Jeep Compass Trailhawk 4WD 2020 Review

We take the Compass Trailhawk for a Road Test Review

2020 Jeep Compass Trailhawk beach 2 Jeep Compass Trailhawk has been around for a while now but underwent an all new rebirth late in 2017 in Australia. It’s a breath of fresh air in the smaller 4WD segment.

The Trail rated Trailhawk is the true 4WD version of the model line-up. Jeep doesn’t rate their vehicles unless they meet the requirements. So if it is Trail Rated you know it’s capable.

We have reviewed the Jeep Compass Trailhawk a few times before. But with the revamped MY20 version released in June this year we took the opportunity to take one for another drive.

2020 Jeep Compass Trailhawk profile

What does the Compass Trailhawk look like?

I have always liked the Compass. It seems to get the proportions right.

The latest Compass Trailhawk retains the traditional seven slot grill but adds While retaining the traditional seven slot grill, it has a unique front and rear fascia, Auto LED headlamps with auto high beam function, DRL’s, fog lamps and automatic boot.

Profile view shows a square wheel arch over smart 17 inch alloys with 245/65 R17 tyres.

2020 Jeep Compass Trailhawk tyres

The vehicle we had was a Pearl white with grey anti-glare hood decal and black highlights. Pretty smart looking.

Trailhawk includes improved approach angle, 4 protective steel skid plates underneath, good departure angle, higher fender flares and increased ride height and standard red tow hooks.

Compass also has a sunroof with motorized sunshade that minimizes glare.

2020 Jeep Compass Trailhawk interior

What about the Compass Trailhawk Interior?

First up it’s pretty comfortable.

The front seats are a little firm initially but very supportive over long distances. Driver’s seat has electronic adjustments with additional lumbar support. Both front seats are heated.

The dash and transmission tunnel are well laid out and easy to use.

2020 Jeep Compass Trailhawk instruments

In front of the driver is a multi-adjustable thick rimmed leather steering wheel with multiple controls. It feels good and allows clear line if sight to the instruments. These are twin outer dials with a configurable centre MFD. The 4WD selection also appears there when you shift.

Storage isn’t bad with a reasonable size glove box, small centre console bin, large cup holders on the transmission tunnel and twin bottle holders in the front doors, twin drop down cupholders between the rear seats.

2020 Jeep Compass Trailhawk rear seats 2

Rear seats are again firm but comfortable with air vents and 12V/USB inputs available. Good headroom

Boot area is a decent size, seats almost fold flat, there are tie down points, 12V outlets and a full size spare.

2020 Jeep Compass Trailhawk BOOT

A couple of points to note

  • The windscreen washers are excellent providing complete coverage,
  • Auto headlights and high beam provide quality illumination and the high beam calibration is spot on.
  • Angle of the ‘A’ pillar can hide cars in a roundabout or ‘T’ intersection
  • Front passenger seat has a clever under squab storage area
  • Window sill feels high but the arm rest is well positioned
  • The heavy duty floor mats are excellent
  • The red Trailhawk trim highlights add a premium feel

2020 Jeep Compass Trailhawk steering

What features does the Compass Trailhawk have?

It’s actually well equipped with

  • Remote Start
  • U-Connect 8.4-Inch Touchscreen Display
  • Satellite Navigation
  • Apple CarPlay®
  • Android Auto®
  • 6-Speaker Audio System
  • Digital Radio (DAB+)
  • Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel
  • Electric Park Brake
  • Dual Zone Climate Control
  • LED Ambient Interior Lighting
  • Remote start
  • Power rear tailgate
  • plus more.

2020 Jeep Compass Trailhawk engine

What about the Engine and Drivetrain

Jeep Compass Trailhawk is powered by a 2.0L multi jet diesel engine that produces power of 125kW @ 3750rpm and torque of 350Nm @ 1750rpm, driving through the Jeep Active Drive AWD System with ZF-9-Speed Automatic and Jeep Active Drive Low 4×4 System along with Jeep Selec-Terrain with Rock Mode

2020 Jeep Compass Trailhawk terrain select

This has an ADR fuel economy figure of 5.7L/100K. However our real life driving saw 6.5L/100K on the freeway and around 7.8L/100k around town. On beach driving saw that increase significantly.

2020 Jeep® Compass Trailhawk

What is the Compass Trailhawk like to drive?

Well the diesel engine is no powerhouse, but is more than adequate. It hums along nicely on the freeway and has enough zip around town. The ZF 9 speed works better on the freeway.

Around town it had a slightly unusual feature of when it downshifts it seems to push along for about 2-3 seconds before it starts to slow down.

The steering is responsive and provides good feedback to the driver. Ride and handling is near the top of the class and its quiet, apart from the diesel rumble.

It’s actually a bit of fun to drive.

