The facelifted Jeep Compass scores a flash new interior, and plenty of fresh tech. Competition is as stiff as ever though, and one really needs to weigh up the dollars, with the Compass wading into premium territory. Sam Purcell explains.
- Good ride quality around town
- Spacious and comfortable, from front to back.
- Quality, well-presented interior is a winner
- It’s expensive, especially higher up in trim levels
- Powertrain lacks the performance and efficiency of some competition
- The sheer amount – and quality – of the competition
2022 Jeep Compass Review
While mid-life facelifts can often be a simple affair, that’s not the case with the 2021 Jeep Compass.
Unlike the usual mix of some new colours, fresh alloys wheels and a redesigned headlight assembly, we’ve got some bigger changes for the facelifted 2021 Compass.
Along with more safety and technology, there’s an overhauled interior and new infotainment system to improve the credentials and appeal of Jeep’s small-to-medium SUV.
While the Compass is classed as a small SUV through industry sales statistics, that’s neither here nor there for the Australian buyer. More importantly, the physical size of the Compass straddles the gap in between the average size of small and medium SUVs.
Another more important consideration for the Compass is the pricing. While the yet-to-arrive diesel Trailhawk will be the most expensive Compass variant at $51,250, our S-Limited tester is a considerable $46,950 plus on-road costs. Throw in the optional premium package and paint, and you’ve busted into the $50,000 realm.
This price puts the Compass S-Limited right at the pointy end of the small SUV range, and competing directly with some high spec examples of popular all-wheel drive medium SUVs. Think: Toyota RAV4 Edge ($48,915), Mazda CX-5 GT SP ($47,490) and Hyundai Tucson Highlander Turbo ($50,000, all before on-road costs).
Note: images provided by Jeep also includes some optional accessories, including: Front Moulded Splash Guards; Rear Moulded Splash Guards; 18-inch Alloy Wheels – High Gloss Granite Crystal; Tyre Valve Stem Caps – Satin Chrome; Kicker Premium Speaker Upgrade Kit – Midbass & Tweeter; Cargo Envelope Net; Moulded Rear Cargo Tray; Roof Rack; Thule Tour 599XTR Upright.
This is the most important place to start with the 2022 Compass, because here is where the most of the changes are.
The facelifted Jeep Compass cabin has been completely overhauled, bringing with it a more modern and sophisticated look. The dashboard is dominated by a new, larger infotainment display, intersected by chrome horizontal lines and cleanly integrated air vents.
There is plenty of attention to detail, with nice materials and finishes spread throughout the cabin. Where the old Compass interior felt a bit run-of-the-mill, this is certainly a bit more special.
The lack of everyday storage used to be a bit of a bugbear for the Compass as well, but Jeep has made an effort to improve it with this 2022 facelift. The centre console is raised up, similar to the likes of a Mitsubishi Pajero Sport or Range Rover Sport. This affords more storage space overall.
Underneath the air conditioning controls (which are separate to the infotainment, always a good thing) sits a large storage compartment with a wireless charging pad, which is big enough to fit a modern (read: big) smartphone, and is quite handy for daily usage.
USB and USB-C charging points are here also. There is no 12-volt outlet up-front however, You’ll find that in the second row with a 220V plug below the air vents and extra USB and USB-C points.
The centre console is thankfully larger for this new Compass. It’s not what I would call expansive, but it’s big enough to be useful for everyday gear.
For drinks, you can fit a couple of bottles in each front door card. Cup holders in the centre console have a rubber lining that works well, along with an additional slot to handle a phone.
However, we do note that the trick underseat storage on the passenger seat is reserved only for the entry-level Compass Launch Edition. Cars with a powered passenger seat (so, anything from the Limited and up) deletes this handy storage nook.
Ergonomically, you’ve got decent electric seat adjustment with lumbar control and tilt/reach adjustment on the steering column.
The seats are perforated and nicely textured, feeling premium and plenty comfortable. They are also heated and ventilated, and the steering wheel is heated also, as part of the optional S-Limited Premium Package, which also adds a dual-pane sunroof and 360-degree camera.
Remembering that the Compass is a bit larger than your average small SUV, there is a welcome amount of space for adults to get comfortable in the second row.
The second row seats don’t tilt or slide, but legroom and headroom is good, despite the sunroof. It feels airy, especially with the sun pouring in via the generously-sized sunroof.
The seats have a 40/20/40 split, allowing the middle seat to pop down like an armest with built-in cup holders. This will also come in handy, for carrying passengers and a few long things like skis or length of timber at the same time.
The boot is also a strong point, measuring in at 438 litres. Underneath you’ll find what Jeep calls a ‘space saver’ spare mounted on a 17-inch steel wheel. It’s different to the 19-inch alloys, but isn’t temporary or speed-limited, but is 10mm narrow than the road wheels. For those looking to go on a road trip, that’s a good thing.
|2022 Jeep Compass S-Limited|
Infotainment and Connectivity
The new infotainment display is large and bright, standing proud of the dashboard with a slightly oblique shape. This is a big step up over the previous offering, in terms of both size (10.1-inch vs 8.4-inch) and operating system. This is a new Uconnect 5 system, and proved to be easy to use and trawl through during our test.
A couple of navigation bars, on top and bottom of the display even when smartphone mirroring, helps with functionality.
Don’t forget about the secret buttons on the back of the steering wheel, as well. You might miss them completely, but they are used to control tracks, radio stations and volume, and work quite well.
The operating system is fast to react and process, and ticks the boxes of Apple Carplay and Android Auto (both wireless), as well as native navigation and digital radio.
Digital prospects of the S-Limited are also improved by the introduction of a fully digital instrument cluster. It measures in at 10.25-inches. This has a few layers to it, with a variety of different displays one can choose from. And typical for Jeeps, driver can nerd-out on gauges like oil temperature, transmission temperature and battery voltage.
