In 2007, Jeep launched the Compass as a compact SUV crossover. This model was the Jeep for the city built to handle harsh weather rather than all-terrain. Since then, the Jeep Compass has been subjected to a third-string existence – often overlooked. Because it lacked the iconic status of the Wrangler, the luxury of the Grand Cherokee, and was soon overshadowed by Renegade’s funky but strangely alluring styling. With the new generation 2022 Jeep Compass, all that has changed as it finally found its own voice.
Stand-alone styling, upgraded interior, and capable off-road 4×4 performance provide the 2022 Jeep Compass a platform to stand on. It’s a third-string quarterback scoring a touchdown. It is no longer the “Is Pepsi okay?” of Jeeps, as I discovered during a week-long road test.
Hands Down Handsome Styling
The first-generation Jeep Compass looked doughy. It looked like a Jeep that recently discovered it was allergic to bees with exterior styling I would describe as puffy. It didn’t receive a redesign until 2016, which did away with the love-handle fenders. For 2022, Jeep wanted to give the Jeep Compass a more aggressive parking lot presence. The styling on the new Compass is the best to date. However, the contemporary styling bears a striking family resemblance to Jeep Grand Cherokee’s previous generation. Its front end features arched headlamps and design lines that seem to pull it back like professional-grade Botox. It looks like a mountain lion with its ears tucked down as it stalks a rabbit.
It is no longer the “Is Pepsi okay?” of Jeeps, as I discovered during a week-long road test.
The body lines of the SUV travel up as it rears the back of the Compass. No more love handles rear fenders. The 2022 Jeep Compass spent its Covid-19 lockdown working out. Now, the back of the vehicle is slender. However, because the car’s back looks slimmer than the front at certain angles, the new Compass reminded me of a pit bull crossed with a terrier – a big head with a small body.
Nevertheless, the 2022 Jeep Compass looks excellent with a face of a wildcat and athletically toned body shape. In addition, available two-tone color options give buyers more opportunity for exclusivity. This Compass, for example, is wearing Velvet Red with gloss black painted roof rails.
2022 Jeep Compass Interior
The model tested for this review is the 2022 Jeep Compass Limited 4×4. The Compass is offered in seven trim levels offering varying luxury and off-road options. The Limited sits right in the middle and is the only model with a second interior color option besides black. The interior color on this particular model is called Steel Gray with contrasting black and Copper/Chainmail Hydro colored accents that create a visual delight.
This was the first Jeep Compass I enjoyed stepping into. The redesigned interior is far superior to the outgoing model. It feels upscale without the luxury tax. Standard features include dual-zone climate controls, a heated steering wheel, and heated and ventilated leather-trimmed seats with available heating for the second row. A dual-pane panoramic sunroof is also standard as the wireless charging pad and a six-speaker sound system with optional premium audio by Alpine.
Behind the wheel, the driver gets a clear view of the Compass’s vitals via a seven-inch digital instrument cluster. The infotainment measures 10.25 in length and offers everything from Apple Carplay to Amazon Alexa connectivity. Rear storage provides enough space to move out of a college dorm room, especially with the rear seats folded down. Road noise is present inside the interior when traveling on the highway, but not enough to be annoying. Overall the 2022 Jeep Compass Limited 4×4 interior is a pleasant experience.
My absolute favorite interior feature on the new Jeep Compass is a small button under the infotainment screen labeled SCREEN OFF. This button does what one would assume and turns off the center-mounted screen while keeping audio systems on. This button is ideal for getting rid of the attention-demanding screen while driving. This feature was beneficial during nighttime driving as not having the constant glow from a 10-inch screen in the night made it much easier on the eyes.
Satisfactory Performance with Signal Delay Acceleration
Jeep only offers one engine for the Compass lineup. It is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder MultiAir engine bolted to a nine-speed automatic transmission. This engine is good for 180-hp and 175 lb.-ft of torque. Its saving grace is the nine-speed transmission which works hard to make the most out of the engine’s performance to provide good driving dynamics.
I tested the Jeep Compass off-road by driving it at highway speeds on dirt roads and splashing in mud puddles.
The 2022 Jeep Compass provides the driver with effortless power-assisted steering. However, throttle input is hopelessly vague, providing the same feedback as an arcade racing game at Dave n Busters. Nevertheless, the Compass is a comfortable commuter with the latest safety features for peace of mind. Standard safety features include collision warnings, 360 view camera, parking assist, and lane assist cruise control.
The Limited 4×4 trim level offers an all-wheel-drive suspension. I tested the Jeep Compass off-road by driving it at highway speeds on dirt roads and splashing in mud puddles. The Compass handled the engaging terrain with ease. The AWD suspension coped with the dirt roads even at highway speeds providing my spine with a comfortable ride. Driving through flooded mud puddles also served as no challenge for the Compass’ terrain management system. Lastly, the vehicle’s Electronic Roll Mitigation, Stability Control, and All Speed Traction Control kept me safe and upright during high-speed runs on loose, slippery surfaces. In addition, all Jeep Compass models come equipped with Trailer Sway Damping and a max towing capacity of 2,000-lbs.
The only downside with the Jeep Compass’s performance is its delayed throttle response. There is a second delay from the moment you press on the gas pedal to feeling the engine respond. It’s a specific annoyance that becomes apparent need to accelerate quickly. Overtaking on the highway means putting your foot down and counting one Mississippi before the 2.4-liter engine receives the command and gets to work. The Jeep Compass moves, but you have to give it a moment.
However, once the Compass does get going, the nine-speed transmission provides smooth, efficient acceleration. Moreover, some crossover SUVs can feel sluggish on the road, like they’re 10-mph away from cramping up. The Jeep Compass lives up to the Mopar brand and is happy at any speed. The 160 mph speedometer serves as a tribute to its Hemi-powered relatives. Gas mileage on the 2022 Jeep Compass is rated at 22 city and 31 highway and averaged 23 MPG during the 500-mile road test.
The 2022 Jeep Compass Limited 4×4 is a capable, practical, and comfortable crossover SUV that works well in the city and proves itself in the country. The screen-off button was my favorite detail on the new Jeep Compass, and I wish it were standard on all vehicles moving forward.
I criticize the Compass for its lack-luster throttle response and its overzealous cruise control, which applies throttle and braking input too harshly at times. I also discovered its parking sensors to be overly cautious. When I arrived home, I had to turn off the parking sensors because my nine dogs would greet the vehicle triggering a symphony of sensory bongs and beeps.
The Jeep Compass lineup starts with the Compass Sport FWD at $25,240. The Limited 4×4 has a starting price of $31,640 and ends with the top-of-the-line Jeep Compass High Altitude at $34,235. So if you want a scaled-down version of a 4×4 Jeep SUV, the Compass will always point you in the right direction.