2022 Jeep compass appeared at the Chicago Auto Show on Wednesday, and although there are a bunch of subtle changes to exterior design and content availability, the big change is the interior. Based on these new photos, it is in a different league than the 2021 Jeep Compass cab.
Let’s go straight to it. Here is the interior of the outgoing 2021 Jeep Compass:
And here is the new interior:
As hard edited as that interior photo is, the overall design is clearly much, much cleaner. It is a surprisingly thorough interior update of a vehicle that has largely been transferred from the outgoing model year.
The new steering wheel gets rid of the round Jeep brand with its round chrome ring in the middle. A rectangular Jeep brand takes their place. I think it looks a little more adult:
Also more adult is the dashboard, which gets rid of the thick plastic around the valves and infotainment system. Now the screen has a thin frame and the valves are more seamlessly integrated in the dashboard.
The huge surface of black plastic that once formed the dashboard – especially on the passenger side – has been broken up with some chrome details and something that looks like a sewn, colorful fabric. The switches at the base of the center stack – switches that I think looked a bit silly due to their distance and the fact that they are on a fairly large flat surface – have been replaced with more densely placed switches on a thinner, nicer surface.
Which is a huge step up, even if it’s a bit busy in some areas:
Since 2011, when Compass left its ridiculously happy face, baby Jeep has mimicked the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Everything from Compass headlights to its grille to its interior have shared similar design elements with the exclusive Jeep.
So it’s a bit logical that now that there’s a brand new Grand Cherokee L, the compass would get new modes that look a little more modern. For reference, here’s the new Grand Cherokee L’s cab. You will notice a similar steering wheel and a slightly similar instrument panel layout:
For comparison, the outgoing Grand Cherokee cab shared the old compass’s round Jeep brand in the steering wheel, the plastic upholstery around the valves and the center console, and the large buttons below the screen:
The compass does not get new legs like the Grand Cherokee got, but to be fair, the little Jeep has been sitting on the Fiat-based Small-Wide platform since only 2017 (model year), while the Grand Cherokee had been sitting on the same leg since 2011.
I’m surprised Jeep has not announced new powertrain options. Under the hood is still the same understated 2.4-liter naturally aspirated “Tigershark” engine that delivers 177 horsepower and 172 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a nine-speed automatic. Jeep has said that plans to electrify its entire lineup by 2022and there is already one hybrid compass sold in Europeso I would not be surprised to hear about a plugin compass in the near future.
When it comes to exterior styling, the changes are subtle. Here is the old model in Trailhawk shape:
And here is 2022:
The opening of the center grille has become larger, Jeep has given up trying to mask the “slits” of the upper grille as actual tracks by replacing the fake net with matte pieces, the headlights are different, the fog lights have changed and there are a bunch of other subtle changes.
This is what the old non-Trailhawk looked like:
And here’s the new model in non-Trailhawk form; it looks a bit busy at the front with its center grille that blends into the fog lights and its larger lower grille:
Jeep also mentions that the new Compass gets a “modified steering gear”, new suspension adjustment and “Highway Assist”, which Jeep defines as a “semi-autonomous driving system” that delivers “hands-on-wheel and eye-on-road automated” driving with lane centering with adaptive cruise control. “Automated emergency braking is now standard, and there is a new system for recognizing traffic signs as an option that communicates with the driver’s speed limit and drives non-signs.
But the real story is the interior. It looks like a quantum leap