In plug-in hybrid 4xe form, the updated Jeep Compass is more competitive than ever, with improved infotainment and impressive efficiency potential. However, it lacks a bit in execution; the powertrain isn’t the most refined and the ride is still a bit clumsy, although the tech and quality boosts are welcome. The Compass still offers relatively strong value, with this top-spec S model getting plenty of kit.
The thing is, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it in many areas with the newly updated 2022 Jeep Compass. Customers of the pre-facelift car loved its looks, so Jeep’s designers have only tweaked and tweaked the new car’s styling, with a wider lower grille as part of a more aggressive-looking front bumper. There are also full LED headlights as standard across the range.
There are fewer changes elsewhere, with the compass profile and rear remaining relatively untouched.
Inside, though, it’s fair to say that many parts of the previous Compass weren’t up to scratch, so Jeep has gone through the cabin and treated it to a thorough overhaul.
There’s a new dashboard design, with a more horizontal design theme, a larger 10.1-inch touchscreen with Jeep’s new Uconnect 5 infotainment system and a 10.25-inch digital dashboard. That’s a significant improvement, with a processor five times faster than before, according to Jeep. However, it’s still not the most intuitive setting to use and response times and screen resolution could still be better.
Used car samples
Interior quality has taken a step up though, considering the American brand is targeting rivals such as the Volkswagen Tiguan and Hyundai Tucson, and while it’s certainly better, there’s still room for improvement in places, although the leather-lined dash on our top-spec S version is a nice touch.
This £40,895 top spec model is only available with Jeep’s new 4xe (pronounced ‘four-for-ee’ as ‘four-of-four’) plug-in hybrid powertrain, which is another big step forward for this new Compass.
There’s also a 128bhp 1.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol unit, but the 4xe uses a 178bhp version of this engine assisted by an electric motor fed by an 11.4kWh battery for a total of 237bhp and a claimed all-electric range of “approximately 30 miles”. CO2 emissions from 44 g/km also make it a more appealing company car choice.
Jeep says the Compass 4xe will accelerate from 0-62 mph in 7.5 seconds, but in reality it never feels that quick. This is due to the six-speed automatic transmission, which is sluggish and lethargic. It kicks down (slowly) when you ask for even moderate acceleration where you might think the 250Nm from the electric motor would fill in the combustion unit.
It’s also noisy when revving, so it’s really better to approach it with a more relaxed mindset, as the Compass offers more comfort and refinement as a result. The ride is fair, although larger transverse bumps still disturb the chassis.
The steering is light, however, which gives the Jeep a relatively good sense of agility given its size and ride height.
Of course, these features also mean it delivers the kind of performance you’d expect from a Jeep off-roader. With eAWD, as Jeep calls it, the electric motor aids progress on loose surfaces and the Compass 4xe will go further than most are willing to find out.
The utility element is boosted with three times the interior storage of its predecessor, while boot space stands at 438 litres, which is acceptable but not brilliant, and the same as the ICE model. There’s a decent level of rear space too, although it’s not class-leading.
Efficiency is strong, with a claimed best of 156.9mpg for the 4xe, so if you’re only covering local journeys expect super low running costs. The battery can be charged from a 7kW home wallbox in less than three hours.
Even at more than £40,000, the top-spec S model offers good value when it comes to kit, with 19-inch alloy wheels, a power tailgate, sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an electrically adjustable driver’s seat, cordless phone charging, keyless entry and go, heated seats and adaptive cruise control all as standard.
There is also more advanced driver assistance technology, with autonomous braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, a drowsy driver, traffic sign recognition and intelligent speed limit assist.
|Model:||Jeep Compass 4xe S|
|Engine:||1.3-litre 4cyl turbo petrol PHEV|
|Power/Torque:||237 hp/270 Nm|
|Transfer:||Six-speed automatic four-wheel drive|
|0-62 mph:||7.5 seconds|
|Top speed:||124 mph|