Jeep, a name long associated with the old boxy SUVs once produced by Mahindra, has made its official return to India. Decades ago, the legendary off-road brand was present in India, though not as a standalone brand. Into the picture comes Mahindra – the SUV brand produced Jeep products in India under an official license which saw models such as the iconic Forward Control truck and the legendary CJ series 4X4s, the predecessor to the Wrangler.
Now back, Jeep is offered through a unique multi-brand dealership system implemented by parent company Fiat. Landmark Jeep Mumbai is one of these new multi-brand dealerships. Landmark not only houses all products branded Jeep but also is home to Fiat and Abarth – Fiat’s performance arm.
Like with any dealership a large glass fascia is the first to greet prospective customers with two Jeep SUVs standing guard at the corners – the Wrangler and the Grand Cherokee – both now joined by their newest sibling, the Compass.
The dealership is sizeable, able to simultaneously display multiple models from all three brands within its floor space along with allowing enough space for multiple desks and seating arrangements for customers to discuss their vehicle of choice.
Now onto the Jeep models themselves.
The Grand Cherokee is the flagship of Jeep’s range in India and abroad. The big SUV offers quite a host of luxury and comfort levels though for the price it is still only a five seater. A redeeming quality is that you not only get a choice of diesel variants but also the option of a fire breathing V8 that will get your adrenaline levels rocketing at the touch of the throttle.
Next we have the Wrangler – the descendent of the legendary Willy’s Jeep. True to form, the Wrangler is all about off-road prowess. From its massively flared fenders, boxy and slab sided styling and the lack of electronic switches and gadgetry below the level of the driver’s waist – all point towards the SUV’s true purpose, to ford through rivers and traverse terrains that would bring any
other SUV to its knees. Sadly with its pricing off-roading may be the last thing on the customer’s mind.
Last is the brand’s newest and hottest product – the Compass. The small SUV is affordable to say the least and is the only Jeep to be made in India. It looks like a mini Grand Cherokee and going with Jeep’s image of being a brand dedicated to off-roading is the only vehicle in its class to be properly off-road capable. Over our multiple visits to the dealerships the contrast in footfalls was quite noticeable once the Compass became available. From a quiet day to ourselves to do as we wished
across the entire dealership to skipping past customers to get a decent look at the new Compass.
Jeep is now here to stay and with more models planned in the coming years we should see more of these new multi-brand retail outlets like Landmark Jeep Mumbai to appear in cities across India and not just in metros.