Click for Coverage
  • JP Magazine
  • Dirt Sports + Off-Road
  • 4-Wheel & Off-Road
  • Four Wheeler
X

2018 SUV of the Year

Posted in Events on February 6, 2018
Share this

Five days and approximately 1,000 miles, both on- and off-road—that’s the short story. The big picture of the 2018 SUV of the Year competition is that off-road is king. Steep, loose-dirt hillclimbs; sand; tight two-tracks; rough dirt roads; rocky trails; rock obstacles; water crossings; and slippery snow-covered forest roads are standard fare. It’s epic, and it’s the equivalent of calisthenics for 4x4s.

SUV of the Year (SUVOTY), formerly known as Four Wheeler of the Year, celebrated its 45th year in 2018. As usual, it was open to all-new or substantially revised four-wheel-drive SUVs with a production run of at least 1,500 vehicles in the U.S. and a two-speed transfer case or equivalent that produces low range–type gearing. Further, all vehicles had to be on sale by March 15, 2018. For 2018, the lineup included the Jeep Compass Trailhawk, Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury Si6, and Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury Td6. Due to production cycles, the Discoverys were 2017 models, but there are only minor changes between the 2017 and 2018 model years. Vehicles that qualified but were unable to attend during the test period included the Mercedes-Benz GLS with Off-Road Engineering package and the Ford Expedition FX4.

The SUVOTY test took place in Southern California, and our panel of judges rotated into each SUV at regular, frequent intervals. The judges in the test were all experienced off-road drivers that have logged many hours driving in the dirt. During the test, each judge was required to record detailed notes in their official judging book and score each vehicle in a variety of areas. You can read about the specific testing categories and how scoring is structured elsewhere in this story. The end game was to detect the strengths and weaknesses of each SUV. To accomplish that goal we drove the vehicles almost nonstop for five days, stopping only to eat and sleep. We drove the vehicles in almost every imaginable on-road situation, from twisties to highways, and as previously noted we pointed ’em onto a variety of off-road terrain.

So what’s new with these SUVs that qualified them for the 2018 SUVOTY? What qualities did each have that worked? What needs improvement? Which SUV took home the 45th annual 2018 SUV of the Year trophy? Read on.


Third Place

Jeep Compass Trailhawk

What’s New
The Jeep Compass is an all-new platform—a completely new vehicle for the 2018 model year. In fact, we doubt that anything but the name was retained, as no two vehicles could be more different. Of course we were testing the Trailhawk edition, which earned it far more points than the standard model would have received. However it’s still the Small Wide platform that underpins the Fiat 500X and the Jeep Renegade, but with far more design acumen—in fact, it looks as good as it goes, unlike its predecessor. Jeep needed a crossover-type trucklet, and it seems like they hit the mark between the capable Cherokee and the funky Renegade. Fitted with the 2.4L SOHC I-4 (180 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque) and the Aisin 9HP48 nine-speed automatic, it hauls the 3,633-pound vehicle around town with aplomb. Coupled with Jeep Active Drive Low (standard on the Trailhawk), which holds First gear, the SUV has a 20:1 crawl ratio. The Trailhawk has model-specific front and rear fascias, which improve approach and departure angles to 30 and 24 degrees, respectively; a 1-inch suspension lift; red towhooks; an exclusive Selec-Terrain Rock mode; hill descent control; 17-inch tires; and a 19-inch water fording capability. However, the IFS/IRS layout and lack of true traction-adding differentials separate it from the bigger dogs of the Jeep lineup. Still, it’s a worthy successor to its previous incarnation and is deservedly placed in the Jeep family.

Ramp and Track
The Compass Trailhawk climbed our 20-degree RTI ramp to earn a score of 231, which is on the lower spectrum of articulation due to the fully independent suspension. However, the spunky 180hp four-popper propelled the beast down the quarter-mile in 18.3 seconds and recorded a 0-60 time of 11.1 seconds. Slamming on the brakes for a 60-0 stopping distance netted a mere 136.7 feet—again, not too shabby for its class.

Exterior/Interior
Our judges were split with the interior opinions as well as the exterior. Comments like “it looks better than it feels” and “surprisingly competent” showed how good or average the interior is. The radio controls on the back of the steering wheel garnered great praise, while the clunky HVAC operation took some judges aback. One judge noted that there seemed to be little headroom, while another felt that ingress and egress was difficult. Still, the above-average interior components, fabrics, and placement of switchgear gave the judges overwhelmingly good dispositions at the end of the day. On the outside, feelings were again mixed between the Cherokee-esque styling that made great points, but was countered with the overplayed trapezoidal wheel arches. “Move on Jeep, move on,” said one judge.

