Jeep Compass Trailhawk Roadtest Review – Hardcore Trail Rating

Jeep is known for their SUV’s that have the ‘go anywhere’ attitude and qualities deep in their genes for over 75 years. For the enthusiasts who want to take the off-roading capabilities to the next level you have the Trailhawk which is the no nonsense off-road version of the Jeep. In India the Jeep Compass has been a runaway success model for FCA and they are all set to get the Trailhawk version for the Jeep Compass for our market. We drive the Jeep Compass Trailhawk 4×4 Automatic testing it on some meanest off-road track and also on the road to find out if this is the off-road SUV that Jeep fans have been waiting for.

The Jeep Compass Trailhawk looks completely identical to the regular Compass its only when you take a closer look that you start noticing the key differences which goes more than just skin deep. The first and foremost addition is the partly blacked out hood which now sports a black decal which helps in cutting out the sun rays from hitting your eyes while off-roading. The front 7-slat Jeep family grille is now finished in matt graphite grey, the lower part of the front bumper gets redesigned for the Trailhawk and gets a honeycomb grille, the bumper also houses cornering lamps which are missing on the current Jeep Compass. The headlamps now get smoked look and also gets a honeycomb treatment within the assembly.

The chrome garnish is now replaced with graphite grey finish. The Compass Trailhawk drives on newly designed heavy duty 17 inch 5-spoke alloy wheels which are specially built for off road challenges with Falken tyres which has a different tread pattern for on/ off-road operations. The front fenders get special Trail Rated 4X4 badging. The bootlid also gets the special Trailhawk eagle wing badge. The rear bumper comes fitted with a special tow hook in ruby red color which can pull 1.5 times the gross vehicle weight. Panoramic sunroof with blacked out roof is a standard feature on the Compass Trailhawk. The Jeep Compass Trailhawk also gets 4 skid plates enhancing the underbody protection of the vehicle while tackling intimidating obstacles without worrying about damaging the underbody.

Like the outside the interiors also get some amount of special Trailhawk detailing. The cabin now gets an all black theme, the gearshift gaiter is now stitched in red and the surrounding area of the gearshift also gets the red treatment. The red color stitching continues on the door panels and the seats and red colour treatment is also seen around the instrument cluster. Premium feel soft touch material is used on the dash and other parts within the cabin. The seats are now better bolstered and much more supportive as compared to the other Compass variants. The other major update includes an 7.0 inch all color MID display and also the inclusion of the latest generation 8.4 inch UConnect technology with inbuilt GPS that enhances the voice and touch interaction with the vehicle.

On the safety front the Jeep Compass Trailhawk comes equipped with 6-airbags, ABS, EBD traction control, park assist, rear view camera, electronic roll mitigation, electronic stability control and electronic hand brake. Other standard features includes hill assist and hill descent control, cruise control and speed limiter.

Powering the Jeep Compass Trailhawk is the same 2.0L Multijet II turbo diesel engine that makes 170PS of power and 350Nm of torque. This engine is now BSVI complaint and comes mated to a 9-speed ZF torque converter automatic transmission. The Trailhawk gets all new suspension setup which is fully independent and delivers superior on-road dynamics. The Trailhawk features long travel suspension which allows for greater wheel travel and the ability to tackle almost any terrain and the Frequency Selective Damping (FSD) enhances the overall ride quality making it smoothest over any surface. The ground clearance is also up by 30mm over the other Compass which gives you increased ride height and superior approach and departure angles.

The rock mode is added on to the existing list of driving modes like mud, sand and snow. The ride quality unrivaled and excellent on the Jeep Compass but the Trailhawk takes it to another level altogether. The ride quality is plush on almost all the road surfaces. Even the hard irritating plastic speed-breakers went unnoticed while driving over them. The body roll is well controlled and the vehicle drives almost flat even while taking sudden turns or while tackling tight corners. We drove the Trailhawk across a hardcore off-road section with 5 different levels of difficulties and obstacles, the Trailhawk conquered all the obstacles effortlessly and made it look so easy.

The Trailhawk also gets the Low range 4WD lock mode that helps off-road business largely. The Trailhawk is so easy to drive off the road because everything is taken care of by the electronics, guiding and guarding you all through the terrain. We drove over the rocks and through the water; some extremely slippery muddy patches and also took a dive down 200 feet on a downhill slope, challenging the limits of Trailhawk’s capabilities and it didn’t disappoint us.

‘Just because something works doesn’t mean it can’t be improved’ seems the mantra of FCA with the Trail Rated Compass Trailhawk that shines in all the departments on and off the road. There are a few features that could have been added to the Trailhawk like the auto dimming rear view mirror, auto headlights, rain sensing wipers etc., but we could be just nitpicking here, because these features really don’t matter when you are off-roading. The Jeep Compass Trailhawk is a perfect hardcore off-road machine which ideally does not have any competition. No competition comes close to the Jeep Compass Trailhawk when it comes to off-roading capabilities in this category and price range.

The Jeep Compass Trailhawk is all together a different breed when it comes to serious off-roading as compared to other options available, it also doubles up as an excellent drive for your daily commute. Only thing that’ll matter now is how well the vehicle will be priced, which will be revealed very soon. Watch this space for more information about the all new Trail Rated Jeep Compass Trailhawk.

Review – Amit Shelar
Photography – Govind Gadekar

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