2018 Jeep Compass Trailhawk Review

2018 Jeep Compass Trailhawk Road Test, Review

Jeep launched their all new Jeep Compass late in 2017 to Australia. Given that the last compass was a very soft option, the addition of the Trailhawk version for the latest generation is welcomed.

The compact SUV segment is becoming more crowded, but with very few real dual range 4WD options.

This segment represents about 20% of the total growing SUV segment, so its importance is not to be underestimated.


The Compass Trailhawk looks unmistakably like a Jeep. It features the historically significant 7 slot grill, a bold squat muscular design and in the case of the red with black bonnet, a striking appearance.

It has a slightly snub nose and short rear overhang. From the side it sweeps through the high waistline and slightly sweeps up at the rear.

From the front it looks like a smaller version of the Grand Cherokee.

In short the Jeep Compass Trailhawk looks very stylish and gets a big tick from me for looks


The first thing as a driver, you notice, is the upright seating position. It actually feels good. The leather seats are supportive but a little hard on the squab.

The driver’s seat is multi electrically adjustable with an additional lumbar support that is appreciated.

In front of the driver is a nice and thick leather steering wheel, both height and reach adjustable, featuring controls for the MFD, audio system and cruise control.

Visibility is pretty good over bonnet and out the side and rear. The ‘A’ pillars, like most modern cars cause a blind spot.

In front of the driver is a dual dial dash with a configurable MFD in between the dials. Clear, easy to read and use and well designed.

Rear seats are really designed for two occupants. They have a short seat squab and can feel a little flat also.

However, surprisingly, there is a lot of room back there for taller passengers with adequate head, shoulder and knee and foot room.

The rear sets fold almost flat in a 60/40 configuration. This gives the boot a very useable load space. With the rear seats in the normal position, the cargo volume Is 438L.

One really good feature is the high opening boot lid, enough for my 190cm to easily fit under.

Overall the interior, with its red leather trim and soft touch points for arms and elbows, feels spacious, light and comfortable.

2018 Jeep Compass TrailhawkFeatures

The Trailhawk features:

  • Uconnect® 8.4-Inch NAV Radio,
  • 4-inch Touchscreen Display,
  • Satellite Navigation,
  • Apple Carplay® Android Auto®,
  • Digital Radio (DAB+),
  • Bluetooth® Phone & Audio Streaming,
  • AM/FM Radio,
  • ParkView reverse parking camera
  • Dual Zone Climate Control
  • Automatic electronic park brake,
  • Deep tinted privacy glass
  • Driver seat memory with Power lumbar adjust
  • Heated front seats
  • Passive entry. Remote Start and Keyless Go

There is an optional package that just might be worthwhile. It’s the Advanced Technology Group, which costs about $2,450. This includes:

  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Exterior mirror Courtesy lamp
  • Power lift Gate
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (w Stop & Go)
  • Auto High Beam
  • Blind Spot Monitoring w/Rear Cross Path Detect

Drive and Engine

The Trailhawk is powered by a 2.0L multi jet turbo diesel engine that produces 125kW/350Nm

Fuel economy on the freeway got down to 6.1L/100K and around town we averaged about 9.0L/100K.

The engine is mated to a 9 speed automatic transmission. In addition the Trailhawk has a dual range 4X4 system.

To facilitate this the Trailhawk features the advanced Jeep Active Drive Low 4×4 system offering Auto, Sand, Mud, Snow modes for the best driving experience on all terrains.

As mentioned it is the only Compass with a dual range transmission that includes the exclusive Rock mode to its Selec-Terrain.

So on road the Trailhawk drives, rides and handles pretty much like others in the segment.

Where it exceeds most competitors is off road. As you would have guessed by now the Trailhawk is a true 4WD.

The combination of Jeep’s legendary dual range system and design features, means that when you turn off the black top, the Trailhawk tends to excel.

Nothing really fazed it. Like most standard 4WD’s it isn’t a rock hopper, but it will soak up most of what normal drivers will throw at it with ease.

I did have an opportunity to drive extensively on sand. Here the Trailhawk was awesome.

I would however choose my off road tracks as creek crossings might prove problematic with a low wading depth.

Having said that the approach, departure and rampover angles of the Trailhawk are better that the Toyota Fortuner with the same unladen ground clearance.

Take a moment to let that sink in and you realise how serious the Trailhawk can be off road.

2018 Jeep Compass TrailhawkSafety

The Trailhawk has a 5 star ANCAP Safety rating. It includes over 70 safety features throughout the car including:

  • Parkview™ Reverse Parking Camera with Dynamic Distance Gridlines
  • ParkSense® Front & Rear Parking Sensors
  • 7 Airbags (2 Front, 2 Side Curtain, 2 Side Seat, 1 Driver Knee)
  • Parallel & Perpendicular Park Assist with Stop
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Electronic Roll Mitigation
  • Traction Control
  • Trailer Sway Control
  • Engine Immobiliser
  • Rain Brake Support

Optional features

  • Full Speed Forward Collision Warning Plus LSU
  • Lane Departure Warning Plus LAS
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Rear Cross Path Detection
  • Advanced Brake Assist

Good Bits:

  • 4WD capability
  • Style and design
  • Interior ambience

Not so Good Bits:

  • Engine braking on road
  • Safety features as optional extras
  • Small centre console storage


When Jeep reintroduced the Compass in late 2017 it radically changed the product. The inclusion of the Trailhawk is a welcome addition.

Jeep Compass Trailhawk is a true 4WD vehicle that will stand toe to toe with some much larger, better rated 4WD wagons.

It looks great, is as much at home in the inner city as it is on the Birdsville Track, will carry four adults in comfort and provides much needed character to the small medium SUV segment.

Facts and Figures: 2018 Jeep Compass Trailhawk

  • Engine: 2.0L 4 cylinder diesel producing 125kW/350Nm
  • Transmission: Nine-speed auto 4WD
  • Warranty: Five yrs
  • Safety: Five stars
  • Origin: USA
  • Price: From $49,462
2018 Jeep Compass Trailhawk
  • Overall Rating

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