Under the bonnet, the Harrier has the same engine as the Compass, but in a different state of tune. How does that affect performance and mileage?

Tata’s Harrier makes a strong case for itself against similarly sized SUVs like the Jeep Compass and Hyundai Tucson because it’s priced aggressively. It has the same engine as the Compass, albeit in a less powerful state of tune, and is heavier too, leading one to believe that the Compass should naturally be the quicker SUV. The Compass is also rated to deliver better mileage than the Harrier. But do the real-world tests reaffirm this or is it a different story altogether? We took both out for a thorough road test and here’s what we found.

Before we dive into real-world test figures, let’s take a look at the engine specs of both the SUVs.

Tata Harrier Jeep Compass
Displacement 2.0-litre 2.0-litre
Max Power 140PS 173PS
Peak Torque 350Nm 350Nm
Transmission 6-speed MT 6-speed MT
Claimed fuel efficiency 16.79kmpl 17.1kmpl
Kerb weight 1675kg Up to 1654kg

Performance Comparison

Acceleration and Roll-on Tests:

0-100kmph 30-80kmph 40-100kmph
Tata Harrier 12.11s 7.20s 11.38s
Jeep Compass 10.03s 7.32s 11.56s

Jeep’s Compass is not only more powerful than the Harrier, but also has a better power to weight ratio, and that is clearly evident in the 0-100kmph times of the two. The Jeep is more than 2 seconds faster than the Tata.

But the Harrier edges past the Compass in both, 30-80kmph and 40-100kmph times. What this means, is despite the Harrier being heavier and less powerful than the Compass, overtaking in the city will be easier.

Braking Distance:

100-0kmph 80-0kmph
Tata Harrier 45.70m 28.49m
Jeep Compass 45.09m 27.56m

Of the two, the Compass is the quicker one to come to a halt, be it from 100kmph or 80kmph. This can be easily attributed to the lower kerb weight of the Compass. While the difference is less than a metre between the two cars in both cases, the Compass should be more composed in extreme braking scenarios, thanks to four disc brakes, unlike the Harrier’s disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear.

Fuel Economy

City Highway
Tata Harrier 11.29kmpl 15.39kmpl
Jeep Compass 11.07kmpl 16.02kmpl

In the city, the Harrier will be slightly easier on your pocket than the Compass. On the highway though, the Compass will return a better fuel efficiency than the Harrier.

Let us now calculate fuel expenses when you use the Harrier or Compass on a monthly basis, depending upon your route. As an example, we are taking your total monthly commute to be 1000km and the price of diesel has been fixed at Rs 70.

25% city, 75% highway 50% city, 50% highway 75% city, 25% highway
Tata Harrier Rs 4960.90 Rs 5373.90 Rs 5786.90
Jeep Compass Rs 4857.74 Rs 5347.60 Rs 5838.20

From the above table, the difference between the Harrier and the Compass is not more than Rs 105 in any situation and thus, it is fair to assume that both cars will have similar fuel bills when driven in similar environments.

Verdict

The Compass is more powerful and frugal(on the highway) than the Harrier, making it a better highway cruiser. If these are among your top two criteria for buying a car, the Compass is the safe bet. The Harrier performs better in the city and will return a slightly better efficiency too in the urban jungle. So, if efficiency and city usage are high on your list, the Harrier is the more sensible pick.