Compact, off-road capable, and looking the best it ever has, the 2022 Jeep Compass Trailhawk takes on fresh styling and plenty of kit in its mid-life refresh. It’s also the second to last bastion of turbo diesel power in the compact SUV space.
Alongside the BMW X1 sDrive18d, a variant that may not continue when the premium compact SUV gets a new generation offering at the end of this year, the Compass Trailhawk is a beacon for those who still love the alternative fuel source.
In an odd twist, it’s literally only this variant too, with the lesser offerings from Jeep’s range getting petrol power. The 2.0-litre diesel engine, with AdBlue, delivers 125kW of power and 350Nm of torque. That’s paired to a 9-speed auto.
Jeep claims 6.9-litres/100km in terms of fuel economy, although we couldn’t match that. Our best was 8.1-litres. It features 4WD Low and 4WD Lock, although with no transfer case they’re electronic off road modes. They do work though, and quite impressively so.
That said, while the Compass might be trail-rated, as Jeep likes to call it, we wouldn’t recommend climbing any major hills or skittling over rocky outcrops in it. At the end of the day, it’s a compact SUV, off-road friendly or not.
It’s just not big or strong enough for the extreme stuff. In general off road terms it’s pretty damn good, but the heavy duty stuff you’d take a LandCruiser 300 Series, or even a Ford Ranger Wildtrak over, for example, might be a little too much, if that makes sense.
There is hill descent control though, and a handful of drive modes that alter traction levels, including Auto, Snow, Sand/Mud and Rock. The Compass Trailhawk rides on 17-inch alloys and Falken all-season tyres.
On the outside you’ll find a black hood decal, and some trail-rated badging, two red tow hooks at the front, four underbody skid plates, for when you do want to get it dirty, and there’s even a full size spare. A necessity if you get caught in the boonies.
Inside, there’s lots of cool features too, including all-season floor mats, leather trimmed bucket seats up front, with 8-way power adjustments for the driver and passenger, red stitching accents, and a wireless phone charging pad.
There’s also plenty of places to put cups and bottles, and a decent centre storage setup. On the tech front, you’ll find the latest Uconnect 5 10.1-infotainment system with satellite navigation, and a pretty decent 360-degree surround view camera system.
Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay feature, along with DAB+ digital radio, and the 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster is excellent, and provides drive mode specific information. There’s an 8-speaker sound system, which you can add a subwoofer to.
The park and unpark assist system is neat and there’s rain sensing wipers and auto high-beam, and a foot activated tailgate as well.
Should you want more, you can opt to add heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, dual-pane panoramic sunroof, and an Alpine 9-speaker premium audio system.
Traffic sign recognition heads a decent list of safety gear that also includes active lane management, which can be a little overbearing and has a mind of its own, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross path detection, and auto electronic brake hold.
There’s adaptive cruise control with stop/go – again, it’s not magnificent, intelligent speed assist, drowsy driver detection, tyre pressure monitoring, stability control and roll mitigation, trailer sway control and even battery run down protection.
If that isn’t enough there is even a 230v power point in the second row. But there are a few things that sting the compact Jeep, including the asking price, which sits at just on $60K drive away. That’s a lot of coin for a small SUV.
The underpowered engine and somewhat dodgy driver assists also don’t do it any favours (as we mentioned), and while it has poise, and solid balance and handling, it’s on road performance is a little noisy on anything but quality roads.
Braked towing capacity is 1500kg, there’s 438-litres of boot space, and there’s a 480mm wading depth on offer. It comes with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty and if you service through the Jeep dealer network, life time roadside assist.
You can have your 2022 Jeep Compass Trailhawk in Pearl White, Brilliant Black, Minimal Grey, Hunter Green, Galaxy Blue and Grey Magnesio (the colour of our test vehicle). The latter three have a black roof, and all of them come with special graphics.
Our test vehicle was provided by Jeep Australia. To find out more about the 2022 Jeep Compass Trailhawk, contact your local Jeep dealer. Select images courtesy of Imogen Holgate.