Jeep Compass 2022 review: Trailhawk – Does this compact diesel off-road vehicle work in the city?

Compass belongs to the small SUV category, but its larger dimensions mean that it is almost large enough to compete with models in the medium-sized SUV segment.

It is longer, taller, wider and has a longer wheelbase than other larger small SUVs such as the Kia Seltos and Honda HR-V, but is not as large as a medium-sized Mazda CX-5.

It feels bigger inside than other models it shares a platform with – namely the Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X, which are no longer sold in Australia.

The biggest change that the update started is the interior. Jeep has completely renovated the cabin to the extent that it is unrecognizable compared to the front-lift model.

The design of the new dashboard is much more appealing and the layout is well done. There is a mixture of soft materials and plastic panels with red seams that run across the fascia. It is so much more updated than the old compass and the cabin has a robust yet semi-premium look.

A new steering wheel is in line with Jeep’s new generation of models that include the Grand Cherokee coming to Australia this year. It is thick, feels comfortable to touch and has a clear sound, telephone and cruise control.

The compass feels bigger inside than other models with which it shares a platform. (photo: Tim Nicholson)

Jeep has continued with its peculiarity of having the volume and song / station buttons on the back of the steering wheels. Once you remember which side volume is live (right), it’s easy to change the levels. But surely it would be better to place them on the front of the wheel, with labels?

In terms of storage, the glove compartment is narrow, as is the central container, but it is deep. The doors hold 600 ml bottles and the console holds two reasonably large cup holders with durable rubber lining that is easy to clean and can withstand beatings. The cup holders are separated by an upright telephone holder.

Speaking of durability, that’s clearly the theme Jeep is pursuing with the Compass Trailhawk interior. It comes standard with rubber mats throughout, including the boot, which is good for protecting the mat if you want to camp a bit.

What is not sustainable, however, is the cheap and sticky indicator shaft that feels like it will come off every time you touch it.

After spending some time in European cars before the Jeep, it’s nice to experience a strong airflow from the air conditioning system, especially at the height of a Melbourne summer. It is also good to see physical buttons for the air conditioning controls.

However, you can also control the climate via the latest multimedia system “Uconnect 5” which is available in the 10.1-inch touch screen.

In terms of space, there is plenty of leg and toe space at the rear.  (photo: Tim Nicholson) In terms of space, there is plenty of leg and toe space at the rear. (photo: Tim Nicholson)

This system is without a doubt one of the strengths of the compass. The modern graphics look very cool and the main icons make sense.

Once you dive into the menu, there are extensive options but it is not overwhelming. It’s intuitive and smart. The satellite navigation is also clear and appealing.

It’s an excellent lineup and better than systems from a host of Jeeps mainstream rivals.

Apple CarPlay installation was simple but there is an odd delay when selecting a command on the touch screen that is not there when using the Jeep system.

Another highlight is the exceptional Alpine sound system with nine speakers that is part of the Trailhawk Premium package. It’s a belt!

The new digital instrument cluster has clear knobs, but changing the screen layout is cumbersome. The compass also lacks a head-up display.

  • The luggage compartment does not look particularly large, but with its 438 liters it is larger than some competitors.  (photo: Tim Nicholson)The luggage compartment does not look particularly large, but with its 438 liters it is larger than some competitors. (photo: Tim Nicholson)
  • Fold down the seats and you will be greeted by 1251L luggage space.  (photo: Tim Nicholson)Fold down the seats and you will be greeted by 1251L luggage space. (photo: Tim Nicholson)

The front seats with a red embossed Trailhawk in the front look good, but the cushion feels like it raises you in the seat. There is no problem with the power adjustment, it’s just the way the damping is designed. The thigh support is limited but the upper body support is good.

Visibility is affected by the narrow rear windscreen and the small rear windows behind the C-pillar, which are meaningless.

Rear passengers have access to lower air vents, a USB-A and USB-C port, a 230-volt AC connector and a 12-volt DC connector. There are two map pockets, rubber floor mats and 600 ml bottles fit right in the door.

In terms of space, there is plenty of leg and toe space at the rear, and just enough ceiling height for this six-footer to avoid scratching the roof.

Getting in and out of the front and rear seats is easy thanks to the compass’s ride height.

The rear seats are flat and fixed and the 60/40 split seats have a fold-down center armrest with two cup holders.

When you open the electric tailgate, the luggage compartment does not look particularly large, but with 438 liters (1251L with folded back seats), it is five liters more than the Kia Seltos GT-Line and eight more than the Haval Jolion.

A full-size spare wheel lives under the luggage compartment floor and the cargo area has metal locking hooks and a small storage box.

The load curtain is useful but there is nowhere to store it when not in use. And you have to lower the rear seats when you want to put it back in place.

Leave a Comment