Jeep Compass Trailhawk Review: Rock Steady

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When I heard that Jeep took back its most affordable machine that goes everywhere, the Compass Trailhawk, I was overjoyed. It’s been a while since we got a regular car that specializes in anything, and in the case of the Jeep Compass Trailhawk, it should be able to take you through almost anything. The Trailhawk brands, both outside and inside, underline that ability to get through the tough, and there are plenty of visual differences between the standard compass and its more hardcore siblings.

Jeeps ensured that the design will not hinder its ability to climb difficult terrain with new front and rear bumpers, and even a total lift. The improved 205 mm ground clearance, along with a 30-degree approach angle, 24-degree turning angle and 34-degree departure angle, are more than suitable for receiving just about anything thrown on the Trailhawk. But it is not all function over form. The narrower front bumper gives the face a sharper, toothier look, reminiscent of a wolf with bared teeth. A large black and red decal on the hood makes a difference, as do the new 17-inch alloys.

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Yes, these are smaller than the 18-inch you get on the standard Compass, and they get higher profile rubber, which is said to make it easier on both road and terrain. Still, they fill in the wheel holes enough. However, these Falken tires feel like they are a bit clumsy at low speeds on asphalt, and the suspension allows more than a few bumps to filter into these speeds. On the other hand, the combination of tires and suspension provides excellent high-speed stability and control, so much so that there is hardly any difference between the fantastic shock absorption of the normal compass and the Trailhawk at speeds above 60 km / h.

And that’s the way Trailhawk manages to break a rocky and / or muddy path. In fact, as soon as you leave the driving mode in Auto (and select 4WD Low), you will make easy progress over these terrains, without having to switch to the specific mode. I find myself particularly enjoying fording streams, as the 483mm water wading depth, coupled with the awesome 2.0-liter diesel engine, would provide a hassle-free and quite exciting experience. Interestingly enough, only when driving a little serious off-road driving does the nine-speed gearbox shift to the first. For all other situations, the Trailhawk uses the second gear to start, even in manual mode!

Speaking of the gearbox, it really is the biggest crack in the Compass Trailhawks otherwise impenetrable armor. It is slow to shift, and does so with an audible “clink”. There is a feeling of dullness in the unit that seems completely incompatible with the high-torque turbodiesel engine. It’s a shame because the 1956cc unit has more potential than the gearbox allows. My only complaint about the engine is that refinement is a mite below par and it gets quite high when the speed rises, but other than that, the 168-hp oil burner compass fits perfectly. But for the gearbox, the Trailhawk would even be decently entertaining around a set of twisties, on or off the road.

Just like the regular compass, the Trailhawk gets a renewed interior, with a number of new features. The completely black theme with red highlights looks sporty at first glance, but after spending a long time in the cabin, I felt that the black width was more boring than sporty. The new dashboard is attractive but simple, and the new 10.1-inch infotainment touch screen is a clear highlight. The 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster is a worthy addition and is also highly customizable. What also contributes to the Trailhawks’ off-road capability is the 360-degree camera, although it is still recommended to have a spotter for tough terrain.

Trailhawk-embroidered seats (the front ones even get ventilation) are comfortable and fairly adjustable, and the large panoramic sunroof helps create a sense of space. This is especially important because the compass is not the most spacious of SUVs. Three smaller adults in the back seat would fit, although the center passenger will not be quite as comfortable on longer journeys.

At the end of the day, you get exactly what you pay for with the Jeep Compass Trailhawk. You have a competent road runner, an excellent off-road car and a modern, albeit cozy, interior, and you pay only Rs 1.38 lakh more than the range-surpassed Compass Model S for the extra gear that goes everywhere. The sheer amount of stuff you get in a small frame and a price tag of 30.72 lakh Rs, ex-showroom, India, definitely makes the Trailhawk worth the premium you pay for it. I mean, where else would you get such an all-rounder?

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