2022 Jeep Compass Review
The facelifted 2022 Jeep Compass retains a five-star ANCAP safety rating, which it attained back in 2017.
New equipment like traffic sign recognition, intelligent speed assistance and adaptive cruise control (with stop-go functionality) helps round a good overall package of safety equipment. Autonomous emergency braking, rear-cross traffic alert and blind spot monitoring carries over for the Compass.
And on top of the existing lane departure warning, the new 2022 Compass also gets active lane-keep assistance. Like so many others out there however, the experience is flawed. It’s helpful at times, but can also quickly frustrate the driver as it tugs against safe, normal inputs and lane positions.
The Compass is missing junction or intersection detection that some other autonomous emergency braking (AEB) systems get, as well as low-speed braking in forward or reverse.
Another technological element worth noting – although we weren’t able to test it out this time around – is the off-road driving nous of the Compass. While the bones of the Compass is car based, it’s able to do some basic four-wheel driving by some smart powertrain controls. ‘4WD Low’ is not low range, but rather locks the Compass into 1st gear. 4WD Lock engages four-wheel drive permenantly (instead of on demand), and a handful of driving modes will control traction better on slipperier surfaces: Sand and Mud, Snow and an auto function.
2022 Jeep Compass Review
This top spec-model – Trailhawk notwithstanding – has plenty of fruit and standard equipment. And that helps when you start running the numbers, but you cannot hide from the fact that the Compass is an expensive choice.
The optional premium package for S-Limited does pack some bang-for-buck: heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, surround-view camera and dual-pane panoramic sunroof.
However, this pushes the Compass into new pricing territory above $50,000 before on-road costs. Buyers will need to consider a wide range of other options, both small and medium SUVs.
And objectively speaking, there is much better value for money to be had from other marques.
There will be many buyers who will want the Compass regardless, and they will have a car that has the right mix of safety, technology, equipment and and refinement.
However, the problem is that there are so many other good options in this neck of the woods, and it’s increasingly difficult to stand out these days.
|At a glance||2022 Jeep Compass S-Limited|
|Warranty||Five years / 100,000 km|
|Service intervals||12 months / 12,000km|
|Fuel cons. (claimed)||9.7L/100km|
|Fuel cons. (on test)||10.5L/100km|
|Fuel type||91RON petrol|
|Fuel tank size||60L|
Powertrain options are a carry-over affair, with a 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine being most prominent in the range. Turbo-diesel Trailhawk aside, the naturally-aspirated petrol motor runs through either a six-speed automatic, driving the front wheels in the base specification, and all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic in the higher grades.
There is 129kW available at 6400rpm, and 229Nm comes on tap at 3900rpm.
While good, the ‘Tigershark’ motor does feel like it lacks overall punch in comparison to more modern turbocharged or electrified engines in similar competitors.
The powertrain doesn’t do anything wrong necessarily, but fails to match the power, torque and economy from some in the competitive set.
The issue will be more poignant to some, but others will find the powertrain good enough. Your mileage may vary, in other words.
The gearbox is smooth and fast to react, and helps to improve the rolling acceleration with shorter gaps in between ratios. While we did experience a couple of shunts as we shifted between reverse and drive in low-speed situations, the gearbox was very good most of the time.
The ride –on 19-inch wheels in this specification – is good. It feels like bump absorption works well across most town surfaces, even dispatching speed bumps and potholed sections well. Although, the jarring bump that comes through when suspension reaches maximum extension tells you when you’re perhaps travelling too fast.
Steering is weighted on the light side of things overall, allowing easy lock-to-lock spinning for parking and the like. It’s not vague or directionless however, and remains composed at town and highway driving alike.
Electric steering system will tug at the wheel slightly, as the lane-keep assistance goes about it’s business. It’s a bit frustrating, and can make the steering feel like it’s wandering vaguely in your lane. As good as this technology can be for warning inattentive drivers, I found myself switching the lane-keep assistance off more often than not.
The 2.4-litre engine makes some noise as it goes about its business, even humming as it coasts around town at times. Under harder loads holding highway speeds up hills, the gearbox kicks down quickly to around 3000rpm to hold a steady speed. It does the job, but it’s a little noisy.
Compared to a claim of 9.7 litres per 100 kilometres, we saw an overall average of 10.5L/100km from the Compass during our time with it. It’s not an egregious figure, but it’s also not impressive. Ultimately, it fails to bring the benefits of more advanced powertrains like turbo-petrols, turbo-diesels, or hybrids.
|Key details||2022 Jeep Compass S-Limited|
|Engine||2.4-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol|
|Power||129kW @ 6400rpm|
|Torque||229Nm @ 3900rpm|
|Drive type||All-wheel drive|
|Transmission||Nine-speed torque convertor automatic|
|Power to weight ratio||85.8kW/t|
|Tow rating||1000kg braked, 450kg unbraked|
2022 Jeep Compass Review
The interior of this new 2022 Jeep Compass is a vast improvement, and puts Jeep’s small/medium SUV in a more natural position to command premium dollars.
You can see interior design cues that are coming through via Jeep’s new Grand Cherokee (and it’s L variant), as well as the luxury Wagoneer (which we aren’t getting in Australia). It’s a big plus for this new Compass, making it looks and feel much better overall.
The Compass is also well composed, and kitted out with plenty of technology and safety equipment.
This all helps justify the premium asking price, however there is no escaping the fact that outright, the Compass is quite expensive.
In the cold, hard light of pragmatic evaluation, there are bigger and better cars available, for the same (or less) money.
And while the 2.4-litre powertrain doesn’t go so far as to let the Compass down, it also doesn’t impress as much as others in the competitive set.
2022 Jeep Compass Review