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The Differences Between the Jeep Compass Limited and Trailhawk

The Differences Between the Jeep Compass Limited and Trailhawk

Choosing a vehicle is a challenge as there are many factors you need to consider. After all, you're going to spend a lot of money and you would want to use it for years to come. If you are looking for a comfortable and capable off roader with a great infotainment system then Jeep Compass is a good option. Now that you’ve decided on Jeep Compass, the challenge now is what trim level to pick.

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


Instead of going with the bare-bones Jeep Compass Sport or Latitude, prospective buyers should pay more attention to the Jeep Compass Limited or Trailhawk model. The upgraded 8.4-inch touchscreen is standard on both trims plus you can add plenty more desirable driver safety aids by choosing the Safety and Security or Advanced Safety Group. Their differences are mainly based on what they’re intended for. The Compass Limited heavily focuses on providing luxury while the Compass Trailhawk focuses on off road capabilities. 


Let’s take a closer look at these two trim levels and find out their differences. Doing so will let you know which fits more to your needs and preferences.

2020 Jeep Compass Limited

For maximum luxury in a Jeep Compass, go for the Limited trim. It gives you leather seats, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel, power-adjustable seats, 18-inch wheels and as mentioned earlier it comes standard with an 8.4-inch touch screen. Pricing starts at around $29,000.


This trim level also comes standard with the following advanced safety features:

  • Rear cross-traffic alert – which alerts you if a succeeding vehicle is about to cross your vehicle’s path while in reverse.
  • Blind-spot monitoring – which warns drivers if a vehicle in the next lane over is in their blind spot
  • Lane keeping assist – which can automatically steer the vehicle back into its lane if it starts to drift over the lane markings.
  • Forward collision warning with automatic braking – which alerts the driver of a likely collision and applies the brake under certain situations. 
  • Adaptive cruise control – helps the vehicle maintain a driver-set distance between the Compass and the preceding vehicle. 


Other Specs:

Front Wheel Drive

Automatic Transmission -available as an option

Engine Type: Regular Unleaded I-4/4 Cylinder Engine is available as an option. 

Displacement: 2.4 L/144

Horsepower (Net @ RPM): 180 @ 6400, Maximum Towing Capacity: 1000 lbs

2020 Jeep Compass Trailhawk

The Compass Trailhawk has more off-road components (which include a few features that are exclusively to this trim) than any Compass trim. These upgrades consist of the following: all-season on/off road tires with 17-inch wheels, the Jeep Active Drive Low four-wheel-drive system (including low-range gearing), an off-road suspension system, additional skid plates and two tow hooks. Other significant features include a nine-speed automatic transmission, leather seats and unique badging. The AWD-only Trailhawk, as mentioned previously, has the larger 8.4-inch touchscreen as standard. It also comes standard with upgraded safety features. Pricing starts at around $30,000. 

Other Specs: 

Four Wheel Drive

Engine Type: Regular Unleaded I-4/4 Cylinder Engine available as an option

Displacement: 2.4 L/144

Horsepower (Net @ RPM): 180 @6400, Maximum Trailering Capacity: 1000 lbs.


Which is better? The Jeep Compass Limited or the Trailhawk

It all comes down to your own preferences. If your main priority is a luxurious ride with the most features, then go for the Compass Limited. It is the most comprehensively equipped Compass, too. If you are buying a Jeep mainly for offroading, then go for the Trailhawk as it has the Hill Descent Control, Off-road Oriented Tires, and other features that make it fit for offroading.


Both features of the Limited and Trailhawk build off from the Latitude trim so it is also important to know what the Latitude trim has to offer to know all the offerings of the Limited and Trailhawk trims. 

Jeep Compass Latitude

The mid trim Latitude comes standard with a 6-speed automatic transmission, a mix of cloth and vinyl seat upholstery and 17-inch wheels. Aside from having the Compass Sport’s list of features, it also has satellite radio and proximity keyless entry. Pricing starts at around $25,400 with no pricing difference, between front-wheel-and four-wheel-drive versions.


To understand fully, what all the trims of Jeep Compass has to offer, you also need to look at their base trim: the Compass Sport.

Jeep Compass Sport

This entry-level trim comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission, push-button start, 16-inch wheels and dual zone automatic climate control. The Sport trim comes standard with upholstery, manually adjustable front seats, a 60/40-folding rear seat and a forward-folding front passenger seat. It also comes with a collection of standard technology including a 7-inch touch screen, the Uconnect infotainment system, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, two USB ports, Bluetooth and a 6-speaker sound. Pricing starts at around $22,100. 


Still undecided which Jeep Compass model is for you. Here’s a quick read to help you decide:


The main differences between the four trim levels involve styling and interior amenities except that the Trailhawk trim also has additional off-road features that are not offered in other trims. All models are powered by a 180-horsepower four-cylinder engine. You can choose to have it paired with a manual or an automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive comes standard in almost every trim level. Four-wheel drive is also available in every model and is standard in the Trailhawk trim. 


Jeep Compass comes with a generous selection of packages. The Advanced Safety Group is now available on all trims. This package includes adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, full-speed forward collision warning, lane keep assist, automatic emergency braking, automatic high-beam headlights and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Other packages are the Altitude and High Altitude appearance packages and many Mopar-themed packages. 


