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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, new to the forum. I am looking at buying either a 2018 Limited with around 15k miles, used as a lease vehicle OR a 2019 Trailhawk with about 27k miles used for personal use. The only differences are the limited has a power liftgate and obviously less mileage. They both have leather interior, heated seats/wheel and 8.4 Uconnect packages. I like the looks of the Trailhawk better and may utilize the better off road capabilities occasionally but I will use this mainly for highway miles, probably around 20k miles/year.

Thoughts? Opinions? Suggestions?

Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm leaning towards the Trailhawk but the lower mileage on Limited is nice. Their both almost exactly same price. Another note, the Trailhawk is from a Jeep dealer, Limited is from a Used car dealer...not sure if it matters. I wish Trailhawk had a tow package, that would seal the deal!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Dealer said it would be $1700 for them to add hitch/tow package which sucks as its only like a $400-$500 add on from factory I think. If he'll come down to around $1200-$1300 I may just have them do it and work it into final pricing. So then the Trailhawk would be about $1300 more then the Limited and have 12k more miles. Is it worth it??

Any input is appreciated, I need to make this decision tomorrow!

Thank you!
 

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If comfort means something you'd notice, specially your "... I will use this mainly for highway miles", then I'd lean towards the Limited. Our rental for our recent weeks stay in FL happened to be a new Compass Limited. The Limited's 18" wheels/tires and standard suspension noticibly quieter and smoother that our '19 Trailhawk.on the public roads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was thinking the same thing actually. I haven't even seen the Limited yet, going tomorrow and then making decision from there. The majority of the miles will be highway miles traveling from NY to MA, CT, and NJ. I will want/need 4x4 as I will be rural and get alot of snow, but not sure I need total "off road package" the Trailhawk has. Although I do like the option of it...
 

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I will want/need 4x4 as I will be rural and get alot of snow, but not sure I need total "off road package" the Trailhawk has
I vote for the trail hawk. It has increased strength and additional capabilities
The Trailhawk does not really have so called "increased strength and capabilities", not on a Compass. On a Cherokee, or Grand Cherokee, Trailhawk package really means something. On the Compass, it is 90% just an appearance package.

They have the exact same motor and transmission either way. There is no transfer case or two-speed PTU in a TH Compass, just a slightly different axle ratio and computer trickery that causes a TH to always start in 2nd gear unless you press the "low range" button. The low range is fake as all get-out. You get 20:1 crawl ratio when you press the "low" button in a TH and it drops to it's 1st gear. In all the other 4x4 trims your first gear ratio is around 18:1, not much of a notable difference. A Wrangler, for comparison, is something like 80:1 crawl ratio thanks to it's actual two speed transfer case. The TH Cherokee gets about a 50:1 crawl ratio with it's two speed PTU. The Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, Wrangler, etc all have optional locking rear diffs. There is no diff locks on a TH Compass, you get the exact same open diffs as me in my Limited and all the other trim (other than the slightly different ring and pinion).

The only real functional parts of the TH package that aren't computer gimmickry are the skid plates (which are easily and cheaply added to any other trim thanks to the aftermarket), the scooped bumpers that clear obstacles slightly better, and the more off-road oriented tires. I've had my 2nd gen Compass Limited for almost 4 years and 55k miles now and have never needed skid plates yet or had issues with the bumpers while running typical forest and mountain roads, logging trails, etc.

You can do some forum search to find more discussion about TH vs non, we've beaten that topic up a lot, but mostly they are functionally the same car. Stock tires are definitely a touch rougher on the TH but that is also an easy fix, so I wouldn't worry a ton about that.

It mostly just comes down to the looks. The TH definitely looks more off-roady with the tow hooks, but the TH bumper also makes the front of the car look small and diminutive. The bumper on the limited makes the whole front end look larger and more substantial/beefy.

We've been really happy with our Limited trim, we do a lot of moderate towing with it, take a big old fiberglass boat to the lake and it has no issues pulling the boat out of the water and up the wet ramp. Stock tires were very quiet, smooth, great handling, but didn't last super long (typical). We bought some TH tires and rims off a forum member a couple years ago and it definitely has a firmer, noiser ride and corners less well (TH tires are slightly taller and skinnier), but those tires do slightly better in snow and mud.