On-Road
City driving is a breeze in the Trailhawk with a good balance of power and size. The 21.7 mpg average fuel economy we observed was pretty darn good considering the aggressive testing at SUVOTY. In high winds the Trailhawk seemed a bit skittish, but an unloaded 3,600-pound vehicle tends to be that way. We assume if the nearly 1/2-ton cargo capacity was loaded, and the 2,000-pound trailer capacity was added, that it would prove to be far more stable in crosswinds. The brakes work well, and the steering is light but not squirrely. Seat comfort is on the good side of average for this class of vehicle on long trips, although one tester noted that the seats seemed a bit small, and he isn’t large. Cargo capacity is surprisingly adequate considering the diminutive size of a crossover such as this. It’s a family car you can actually take your family out in, and still have all the safety amenities of its big brethren.

Off-Road
We felt that the Compass would shine off-road, since that should be its design element. In fact, in many respects it did perform well, but the 28-inch-tall Falken WildPeak tires were no friend coupled with the so-so underbody clearance of 8.5 inches. We can only imagine how much louder the grass, sticks, twigs, and rocks would sound in the non-Trailhawk version while cruising down a two-track. While Falken makes a great line of tires, we can’t understand why Jeep chose to shod the Trailhawk with a street-tread tire. However, we must note that the Compass was the only SUV contender that didn’t suffer a tire failure. A great amount of underbody protection helped the Compass slide over obstacles, although the lack of a true low range hampers any respectable rockcrawling. It seemed that a pin-it-and-go approach rather than a mechanical ballet was needed on many of the uphill ascents. Ultimately, after we had taken an aggressive, high-rpm run at a rocky uphill obstacle, the Compass developed an intermittent issue where it would not stay in “low range,” and the Christmas tree effect of the instrument panel was in full array. The Compass delivered mixed results in the dunes, where the high revving potential of the I-4 helped keep it on top of the sand. Unfortunately, the transmission would shift at redline rather than hold the gear, causing an immediate bogging down with the loss of momentum and lack of torque in the lower rpm range. The lack of high-travel suspension also caused more than one judge to bounce their head off of the headliner. However, in the end we found that the Compass Trailhawk is surprisingly capable off-road, and it went everywhere we pointed it.

Bottom Line
Jeep has entered the crossover market in a great way. It’s the Goldilocks recipe: not too much, not too little. The Compass Trailhawk hits the market exactly where it needed to, while giving the buyer more than many other vehicles in its class will ever deliver. It’s not the most capable Jeep ever made, but it certainly goes far and above the competition in its segment. It’s also a new offering for the market that will grow and lead more people to the Jeep lineup. At around $30,000 the light, nimble, sporty Jeep will take the average owner far more places than you’d think, and will do it in Jeep style, a lifestyle that can’t be bought—or duplicated.

What’s Hot
Sporty style like the modern Jeep lineup

What’s Not
Faux low range that doesn’t always deliver the goods

Our Take
The best in the segment—worthy of carrying on the Jeep legacy in an entry-style vehicle

Logbook Quotes
“Feels like a rally car.”
“Towhooks and big sidewalls.”
“Windblown like a bad toupee.”
“Shrunken Cherokee.”
“Good for the beginning wheeler.”


Second Place

Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury Td6

What’s New
Land Rover has offered its exceptionally refined 3.5L turbodiesel Td6 engine, eight-speed ZF transmission, and Terrain Response 2 system in years past. But everything else wrapped around the 245hp, 443 lb-ft V-6 turbodiesel, dual-overdrive transmission, infinitely capable T-case and rear locker-equipped drivetrain is completely new. Tossing the classic, boxy styling much beloved by Discovery die-hards, the new Land Rover Disco is much more Range Rover, not only in styling but breeding. One look will tell you this is a Range Rover chassis on which the panels were Land Roverized, including a bumped-up rear roofline that accommodates third-row passengers’ noggins. The new Discovery hits the “refresh” button, offering luxury styling on the outside and a complete modernization for the 21st century on the inside, bringing technological capabilities lock-step with the demands of modern-day consumers.

