Jeep Compass Trailhawk: First Drive Review
- Jun 6, 2019
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The Jeep brand has been around for a while now and while the Compass is a promising SUV, it has started to lose its edge over its rivals. The Tata Harrier and the upcoming MG Hector are the Compass’ arch nemesis and the lack of a diesel-auto combo has started to affect its sales a bit. Now though, Jeep is readying the off-road focussed Compass Trailhawk which will come with a BS6 complaint diesel engine paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission. The Trailhawk and the ‘Trail Rated’ badges on the SUV are there for a reason and mind you, the Compass Trailhawk is anything but a cosmetic job. The SUV comes ready from the factory for hardcore trails and mud-plugging and here’s how it’s different from the standard Compass:
Jeep hasn't tinkered with the design language in any way and the Compass Trailhawk looks similar to the standard Compass from a distance. Come closer or take a second glance at it and you will start seeing the differences.
The first thing to note is that Jeep has ditched the chrome bits for a blacked out theme. The front grille is now clad in matte grey paint while the Jeep logo placed right at the centre of the bonnet is also blacked out now. Speaking of the bonnet, it now has a prominent section which is covered in black and that is one of the main distinguishing factors between the standard variants and the Trailhawk. The Compass Trailhawk also gets redesigned bumpers and a fully blacked out grille. The front bumpers have an approach angle of 26.5 degrees while the SUV’s departure angle stands at 31.6 degrees in comparison to the standard Compass’ 16.8 degrees and 31.7 degrees, respectively.
Moving over to the side, the blacked out Compass badge along with the ‘TRAIL RATED' badge can be seen on both fenders. The wheels are 17-inch units shod with all-terrain Falken Wildpeak HT 225-section tyres which should offer a comfortable ride both on and off tarmac. And thanks to a raised ride height, the Trailhawk boasts of a ground clearance of 205mm, which is 27mm more than the regular Compass. The air intake is also positioned higher, which lets the SUV wade through 480mm of water. The standard SUV, on the other hand, has a water-wading depth of 405mm.
The rear tailgate and tail lamps are also similar to the regular Compass. But give it a closer look and you’ll be able to spot the Trailhawk badge, redesigned bumpers and the red tow hook that hints at its off-road focussed intentions.
The Compass Trailhawk misses out on gloss back inserts and dual-tone interiors as seen on the regular Compass but makes up for it with an all-black theme with red inserts that goes well with the SUV’s exterior. The 8.4-inch infotainment system is similar to the one you get on the top-spec Limited Plus variant of the Compass.
The Trailhawk also gets contrast red stiching in the door pads, seats, steering and gear knob, thereby adding some character. The 9-speed ZF sourced automatic gearbox is another differentiating factor and although Jeep’s Active Drive 4x4 system rotary knob and accompanying controls look the same, the Trailhawk gets an additional Rock mode along with Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud that are available on the regular variant.
Most of the noteworthy features from the top-spec Limited Plus 4x4 variant of Compass will be carried over to the Trailhawk. These include the 8.4-inch UConnect infotainment screen, 7-inch MID, the 6-speaker audio system and the dual-pane panoramic sunroof. Safety features include traction control, electronic stability control, hill start assist, ABS with EBD, driver, passenger and side airbags, and more.
But the Trailhawk will miss out on some kit in comparison to the Limited Plus variant and these include powered seats, auto headlamps, and rain-sensing wipers. What it gets over the Limited Plus variant though, are an engine start-stop system that should help enhance fuel efficiency and cruise control for steady cruises down your favourite highway.
These are the overt differences that are visible from our brief interaction with the SUV. A more conclusive review will be up on ZigWheels soon. We expect the Trailhawk to be priced around Rs 3 lakh over the Compass’ top-spec Limited Plus variant which retails for Rs. 23.11 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). However, the price gap between the Trailhawk and the standard Compass is expected to reduce once the regular variants get the BS6 compliant powerplants in the near future.
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