So once again, mostly going to be what looks best to you and either way changing tires can even up most of the differences between them if you want more highway comfort oriented vs off road oriented. Lower miles is always nice. I never knew how much I could love a power lift gate until we got our High Altitude Cherokee that has it (wife's car mainly), now I feel like a peasant having to manually lift my Compass tailgate 😂 it's useful too actually for towing, sometimes I find it easier to back up our smaller utility trailer with the rear gate open so I can see better what the trailer is doing. In the Cherokee I just press a button and up it goes. In the compass I have to put in park, get out, open the lift gate, get back in...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the insight! I am actually going to look at a couple Cherokees (both Trailhawk and Limited) today. I like the engine options better, I have heard the 2.4L 4 cyl eats oil?
 

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Thanks for the insight! I am actually going to look at a couple Cherokees (both Trailhawk and Limited) today. I like the engine options better, I have heard the 2.4L 4 cyl eats oil?
Ehhh, 2.4 oil burning problems are basically cured now for the most part thanks to a software update. You can read all about that with a forum search for something like "Oil consumption recall" or "W20 update". In a nutshell, Jeep engineers determined that the variable intake system was keeping the valves closed too much during deceleration and idle, creating excessive vacuum in the cylinders that could draw bits of oil past the rings and burn it up. The update is supposed to adjust timing/valve opening during decel and idle to reduce the conditions that allowed that excessive vacuum to happen. Most everyone who has gotten the update so far has reported an improvement, so basically if you buy one now you just need to make sure that update has been done or get it done for free at a dealership service center.

In our household we have both a 2nd gen Compass (2018 model) and a Cherokee (2020). Beyond all doubt, the Cherokee is a better car, but the Compass is still really good. Kinda comes down to how much you want to spend and whether you can live with the 2.4 in the Compass. Both very comfortable and capable all-weather cars. Our Cherokee is a V6 and its terrific. Pretty much matches our Compass for gas mileage, or gets 1-2 MPG less at the worst, but has much better performance obviously. We kinda went all-out on the Cherokee and got a High Altitude with the sunroof (because our financial situation was better than back when we got the Compass 😉 ). The Compass is a Limited trim and still very well equipped, but there is a ceiling/upper limit on how much you can get on a Compass vs how much you can get on a Cherokee. Thats just the way Jeep has the pecking order set up. There is overlap on a loaded Compass vs a base model Cherokee, but the upper ceiling of what you can get on the Cherokee is simply higher (if the budget and desire is there).

For a solid all-around, capable vehicle you can't really go wrong with either of them. Mostly just boils down to preference, how much you want to spend, what features are most important to you, no doubt mixed with "whats even available to buy right now, during this microchip shortage".

There is something goofy about how official cargo capacity is measured on paper that makes the Compass appear competitive with a Cherokee on cargo space. It is not. The few extra inches available in the Cherokee is an absolute game changer. Here are a couple pics highlighting the cargo difference:

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Now of course this is with the rear seats up. The differences are a little less if you are able to put the seats down but either way, the Cherokee is for sure a bit bigger car that holds an appreciable bit more than the Compass.

The Cherokee, with its V6, does better than the Compass when putting some kind of ski or large cargo box on the roof. The Compass 4 cylinder barely has enough power to move itself, and falls on its face gas-mileage-wise as soon as you put anything bit on its roof. The Cherokee looses some highway gas mileage but fairs better than the Compass.

For a daily driver holding one person, the Compass is a bit more nimble I feel like, more car-like handling (provided you have a trim with the wider street-oriented tires). The Cherokee has pretty good handling too, just more heft to it. Rear seats are better in the Cherokee and feels less cramped.

