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2022 Jeep Compass Trailhawk road test review

Tuhin Guha Updated: February 27, 2022, 06:19 PM IST

Last year, the Jeep Compass received quite a thoughtful mid-life update, with the brand focusing on fixing the SUV's drawbacks on the inside but leaving the rest of the generally solid mechanical package unchanged. But with competition in the segment constantly intensifying, Jeep India has now expanded the Compass line-up by reintroducing the top-spec Traihawk in its facelifted form. The Trailhawk badge is reserved for the most capable of Jeep's offerings. SUVs with the 'Trail Rated' badge are put through a more rigorous set of tests to further improve off-roading capability. So the facelifted Compass Trailhwak continues with the same set of enhancements over the standard Compass as earlier but, manoeuvrability in the rough has improved further.

2022 Jeep Compass Trailhawk styling

This is largely down to the redesigned bumpers, which are now even more chamfered than earlier leading to an increase in approach angle from 26.1 to 30 degrees. Somewhat like the regular Compass after the facelift, the condensed seven-slat grille is largely ornamental, with the airdam below managing airflow and the LED headlamps now slimmed down to look more contemporary. A striking new touch is a red decal flanking the anti-glare patch on the bonnet.

Also striking is the new 'telephone dial' alloy wheel design for the model-specific 17-inch Falken Wildpeak tyres. The 25mm increase in ride height over the standard Compass continues with this update as does the reinforced underbody protection which has now been optimised for a 2.8-degree increase in breakover angle to 24 degrees. At the rear, there is an even more starkly rounded off, if slightly plain, bumper that increases departure angle to 34 degrees from 31.6. As with the standard Compass last year, this facelift does enough to add a touch more intent to what was already one of the more aggressively-styled crossovers on the market, helped by the red highlight lettering, the signature red rear tow hook and cool Trailhawk insignia.

2022 Jeep Compass Trailhawk interior and features

But the pre-facelift Compass Trailhawk was hampered by a constricted set of features, limiting this version's appeal among prospective buyers. Thankfully, Jeep India has rectified that with the 2022 Trailhawk getting the same features as the top-spec Model S, making the Trailhawk one of the best-equipped SUVs in this price range. A good move considering most owners will use this version more as a daily driver rather than exploit its off-roading ability.

So the interior now gets the fully redesigned and much richer-feeling dash from the current Compass, highlighted by the 10.1-inch touchscreen display with its intuitive menus. This is complemented by a bank of useful physical controls while the 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster is as informative as in the standard Compass, even if there is a bit of a learning curve with the many sub-menus. If anything, some Trailhawk-specific graphics would have made for a more pleasant experience.

Having said that, the faux carbon-fibre soft dash panel with the brushed grey panelling on the central strip, combined with the red contrasting stitching on the seats and door cards make for a far more contemporary cabin experience than the previous Trailhawk, and distinguish it from the Model S.

As always, the large supportive seats with their wide range of adjustments make the Compass a comfortably SUV for long road trips. There's a great view out of the cabin for drivers of all heights and the soft-touch surfaces add a premium touch to proceedings. The rear seats are also well-cushioned and supportive. Although given the Compass' smaller footprint, legroom is at a deficit to rivals and three-abreast at the rear will be a tight fit.

2022 Jeep Compass Trailhawk driving impressions

The Jeep Compass Trailhawk continues with the trusty 2.0-litre Multijet diesel motor putting out 172PS and 350 Nm, paired with the nine-speed torque converter automatic. In this application, Jeep has repositioned the air inlet to allow for the 483mm water wading depth.

This motor has its strengths in the way it delivers steady progress across its rev band in most driving scenarios. The Compass is especially competent as a steady highway tourer, wolfing down miles effortlessly. But standards in the segment have risen since the Compass first launched in 2017. The Jeep's rivals, both petrol and diesel, now offer a brisker and more refined driving experience. The improvements that were made to the 9-speed auto that are seen in the Trailhawk too. The Jeep is a touch more alert with its shifts in measured throttle inputs although the lack of a Sport mode and paddle shifters means that the Trailhawk doesn't like being rushed through overtakes and the like.

The standard Compass has always had an impressive ride and handling character, and that continues with the Traihawk with some minor differences. The higher 65-profile of the 17-ich tyres fitted to the Trailhwak give it a marginally cushier ride than the standard Compass. This is most apparent over minor road imperfections and rough surfaces, where the Compass Traihawk pummels through these defects even more convincingly with its off-road-ready suspension package. Although the larger of these impacts are passed into the cabin at city speeds given the firmer low speed ride.

The smaller tyre size also means that the steering feels a touch less direct than it already is, but these are incremental differences that don't really alter the daily driving experience. The multi-link suspension setup at the rear means the Trailhawk continues to handle competently with progressive direction changes although the raised suspension set-up has brought with it a touch more body roll. But like other Compass variants, the Trailhwak feels rock steady at highway speeds.

2022 Jeep Compass Trailhawk offroading

The Compass is already the most competent monocoque SUV you can buy in its price range, and the Trailhawk only ups this ability a notch. This version adds a Rock drive mode and hill descent control, which makes the small SUV more than capable of handling any realistic off-road scenario you might face in the real world. This is down to the quite well-tuned drive modes which manage throttle and gearbox response and the stability systems as well as the all-wheel-drive system. This AWD system is quite advanced with a 4WD lock mode and even gets a 4 Low. This isn't a transfer case but starts the compass off in its crawler first gear, allowing for a 20:1 crawl ratio. However, serious off-roading enthusiasts should switch to more competent all-terrain tyres or choose a body-on-frame alternative.

2022 Jeep Compass Trailhawk safety

The Compass Trailhawk carries over the same set of features as the Model S, so you get six-airbags, TPMS, a crisp 360-degree camera and hill-hold along with traction and stability control. However, the more prominent body movements have affected panic braking performance. Under hard braking, the Trailhawk's rear steps out of line with the greater weight transfer, increasing ABS intervention and consequently braking distance.

2022 Jeep Compass Trailhawk verdict

With this update, the Jeep Compass Trailhawk is now truly the flagship of the Compass range. You get the full raft of features, and the spruced-up styling makes it look even more committed than before. While the drawbacks of the standard Compass are carried over, the strengths have been too. So you get sound driving dynamics, despite some of the precision being exchanged for enhancing the already very strong off-road ability, and the typical indestructibility that defines any Jeep SUV. As for choosing it over the similar Model S, pick the Tailhawk if you do a fair amount of off-roading or want to make a stronger visual statement.

2022 Jeep Compass Trailhawk real-world mileage and performance

Mileage

City - 10.06 kmpl
Highway -  14.57 kmpl
Overall - 11.18 kmpl

Performance

0 to 100 kmph - 11.5s
30 to 50 kmph - 1.7s
50 to 70 kmph - 2.4s
60 to 80 kmph - 2.4s

Braking

100 to 0 kmph - 47.8m, 3.3s

Images by Anis Shaikh

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Price (Ex-Delhi)
Starts Rs 17.79 Lakhs
Displacement
1368cc
Transmission
Automatic
Max Power(ps)
163
Max Torque(Nm)
250
Mileage
13.8 Kmpl

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