2020 Jeep Compass Trailhawk trailrated

What is the 4WD Capability like?

Well as mentioned the Compass Trailhawk is trail rated. That should tell readers enough.

A Trail Rated® badge is not given, it’s earned. Every Trail Rated 4×4 Jeep® vehicle has succeeded against a series of grueling tests in five categories: Traction, Water Fording, Manoeuvrability, Articulation and Ground Clearance.

Bearing witness to the real 4WD credentials, the Trailhawk is adorned with exclusive design style that includes:

  • Off-road suspension,
  • Raised ride height.
  • Unique front and rear fascia for improved approach and departure angles

2020 Jeep Compass Trailhawk recovery hooks

  • Red recovery hooks, front and rear, (excellent feature)
  • Hill Descent Control,
  • Four underbody skid plates,
  • 5 Spoke off road alloy wheels and tyres and full size spare wheel,
  • All weather floor mats and reversible cargo mat

I’ve driven the Compass on many forest trails, fire tracks, on the farm and on the beach, where it excels. I took the Compass onto the beach, where recent heavy winds meant that the access track was full of windblown sand up to 6 feet deep in places, and with low depressions that were quite boggy.

2020 Jeep Compass Trailhawk sand

Against all my times taking tag along tours and being a 4WD instructor, I didn’t let the tyres down as I was in a bit of a hurry. That didn’t bother the Compass at all. On the approach I stopped, selected Sand on the Select Terrain management system and headed off. Selecting Sand mode also automatically turns off the traction control.

The high tyre pressure meant that the engine worked a little harder in the really soft stuff, but once I got on the beach it simply buzzed along.

So the little Compass Trailhawk gets a BIG TICK for its 4WD capability.

2020 Jeep Compass Trailhawk front seats 2

What about Safety?

Let’s start off with a 5 star ANCAP safety rating.

It has a number of active and passive safety features including: 7 airbags, Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path Detection, Forward Collison Warning Plus, Parksense Rear Park Assist System and a ParkView Reverse Parking Camera. Adaptive Cruise Control (with Stop & Go) Tyre Pressure monitoring System, Electronic Stability Control, Electronic Roll Mitigation, Traction Control, Trailer Sway Control, Engine Immobiliser and Rain Brake Support

2020 Jeep Compass Trailhawk beach 3

Jeep Compass Trailhawk Dimensions

The Compass Trailhawk has an:

  • overall length of 4398mm,
  • wheelbase of 2636mm,
  • width of 1819mm,
  • Height of 1657mm,
  • Unladen ground clearance is 225mm,
  • Approach angle is 30.3 degrees, rampover is 24.4 and departure angle is 33.6 degrees.
  • Wading depth is 480mm,
  • Turning circle is 10.76m,
  • GVM of 2189kg, GCM 3539kg (AT)
  • Towing capacity is 1500kg and tow ball rating is up to 10%

2020 Jeep Compass Trailhawk front qtr

Jeep Compass Trailhawk final thoughts.

True 4WD vehicles are a rarity in the smaller segment. The Compass manages to provide excellent 4WD capability packaged in an urban exterior.

It is just as comfortable around the inner city as it is on the bush tracks or the beach. It’s ideal for those ski trips as well.

I actually really enjoyed the Jeep Compass Trailhawk.

It’s starting to get up there in price, but it has the comfort and safety features to match the price. However it starts to compete against some much bigger and in some cases equally well equipped 4WD like the SsangYong Rexton.

For those buyers that want some practicality as well as something a little different from the usual suspects of AWD SUV’s.

2020 Jeep Compass Trailhawk beach

Also Look At:

What’s Good?

  • 4WD capability
  • Style and design
  • Interior ambience

What’s Not?

  • Engine braking on road
  • Thick ‘A’ pillars
  • Its a little pricey

2020 Jeep Compass Trailhawk rear

Model: Jeep Compass Trailhawk 4WD

  • Model Price $49,450 MLP*
  • Drivetrain 4WD 2.0L 4 Cyl diesel 9 SP AT
  • Power 125kW @ 3,750rpm
  • Torque 350Nm @ 1,750rpm
  • Safety 5 Star ANCAP
  • CO2 Emissions 150 g/km
  • Economy (ADR comb) 5.7L/100km
  • Tow Capacity – 1500Kg
  • Tow Ball Rating 150Kg
  • Servicing 5 Yrs. Capped Price $399 per service
  • Warranty 5yr/100,000 km with full roadside assist

*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.

Overall Rating 81/100

  • Behind the Wheel 8
  • Comfort 8
  • Equipment 8
  • Performance 8
  • Ride & Handling 8
  • Practicality 9
  • Fit for Purpose 9
  • Towing Ability 6
  • Off Road Ability 9
  • Value for Money 8