The Compass is a great value all around and has been great for us, can be had with lots of bells and whistles, but when it comes to buying off of whats available on your local lot it can be a toss up based on what they have available. Overall within the Jeep brand I'd stick to Limited, High Altitude, Trailhawk, etc when possible. Latitudes tend to be a mixed bag, sometimes lackluster on the styling, less cool rims, etc. But if the budget is tight they are still a good car at heart. Just the aesthetics of the other trims are better, in our opinion.

The Cherokee with a 2.0 turbo or V6 is for sure a better option if you ever want a teardrop or a pop up camper. Neither will realistically excel at towing anything bigger than a teardrop or pop-up (no, not even with the V6). Both are just fine for basic utility trailers.

Try to buy one that already has the options you want. These cars are much harder to add stuff after the fact (ie, upgrading to a larger radio, towing package, or whatever).

Thats all that comes to mind for now, gotta go eat lunch. Have fun shopping though and good luck, hope something nice is in stock and waiting for ya!
 

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P.S., if you go and buy a low-spec latitude Cherokee with the 2.4 engine you are straight up buying the worst of both worlds and I'm not afraid to say it right to your face, cuz thats a fact. The 2.4 only barely moves a Compass "adequately', put that same motor in a 1000 lb heavier Cherokee... that combo is only fit for rental cars IMO. Sometimes budget and availability will put a strain on your realistic options, I get that, but never in a million years would I recommend to anyone to buy a 2.4 Cherokee, no matter how desperate you are or how thin the pickings are at the lot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Awesome info, thank you!

Based on some more research and your points here, I think I am going to hold out until I can find a V6 Cherokee, probably Trailhawk but will consider the Limited as well. I will use it to tow occasionally a 6x10 utility trailer with my Polaris Sportsman 570 so maybe the 2.0 Turbo would be enough? Whats the better engine between the Turbo and the V6? Is there a year (2017-2020) that is better or worse in the Cherokees or are they the same?

Thanks again!
 

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Lots of debate on the 2.0 vs the V6 on jeepcherokeeclub.com. I'm old school and like the simplicity of the V6 vs a turbo motor, but I have to admit turbos are pretty well dialed in these days and don't seem to come with as many downsides as they used to. We had a 2016 turbo civic that was fast but did have a design flaw that caused enough issues that Honda sent us a letter saying they were extending warranty coverage of the motor. We just elected to trade it for the Cherokee :p

Jeep does not stand behind their products like Honda does, it took them about six years to do something about the 2.4 "Oil burning issue" and from what I/we have heard they buck warranty work as much as possible. The V6 has been around a long time and has a great, solid track record, known good performance, known longevity, decent gas mileage... the new turbo motor is pretty cool and no doubt works better at high altitudes... we didn't actively avoid the turbo per-se but I was relieved when our dealer found the one with the V6. Turbos on smaller and smaller motors are the way of the future but I'm still kinda skeptical of their longevity. People who have them report excellent performance and gas mileage, though.

Supposedly the 2.0 is slightly better at towing even. I think I can believe that. So far our V6 Cherokee has not exactly blown me away with its towing capabilities over our Compass. Its better but only in the sense that it can pull one gear more than our Compass can doing similar towing jobs (its not a huge V6, in the scheme of things). They both have the 9 speed automatic. I think the Compass does surprisingly decent at moderate towing with the 2.4, within its limits, must be its lower weight over the Cherokee I guess.

In I think 2019 there was a small but significant design revision on the Cherokee that my wife and I agree looks better than the 2018 and older models. Just a handful of little things. The running lights are less squinty up front and its overall a little less "boat-like" up front (to us). In the back they moved the license place from the bumper up to the tailgate and that looks 100x better, in my opinion. I think the tailgates on the Cherokees looked stupider than heck when the license plate was on the bumper.