Ramp and Track
With almost 200 extra pounds and 20-inch tires, the Td6 scored the best score on our RTI ramp of the three competitors, pulling a score of 458 compared with the Si6 gasser’s 443. Both vehicles employ the same adjustable pneumatic suspension, so the extra flex most likely comes down to the diesel’s slightly taller sidewalls. But where the chunky 255/55R20 Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires helped on the ramp, their extra weight and open tread pattern gave up 11 1/2 feet to the gasser in 60-0 braking, with the 14.17-inch front and 13.78-inch rear discs hauling the 4,916-pound diesel Disco to a stop in 130 feet. Similarly, despite the diesel’s meaty 443 lb-ft of torque, which hits like a hammer right off idle, the diesel scored a solid 17-second quarter-mile time, passing through the traps at 81.1 mph, earning it Second Place at the track.

Exterior/Interior
To the untrained eye, the new Land Rover Discovery looks like a Range Rover at first glance. And that’s no accident. After all, if you could drive a luxury SUV that looks like a Range Rover but seats seven adults instead of five and costs $40,000 less, wouldn’t you pull the trigger on the Discovery? No doubt, many will. Many testers liked the purposeful intercooler inlets in the fascia and the wheel design. But by the same token, many found the rear styling a bit much. “It’s got a badonkadonk rear end,” said one tester. Indeed, the rear roof line is a tad exaggerated to accommodate the third row passengers and lend this vehicle its “Discoveryness.” On the other hand, the tailpipes don’t protrude past the rear bumper and the plastic cladding along the rockers actually absorbed a few hard encounters with rocks without cracking, breaking, or falling off. Inside, the Td6’s white leather incited the ire of more than one tester. “White is a dumb color choice for an off-road vehicle. It’s already dirty.” Controls are logically placed and there are storage compartments everywhere—from a flip-down radio face that hides a spot large enough for your wallet, cell phone, and valuables to a sliding cupholder section inside the center console that reveals a hidden compartment big enough to serve as a hot tub. And of course, there are options galore such as a center console refrigerated cooler, video headrests, USB and charging ports everywhere, and a fully powered rear seating control panel in the cargo area that allows you to configure the rear seating (raised or lowered) at the push of a button. And if that’s not enough, the Land Rover can sync to your smartphone, allowing you to control the seating, door locks, and other features from your phone. Discotech, anybody?

On-Road
“It’s like driving a luxury hotel feathered bed,” said one tester. Just set the adaptive cruise control, toggle the steering wheel–mounted audio controls to your liking, and slip into a sensory-deprivation cocoon. There are five seats behind the front row, each with a big headrest that can be folded down to give some semblance of rearward visibility when not occupied by passengers. The Discovery Td6 was very quiet on the road, allowing almost no wind noise, even with the front and rear panoramic roof glass shades open. Other than the slight hum from the Goodyear all-terrain tires, you’d almost think you weren’t moving. The steering is light and agile and there’s more than enough power on tap without needing to constantly upshift and downshift. It’s like driving a current of electricity. And with a 22.5-gallon fuel tank, you’ll be driving it for a long while between fill-ups. We averaged a combined 21.3 mpg with a lot of off-roading and heavy throttle use, but just cruising down the highway the average mpg hovered in the high 20 mpg zone. You gotta love diesels.

Off-Road
The Terrain Response 2 System flat-out works. With a true locking rear differential, a T-case with a 2.93:1 low-range ratio and center diff lock, and settings for terrain including Rock, Sand, and more, there’s a mode for any occasion. Rock mode can only be selected with the T-case in low range and automatically raises the suspension to its max height; the throttle tip-in is slackened to avoid jerky motions; the T-case holds First and Second gear longer; and the rear locker is activated. It works phenomenally, easily pushing the big Disco into places where body damage was inevitable. But there’s so much wheeltravel available you don’t necessarily need to engage Rock mode to actuate the rear locker. The chassis does a darn fine job of clawing and scratching for traction without any fuss or drama. On our hillclimb, the Td6 elegantly skirted deep, opposing holes of loose soil without as much as a whimper. We could tell the Goodyear tires were biting harder than the street treads on the Si6. But all was not well all of the time. In the dunes, the Td6 began chopping power; acting almost like it was in limp mode. We surmise the transmission was probably getting a bit hot due to our prolonged throttle-happy testing, but the result of the computer interference was one of the best “stucks” we’ve had on SUVOTY in recent years. To reach the front towhooks required removal of the front fascia, which is dumb for a vehicle with such a storied off-road pedigree. Towhooks: let them be free!

