Why have SUVs triumphed? People are looking for a car with the powerful image of off-road vehicles, a car that evokes adventure and “hides” that you have dependent children. But the architecture of a real off-road vehicle like, for example, the Jeep Wrangler is hardly suitable for moving on asphalt, which is where we drive most of the time.
Jeep began exploring the SUV trail with the Cherokee 45 years ago, in 1974. The idea? Bringing their 4 × 4 cars the refinement and comfort that most buyers were looking for. Later, more models, such as the Compass, followed in his footsteps.
The first generation of the Compass arrived in 2006 and passed through Europe without pain or glory because its behavior and finishes left a lot to be desired. The second generation, which has been on our YouTube channel for some time, has swept and is already the Jeep that is sold the most in our continent. So much so that it is manufactured in Italy together with the Renegade.
Today we test the most special (and specialized) version of the range. This is the Jeep Compass 4xe Trailhawk . A plug-in hybrid SUV, with a Zero label and that boasts of being the most capable on the market to move on the asphalt. So much to pay the 47,000 euros, without discounts, what are they asking for? We analyze it thoroughly.
Jeep Compass 4xe Trailhawk Review
We are facing the Compass 2022, an update of that second generation launched in 2017. One of the successes of the model was aesthetics, hence the main lines are maintained … but what is new.
On the front you will see that it has a new design, with the brand new front grille (which retains the 7 slats) that joins the newly minted optics with a new light signature. The idea was that visually the car seemed wider.
Of course, we are facing a Trailhawk variant, the most focused on off-road driving. We find specific bumpers to improve the entry angle, 19 degrees and change the area where sensors and radar are located so as not to damage them. You can count on accessories from Jeep Performance Parts (JPP) and Mopar that enhance performance off the tarmac and look like the decals this unit sports.
It doesn’t change the silhouette at all when viewed from the side, with the distinctive prominent wheel arches on which we see the Trail Rated insignia . Under them we find the Trailhawk 17-inch wheels. In the more asphalt versions they are 18 and 19 inches and I do not like too much that they have shiny black parts, which are easily damaged. Of course, they match the edges of the windows and the roof bars, which are chrome in other versions.
Nor does its length change, which remains at 4,389 mm . It has gained width, 1,874 mm and height, as it is going to 1,664 mm. The ground clearance is 18.6 cm, which is not much. In fact, compared to the extinct Trailhawk combustion it loses 3 cm due to the weight of the batteries forced to change the geometry of the rear suspension.
The rear is quite conservative. The bumpers are also different here, where it has a hitch for towing. In the last update the optics have been renewed, much more elegant. By the way, All the emblems of the brand, the model and 4xe have a blue background that indicates their electrical nature
In the cabin there are notable changes. I would summarize it in that it is much more sophisticated and there is more perceived quality. They are not luxurious finishes and the assembly between pieces is not perfect, but it is good. You can see that Jeep has concentrated its efforts in here but some things, like the door handles, very “plastic”, could be better.
In the center of the dashboard we have a 10.21-inch screen that is one of the main reasons for making the car look more modern. It is in an elevated position and although it is tactile, we always have access to the menus at the bottom, which use larger icons and visibility has improved. The UConnect multimedia system also gains in mobile connectivity, with wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto.
If we continue through the upper area we find a fully digital instrument panel, 10.1 inches. It looks good and offers a lot of information, but sometimes there is too much data, poorly organized and I am missing a more classic view.
You control that whole frame from the steering wheel, which is also new. It loses that circular center that already looked old. It is very well finished, it has a quite thick totally round rim and the controls are fair and well ordered. Those of the volume and to change the dial are behind, hidden, but very close to hand.
Physical controls also for air conditioning, in a module in the lower central part of the dashboard. They are in a more horizontal arrangement than before and it is very easy to use while driving.
Another notable improvement occurs in the center console. It has been reorganized and is now much more practical than before. There is a space with wireless charging and USB, USB-C and 12-volt connections in front of the gear selector and the driving modes.
The drink rests are located just between the seats before the armrest, which conceals a larger storage box. Under the passenger seat there is another storage place that can be interesting.
In the rear seats we find a good space for the legs but not outstanding for the head and neither in width (it retains a very bulky central tunnel, which is not understood when you know how the all-wheel drive works.
I like the air vents at the end of the console and also the various intakes. From USB and USB-C for mobile devices to 12V and 220V for charging other things. Of course, all that area has been finished in glossy black, which does not go well with a car focused on going through the field. The rubber mats, very resistant and easy to clean.
The electric opening of the boot lid is maintained in the most equipped versions and it can also have a system that opens it by passing the foot underneath. That is new and also that the problem when removing the luggage tray has been solved. For the rest, since it has 420 liters of capacity , it barely loses 18 liters compared to the variants with a combustion engine.
It is a space with regular shapes and a wide loading mouth, but it is quite high off the ground. It has details that we liked, such as the lighting on both sides, a 12 V socket or that the opening button is on the left wall, easier to operate for short people.