The Cherokee still suffers from an issue of kinda looking like a boat in the front end... the best looking one we could find was the High Altitude package which basically builds on a Limited trim but with a few extra goodies, and a total blackout package inside and out for the trim. When we look at the shiny chrome on a Latitude or Limited, it feels like the Chome is highlighting the worst shapes & features of the boat-like front end. With the High Altitude black trim package, the parts we don't like kinda disappear into the rest of the body (because we have blank paint, too). We don't like how the 7 slot grill is part of the hood, instead of part of the front bumper, but its way less noticeable with the grill blacked out. We think the roof rails look a little derpy, but they aren't as noticeable when they are painted granite black with the High Altitude package, stuff like that. On the interior, the High Altitude gets an all-black headliner and I REALLY like that a lot. On our Limited trim Compass and most others you get a white headliner which not only doesn't look as good to me, but I quickly found out how much easier stains show up on it if anything rusty you are hauling happens to be tall enough to touch it... For that reason alone I will probably only buy things like High Altitude or other special editions with the black trim and black headliner if I can help it (but I'm clearly getting fussy in my old age!).

I like the handling and the steering wheel better on the Compass, if there is one good piece of its Fiat heritage that shows its definitely in the spirited nimbleness of it (with street-ish tires). I'm driving the Cherokee today though and the acceleration of that V6 sure is nice. Great sounding motor, too. In general I like the exterior looks of the Compass better. You tend to see more "good looking" Compasses on the road it seems like, while a lot of Latitude Cherokees are kinda underwhelming with their bright trim highlighting the weird parts of the car and their ho-hum rims. I guess a lot of that is fixable if you don't mind blacking out all your trim and getting new rims at some point.

If you find one with the panoramic sunroof and you are unsure about the extra cost, we'd say its worth it. We didn't spring for sunroof on the Compass, but we did on the Cherokee. Its nice. It really makes the back seats feel a lot bigger. The back of the Compass feels tight and dark. The Cherokee is bright and open. Friends who go on trips with us definitely prefer the backseats of the Cherokee over the Compass and not feeling like they are in a tight dark box for hours on end.

I would say try your best to find one that had the tow package from the factory. They can be installed after the fact but its expensive and its like pulling teeth, parts availability tends to be pretty poor, rumor has it there is upgraded cooling and stuff on ones with factory tow... we know that Jeeps with tow package always get full-size spare which is nice, otherwise you might just get a compact donut, or worse, a slime+compressor kit.
 

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Jeep does not stand behind their products like Honda does, it took them about six years to do something about the 2.4 "Oil burning issue" and from what I/we have heard they buck warranty work as much as possible.
They replaced the CVT in my Patriot twice, once at 110,000 miles, the second time at 275,000 miles. No hassle.
 

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They replaced the CVT in my Patriot twice, once at 110,000 miles, the second time at 275,000 miles. No hassle.
I guess I need to clarify, PRESENT DAY Jeep does not stand behind their products (due to how they are being ran by their recent owners). Patriot is an old car, and seems like you must have paid for some separate warranty to get anything covered at 110/275k. Factory warranty is 60k and getting anything done if you didn't buy another 3-6 grand of warranty is like pulling teeth.
 

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Hi guys, new to the forum. I am looking at buying either a 2018 Limited with around 15k miles, used as a lease vehicle OR a 2019 Trailhawk with about 27k miles used for personal use. The only differences are the limited has a power liftgate and obviously less mileage. They both have leather interior, heated seats/wheel and 8.4 Uconnect packages. I like the looks of the Trailhawk better and may utilize the better off road capabilities occasionally but I will use this mainly for highway miles, probably around 20k miles/year.

Thoughts? Opinions? Suggestions?

Thank you!
 

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I like my trailhawk, put a lil wider tire, some extra red trim here n there, tow package by curt n some k&n stuff n I love it. No heated seats but I live in California so who needs that. Put about 30k extra miles on it n it's still runs great with an over all 55k 2019. It's black on black so looks pretty good too. I tested a limited n liked the bells n whistles but went with the trail instead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I ended up finding a Trailhawk Elite for a pretty good deal and am picking it up on Friday! It's actually loaded with everything too! Heated/Ventilated seats, park assist, adaptive cruise, lane assist, tow package, panoramic sunroof, premium sound package, hands free power liftgate...this thing has more then any Limited I looked at. 2019 with only 11k miles on it. Cant wait to pick it up on Friday, thanks to everyone that chimed in!
 
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