One For The Wilderness
BBC TopGear India|July 2019

Aggression, intent, capability and desirability; on paper, the Compass Trailhawk is all the SUV a family would ever need. But does it deliver in the real world? Let’s find out.

Devesh Shobha

What fries is to McDonald’s, spying is to Google, and potholes are to Mumbai’s infrastructure, off-roading is to Jeep. They are an integral part of their respective brand’s ecosystem. While a certain Mr Pichai and our ignorant and delusional municipal body would like to sue me for the statements made, that’s the reality. I would be a lot happier though if Google stopped spying on me, or at least the roads in Mumbai start looking like they belong to the wealthiest city in India. The less I think of the fries, the better it is for my visceral fat deposits. That leaves us with the American SUV maker, Jeep – the grand daddy of rugged SUVs.

It’s understood that any SUV wearing a Jeep badge on its hood ought to be an all-terrain whiz kid. But, when Jeep launched the Compass in India a couple of years ago, the butch SUV had everything going for it, apart from that one little detail – the extreme off-road worthiness like some of its celebrated siblings. Sure, the Compass was Jeep’s interpretation of a modern-day, comfortable family SUV with an affordable price tag for markets like ours, and we bought them in decent numbers. But you couldn’t deny the fact that it wasn’t rugged enough to be called a true-blue American off-roader.

Not anymore. What you see on these pages is not just a Compass with a semi-black hood and dual-tone alloy wheels. It’s called the Trailhawk and it comes with a certificate that makes it the most potent Jeep Compass your money can buy. Well, not technically because Jeep is yet to officially launch it in India – we reckon it would be in the next couple of months. So, if the idea of a monster Compass floats your boat, this should interest you. Just to clear things up, the matte black decal on the bonnet has a real purpose in life, to prevent sun glare bouncing off the bonnet while you tackle inclines. Quite thoughtful.

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