The all-new 2017 Jeep Compass isn’t exactly a hard-core off-roader. That said, the crossover Compass, at least in Trailhawk form, is a Trail Rated Jeep that can tackle some beginning to moderate trails – and that’s a lot more than pretty much any other crossover on the market can say.
With the Trailpass concept, the Jeep and Mopar team sought to build an Easter Jeep Safari rig with additional trail performance that takes the Trailhawk version of the Compass to another level. Getting the Trailpass up on the ground a little more was goal number one, so a custom 1.5-inch lift was added to accommodate 29.5-inch Continental all-terrain tires to give the SUV more ground clearance for tackling obstacles. Customized 18-inch wheels are employed on the Trailpass, with one of the pockets painted orange to match the traction boards mounted to the storage rack. Mopar then added Jeep Performance Parts Rock Rails (part #82214641AC) for added trail protection.
The cross rails (part #82214658AB) and roof basket (TCCAN859) provide additional storage space outside of the rig, and of course the basket offers the perfect place to store dirty recovery gear. The Trailpass gets unique exterior styling cues thanks to custom hood and side graphics, and the side graphics are available in the Mopar catalog (82214627AB). Inside, Katzkin leather seats and armrests are featured with accent stitching, while body color-matched bezels are featured inside for added style. A host of Mopar parts are featured inside as well, like a rear cargo tray (82214666) and all-weather slush mats (82214651AB).
On our test route just outside of Base Camp Adventure Lodge in Moab, Utah, we took the Trailpass on a loop around a relatively modest trail that mixed rock, dirt and soft sandy section. The lift on the Trailpass bumps its ground clearance to 10 inches overall, which helps considerably in the clearance department. Having the chance to drive the production Compass Trailhawk on some trails with Jeep during the week provided great perspective, because this concept lift really took the Compass’ game to the next level where small obstacles were a little less concerning. The lift also felt just a little more plush on the trails, as the suspension felt like it had a little more room to work in. The larger tires afforded by the lift also aid in getting the Trailpass frame further away from hangup on a small rock or ledge. The 2.4liter MulitAir four-cylinder engine isn’t exactly a powerhouse, but trail exploration is more about slow-speed crawling and the engine offers just enough zip to make the Trailpass fun to drive.
Although the Trailpass isn’t the flashiest concept Jeep and Mopar brought out to this year’s EJS, it shows the potential for the crossover SUV. We also like the idea of the 1.5-inch lift becoming an available option, because this upgrade alone makes the Compass a more trail-worthy Jeep, and that’s an upgrade weekend warriors will love to have.
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