If you’re already up to speed on the 2018 Jeep Compass Trailhawk, you might not learn anything new. But if you’re dancing with the idea of a 4×4 and putting Jeep on your shortlist, you might want to take a look at how a suburban girl puts the trail in Trailhawk.
A few weeks ago, I reviewed the 2019 Jeep Cherokee Overland, a luxury trim level of the popular SUV. And there really wasn’t anything about it I didn’t like. It’s one of only a handful of cars I’ve had over the past few years that I was a little sad to return. Since it was a 4×4, I thought I’d try to step up my reviewing by testing out the 4×4 system. Instead, I was teased for driving the Cherokee through a “mud puddle.” To be fair, it was a deeper-than-expected mud puddle that did cause slippage. Exactly what I was going for.
But the Trailhawk badge, like you see on this 2018 Jeep Compass is more than a 4×4 system. It’s a badge signifying its ability to perform well under various off-road conditions with adjustments to traction, ground clearance, maneuverability, articulation (suspension that allows the wheels to flex), and water fording abilities (essentially, a waterproofed undercarriage that allows submersion in up to 19 inches of water).
So how do you demonstrate that in suburban Maryland? You find an unfinished housing community, drive over packed dirt and gravel, and look for any obstacles you can find.
Okay, I tried.
The reality is that most drivers with fully off-road capable vehicles never actually leave the pavement. And that’s totally okay. Sometimes it’s awesome just knowing you could if you wanted to. And you can still have a great driving experience even if you do stay on road.
The 2019 Jeep Compass Trailhawk 4×4, as mentioned, is a trim level of this compact SUV designed for the off road enthusiast. You’ll find standard features for this purpose like:
- Off-road Suspension
- Rear Red Tow Hooks (just in case, you know…)
- Selec-Terrain System (allowing you to make adjustments for sand, mud, snow, etc.)
- Hill Start Assist
- Hill Descent Control
- Electronic Stability Control
- Electronic Roll Mitigation
- Fuel Tank Skid Plate Shield
And you’ll, of course, find many of the same features that you’d find in a high quality SUV. With the Customer Preferred Package, the Compass includes safety features like blind-spot and cross-path detection, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and rear-park assist.
Throughout the rest of the vehicle, you’ll feel that it’s been outfitted more for functionality and durability than luxury. The Trailhawk badge adds red stitching to the leather trimmed cloth seats and red accents to the rest of the car.
In the back, you’ll find comfortable seating for two, or three if you’re pressed. Passengers still have access to a power outlet and a USB port and you’ll find cupholders in the doors and the pull down divider in the seats.
And although there’s nothing fancy about these fold-down seats, I found them to be some of the easiest out there. Simply pull a lever at the top of each seat and bend the seat forward for cargo space.
This is when I started questioning some of the differences between the Compass and the Cherokee. While the Cherokee is clearly a larger vehicle (a good 9″ longer), you won’t see a huge difference in cargo space unless you put the rear seats down.
With the second row seats upright, the Compass offers 25.8 ft³ in the rear and 54.9 ft³ with the seats folded flat. The Cherokee has 27.2 ft³ in the rear and 59.8 ft³ with the seats flat.
I didn’t use the cargo space much during the week. The 2018 Jeep Compass Trailhawk served as my transportation to and from the racetrack in New Jersey. But I did get a chance to get it a little muddy. Actually, I think it was more accidental than anything. One of these days, I need to find some serious offloading trails. They must exist in Maryland!
If you’re interested in checking out this 2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk 4×4, you’re looking at a Redline Pearl with a black/ruby red interior. The base price is $28,795 and with the Customer Preferred Package and Destination Charge, the MSRP of this vehicle is $34,910.
If you want a closer look, come with me on a video tour of the 2018 Jeep Compass Trailhawk. And wait until you see who came to watch me film this video!