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Is the 2022 Jeep Compass a Good SUV? 5 Things We Like and 4 We Don’t

jeep-compass-2022-03-badge-black-exterior-grille-headlights-suv 2022 Jeep Compass | Cars.com photo by Jennifer Geiger

The world of compact SUVs is a competitive one, with tremendous category demand driving automakers to make frequent updates in order to keep up.

Related: 2022 Jeep Compass Review: Still Finding Its Way 

The Jeep Compass got such updates for 2022, and while it is indeed improved in several areas, the Compass still struggles against better choices in its category.

The redo includes added 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 spot in the Compass: its unrefined powertrain. Still, the improvements are a big help, 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

jeep-compass-2022-10-interior-infotainment-system-steering-wheel-suv 2022 Jeep Compass | Cars.com 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-looking plastics and hard surfaces; they’re replaced by soft-touch surfaces, dashboard stitching and supple leather seating in the top-spec Limited trim. Combined with an attractive two-tone color scheme, the overall impression is upscale and welcoming.

2. All Hail Uconnect 5

jeep-compass-2022-11-interior-infotainment-system-suv 2022 Jeep Compass | Cars.com photo by Jennifer Geiger

The Uconnect infotainment system has long been one of the better examples of its ilk, and Uconnect 5 raises the bar. Easy to navigate and quick to respond, Uconnect 5 features vivid graphics on a larger standard 8.4-inch touchscreen in the Compass; upper trims get 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 redo also includes much-needed extra storage space for small items, including a large bin under the touchscreen. Newly available options include heated rear seats, a hands-free power liftgate, wireless phone charging and a dual-pane panoramic moonroof.

4. Composed Ride and Handling

jeep-compass-2022-02-black-exterior-front-angle-suv 2022 Jeep Compass | Cars.com photo by Jennifer Geiger

The Compass earns points for its civilized road manners, which are better than most in the class. With a more absorbent suspension than many rivals, the Compass serves up a comfortable and compliant ride, with controlled handling and easy maneuverability.

5. More Safety Tech

All Compass trims now include standard forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian and cyclist detection; lane departure warning with lane keep assist; and blind spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert. 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 is coming later in the model year.

Things We Don’t Like

1. Disappointing Powertrain

jeep-compass-2022-05-black-exterior-rear-angle-suv 2022 Jeep Compass | Cars.com 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 competitors in responsiveness, refinement and power. Worse, the engine is slightly down on horsepower for 2022 — from 180 to 177 — and remains noisy, with a strained sound while going about 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 a time of rapidly rising gas prices, the Compass trails major competitors in fuel economy by a substantial margin. With an EPA-estimated 22/30/25 mpg city/highway/combined rating, four-wheel-drive models are thirstier than both the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 by 4 mpg overall. The Compass fares considerably worse than the class-leading Nissan Rogue, which has all-wheel drive and an EPA-estimated 28/35/31 mpg rating. 

3. Cargo Room

jeep-compass-2022-08-interior-cargo-suv 2022 Jeep Compass | Cars.com photo by Jennifer Geiger

With 16.04 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, the Compass offers significantly less room for gear 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 big items, and our Limited came with a cargo mat to help contain spills.

4. No Alternative-Fuel Options

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

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