Bottom Line
Discoverys of old were farm trucks and utility vehicles that prioritized off-road capability over interior luxury. Over the years, amenities have been added but off-road performance wasn’t compromised. Despite the fact that this is no doubt the most luxurious Land Rover Discovery ever, for the most part the brand holds fast to its off-road heritage. Things like white seating surfaces and hidden towhooks are most definitely a step away from an off-road-centric mission, but on the whole if you’re looking for a family hauler that can pull a small trailer, bump down a nasty trail, or hit the city for a night on the town, the new Discovery HSE Luxury Td6 definitely delivers.

What’s Hot
High mpg diesel and velvety power delivery

What’s Not
White-glove seating surfaces and finicky sand performance

Our Take
It’s your off-road Sherpa in white tie and tails

Logbook Quotes
“Paint it mustard yellow and wheel the snot out of it.”
“Not sure if interior power tailgate is a good accessory or unnecessary pain in the ass.”
“So capable I wonder if it will start tearing itself apart getting up the trail.”


Winner!

Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury Si6

What’s New
The new Land Rover Discovery is the replacement for the Discovery LR4 and has adopted plenty of Range Rover technology, so it’s pretty much all new for the Land Rover line—offering a host of features that not only pleasantly surprised us, but also just plain surprised us. First off, we are all-out advocates of body-on-frame vehicle architecture when it comes to off-roaders, so the fact that the HSE is the first unibody design for the Discovery line would have been a check in our “not like” column, if it hadn’t been for the exceptional off-road prowess shown by the Discovery HSE Luxury Si6 during our weeklong 2018 SUV of the Year Test. The Discovery employs the Terrain Response 2 system that includes a true locking rear differential, a two-speed T-case with a 2.93:1 low-range ratio and center diff lock, and settings for terrain including Rock, Sand, and more. Rock mode is selected with the T-case in low range and automatically raises the suspension to its max height; the throttle tip-in is slackened to avoid jerky motions; the T-case holds First and Second gear longer; and the rear locker is activated.

Ramp and Track
The Si6 nailed a good 443 RTI score. On the track, the Discovery HSE Luxury’s supercharged 340hp 3.0L V-6 gasoline engine and Rover-tweaked eight-speed ZF 8HP45 automatic transmission helped it chalk up “mind-blowing acceleration” for a 7.4-second 0-60 and 15.8-second quarter-mile time. And when it came time to rein in the 4,751-pound SUV from 60-0, the four-wheel disc brakes closed the deal in only 118.5 feet.

Exterior/Interior
Its exterior and interior are where the Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury Si6 had some hits and misses. Our group of testers was not pleased with the wheel size (21 inches) that would make aftermarket tire choices few, or the street-oriented, low-profile tires that were easy prey for rocks. Conversely, judges liked the full-width skidplating that extended rearward past the T-case, the tailpipes that didn’t protrude past the rear bumper, and the plastic cladding along the rockers that absorbed several encounters with rocks without cracking, breaking, or falling off. The short and sloping hood and large windshield offered “excellent trail/road visibility forward.” However, the body design garnered mixed comments. Remarks included “sack of potatoes” and “rear end looks like it ate too many donuts.” But of course, opinions on a vehicle’s looks are subjective and other judges thought the overall body design looked fantastic. As would be expected of the Discovery HSE Luxury model, its interior creature comforts were unparalleled, gaining high scores from our testers and comments such as “infinitely adjustable, voluminous, and supportive seating.” However, some thought the accessory control systems were “complicated” and “not intuitive,” but that may have been because “it has everything, including a fridge.”

On-Road
No matter how much you love off-roading, unless you own a purpose-built rig that gets trailered to and fro, your 4x4 has to pound the pavement too, and it had better do it well. The Discovery HSE Luxury Si6 tracked true even when buffeted by high winds; offered strong braking performance with “no ABS shenanigans”; delivered throttle response that “put the sport in SUV”; and transported driver and passengers with a ride and handling quality that was described as “tight” but “smooth as silk” on the highway. The steering wheel is just like the wheel found in the Range Rover and is oddly shaped (“cramped with so much technology”), but the steering system felt “perfectly balanced and stable.” The powertrain performance was “powerful and quick” and offered “well-programmed shifts that were “smooth and refined.”

