2023 Jeep Compass Trailhawk: Test of the Week

2023 Jeep Compass Trailhawk

When we think of the Jeep brand, the first model that comes to mind is the Wrangler. We tend to forget that the American manufacturer offers a whole range of vehicles, each more interesting than the next, and that’s why I chose to test the Compass. The model has grown a lot in popularity over the past few years and with good reason. Moreover, it has somehow taken the place of the Cherokee, whose factory closed its doors a few months ago. The Compass is therefore an even more important model for Jeep. So here’s what I thought of it.


Jeep aspires to be a premium brand and to be honest, the Compass is a frankly compelling product at that level. The quality of finish, the technologies offered and the overall experience of the small SUV are beyond reproach. In my opinion, the model could be even more successful if it changed its name. I don’t know about you, but for my part, I still associate the name Compass with the first generation which was renowned for its attractive price and its correct, not to say rudimentary finish. It is clear that we are light years away from this era with the new generation of the Compass. Nevertheless, I believe that a new name would not have harmed the model, especially with such a high quality product.

The driving experience We have to admit that Jeep has done its homework and you only have to drive the Compass for a few hours to see it. We are far from a Grand Cherokee in terms of price and yet the Jeep Compass offers an exceptional quality of finish and an impressive level of equipment. As for the driving experience itself, the small SUV from the American manufacturer is almost too comfortable. For 2023, the Jeep Compass got one of its best upgrades yet with the addition of the new turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. With its 200 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque, this mechanism brings additional power to the small SUV from the American manufacturer, but also a greater finesse in its power curve. In other words, the engine is more economical in everyday life and it offers more power when needed. Everything is mated to a new, frankly efficient 8-speed automatic transmission. Unsurprisingly, the Jeep Compass is now offered with the standard 4×4 drivetrain. Its towing capacity remains unchanged at 2,000 pounds. As for average consumption, the American manufacturer announces 8.8L/100 km, which is quite close to reality and more economical than the old 2.4-liter engine. Highway – There are several factors that affect the driving experience of a vehicle on the highway starting with soundproofing, seat quality and suspension. Fortunately, the Compass ticks all the boxes and it’s a vehicle that you can drive for hours without ever getting tired.  Country road – The SUV from the American manufacturer is at home on almost any surface and that goes for small country roads too. It remains a fairly light vehicle, which allows it to negotiate curves more easily. City – The Jeep Compass has the advantage of not being too big, which makes it easy to maneuver around town. Its all-terrain tires and excellent soundproofing make driving rather pleasant on our beautiful Quebec roads. Let’s say that for once, I was not afraid to damage a rim when passing on certain streets.  Off-Road – The first image that comes to mind when talking about a Jeep is of a Wrangler climbing a mountain or traversing a desert. Clearly the Compass isn’t quite as extreme in its approach to off-road driving, but it’s still significantly more capable than the vast majority of its rivals. In fact, I was surprised by the efficiency of the 4×4 cog, especially at low speeds. Prices and equipment Earlier, I told you about the fact that Jeep should have changed the name of the Compass, because in fact, its price range remains reasonable. Nevertheless, for me, the Jeep Compass has always been an affordable model and not a vehicle with a starting price of $38,685. However, if you are able to separate the old from the new model, you will quickly realize that you are getting what you pay for. The model’s range consists of 7 different versions with a maximum price tag of $50,000. I tested the Trailhawk version and it starts at $45,635. In my opinion, it is totally worth it. Of course, the Trailhawk version relies on off-road driving and that’s what makes it such an interesting version. The other versions also have their qualities, but the Trailhawk variants are definitely the most appreciable of the lot. Design and interior Jeep has done a superb job of the 2023 Compass which is both stylish and rugged. The look of the model changes considerably from version to version, but again, it is the Trailhawk versions that offer the prettiest finish. Jeep has improved the cabin quality of its vehicles significantly over the past few years and it’s something you can see in the Compass. The model offers some of the most comfortable seats I have ever sat on. Technologies The Jeep Compass benefits from a veritable arsenal of technologies, whether in terms of comfort, entertainment, safety and even off-road driving. The interface of its multimedia system is one of the best put together in the industry and its navigation is among the most fluid and pleasant. The driver assistance technologies are precise and very efficient. The recommendations Forget that the American manufacturer’s small SUV is called Compass and take the opportunity to discover one of the most competent and functional compact vehicles on the market. It’s not perfect, I agree, but it’s a model that meets the needs of the vast majority of buyers. Jean-Sebastien Poudrier