Owner compares his Compass & Seltos: Build quality, mileage, NVH & more

The cabin of the Kia feels silent due to the petrol engine but it doesn’t filter out the road and traffic noise as much as the Jeep.

BHPian vattyboy recently shared this with other enthusiasts.


I want to pen down the side-by-side comparison of my 2 SUVs i.e. Jeep Compass Limited Option Diesel and Kia Seltos HTK Plus 1.5 NA Petrol. Although they are not of the same segment, size-wise they are quite similar.

In this thread, I want to discuss how Compass and Seltos compare to each other based upon my ownership i.e. what things you get when you pay approximately 10 to 15 lakhs more than the Seltos and in which aspects Seltos is better.

Driving experience

Jeep Compass

  • The first thing you will notice is the hard clutch which you will have to press to start the car.
  • After pressing the push button to start the engine, it comes to life with a slight shaking of the car.
  • The moment you start the car you will realise that now you have the command over a big turbo diesel thanks to its high NVH and diesel clatter.


  • The first-gear ratio is very short and the second-gear ratio is high.
  • On the speed breaker, if you take out 2nd gear then the vehicle starts to stop and if you take out 1st gear then the RPM becomes high which causes a jerk.
  • From 3rd gear, things go great, it drives very smoothly with good torque and power.
  • Due to its hard clutch and bad 1st and 2nd gear ratios, the Compass feels unsuitable to drive inside the city.


  • This is where the compass truly shines and feels at home.
  • It is fast on open roads with a power-to-weight ratio of 110 bhp/ton and torque-to-weight ratio of 225 nm/ton which results in 0 to 100 kmph in 9.5 secs.
  • The suspension setup is mature and doesn’t break a sweat on any undulation on the road or potholes which come your way while the car is cruising at higher triple-digit speeds.
  • Highway stability is excellent, it feels like there is no limit, and it doesn’t break a sweat at high speeds. 120 kmph feels like doing 80 kmph.
  • The gear ratios of 4, 5, and 6th gear are very good. In fact on highways, 90% of the time all you need is 6th gear. You will beat 90% of the traffic on the highways even when you accelerate in 6th gear.
  • It’s a mile muncher on the highway, you can drive it at triple-digit speeds all day long with the engine spinning at 1750 rpm @ 100 kmph and 2100 rpm at 120 kmph.
  • You will love to take corners at triple-digit speeds on the highways, Compass tells you to push it even harder.

Kia Seltos

  • The clutch feels so light in comparison to the compass. It feels like I am shaking my legs in the air.
  • The car starts with no vibrations and minimalistic noise, of course, it is a trait of a petrol engine.


  • Seltos is easier to drive in the city thanks to its lighter steering wheel, soft clutch and good 1st and 2nd gear ratios.
  • Due to its less kerb weight approx 400 kg lighter than a compass, it feels nimble to drive in the city.


  • The moment you take out Seltos on Highway, you will notice that there is no torque in the 1.5 NA engines compared to the compass.
  • Now to extract more power you will downshift and floor the throttle but it will make no sense, you will keep on accelerating while waiting for the car to accelerate fast but it does not and will let you feel the thirst for more power with a sudden drop in mileage.
  • But do note here that it takes a few extra seconds to accelerate but once it reaches a certain speed it can maintain that speed with ease up to 120 kmph.
  • Highway stability is decent for speeds up to 100 kmph due to the stiff suspension setup.
  • Cornering capability is also good, while other cars reduce their speeds while approaching the corners you glide through the corners leaving the other cars behind.
  • Compass handling on highway outshines Seltos after 120 kmph, if you drive below 120 kmph then both are good.
  • After 120 kmph, the pace of picking up the speed drastically reduces.
  • 100 kmph engine spins at @2250 rpm, at 120 kmph @ 3000 rpm.
  • 0 to 100 comes in around 12.5 seconds.

Suspension Setup


  • Feels a little stiff at city speeds but bearable. I fill 2 psi less air than the recommended tyre pressure by the company to correct it.
  • Feels best at highway speeds, absorbs undulation and gives cornering confidence.


  • Feels bone-jarring stiff at the city speeds, feels like you are sitting on the rocks. Reducing the tyre pressure also doesn’t make a difference.
  • Considering mine is an HTK Plus with 16-inch higher sidewall tyres, I don’t know how the owners manage the comfort with 17 or 18-inch rims.
  • Highway stability is good thanks to stiff suspension, you can beat 90% of the cars on the highway in this department.

Steering feel and feedback

  • Steering feedback is better in the Compass, it feels more precise and direct.
  • Seltos steering is dead at the centre and has some play. Seltos steering starts to give feedback after rotating it 10 to 15 degrees left or right but after that, it is nicely predictable.
  • Seltos steering is smaller in diameter and thin while compass steering feels thick to feel and also it is bigger in size.


All mileage figures are with full-time AC on.

  • Compass gives 12-13 kmpl in the city and 18 km on highways at 100 to 120 kmph and can give 20 kmpl if driven sedately at 90 kmph.
  • Seltos gives 12-13 kmpl in the city and 16 kmpl on the highway at 100 to 120 kmph, and can give 18 if driven at 90 kmph.

Note: Jeep MID shows accurate mileage same as calculated by the tank-to-tank method while seltos MID shows 2 to 3 kmpl high mileage.

  • After 120 kmph the mileage of Seltos drastically decreases while Compass mileage drops by 1 or 2 kmpl.
  • The full tank range in Compass is 800 to 900 km while Seltos has 600 to 700 km.


I will talk about 2 things here – Engine noise and outside noise.

In Compass the cabin in drop dead silent, with no to minimum road and traffic noise filters inside the cabin. Engine noise comes inside the cabin due to it being a diesel unit but after 1800 rpm when the turbo kicks in you will hear a very sweet turbo whistle which is a treat for the ears.

Seltos due to its petrol engine feels silent but can’t filter out the road noise as much as Compass but it is pretty decent, better than my Ciaz. Engines sounds good after 4000 rpm, below that it is very silent.


Braking Is equally good in both cars, surprising that Seltos have drums at the rear but still it brakes so well.

Infotainment and sound quality

Both cars have the same screen size i.e. 7 inches and the resolution is equally good.

Seltos comes with Arkamys sound system while Jeep Compass comes with alpine sound system.

Good in Compass – In music quality Compass beats Seltos for sure, it has more bass and it sounds fuller.

Compass infotainment UI is better and has more information to give you.

Good in Seltos- The Seltos infotainment system is faster while the Compass is a little bit slow to respond after your touch.

Seltos has wireless Android Auto and Apple Carplay which is missing in the Compass.

Build quality and safety

  • There is nothing to say here because everyone knows that Compass is built like a tank. It is comparable to my Mercedes in this department.
  • Everything in the Compass feels solid whether it is the door or the bonnet which is twice as heavy in comparison to Seltos and gives a confidence-inspiring solid thud when you close the doors.
  • Out on the highways you will feel very safe in the Compass just like everyone feels so safe in the arms of their mother.
  • One thing to notice here is that Jeep has focused on safety in case of a side collision or if the car is T boned. So to improve this see the gap between the side mouldings and seats in the picture. So in case of collision due to more gap, the passenger will be safe.

Continue reading vattyboy’s comparison for BHPian comments, insights and more information.

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