Quick Drive: 2018 Jeep Compass TrailHawk

RIGHT, how fast can we dig out the camping gear? Time to hit the road in a trail rated Jeep Compass. Officially known as the 2018 Jeep Compass TrailHawk, the new look Jeep has a bunch of add-ons to make it extra off road capable.

You can tell the difference from other models in the range pretty much straight away, with two very noticeable red tow hooks to be found on the front of the vehicle, along with one at the rear.

You’ll also notice the bonnet decal and black roof, and the fact it sits higher than the other Compass variants too, with an extra 25mm added in for those tricky approach and departure angles.

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Once you jump inside, the first thing that smacks you in the face is the new hi-res 8.4-inch Connect touchscreen, complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a hi-def reversing camera. Oh, and it’s got SatNav too.

The list of features continues with an exceptionally good 9-speaker sound system, dual zone climate control, automatic bi-xenon headlights and LED tail lights, automatic wipers, and heated power front seats.

Not to be forgotten is the push button start, and an absolute abundance of storage, including under the passenger’s front cushion. On the downside, this last storage spot means the front passenger seat has no height adjustment.

The interior trimmed in red around the instrument cluster, speaker covers, gear surround and in the stitching of the seats. It’s a nice subtle way of introducing the quirkiness of a Jeep. Trust us, there’s a few quirky things going on in the Compass TrailHawk.

Jeep has hidden little images and outlines all over the place, including in some windows and in the electric tailgate. We found a snake in the window, and a Jeep grille in the passenger side cup holder, but there were others.

The 2018 Jeep Compass TrailHawk is powered by a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel engine that pushes out a respectable 125kW of power and 350Nm of torque, and is coupled with a 9-speed auto transmission.

Across a test lasting several hours, that included driving around town and hitting some dirt trails on the NSW Central Coast, we managed an exceptional fuel economy result of 5.7-litres/100km.

On the dirt is where the Compass stands out though, thanks to its true lockable all wheel drive system. It includes a range of pre-selections designed to suit a variety of terrain including rock, mud, snow, hills, gravel, sand and automatic.

The Compass felt at home in the dirt and the gearing was bang on all the time. We were impressed with just how trail ready it really was and the suspension felt good too; not too harsh and minimal body roll on most road surfaces.

The model we drove had been fitted with the optional Tech Pack, which includes forward collision warning, lane departure warning, powered tailgate, and adaptive cruise control. It is however missing autonomous emergency braking.

You can jump into a new Compass TrailHawk for $46,950, and that’s drive away. It comes in eight cool colours including Vocal White, Minimal Grey, Brilliant Black, Colorado Red, Hydro Blue, Grey Magnesio, Mohave Sand and Bronze Metallic.

Our 2018 Jeep Compass TrailHawk was provided by Central Coast Chrysler Jeep Dodge. To find out more, contact the team at Central Coast Chrysler Jeep Dodge, or visit your local dealer.


Driving experience
Exterior styling
Interior look and feel
Technology and connectivity
Family friendliness


Pros - quirkiness; true trail rated car; fun factor.
Cons - servicing costs; pricey; needs autonomous emergency braking.
Cameron Cooke
Cameron Cooke
Cameron Cooke is a professional photographer and writer with extensive automotive industry experience. He's living the dream as far as he's concerned, working in a career in digital photography and penning automotive content.


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<strong>Pros -</strong> quirkiness; true trail rated car; fun factor.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> servicing costs; pricey; needs autonomous emergency braking.Quick Drive: 2018 Jeep Compass TrailHawk