Jeep Compass vs Trailhawk: What’s Different And Is It Worth The Extra Dough?

The off-road-focused Compass Trailhawk is here with a much-needed diesel-auto combination. Here’s its comparison with the top-spec Compass Limited Plus in pictures

Jeep India kick-started its operations in India a while ago and the Compass was the big break it needed. While the SUV was hugely popular in India, it's now been two years since its inception and the flavour had started to wear off. To get customers excited again, Jeep has launched the Compass Trailhawk. It brings better off-road cred and a much-needed diesel-auto combination. But, what all is different from the standard Compass here? And, is it worth the substantial Rs 3.7 lakh premium over the top-spec Compass Limited Plus? 


Jeep did not go back to the drawing board for the Compass Trailhawk. From a distance, it looks largely similar to the standard SUV. But if you look closely, you’ll see that Jeep has replaced the chrome bits with blacked-out elements. The front grille is now matte black, while the Jeep logo placed at the centre of the bonnet is also blacked out now. A black decal at the centre of the hood reduces reflections, and is one of the biggest distinguishing factors. The Trailhawk also gets a dedicated Trail Rated badge on its fenders. The Trailhawk is available in all shades except for the Hydro blue. 

The Trailhawk’s bumpers are also redesigned for better off-road capabilities. The front bumpers now have an approach angle of 26.5 degrees and the rear has a departure angle of 31.6 degrees. In comparison, the standard Compass offers 16.8 degrees and 31.7 degrees, respectively. 

The Trailhawk comes with alloy wheels that look similar to the standard SUV. But don't be fooled by the similar design, because these are 17-inch wheels unlike the 18-inch ones on the Jeep Compass Limited Plus. The Trailhawk also comes shod with 225/60/R17 section Falken all-terrain rubber in comparison with the Limited Plus’ sporty Bridgestone Turanza T001 225/55/R18 tyres.

The Trailhawk also sits 27mm higher than the standard Compass, with a ground clearance of 205mm. The air intake is also repositioned, leading to better water wading depth of 480mm, compared to the standard Compass’ 405mm.

The rear tailgate and tail lamps are also similar to the regular Compass. The only different bits include the Trailhawk badge, redesigned bumpers and the red tow hook that screams its off-road intentions.

Interiors And Features

The Compass Trailhawk only comes with single-tone all-black interiors with some contrasting red elements and seat stitching. The red elements are tastefully done and can also be seen on the door pads, steering and gear knob.

The standard Compass, meanwhile gets dual-tone interiors. The Trailhawk gets all the notable features from the Compass Limited Plus including the 6-speaker audio system and the dual-pane panoramic sunroof (optional extra for Rs 80,000). Traction control, electronic stability control, hill start assist, ABS with EBD, driver, passenger and side airbags, etc are also on offer. What’s missing though, are powered seats, auto headlamps, and rain-sensing wipers. But it does get features like auto start-stop system, cruise control system and a 7-inch full colour MID display for the driver which the Limited Plus doesn’t. The Compass Trailhawk’s steering also looks more complete as the blank spots have been replaced by cruise control buttons.

What’s similar though, is the 8.4-inch infotainment system, that is the same on both the SUVs. The Compass Trailhawk, however, gets matte surrounds instead of the gloss black one. 

Jeep’s Active Drive 4x4 system rotary knob and accompanying controls have been carried over, but the Trailhawk gets an additional Rock mode along with Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud, available on the regular variant. The Trailhawk also gets 4WD low which essentially locks the transmission in first gear, and the hill descent assist.

Mechanical bits

The Trailhawk still uses the tried-and-tested 2.0-litre FCA-sourced MJD diesel motor that puts out a healthy 173PS of power and 350Nm of torque. The engine in the Trailhawk is BS6-compliant, while the normal Compass still makes do with the old BS4-compliant engine. Jeep will be updating the standard Compass with BS6 engines in the coming months.

The 9-speed ZF-sourced automatic gearbox is one of the biggest changes in the Compass Trailhawk, while the standard Compass diesel version makes do with a 6-speed manual gearbox. The 1.4-litre petrol engine, on the other hand, gets the 7-speed DCT automatic gearbox. That said, Jeep will offer the 9-speed gearbox in the standard variants in the future.

The Compass Trailhawk brings a diesel-automatic combination and some solid mud-plugging capabilities with it. But if most of your commutes are on urban roads and you want an automatic SUV for occasional highway cruising, there are plenty of choices available right now. The Compass Trailhawk, then, is for those who prefer the road less trodden, and prefer the trails. At a premium of Rs 3.7 lakh over the Limited Plus, the Compass Trailhawk breaks the Rs 30 lakh (on-road) barrier. And if you ask us, that seems like a lot of money for an SUV of that size. We will soon be putting the Compass Trailhawk through a proper road test to find out if it’s worth the premium.

Jeep Compass Trailhawk Video Review

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Jeep Compass Trailhawk

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