The 2022 Jeep Compass is a compact crossover that enjoys the brand’s rugged cachet and can be outfitted to actually excel off-road. It fills the space between the smaller Renegade and the slightly larger Cherokee and competes against alternatives such as the Mazda CX-5 and Toyota RAV4. While we’ve derided the Compass’s unremarkable interior in the past, its cabin now has a fresher aesthetic with more modern features. Its apathetic four-cylinder gas engine is also a point of contention, but the possibility of a new plug-in hybrid would give the lineup a powertrain that’s becoming more common in this segment. Of course, Jeep’s image is based on getting off the beaten path, and the Trailhawk trim is the best equipped to accomplish that. The Cherokee may offer even more capability, but the 2022 Compass is arguably prettier and more affordable.
What’s New for 2022?
For 2022, Jeep is giving the Compass lineup a host of updates that make it more desirable. Along with a revised front end that looks more upscale, its interior benefits from a new dashboard design and a new tablet-style touchscreen infotainment system with the latest Uconnect software. A new Latitude Lux trim is now available and comes standard with all-wheel drive, a leather interior, and the new larger touchscreen. The lineup could also add a plug-in hybrid that uses the 4xe (pronounced four by E) moniker.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The four-cylinder engine that powers every Compass is lethargic, and the optional nine-speed automatic transmission is slow to execute shifts. All front-wheel models are equipped with a six-speed automatic. Buyers who choose all-wheel drive will enjoy a variety of terrain-conquering drive modes. An automatic setting allows the car to direct torque to the wheels as it sees fit, while Snow, Sand, and Mud modes allow varying amounts of wheelslip for improved traction. Trailhawk models add a low “crawler” gear ratio and a Rock mode, which keeps the Compass in first gear and directs torque only to the wheels that can find grip. The Compass feels more agile than its tall, boxy profile would suggest, responding ably to inputs from the nicely weighted steering wheel. There is some lean during tight cornering, but overall the Compass feels well-controlled, solidly planted, and capable on the road. An off-road course we braved when we first drove the Compass revealed that it can hold its own at least over moderate obstacles, and we noticed nary a stumble from the all-wheel-drive system. The potential 4xe plug-in hybrid will offer an eco-friendly alternative to the regular gas-powered variants. However, we haven’t driven or tested that version yet.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Despite running in a class with several smaller vehicles—including some that are only available with front-wheel drive—the Compass is about as efficient as most competitors. The estimates the Compass will earn up to 22 mpg city and 31 highway. If a plug-in-hybrid variant joins the lineup, it will likely get the best gas mileage, and it should also provide a short all-electric driving range. The last gas-fed model we ran on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, returned 29 mpg. For more information about the Compass’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
With an attractive dashboard and improved features, the 2022 Compass looks to be an improvement versus the previous model year, which was plagued by nondescript styling and unremarkable interior materials. Plus, its interior is comfortable, functional, and has enough space for four adult passengers. The back seat is neither the largest nor the smallest of the crossovers in this diverse class. Its high seat bottoms in the back seat mean that passengers’ legs are fully supported, and even long rides can be comfortable. Despite its boxy exterior and what at first appears to be competitive cargo volume, the Compass is not the roomiest of its set. It has enough luggage space for an airport run but long trips could be a squeeze. The rear seatbacks angle slightly upward when folded, and the last Compass we tested held only 17 carry-on suitcases with the seats stowed.
Infotainment and Connectivity
With the latest Uconnect 5 software and a slick tablet-like touchscreen, the 2022 Compass has a thoroughly modern infotainment system. The standard touchscreen measures 8.4 inches, and a larger 10.1-inch unit is also available. Along with natural voice recognition and navigation, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration are offered on the Compass.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Jeep offers an impressive array of driver-assistance technology on the Compass. For more information about the Compass’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Available automated emergency braking
- Available adaptive cruise control
- Available lane-keeping assist