Off-Road
The Discovery HSE Luxury Si6 hit a home run when it came to trail performance. Our day at the dunes elicited comments such as “best sand scooter of the year” and “plenty of power and control.” A graded road was no match for the Discovery, as its handling remained smooth and stable, and was described as “sticking to the track like a slot car.” Washes, whoops, and washboard roads were not a problem either; the Si6’s suspension just soaked everything up. Almost all testers penned warnings such as “rapidly approaching hidden rocks (in washes or graded roads) can be hazardous to the low-profile tires.” The Discovery HSE Luxury model’s 4WD system operation and engagement was deemed “smarter than the entire Compass,” but Rock mode wouldn’t engage unless the T-case was in low range. A single centered towhook on each end was good news, but having to remove plastic bodywork to access them was just a little bit inconvenient. A real locker in back but no true locker up front read like a handicap on paper, but the Discovery turned out to be “much better in the rocks than ever expected.”

Bottom Line
In many ways the new Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury Si6 was a point-and-shoot 4x4. Its low point was tires (pun intended), but the vehicle’s power, drivetrain, and suspension systems made it capable of tackling any terrain we encountered.

What’s Hot
Superb drivetrain engineering; pillow-like ride quality; lightning-fast, supercharged V-6

What’s Not
Low-profile sport-truck street tires, lack of rocker protection

Our Take
The 2018 SUV of the Year

Logbook Quotes
“Best sand scooter of the year.”
“Flat-out works.”
“Hill climbing beast.”


How we test ’em

We began our weeklong 2018 SUV of the Year test by measuring each vehicle’s ramp travel index (RTI) to determine suspension articulation. We then traveled to Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, California, where we used a RaceLogic Performance Box to gather acceleration and braking data. We then convoyed to the desert via paved roads, along the way gathering important data regarding ride, handling, and fuel efficiency, among other things. For the next three days we spent time in every type of driving situation you can imagine. From stop-and-go city driving to wide-open highway. Since we’re off-road-centric, we spent the majority of time in the dirt, water, mud, sand, rocks, and snow. Each day of driving began shortly after sunup and ended after sundown. We traveled to both high and low altitudes and we drove in the dark. On the last day, we made the trek back to the Los Angeles area, which completed the test. In the end, we drove each vehicle approximately 1,000 miles.

How we score ’em

Our scoring procedure utilized five weighted categories. Here’s the breakdown: 30 percent Trail Performance (how a vehicle performs in a variety of wheeling environments and off-road-centric features like 4WD system operation, tires, traction aids, and so on), 25 percent Empirical (RTI, acceleration, braking, price, and so on), 20 percent On-Pavement (handling, ride quality, steering feel, and so on), 15 percent Interior (instrumentation, ingress and egress, seat comfort, storage, and so on), and 10 percent Exterior (appearance, stance, body protection, and so on).

Final results

CompassDiscovery Si6Discovery Td6
Trail Performance16.0022.0421.73
Empirical21.0723.7523.21
On-Road Performance10.8315.8715.63
Interior8.0911.0510.93
Exterior5.605.765.81
Total61.5978.4677.32


Judges’ Picks

If the scorebook went out the window and cost didn’t matter, which one of the three vehicles in this year’s SUV of the Year would you most like to own? We asked our judges that question, and then asked them to elaborate why their choice got the thumbs up. Here’s what they had to say.

Stuart Bourdon Jp Technical Editor
Among the three contenders for the 2018 SUV of the Year crown were the Jeep Compass Trailhawk, the Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury Si6, and the Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury Td6. While the Jeep Compass Trailhawk pleasantly surpassed all my initial off-road performance expectations, it never let me forget that it was a compact SUV—a very compact SUV—that offered limited legroom and almost non-existent headroom for my tall frame. That’s not something I could live with for more than few days. On the other hand, the two Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury vehicles delivered abundantly in all categories, and only because I enjoyed that turbocharged diesel low-end power more than I liked the raw power of the supercharged petrol engine would I have to pick between the two and park the Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury Td6 in my garage.

Ken Brubaker Four Wheeler Editor
Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury Td6. For me it came down to one of the two Discoveries. I dug the new Compass, which is vastly improved over the previous generation and a heckuva lot of fun, but personally I want true low-range gearing. The Discovery Si6’s supercharged V-6 was a beast, but the Td6 offered up the oozing, gooey torque I want. And point and laugh at me if you wish, but I like the good fuel mileage of the turbodiesel Td6 because it means I can wheel longer between fill-ups.

