2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk: cool Jeep performs well

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By Autotrends Weekly Auto Editor

2017-Jeep-Compass TrailhawkFor 2017 the buttoned down, assertive looks of the Jeep Compass are still carried through on the outside. The 2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk we tested is a top tier off-road variant of the lineup. This cool Jeep comes with 17-inch off-road tires, a full-time 4×4 system with 20:1 crawl ratio, approx. 25 mm of extra ride height, unique to the model front and rear bumpers, an anti-glare hood decal, black grill surround, red interior accents, a black roof, all-season floor mats, skid plates, Hill Descent Control, leather-faced seats, stiffer off-road suspension, and signature red tow hooks front and rear. The rear-seats fold flat, as does the front-passenger seat, allowing for a huge cargo area in the Compass. The Trailhawks equipment roster brings the price up to $32,895, plus options, delivery and taxes. Our test vehicle also came with a driver information display, Sirius satellite radio, auto-dimming interior mirror, leather-wrapped steering wheel. Power for the Compass is a 2.4 liter four-cylinder MultiAir engine producing 180 horsepower and 175 lbs. torque. Front-wheel drive models get a 6-speed automatic, with a 6-speed manual available for select front- and all-wheel drive models. The automatic transmission on the other hand is via a 9-speed automatic transmission.

The interior is wonderfully rugged and functional Jeep with a no-nonsense simple layout that manages to look classy, elegant and interesting. The front cabin features wonderful red accent details that really lift the cabins ambience. Big clear dials in the dash, and FCA’s simple and easy to customize touchscreen with large controls are real bonus features. The excellent 8.4-inch UConnect system offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. The amount of head- and leg-room for front passengers is very good, although the rear quarters are a tad tighter in the headroom and legroom department. The dual-pane panoramic roof, though is a nice touch and give an airy feel to the cabin.

On road, the Trailhawk offers a rather firm ride and clearly shows its off-road chops with its ride. It won’t really suit namby pamby’s who want a limo-like ride. For a real test we took the Jeep Compass to a combination of terrain, namely some semi-rough trails, and country roads. And I have to say we were hugely impressed. The Compass has a wide track and compact wheelbase for safe   boonie bashing. The added ground clearance from the Trailhawk with its very short approach and departure angles instills more driving confidence than any of its rivals. Rough trails and the outback are where the Trailhawk does feel capable. What it lacks in refinement it makes up for in rugged feel and the confidence to trek up any sort of terrain. If you live in the city or suburbs, I would recommend the less aggressive Compass models that offer a more comfortable ride. Fuel Consumption is rated at (City / Highway / Combined) L/100km: 10.8 / 7.8 / 9.5. To sum up, the Jeep Compass is not the most refined vehicle in its class, but it has other qualities that really shine. Great value for money is on offer if you opt for the base model starting at $24,900 and choose options wisely. The Trailhawk is pricier, but I think the extra details inside and out really make for a better ownership experience. Overall, you get a Compass that will get you plenty of kudos off the beaten track with its excellent off-road credentials. Highly recommended.

2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk AWD Priced from $32,895 plus delivery and taxes.