2022 Jeep Compass Trailhawk Review: Quick Take
|Output:||177 hp, 172 lb-ft|
|US fuel economy (MPG):||22/30/25|
|CAN fuel economy (L/100KM):||10.8/7.8/9.5|
|Starting Price (USD):||$28,380 (inc. dest.)|
|As-Tested Price (USD):||$44,305 (inc. dest.)|
|Starting Price (CAD):||$32,990 (inc. dest.)|
|As-Tested Price (CAD):||$46,730 (inc. dest.)|
Recently, we held a massive 2022 AutoGuide Compact SUV Comparison test presented by NRS Brakes. We’re now going to take a closer look at one of the more specialized entries in that massive match-up, with our 2022 Jeep Compass Trailhawk review.
Jeep’s Compass is a lesson in peaks and valleys. With a significant facelift for the 2022 model year, the American brand’s second-smallest offering is all over the map. The Trailhawk is the most capable (and most expensive) offering in the family, one that’s capable of pleasing and frustrating in equal measure.Get a Quote on a New Jeep Compass
2022 Jeep Compass Review: What’s new?
Let’s start with the positives. Stellantis models have consistently had some of the best infotainment systems out there, and Uconnect 5 is even better. The 2022 facelift focused on the interior experience, and the new interface is a definite win. With a large, crystal-clear display, the system is as pretty to look at as it is easy to use. This latest software also includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Not only that, Uconnect 5 allows for multiple user profiles, allowing families to save their climate, seat, and media favorites. Speaking of the latter, the Compass’ audio system is seriously powerful.
The rest of the revised Compass interior is a high-quality space. It’s cleanly styled, and Jeep’s move upmarket makes for better material quality now, too. There are a few design flourishes pulled right from the recently redone Grand Cherokee, like the drive mode toggle switch, and that’s no bad thing. There are still some hard plastics, but they’re relegated to lower, out of sight panels.
It’s a nice interior, but there just isn’t that much of it. The Compass exists in a weird mid-segment gap, slightly smaller than most compact SUVs out there. Its on-paper measurements look fine, but getting into the rear seat, it feels cramped and uncomfortable for adults. This is especially true if you try to go three-wide back there, as the curved center cushion feels like a perch.
The short length also gives the Compass a smaller cargo hold. At just 27.2 cubic feet (770 liters) of space, the Jeep’s trunk is a full 25-percent smaller than that of a Honda CR-V.SEE ALSO: 2022 Honda CR-V Touring Review: Quick Take
Solid on-road manners
Despite that small footprint, the Compass is a reasonably comfortable on-road ride, even in Trailhawk trim. It handles bumps well, with the chunky 17-inch tires soaking up the worst of the roughness. Larger bumps do send a thud through the cabin, however, and the soft suspension sees it leaning onto the outer tire at the slightest hint of a corner. More surprising is the Compass’ steering, which has a good amount of weight and resistance, building driver confidence early.
This being a Trailhawk, the Compass has a higher-than-average 8.6 inches (281 millimeters) of ground clearance. We didn’t get to fully test the Jeep off-road during our time with the it, but given that Trial Rated badge, we don’t doubt it would make short work of cottage roads. In fact, in that 11-SUV battle royale, only the Ford Bronco Sport offers similar levels of off-road readiness.
That dynamic goodness is mostly undone by one of the worst engines in the segment. The 2.4-liter “Tiger Shark” engine is more minnow, producing just 177 horsepower and 172 lb-ft—the lowest in that entire comparison. Those figures arrive late in the rev range too, so you’ve got to rev the snot out of the Compass everywhere to make decent progress. You’d think a nine-speed automatic, standard on 4WD models, would help, but since it has four overdrive gears, you’d be wrong.
To make matters worse, the Tiger Shark doesn’t even sound particularly good, either. That wouldn’t matter so much in one of the more conventional SUVs, but as this Trailhawk has more of an enthusiast bent, we wouldn’t say no to a sweeter exhaust note.
Lastly, this is one of the thirstiest options in the class. With official figures of 22 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined (Canadian figures: 10.8/7.8/9.5 L/100 km, respectively), it’s on par with the larger, 250-horsepower Mazda CX-50. The Ford Bronco Sport does worse at 23 mpg, but that’s the more powerful engine; stick to the 1.5-liter three-cylinder, also more muscular than the Tiger Shark, and it hits 26 mpg (8.9 L/100 km) combined.
Pricey for what you get
Clawing back points, this top-trim Trailhawk does have a whole lot of kit with it. There aren’t many cars this size that feature ventilated front seats for instance, or a wonderfully customizable digital instrument panel. Also included is an entirely too aggressive front collision warning, which regularly activated during typical rush-hour traffic.
You’ll pay for all those goodies though, as the Compass climbs ever closer to the $40,000 mark.
Verdict: 2022 Jeep Compass Trailhawk Review
With a different drivetrain, the Compass’ quirks would be easier to accept. This is a Jeep, after all—a brand with almost limitless goodwill. It certainly has its redeeming qualities, like the best infotainment on the little SUV scene, and a real mountain-goat feel off-road.
As is, however, the Compass Trailhawk is just too rich for our tastes.
How much does the 2022 Jeep Compass cost?
The entry point for the Compass is $28,380 ($32,990 CAD).
What is the Trailhawk package on a Jeep Compass Trailhawk?
The Trailhawk package gives the Compass a unique 4×4 system, raised ride height, and more off-road friendly tires, in addition to visual changes.
Does the 2022 Jeep Compass have a hybrid option?
Not in North America; Europe gets a Compass 4xe plug-in hybrid.
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- Great infotainment
- Tough-yet-cute looks
- Lots of creature comforts
- Weak engine
- Tight rear seats
Kyle began his automotive obsession before he even started school, courtesy of a remote control Porsche and various LEGO sets. He later studied advertising and graphic design at Humber College, which led him to writing about cars (both real and digital). He is now a proud member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), where he was the Journalist of the Year runner-up for 2021.
More by Kyle Patrick