Mike Grasso Four Wheeler Network News Editor
The Discoveries handled every bit of off-road terrain masterfully thanks to the Terrain Select 2 system. Despite the great mpg in the diesel, my pick is the more responsive, quicker, and quieter Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury Si6. While the creamsicle interior was the biggest turnoff for me in the Td6, the turbo lag was a buzzkill in the dunes and on the highway. The Si6 was a blast, even the tires preformed impressively despite being out of their element. The adaptive electronic air suspension keeps the vehicle exceptionally stable and comfortable on-trail.

Christian Hazel 4-Wheel & Off-Road Editor
The Jeep was so outclassed in this year’s event that I can’t even consider it despite what a happy little puppy dog it was in the dunes. The Supercharged 3.0L gas Land Rover had plenty of power and, in my opinion, a much nicer exterior trim package and interior color scheme than the Td6 diesel Discovery in our test. That said, with both the Si6 gas and Td6 diesels coming equipped with virtually the same off-road–capable Terrain Response 2 system that allowed either to tackle any off-road element we put it in front of them, I’d have to go for the Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury Td6. The power delivery characteristics and near-30 mpg capability of the 3.0L turbodiesel would be a very easy thing to live with on a daily basis. And all those interior amenities would just be icing on the cake.

Jered Korfhage Four Wheeler Feature Editor
As much as this Jeep owner would like to choose another Jeep to bring home, my choice is the Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury Td6. The SUV was rather luxurious for my liking, but the diesel’s 26mpg performance on the highway would be very helpful on my routine road trips. Also, with a bit of additional armor for the rocker panels, I’d twist the shift dial to Rock mode and explore as many craggy trails as the Discovery could handle.

Rick Pewe Jp Editor
Even though I’m a die-hard Jeep fan, my pick this year is the Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury Si6. It has everything needed for a 4x4 of the year winner in terms of performance, quality, and technology. Quick, surprisingly nimble, and downright capable—this is a vehicle sure to please most drivers. Everything from the finest 4x4 system that reacts to every need to a sumptuous ride where the pillow-like interior cradles your body through the roughest terrain. Its biggest drawback is the quite plain package it is wrapped in—certainly not one of the sexiest vehicles ever to come from the Brits—in fact, it reminds me of an ill-fitting gown on a dowdy suffragette. Still, I’d be driving it, not looking at it. It’s a winner for me.

Verne Simons 4Wheel & Off-Road Technical Editor
I’m a Jeep guy, and…OK, to some extent I’m also a Ford guy, and a Chevy guy, and a Toyota guy, but I do really like Jeeps. I wish I could say the same for the ’18 Jeep Compass Trailhawk. All right, I do like some of the little Jeep’s bodystyling cues. I like its size, projected fuel economy, and price, and it drives like a decent mini-SUV on-road. I really wanted to like the Jeep off-road, but I didn’t. This “Jeep” left me wishing we had any number of more capable Jeeps from Jeep’s past. At the same time, both Land Rover Discoveries absolutely floored me with how capable they are off-road. The traction control works as well if not better than any other I’ve experienced. Sure, the asking price is ridiculous, and the refinements are hardly necessary to please me, but the company has done its heritage proud. At the end of the day, I don’t want to drink Coors banquet beer with my pinky in the air, but I’d give a nod to the Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury Td6 just because.


Specifications As Tested

Vehicle/model: ’18 Jeep Compass Trailhawk

Base price: $28,695
Price as tested: $35,305
Options as tested: Advanced Safety and Lighting ($895), Towing Package ($395), Safety and Security Package ($795), Navigation Package ($995), Entertainment Package ($645), Dual-Pane Sunroof ($1,295), Power Liftgate ($495) Destination Charge ($1,095)

ENGINE
Type: Multi-Air 2 I-4
Displacement (ci/liter): 146/2.4
Bore x stroke (in): 3.46x3.82
Compression ratio (:1): 10.0
Intake/FI: Naturally aspirated/Multi-Point injection
Mfg.’s power rating @ rpm (hp): 180 @ 6,400
Mfg.’s torque rating @ rpm (lb-ft): 175 @ 3,900
Mfg.’s suggested fuel type: Regular unleaded

DRIVETRAIN
Transmission: Aisin 9-spd automatic 9HP48
Ratios (:1)
First: 4.71
Second: 2.84
Third: 1.91
Fourth: 1.38
Fifth: 1.00
Sixth: 0.81
Seventh: 0.70
Eighth: 0.58
Ninth: 0.48
Reverse: 3.81
Axle ratio (:1): 4.33
Transfer case: N/A
Low-range ratio (:1): N/A
Crawl ratio (:1): 20.4

