Home / Reviews / Jeep Compass Trailhawk 2022 Road Test – Trail Master

 

We find out if the Jeep Compass Trailhawk is an optimal mix of comfort and adventure.

Jeep Compass Trailhawk 2022

Story: Joshua Varghese
Photography: Apurva Ambep

The “Trail Rated” badge is not a mere accessory. It is bestowed upon those Jeep SUVs that can take a beating and traverse treacherous terrain. The new Jeep Compass Trailhawk proudly wears this badge, so we decided to find out how much it has improved the car’s off-road ability while retaining its prowess on tarmac. Sacrificing one for the other is a risky move in this well-contested space of premium SUVs where comfort takes precedence over off-road ability.

The Trailhawk is dimensionally identical to the new Jeep Compass and while the aesthetic differences are minimal and subtle, it is easy to identify this hardcore version of the Compass from the rest of the line-up. In addition to a special colour and unique 17-inch alloy wheels, other visual changes include reworked bumpers, graphics, cladding, and, of course, the trail-rated badging. I particularly like how Jeep have designed the chassis and bodywork of the car in such a way that it optimizes off-road parameters (approach, breakover, and departure angles) without compromising on the road presence that is expected of an SUV in this segment. Well-proportioned overhangs and a remarkable ground clearance allowed me to drive over some uneven terrain and to place the car for some of the nice pictures you see on these pages. Not once did the Trailhawk scrape anywhere and even if it did, the car’s underbody protection (unique to the Trailhawk) must have taken the beating.

Jeep Compass Trailhawk 2022

Rugged the exterior may be, but the interior is a premium cocoon with a long list of creature comforts that one would expect of an executive sedan. The cabin is distinctly top-of-the-line Compass with Trailhawk lettering on the seats serving as the only badging inside. Black leather upholstery all around along with contrasting red stitching and ample room for four adults make it a no-compromise space. Fold away the arm-rest at the rear and five people could fit without much discomfort. Of course, in terms of features, the front seats are the place to be in because not only does one have access to the 10.1-inch touchscreen and its numerous features but they also get special perks such as ventilated seats. Meanwhile, Jeep have done well to ensure that the benefits of automatic air-conditioning extend to the rear passengers as well by providing dedicated a-c vents for the second row. Furthermore, they are also in a position to enjoy the best view out of the panoramic sunroof.

For long drives or short hops around town, the Trailhawk does not compromise on entertainment options but I suppose the seamless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are going to be the most widely used connectivity options. They work gloriously with the Alpine sound system which provides an immersive audio experience; something I was particularly thankful for when stuck in traffic. The only grouse I have about this cabin is that Jeep have minimized the use of soft-touch plastic and opted instead for a more robust variant of the same for the buttons and switches. While it does rob the cabin of some premium feel, I believe one may appreciate it in the long run.

The Trailhawk is powered by the same engine as the diesel Compass. The 2.0-litre turbo-diesel Multijet II engine develops 170 hp and a peak torque of 350 Nm while being mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. The Trailhawk, unsurprisingly, is all-wheel drive all the time; a clever system that combines the best from all-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive. Jeep’s “Selec-Terrain” system allows one to choose from among multiple modes, including sand/mud, snow, and rock (exclusively for the Trailhawk). For the roughest of terrain, one can also call on the trusty locking differentials and low range for crawl mode. For everyday driving, choose Auto and let the car do all the work. Be it smooth blacktop or an incline lined with gravel, the Trailhawk will power over all of it without a second thought.

Off the road, this thing is more animal than it may seem to be because beneath the veneer of a premium SUV lies the potential of a trail-rated Jeep off-roader. The dimensions and shape of the car ensure optimal approach and departure angles, allowing us to venture off road without any hesitation. Rock mode was the only one I got to try and it worked immensely well. On the road too, there is not much that upsets the Trailhawk. The off-road suspension that makes this car quite capable over the rough stuff is also just as potent for urban runabouts.

Jeep Compass Trailhawk 2022

The Trailhawk is certainly more planted around corners and composed over bumps than the updated Compass that I drove earlier this year. With this renewed ride quality, the Trailhawk is well-equipped to handle all-round functionality, particularly long-distance drives.

Jeep Compass Trailhawk 2022

There are many things to like about the Compass Trailhawk such as big brute appeal, plush cabin, off-road ability, and comfortable ride quality. While the Compass has rivals within its segment, the Trailhawk has no direct competition because there is nothing within that price range that is as functional or potent off road. Thus, for Rs 30.72 lakh (ex-showroom), this is the best SUV to whet one’s appetite for adventure while also catering to the routine of the modern urban driver.

Here is the video review.

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About the author: Joshua Varghese

 

Would gape at fast cars. Still does but now has a chance to drive some of them. Hates driving in traffic but makes up for with a spot of off-roading or the occasional track outing. Insta: @motoknight

 

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