The floor mat has a rubber side designed to carry wet or dirty things. There are good hooks to hold the load and a spare tire under the floor. Too bad there is no space to leave the cables. The rear seat backs are divided into two asymmetrical parts. And if you lower them you get a cargo space with 1,230 liters of capacity .
The Compass 4xe is available in Limited, S, and Trailwhawk trims, all with four-wheel drive and a Zero label. In addition, it debuted in Europe with the special 80 th Anniversary edition .
The brand boasts that this Compass is its first model in Europe with level 2 autonomous driving. There is no shortage of aids such as adaptive cruise control with lane keeping assistant, driver drowsiness alert, traffic sign recognition, intelligent speed assistance or automatic braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection
The Jeep Compass Trailhawk plug-in hybrid comes standard with 17-inch wheels with 235/60 Mud and Snow tires, LED headlights, fog lights with cornering function, trailer hitch … Also at no cost comes the Uconnect 8.4 system with 8-inch touchscreen, 4-inch compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto or the Selec Terrain with five driving modes …
It has a price of 47,000 euros, but if you are not going to go regularly to the field, you have the same powertrain (somewhat less powerful) with a Limited finish from 44,300 euros.
These are prices without discounts. You can find Jeep Compass offers in our section of new cars, published by official dealers of the brand from all over Spain. We also have interesting tools to finance the car so that you can pay for it more comfortably month by month.
We had tested two versions of the Compass with conventional all-wheel drive, a 140 hp diesel and 170 hp gasoline. Classic driveshaft drive is now reserved for the Wrangler. Because if you want a 4 × 4 in the brand’s SUV it has to be electrified.
That you want front-wheel drive like most, because you have options of 1.3 petrol with 130 and 179 hp (both with 270 Nm of torque, the most powerful with dual-clutch DCT automatic transmission) and a 1.6 diesel with 130 hp and 320 Nm of torque. always with manual gearbox. The all-wheel drive versions are these 4xe.
The front wheels are driven by a 1.3 petrol engine with four cylinders of 130 (Limited and Longitude versions) or, as in the case of the S and Trailhawk, 180 hp and 270 Nm of torque. It is associated with a small electric motor that supports it at certain times, like any car with mild hybrid technology. It is also the motor that is responsible for recharging the batteries.
All-wheel drive is achieved with an electric motor on the rear axle, 60 hp (44 kW), which seems few but delivers 250 Nm of torque. It operates at 400 volts of voltage and is powered by a lithium-ion battery, in the center rear position, with a capacity of 11.7 kWh. It advertises between 47 and 49 km of electric autonomy, depending on the version, which is why it has the Zero label from the DGT.
With 239 CV of total combined power you can imagine a car that is going to be more animated than this Jeep Compass. Plug-in hybrids have the weight handicap. It marks 1,935 kg on the scale, about 125 kg more than a previously sold diesel-powered Compass Trailhawk 4 × 4.
One of the reasons is the automatic transmission. Of the torque converter type, you always tend to seek to go in the highest possible gear and a quiet drive in which you gain speed little by little. This is the case in Auto mode and also in Sport, which is supposed to be more sporty.
There are more driving modes, off-road approach. They adjust the operation of the traction control and you can choose to drive on Snow, Sand / Mud and Rock mode. The latter is good for tackling rough terrain and is exclusive to the Trailhawk version, like 4WD Low mode. It mimics a reducer, giving more torque to the first gear. It is the one that allows you to stand out on the field when things get complicated.
In offroad driving it is not a Wrangler and you must be aware of how to use it so that the wheels that remain in the air are braked properly. People have asked me two things this week:
- On the one hand, if there are problems with the electric motor getting wet. None. This car can wade through streams up to 17 inches deep without flinching.
- The other is what happens if the battery dies. Any. When you lock the all-wheel drive what you do is that the rear electric motor always works. What do you have no charge? The gasoline generates electricity. Of course, based on increasing consumption.
We also have the usual power management modes of plug-in hybrids. The Hybrid mode in which the car decides which engine to use, Electric, which moves the car up to 130 km / h without emissions, and e-Save, which saves battery for later use. You can also make the gasoline engine recharge the car up to 80% in this mode. This feature has been largely hidden in the on-screen menu. It is good because it is not very ecological and not very economical.
And what about on asphalt? Well, in electric mode it is pleasant to use, but it will cost you to reach 40 km of autonomy if you do not propose it seriously, even in urban areas. It has not seemed very good in that sense. Part of the blame will be on the M + S tires, more designed to move on land than for consumption.
The tires and the steering also do not encourage cornering. It is a very power steering, not the hard and direct you look for when you want to feel like you have everything under control. It is a car that feels more comfortable on fast roads than on mountain passes.
I could not make a long trip this time, but I did move 300 km with the e-Save mode to achieve a cost of 7.1 l / 100 km. It does not seem like a very good figure to me, since I moved at very calm rhythms and always using the maximum regeneration mode.
In the city, as soon as you charge it, you will achieve lower consumption. Its integrated charger that supports powers of up to 7 kW, which means that in an hour and a half you can fill it at a recharging point. At home you need five hours plugged into a conventional outlet.