FRAME/BODY
Frame: Steel uniframe
Body: N/A

SUSPENSION/AXLES
Front: MacPherson struts, coil springs, steel crossmember, lower stabilizer bar
Rear: Chapman struts, steel links, isolated rear cradle, coil springs, stabilizer bar

STEERING
Type: Electric rack-and-pinion
Turns (lock-to-lock): 2.76
Ratio (:1): 15.7

BRAKES
Front: 12x1.1-in vented disc, single-piston caliper
Rear: 10.95x0.47 solid disc, single-piston caliper
ABS: Four-wheel

WHEELS/TIRES
Wheels (in): 17x6.5
Tires: 215/65R17 Falken WildPeak H/T

FUEL ECONOMY
EPA city/highway: 22/30
Observed city/highway/trail: 21.7

DIMENSIONS/CAPACITIES
Weight (lb): 3,633
Wheelbase (in): 103.8
Overall length (in): 173.0
Overall width (in): 73.8
Height (in): 64.8
Track f/r (in): 60.7/60.3
Minimum ground clearance (in): 8.5
Turning diameter, curb-to-curb (ft): 35.3
Approach/departure angles (deg): 30.3/33.6
Breakover angle (deg): 24.4
GVWR (lb): 4,575
Payload (lb): 942
Maximum towing capacity (lb): 2,000
Seating: 5
Fuel capacity (gal): 13.5

PERFORMANCE
0-60 mph (sec): 11.1
Quarter-mile (sec @ mph): 18.3 @ 75.2
Braking 60-0 mph (ft): 136.7
Ramp Travel Index (20-deg, points): 231

Vehicle/model: ’17 Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury Si6

Base price: $63,950
Price as tested: $82,100
Options as tested: Loadspace Partition Net ($100), Rover Tow Package ($650), 21-inch Split-Spoke Style Wheels w/ Satin Grey Finish ($1,700), Dynamic Package ($2,000), 360-degree Parking Aid ($275), Front Center Console Cooler Compartment ($350), Head Up Display ($950), Vision Assist Package ($1,200), Full Size Spare Wheel ($440), Loadspace Cover ($150), Autonomous Emergency Braking ($125), Activity Key ($400), Compatibility Plus Package ($1,250), Drive Pro Package ($2,350), Black Contrast Roof ($650), Park Assist ($800), Rear Seat Entertainment ($2,270), Silicon Silver Premium Metallic Paint ($1,495), Destination and Delivery ($995)

ENGINE
Type: 24-valve DOHC V-6
Displacement (ci/liter): 182.76/3.0
Bore x stroke (in): 3.32x3.50
Compression ratio (:1): 10.5
Intake/FI: Supercharged/direct injection
Mfg.’s power rating @ rpm (hp): 340 @ 6,500
Mfg.’s torque rating @ rpm (lb-ft): 332 @ 5,000
Mfg.’s suggested fuel type: Regular unleaded

DRIVETRAIN
Transmission: ZF 8HP45 8-spd automatic
Ratios (:1)
First: 4.71
Second: 3.14
Third: 2.11
Fourth: 1.67
Fifth: 1.29
Sixth: 1.00
Seventh: 0.84
Eighth: 0.67
Reverse: 3.30
Axle ratio (:1): 3.73
Transfer case: Magna Steyr DD295 2-spd
Low-range ratio (:1): 2.93
Crawl ratio (:1): 51.5

FRAME/BODY
Frame: Aluminum unibody with minimal steel
Body: Aluminum and steel

SUSPENSION/AXLES
Front: SLA, twin lower links, air springs, passive dampers and passive anti-roll bar
Rear: Integral link suspension with air springs, passive dampers and passive anti-roll bar

STEERING
Type: Electric-assist rack-and-pinion
Turns (lock-to-lock): 2.7
Ratio (:1): 17.6

BRAKES
Front: 14.17-in vented disc, two-piston caliper
Rear: 13.78-in vented disc, single-piston caliper
ABS: Four-wheel

