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A red 2021 Jeep Compass Trailhawk is parked at the top of a dirt trail on a hill.

The Jeep Compass Trailhawk Is the Most Casual Off-Roading SUV Around

Maybe you want something that’s capable, like a Jeep Wrangler, but with a more practical aesthetic appeal. You’re looking for a way to be adventurous on the weekends while keeping it casual during the work week commute. If this sounds like you, then you’ll find what you are looking for at a Jeep Compass dealer. The Jeep Compass offers many of the same advantages that the Jeep Wrangler does, specifically for off-roading. However, rather than taking the boxier approach, Jeep designs the Compass’s body differently. The Compass offers a rounded, solid body design, with optional sunroof add-ons. If driving around without doors or a roof isn’t your thing, but you look to kick up the dust every now and then, a Jeep Compass may be your ideal SUV.

Just like with all other Jeep models, there are multiple available Jeep Compass trims. So, which one’s best for off-roading? The answer to that is easily the Trailhawk. Here, we’ll take a look at all the reasons the Compass Trailhawk is ideal for off-roading, how it keeps you safe while doing so, and then we’ll finish up with taking a look at its vast customization options and convenience features. Let’s get started!

Off-Road Capabilities

The Jeep Compass Trailhawk surprisingly comes with a standard 4-cylinder engine. Thanks to this, it’s able to get up to 30 miles per gallon on the highway. But how does it handle off-roading conditions if it doesn’t even have a V6 engine? That’s all thanks to technology. The 2.4-liter Multiair engine is capable of producing 180 horses and 175-pound feet of torque. This engine is paired with special off-road suspension and gas-pressurized shock absorbers that make it flexible enough to handle bumps and rough terrain with ease. Features such as these allow the Trailhawk to work great off-pavement without being a gas hog on the blacktop.

Further, the Trailhawk has earned its Trail Rated badge, which means it’s passed several hardcore tests to prove its off-roading worth. These tests include traction testing, water fording testing, maneuverability resting, articulation resting, and ground clearance testing. The results indicate that the Trailhawk can push through up to 19 inches of water, it can tackle rocks and downed trees, and it has enough ground clearance to prevent scraping and “bottoming out” in most cases. On top of this, the Trailhawk can tow up to 2,000 pounds, making it ideal for hauling ATVs and dirtbikes out to your favorite wilderness locations.

Speaking of mud, the Selec-Terrain traction management system comes with special modes to help you tackle specific terrain environments. This system’s modes include “auto,” “snow,” “sand,” “mud,” and even “rock.” In addition to these modes, the Trailhawk also comes with a Jeep’s Active Drive Low 4×4 system. This means that it has a low range crawl ratio of 20:1, making it great for mild to moderate off-roading adventures. Its approach angles also allow it to safely clear obstacles that most SUVs couldn’t. The Compass Trailhawk even comes with solid steel skid plates to prevent underbelly scratches and scrapes. Overall, the Trailhawk is well equipped to tackle rough or uncertain terrain.

A dark red 2021 Jeep Compass Trailhawk is off-roading in mud in front of mountains after leaving a Jeep Compass dealer.

Top of the Line Safety

What good is off-roading and having fun if you have to worry about your safety while doing so? The good news for Compass drivers is that the Trailhawk’s off-roading capabilities come with ample protection. Let’s start off by bragging about the Trailhawk’s driver-assist features. All newer Compass models offer driver-assist features, but the Trailhawk comes with several standard safety technologies. These standard technologies include Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Path Detection, the ParkSense Rear Park-Assist System, Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning with Active Braking, LaneSense Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist, and Adaptive Cruise-Control with Stop and Go. Essentially, this means that you’re well-protected both on the pavement and in the woods.

Finally, there are several structural safety perks of the Compass Trailhawk, too. If you’re driving a Trailhawk, you’re surrounded by advanced airbags and a steel body structure to help keep you safe in case of an accident. This, combined with side impact beams and driver-assist essentials, keeps you safe and secure. When you visit any Jeep Compass dealer, they’ll be able to show you first-hand how these advanced safety assist features work.

Aesthetic Perks

Off-roading means nothing if you’re not doing it in style. Luckily for Compass Trailhawk drivers, it’s easy to drive off the lot looking cool. The 2021 Trailhawk comes in no fewer than ten different two-tone colors. These range from subdued wilderness options such as Olive Green or Sting-Gray to flashy colors such as Laser Blue and Spitfire Orange. If you really want to, you can opt-in for monotone paint instead, but the two-toned appeal really adds dimension to your Trailhawk.

Further, this model includes standard 17-inch aluminum wheels, an option for Mopar Rock Rails, and the choice between leather-trimmed cloth seats or premium leather seats. Lastly, the Compass Trailhawk comes with distinctive red tow hooks on the front bumper and a black hood stripe, letting it stand out from other Compass trims. All in all, the Trailhawk offers a sporty aesthetic, with little need to add on or upgrade its exterior or interior appeal.

Convenience Features

The black interior of a 2021 Jeep Compass Trailhawk is shown.

If you own a Trailhawk, that means you have access to tech features that used to be considered “luxury add-ons.” Some of these convenient tech assets include remote vehicle start, a vehicle locator, built-in Uconnect GPS Navigation, and an emergency SOS button. The Trailhawk also comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, an LTE Wi-Fi hotspot capable of hosting up to eight devices, and SiriusXM satellite radio. SiriusXM Guardian is also available, allowing drivers to control their vehicles via smartphones, smartwatches, or smart home devices. It’s like having a vehicle remote that works from anywhere. Long story short, the Compass Trailhawk is proof that off-roading and practicality can go hand in hand.

Choosing Between a Trailhawk and Other Trims

The higher trims of the 2021 Jeep Compass are largely packed with the same tech and safety options, and their aesthetic is largely the same overall. The Limited and Trackhawk even have the same starting MSRP. However, the main differences lie in the Limited and the Trailhawk’s standard driver-assist features and the Trailhawk’s additional off-roading features. If you want a lower Compass trim, you’ll need to pay extra to add on your desired driver-assist features. Other than that, the Compass is still filled with convenience and tech assets, and it comes with handy features such as rain-sensing windshield wipers, a windshield wiper de-icer, and heated exterior mirrors. The Compass does well in poor weather conditions, even without all the Trailhawk’s additional features.

However, only the Trailhawk offers hardcore off-road features from its sophisticated Active Drive Low 4×4 setup to its skidplates and tow hooks. If you plan on going mudding, rock climbing, or heading off the pavement on the farm, the Trailhawk is by far your best choice. On the flip side, if you’re more worried about your work commute and occasional weekend camping trims, the regular Compass may just be enough to get you where you need to go. You may not need all the extra four-wheeling specs that the Trailhawk offers. If you’re interested in any of these options, it’s a good idea to visit your local Jeep Compass dealer to find what works best for you.

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