Jeep Compass Trailhawk First Drive Review — The Premium Off-Roader You’ve Been Waiting For!

The Jeep Compass entered the Indian market back in 2017. The mid-size SUV since then has been the lone star for FCA and its operations in the country. The Compass SUV has gained a lot of popularity among Indian buyers in the segment, bringing in consistent sales month-on-month.

Jeep India has also over the years, brought in a number of updates to the Compass SUV. This includes added features, new variants and special edition models. However, with competition in the market rapidly growing, Jeep has finally pulled out its trump card and bring in its most rugged and capable model — the Compass Trailhawk.

Jeep Compass Trailhawk First Drive Review

The Jeep Compass Trailhawk is the most rugged and most off-road capable variant in the SUV lineup. It is also one of the most-anticipated variants of the Compass lineup in the country. We got to drive the 'Trial Rated' version of the Compass SUV recently, and came out completely impressed with its capabilities. So what makes the Trailhawk different from the standard SUV? Let's find out.

Design & Styling

Jeep Compass Trailhawk First Drive Review

At an initial glance, the Compass Trailhawk looks pretty much the same as the standard models in the SUVs lineup. However, a closer inspection reveals otherwise. The obvious giveaway of the new variant is the 'Trailhawk' badging on the rear of the SUV. The sides also come with the 'Trail-Rated' badging, which confirms the off-roading capabilities of the Trailhawk variant.

Starting from the front, the Compass Trailhawk comes with the standard signature front grille, bi-xenon headlamps and fog lamps. However, the most noticeable changes is the large black decal on the centre of the bonnet. This according to Jeep is to remove any sort of glare for the driver during awkward off-roading angles. The other changes at the front is a newly designed front bumper, which provides better approach angles for off-roading.

Jeep Compass Trailhawk First Drive Review

Moving to the side profile, the Jeep Compass Trailhawk remains almost unchanged from the standard variants. It comes with flared wheel arches, sharp creases along the length of the SUV and black cladding on the lower half as well.

Jeep Compass Trailhawk First Drive Review

However, some of the noticeable changes on the Trailhawk include an increased ground clearance. The Jeep Compass Trailhawk stands taller by 27mm compared to the standard SUV variants, with a ground clearance of 205mm. It also gets new 17-inch Falken all-terrain rubber around the dual-tone alloy wheels. This helps the SUV offer better grip during both off-roading and while on tarmac. The Trailhawk variant of the Jeep Compass also now comes equipped with new 17-inch Falken all-terrain tyres, which provide good grip during both off-roading and on tarmac.

Jeep Compass Trailhawk First Drive Review

The rear profile follows the same theme of minimum changes. The rear profile comes with newly shaped bumpers which increases the departure angle; again, allowing better off-road driveability. The rear bumpers also come with a red tow-hook, which can pull a weight of 1.5x times the gross weight of the Jeep Compass Trailhawk.

Interiors, Features & Practicality

Jeep Compass Trailhawk First Drive Review

Moving into the cabin of the Jeep Compass Trailhawk, we are greeted to an all-black interiors. The Trailhawk comes with little to no changes inside. It still features the soft-touch materials, which feels well finished and gives it a premium appeal.

The Jeep Compass Trailhawk version does come with a number of red accents all around the cabin, which adds a bit of colour to an otherwise blacked-out cabin. These red accents can be seen on the instrument cluster, speaker surrounds and the gear lever. The SUV also comes with contrast red stitching on the black leather seat upholstery as well.

Jeep Compass Trailhawk First Drive Review

Some of the standard features on the Jeep Compass Trailhawk include:

  • 7-inch Multi-Information Display
  • 8.4-inch UConnect Infotainment Display
  • Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
  • GPS Navigation
  • Cruise Control
  • Keyless Entry
  • Engine Start/Stop
  • Bi-Xenon Headlamps
  • Cornering Lamps
  • Panoramic Sunroof

The Jeep Compass Trailhawk is positioned as the range-topping model in the brand's lineup. However it does miss out on a number of features available on the 'Limited Plus'. Some of the features missing on the Trailhawk include automatic headlamps and automatic rain-sensing wipers among others.

Jeep Compass Trailhawk First Drive Review

The Jeep Compass Trailhawk also continues to offer a good amount of storage space inside the cabin. This includes a number of cup-holder, bottle holder and storage compartment all around the SUV.

Comfort & Boot Space

Jeep Compass Trailhawk First Drive Review

The Compass Trailhawk variant carries forward the same premium appeal from the standard variants. The SUV comes with extremely spacious cabin, with well padded seats covered in leather. The seats offer good all-round cushioning, with good lateral, lumbar and thigh support. The front driver and passenger seats are extremely well-padded, offering a comfortable position. However, both seats miss out on electronic-adjustability and receive just manual levers.

Jeep Compass Trailhawk First Drive Review

The rear seats also follow the same theme with good comfort and padding all around. The rear seats are slightly reclined offering a more relaxed seating position. The rear passengers also get a central armrest, offering additional comfort during long distance travelling.

Boot space on the Jeep Compass Trailhawk continues to remain the same at 438 litres. However, this can further be extended by folding the rear seats in a 60:40 split configurations.