WHEELS/TIRES
Wheels (in): 21x9.5
Tires: 275/45R21 Pirelli Scorpion Verde

FUEL ECONOMY
EPA city/highway: 16/21
Observed city/highway/trail: 15.7

DIMENSIONS/CAPACITIES
Weight (lb): 4,751
Wheelbase (in): 115.1
Overall length (in): 195.7
Overall width (in): 81.6
Height (in): 73.5
Track f/r (in): 66.6/66.4
Minimum ground clearance (in): 11.1
Turning diameter, curb-to-curb (ft): 40.4
Approach/departure angles (deg): 26.0 (normal), 34.0 (raised)/24.8 (normal), 30.0 (raised)
Breakover angle (deg): 18.9 (normal), 27.5 (raised)
GVWR (lb): 6,592
Payload (lb): 2,073
Maximum towing capacity (lb): 8,201
Seating: 7
Fuel capacity (gal): 23.5

PERFORMANCE
0-60 mph (sec): 7.4
Quarter-mile (sec @ mph): 15.8 @ 90.3
Braking 60-0 mph (ft): 118.5
Ramp Travel Index (20-deg, points): 443

Vehicle/model: ’17 Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury Td6

Base price: $65,950
Price as tested: $80,150
Options as tested: Loadspace Partition Net ($100), Rover Tow Package ($650), 360-degree Parking Aid ($275), Front Center Console Cooler Compartment ($350), Head Up Display ($950), Vision Assist Package ($1,200), Full Size Spare Wheel ($440), Black Roof Rails ($400), Loadspace Cover ($150), Autonomous Emergency Braking ($125), Activity Key ($400), Capability Plus Package ($1,250), Driver Pro Package ($2,350), Park Assist ($800), Rear Seat Entertainment ($2,270), Namib Orange Premium Metallic Paint ($1,495) Destination and Delivery ($995)

ENGINE
Type: 16-valve DOHC V-6
Displacement (ci/liter): 140/3.0
Bore x stroke (in): 3.30x3.54
Compression ratio (:1): 16.1
Intake/FI: Turbocharged/direct injection
Mfg.’s power rating @ rpm (hp): 254 @ 3,750
Mfg.’s torque rating @ rpm (lb-ft): 443 @ 2,250
Mfg.’s suggested fuel type: Diesel

DRIVETRAIN
Transmission: ZF 8HP70 8-spd automatic
Ratios (:1)
First: 4.71
Second: 3.14
Third: 2.11
Fourth: 1.67
Fifth: 1.29
Sixth: 1.00
Seventh: 0.84
Eighth: 0.67
Reverse: 3.30
Axle ratio (:1): 3.21
Transfer case: Magna Steyr DD295 2-spd
Low-range ratio (:1): 2.93
Crawl ratio (:1): 44.3

FRAME/BODY
Frame: Aluminum unibody with minimal steel
Body: Aluminum and steel

SUSPENSION/AXLES
Front: SLA, twin lower links, air springs, passive dampers and passive anti-roll bar
Rear: Integral link suspension, air springs, passive dampers and passive anti-roll bar

STEERING
Type: Electric-assist rack-and-pinion
Turns (lock-to-lock): 2.7
Ratio (:1): 17.6

BRAKES
Front: 14.17-in vented disc, two-piston caliper
Rear: 13.78-in vented disc, single-piston caliper
ABS: Four-wheel

WHEELS/TIRES
Wheels (in): 20x8.5
Tires: 255/55R20 Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac

FUEL ECONOMY
EPA city/highway: 21/26
Observed city/highway/trail: 21.3

DIMENSIONS/CAPACITIES
Weight (lb): 4,916
Wheelbase (in): 115.1
Overall length (in): 195.7
Overall width (in): 81.6
Height (in): 73.5
Track f/r (in): 66.6/66.4
Minimum ground clearance (in): 11.1
Turning diameter, curb-to-curb (ft): 40.4
Approach/departure angles (deg): 26.0 (normal), 34.0 (raised)/24.8 (normal), 30.0 (raised)
Breakover angle (deg): 18.9 (normal), 27.5 (raised)
GVWR (lb): 6,724
Payload (lb): 1,808
Maximum towing capacity (lb): 7,716
Seating: 7
Fuel capacity (gal): 22.5

PERFORMANCE
0-60 mph (sec): 9.1
Quarter-mile (sec @ mph): 17.0 @ 81.1
Braking 60-0 mph (ft): 130.0
Ramp Travel Index (20-deg, points): 458

PhotosView Slideshow

Connect With Us

Newsletter Sign Up

Subscribe to the Magazine

Browse Articles By Vehicle

See Results