Other Specifications of Features of 2020 Jeep Compass that You Should Know Before Buying One


Compass Interior

This two-row SUV comes with 5 seats. The interior has enough room for four tall adults. You would enjoy a commanding view of the road when you’re in the front seats. However, the seats are not as comfortable as those you can find in some of its rivals, and there are only a few upgrades available. 


Compass Child Car Seats

The Compass has the common collection of LATCH connectors which include 2 complete sets of hardware for the rear outboard seats and an upper tether anchor for the back middle seat. 


Compass Interior Quality

Its cabin has handsome design and a good build quality. There is nothing exceptional about the materials being used inside but upper trims do have some finer touches.


Compass Cargo Space

This SUV’s cargo space is 27.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 59.8 cubic feet when these seats are folded. These measurements are among the lowest in the small SUV segment. But the convenience it brings makes up for the lack of cargo space. The cargo space is wide. There are tie-downs mounted in the rear, and several cubbies are placed throughout the cabin and beneath the cargo floor. The front passenger seat can be folded to accommodate long items (in models with manually adjustable front seats). A power liftgate is available as an option. 


Compass Infotainment, Connectivity and Navigation

Jeep offers one of the best infotainment systems among affordable car manufacturers. It has a user-friendly Uconnect interface which is the same system you can find in its corporate cousins like the Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Journey. You’ll find the system’s straightforward menus easy to learn, you can choose your favorite hot buttons for the screen you can customize, and its adjacent knobs and buttons are intuitively and conveniently placed. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a 7-inch touch screen come standard on the base trim. You might want to consider upgrades like a nine-speaker Alpine premium audio system and an 8.4-inch touch screen that comes with a navigation system. 


Compass Engine

The powertrains of Compass is one of its major weaknesses. This compact SUV has sluggish acceleration and both available automatic transmissions can find it hard to find the right gear quickly. All trims have a 180-hp four-cylinder engine. Depending on the model, this 2.4-liter engine comes paired with a 6-speed manual transmission, a 6-speed automatic (for front-wheel-drive models), or a 9-speed automatic (in 4WD models).


Compass Gas Mileage

The Compass also fails to impress with an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. These figures are slightly below average for the segment and plenty of rivals cost less to fuel. For instance, driving a Toyota RAV4 lets you save about $250 a year at the gas station. 


Compass Ride and Handling

On the positive side, the Compass provides a comfy ride and feels mostly well-mannered on the road. Still, other elements make it hard for Compass to keep up with its top-ranking competitors. Negative components include an inconsistent steering feel and excessive body roll. 


Compass Off-Road Performance

The Compass really impresses when it is four-wheeling. Only few SUVs in this price range can match Compass’ adeptness while most rivals are available with 4WD, hardly any come with 4WD. Compass, on the other hand, is available with full-time 4WD and an upgraded 4×4 system including low-range gearing and the Selec-Terrain traction management system with Sand, Snow and Mud settings. Ground Clearance ranges from 7.8 inches in 4×2 versions to 8.5 inches in the Trailhawk model. 


Compass Towing Capacity

A four-wheel drive Compass that is properly equipped can tow up to 2,000 lbs. But prospective buyers looking to tow heavier boats and trailers should go for a Jeep Wrangler or a Toyota RAV4 having a 3,500-pound maximum towing capacity. 


Compass Reliability

J.D. Power gave Compass a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out 5. 


Compass Warranty

The Jeep Compass has a 3-year or 36,000-mile limited warranty coverage and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty coverage. 


Compass Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave a four out of five stars rating to the 2020 Compass. It got five stars in the side crash evaluation, four stars in the frontal crash test, and three stars in the rollover test.


Compass Safety Features

A rearview camera comes standard. Many of the Compass’s top-rated compact SUV competitors come with more standard safety features, though for 2020, Jeep added more safety upgrades to every trim level. A full-speed forward collision, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, automatic high-beam headlights, blind spot monitoring, rain-sensing windshield wipers, rear cross traffic alert and rear parking sensors are available safety options. 


Compass Exterior Color Options


The 2020 Jeep Compass comes in 12 exterior color options including: Diamond Black, White, Billet Silver, Olive Green, Granite Crystal, Redline Red, Sting Gray, Pearl White, Spitfire Orange, Velvet Red, Jazz Blue and Laser Blue. Availability of color options will depend on the trim level.


Is the Jeep Compass a Good Buy?

Overall, the 2020 Jeep Compass is OK. It is a compact SUV that is mainly built for enjoyment. Few competitors outside the Jeep brand can keep up with its off-road capabilities, and on the inside, you will also have fun with its impressive infotainment system. However, it is not a practical everyday vehicle based on its mediocre handling, small cargo space, and below-average predicted reliability rating.

But you definitely should consider a Jeep Compass if you are in search of a trail-rated SUV that is more affordable than the Jeep Wrangler and/or has more interior space than the Renegade. For others, you can find other better options. Adventurers can do better with a Subaru Forester as it has a higher ground clearance and comes standard with AWD though it is more expensive. Forester also has a bigger cargo space and has an impressive suite of standard safety features. For those who are simply looking for a solid SUV for daily use, the Kia Sportage and Toyota Rav4 are good options to consider. 


Sales Performance: The Jeep Compass currently places in the bottom half of the compact SUV 2020 sales race.