVMs, rain sensing wiper, rear AC vents and push button start-stop.
Engine & Performance
Tata Motors chose to skip the petrol engine in the Harrier which could go in favour of the Compass. In the diesel department, both the vehicles share the same Fiat sourced 2.0 L Multijet II motor, which produces 173 PS in Jeep Compass and 140 PS in the Tata Harrier with torque being the same i.e. 350 Nm in both the mean machines. One advantage for a hard-core SUV buyer is that Compass is available in the 4×4 mechanism.
Both the vehicles use 6-speed manual transmission which gives crispy output but a more relaxed clutch action in the Harrier. The Compass, on the other hand, feels more confident on the highways. As far as fuel efficiency is concerned, Tata Harrier claims to return 16.79 kmpl, while the Jeep Compass rounds off to deliver 16.0 km for a litre of fuel.
Pricing is the area where Tata Harrier sings in tune with the typical Indian car buyer. The Harrier undercuts the Compass by a significant margin as the diesel range comes in the price bracket of Rs. 12.69–16.25 lakh as compared to the latter, which comes in the range of Rs. 16.61–23.11 lakh. Both the prices are of ex-showroom.
Verdict: Which one to choose?
If you go for pricey Compass, then rest assure you get a more dynamically talented SUV with 4×4 and a lot of contemporary features. For those with a tight budget, Tata Harrier is a sheer combination of flamboyant exteriors, solid road presence and a well-equipped cabin. Further, the low maintenance cost of Harrier will take care of the pocket as well.