2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk Review Jun 20, 2017 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)
The 2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk is among the best SUVs when you want to go off-road without breaking the bank. It starts at $28,595 and, while the regular model might be less expensive, the Compass Trailhawk has best-in-class 4x4 capability for extra confidence on all terrain without undue sacrifice to interior comfort or road manners.
The biggest draw of the 2017 Compass Trailhawk over other trim levels is its Trail Rated off-road capabilities. The Selec-Terrain Traction Management System lets you select from one of several terrain settings to customize your driving experience and help the SUV tackle snow, sand, rocks, or mud. Rock mode is perfect for off-roading and will engage the low-range and let the SUV send almost all the power to a single wheel. Meanwhile, the Jeep Active Drive Low 4x4 System can be used to maximize traction off-road. This system lets you adjust the 4WD Lock to hill descent control by pressing a button. To further help you on your off-road adventures, the Trailhawk also comes with tow hooks in a bold red, enhanced ground clearance, and underbody skid plates. No wonder it has the best-in-class departure and approach angles.
Plenty of Power
In addition to the Compass Trailhawk’s off-roading capabilities, it has decent horsepower thanks to the 2.4-liter Tigershark engine. This powertrain gives you the horses you need along with the best-in-class 4x4 fuel economy. With all-wheel drive and the automatic transmission, this translates to 22 city/30 highway/25 combined mpg. Expect 180 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque, more than enough for the trail. Going with all-wheel drive, which is expected from the Trailhawk, lets you choose from a 6-speed manual or a ZF 9-speed automatic. The combination of systems works well on or off the road with moderately light steering effort and a good amount of road feedback. The cornering is near flat, but this doesn’t mean the suspension is stiffly sprung; instead, Koni dampers help you get a soft ride on tough terrain as well.
In addition to its off-road capabilities, the Jeep Compass Trailhawk impresses with its in-cabin styling and comfort. In many ways, it is just a compact version of the Grand Cherokee with a handsome yet restrained interior. The combination of leather and cloth mixes well with plastics and various trims. Even adults reaching six feet in height will have enough legroom in the rear, or you can split the rear seats 60/40 and fold them down to expand the storage space. The Compass also offers the Uconnect system (which is still the easiest to use automaker infotainment system), leather trim, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay for the utmost convenience in connectivity.