Length (mm) 4398
Width (mm) 1819
Height (mm) 1657
Wheelbase (mm) 2636
Ground Clearance (mm) 205
Boot Space (litres) 438

Engine Performance & Driving Impressions

Powering the Jeep Compass Trailhawk is the same 2.0-litre diesel engine producing the same 173bhp @ 3,750rpm and 350Nm of torque @ 1,750rpm. However, the engine on the Trailhawk has now been upgraded to the upcoming BS-VI emission norms.

Jeep Compass Trailhawk First Drive Review

The power delivery on the Trailhawk is now more linear than on the standard models. The engine is also quieter, with little to no engine clattering which was mildly present on the standard versions. The BS-VI upgrade also brings in a new level of refinement on the Compass.

Jeep Compass Trailhawk First Drive Review

Another major upgrade on the Compass Trailhawk is the new 9-speed torque-converter automatic transmission. The new 9-speed AT is perfectly smooth and offers quick gear shifts even at low rpms with ease. The automatic transmission has been tuned extremely well, offering relaxed driving at both low-speed city crawls and high-speed highway runs. The gearbox has been tuned to upshift a little earlier, which further improves the efficiency; keeping the rev-range under 2,000 to 2,500rpm even at high speeds.

Jeep Compass Trailhawk First Drive Review

The steering too has seen a considerable upgrade, more suited for the Indian driving conditions. The steering offers good feedback and response while also being light and easy to maneuver in low-speed city traffic. Out on the highway, the steering weighs up well, offering a sense of reassurement to accelerate harder and push the SUV further. The Compass Trailhawk also feels more stable, with reduced amount of body roll, which further enhances the confidence to push harder.

Jeep Compass Trailhawk First Drive Review

Jeep has also changed the suspension on the Compass Trailhawk. It now feels more sure-footed. The damping on the suspension has been improved, which offers a plush ride for both the driver and passengers. The new suspension set up absorbs most of the road undulations with ease, gliding over uneven road surfaces.

However, the most important aspect of the Trailhawk is its off-roading capabilities. It is here where the Jeep Compass Trailhawk shows its class. The 'Trail-Rated' badge is something which a Jeep should earn, and the Trailhawk absolutely nails the off-roading aspect.

Jeep Compass Trailhawk First Drive Review

Jeep offers the Compass Trailhawk with a new set of driving modes, specifically for improving its off-roading capabilities. This includes a '4x4 Low', '4x4 lock' and 'Rock' mode. This is in addition to the already available Mud, Snow, Sand and Auto modes in the standard variants. We put the Trailhawk through various off-roading parameters such as water fording, off-roading maneuverability, articulation, traction and ground clearance tests. Each time the Compass Trailhawk glided through the obstacles with ease.

Jeep Compass Trailhawk First Drive Review

The 4x4 low driving range, further offers the Compass Trailhawk with a crawl ratio of 20:1. What this means is that the entire 350Nm of torque from the engine is available at the wheels at just 5km/h. This combined with the increased approach, departure and cross-over angles made light work of the challenging off-roading terrains.

Specification Overview

Engine 1956cc
Fuel Type Diesel
No. Of Cylinders In-line 4
Power (bhp) 173
Torque (Nm) 350
Transmission 9-AT
Weight (Kg) 161

Safety Features

Jeep Compass Trailhawk First Drive Review

The Jeep Compass Trailhawk comes with a host of safety features and equipment. Some of the key safety features on the Compass Trailhawk include:

  • Multiple Airbags
  • Reverse Parking Camera
  • Seat-Belt Warning
  • High-Speed Warning
  • Front & Rear Parking Sensors
  • ISOFIX Child-Seat Mounts
  • Cruise Control
  • Hill-Start Assist
  • Hill-Descent Control
  • ABS with EBD
  • Traction Control
  • Speed-Limiter
  • Electronic Parking Brake

Competition & Fact Check!

The Jeep Compass Trailhawk will continue to rival the same cars as the standard SUV variants. This includes the Tata Harrier, Hyundai Creta and the Mahindra XUV500. However, with a price tag of Rs 26.8 Lakh, ex-showroom (India), it might even compete against the likes of the Volkswagen Tiguan and the Hyundai Tucson.

Jeep Compass Trailhawk First Drive Review

Here is a brief look at the main rivals of the Jeep Compass Trailhawk:

Rivals/Specs Jeep Compass Trailhawk Tata Harrier Hyundai Creta 
Engine 2.0-litre Diesel (BS-VI) 2.0-litre Diesel (BS-IV) 1.6-litre Diesel
Power (bhp) 173 143 126
Torque (Nm) 350 350 260
Transmission 9-Speed AT 6-Speed MT 6-Speed MT/AT
Prices (ex-showroom) Rs 26.8 Lakh Rs 12 - 16 Lakh Rs 10 - 15 Lakh

Rahul Nagaraj Thinks!

Jeep Compass Trailhawk First Drive Review

The 4x4 version of the Compass SUV itself was an extremely capable model in the product lineup. Now with the addition of the Trailhawk, the Jeep Compass has added an extra layer of off-roading capabilities to the model. It comes packed with features and a bunch of safety equipment, although it does miss out on a few features available on the Limited Plus. However, the 'Trail-Rated' version of the Compass offers a perfect balance between extreme off-roading capabilities and luxury and convenience.

What We Like

  • Extreme Off-roading Capabilities
  • Overall Premiumness
  • Automatic Transmission

What We Didn't Like

  • Missing Features
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Read more on: #review #jeep
Article Published On: Monday, June 17, 2019, 14:22 [IST]
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