Jeep Trailhawk test drive: The Trail Rated Compass sibling

Jeep Trailhawk test drive: The Trail Rated Compass sibling
Jeep Compass Trailhawk.

Earlier, there was jeep and there were a few cars. Today, there are hundreds of cars but there is only one jeep, the original Jeep from the US.

It's a car

Jeep has rewritten the rules of motoring. Earlier, if the norm was a Jeep for rough road conditions and cars for luxury, now the Jeep offers luxury on rough roads too.


Willys Overland of the US and Mahindra of India can take credit for bringing the Jeep to India. Later, Mahindra rolled out several Jeep-like vehicles in the country, with the Thar being the final iteration. It is not so long ago that Jeep made its second entry to the country.

Jeep Compass Trailhawk.

The actual Jeep

Though the Compass looks pretty cool and offers great performance, the Trailhawk is the most rugged version of this popular compact SUV.

Trail Rated

Every Trail Rated vehicle has succeeded against a series of grueling tests in five categories: Traction, Water Fording, Maneuverability, Articulation and Ground Clearance. The Trail Rated badge brings the latest version of the company's 75-year-old off-roading experience to the Trailhawk. It gets all the advantages of the 4X4 expertise the company has acquired over the years. The Trailhawk's Active Drive Low 4x4 system comprises a low-range, hill-descent control and a rock mode for the Selec-Terrain system.

Jeep Compass Trailhawk.

Red hot

Other than the bright red and black finishing, there are not much visible differences between the Compass and the Trailhawk. The Trailhawk comes with some off-road specific changes and features. It sits 27 mm higher than the standard Compass, with an overall ground clearance of 205 mm. It also has different bumpers, offering higher approach and departure angles that aid off-roading. There are 17-inch alloy wheels as well. Other features include all-terrain tyres to provide extra grip, a bonnet with anti-glare decal to help avoid reflections of the windscreen while going up steep inclines, a tow hook on the rear bumper and cornering fog lamp, among others.

Black beauty

The Trailhawk gets an overall black interior theme with red accents. The seats are large. Decent leg space and headroom are available in the rear along with AC vents. Other features include panoramic sunroof, an 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Navigation, 7-inch multi-information sytem, rear view camera with guideline assist, park sensor and push button start, among others.

Jeep Compass Trailhawk.

Tech excellence

The ‘Trail Rated 4x4’ badge on the quarter panels indicate that the Trailhawk has gone through a strict certification process that covers five aspects of off-roading - traction, ground clearance, articulation, manoeuvrability and water fording. The drive modes include auto, snow, sand and mud. It features a 4WD lock mode, as well as 4WD low, which can be operated using a rotary knob on the centre console.

More safety

The Trailhawk comes with the latest active safety features such as electronic stability control, electronic roll mitigation, traction control, electronic park brake, hill hold, hill descent control, anti-lock brake system, and electronic brake distribution. There are six airbags, including side full curtain airbags which protect rear seat passengers from head injuries.

Jeep Compass Trailhawk.

9-speed auto

The Trailhawk has the only BSVI diesel engine in this segment. It is the same 2.0-litre MultiJet turbo diesel in the Compass but the unit is now BSVI compliant. The company claims that the engine will have no problems running on BSIV fuel too. It produces 170 bhp of power and 350 Nm of torque. While offering great performance, the Trailhawk won't disappoint you on the mileage front too. The engine is mated to a 9-speed automatic gearbox.

On and off road

If the Compass is the king on roads, the Trailhawk promises to rule both on and off the road. While the Compress price starts from Rs 15.70 lakh, the price for the Trailhawk begins from Rs 26.80 lakh.