Is the 2022 Jeep Compass a good SUV? 5 things we like and 4 we don’t | News


2022 Jeep Compass | photo by Jennifer Geiger

The world of compact SUVs is a competitive one, with huge demand for the categories driving automakers to make frequent updates to keep up.

Related: 2022 Jeep Compass Review: Still Finding Its Way

The Jeep Compass received such updates for 2022, and while it’s certainly improved in several areas, the Compass still struggles against better choices in its category.

The makeover includes extra electronic safety features, upgraded interior materials and quality, and notably the latest version of the excellent Uconnect 5 infotainment system.

Unfortunately, Jeep skipped over a major weak point in the compass: its unrefined powertrain. Still, the improvements are very helpful, and the Compass remains a solid choice if you’re looking for a compact SUV with some off-road capability.

Here are five things we like about the updated 2022 Jeep Compass, and four things that still need attention.

Things we like

1. Impressive Inside Job


2022 Jeep Compass | photo by Jennifer Geiger

As with the redesigned 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the smaller Compass also gets a much-improved cabin thanks to better interior quality and materials. Gone are most of the vast expanses of cheap plastic and hard surfaces; they are replaced by soft-touch surfaces, dash stitching and supple leather seats in the top-spec Limited trim. In combination with an attractive two-color scheme, the overall impression becomes exclusive and welcoming.

2. All Hail Uconnect 5


2022 Jeep Compass | photo by Jennifer Geiger

The Uconnect infotainment system has long been one of the better examples of its kind, and the Uconnect 5 raises the bar. Uconnect 5 is easy to navigate and responds quickly. It has vivid graphics on a larger standard 8.4-inch touchscreen in the compass; upper trim gets a 10.1-inch touchscreen. Other improvements include wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, along with additional customization options. Thankfully, some physical controls remain, such as knobs for volume and tuning.

3. Added Creature Comforts

The cabin ready also contains much-needed extra storage space for small items, including a large container under the touch screen. Newly available options include heated rear seats, a hands-free electric drive, wireless phone charging and a dual-window panoramic sunroof.

4. Composite travel and handling


2022 Jeep Compass | photo by Jennifer Geiger

The Compass gets points for its civilized handling, which is better than most in the class. With a more absorbent suspension than many competitors, the Compass provides a comfortable and compliant ride, with controlled handling and easy maneuverability.

5. More security technology

All Compass trims now include standard forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian and cyclist detection; lane change warning with lane keeping assist; and blind spot warning with rear cross traffic warning. Adaptive cruise control, park assist, a 360-degree camera system and traffic sign recognition are either standard or optional on mid-level and higher trims. A semi-autonomous driving system will arrive later in the model year.

Things we don’t like

1. Disappointing powertrain


2022 Jeep Compass | photo by Jennifer Geiger

The update skipped over the Compass’ powertrain, which remains its Achilles’ heel. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder is again the only engine, and it lags the competition in responsiveness, refinement and power. Even worse, the engine is down slightly on horsepower for 2022 – from 180 to 177 – and remains noisy, with a strained sound as it does its job. Our test vehicle was equipped with a nine-speed automatic, with shifts that could be jerky or slow but never smooth.

2. Gas mileage

In an era of rapidly rising gas prices, Compass trails major competitors in fuel economy by a significant margin. With an EPA-estimated 22/30/25 mpg city/highway/combined rating, all-wheel drive models are thirstier than both the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 by 4 mpg overall. The Compass fares significantly worse than the class-leading Nissan Rogue, which has all-wheel drive and an EPA-estimated 28/35/31 mpg rating.

3. Cargo space


2022 Jeep Compass | photo by Jennifer Geiger

With 16.04 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, the Compass offers significantly less space for equipment than competitors such as the Honda CR-V at 21.46 cubic feet and the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid at 20.69. In Jeep’s defense, a large opening makes it easier to load large items, and our Limited came with a cargo mat to prevent spillage.

4. No alternative fuel options

Many of the Compass’ competitors offer at least one hybrid or electric powertrain that provides better performance and fuel economy, making the Compass’ current powertrain that much more archaic. Jeep affiliate Chrysler has announced plans to go electric in the coming years, but we’ve heard no such plans for the Compass.

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