2022 Jeep Compass: Indecent Proposal

Strong points
  • Much improved interior
  • Attractive lines
  • Trailhawk model is the best
Weak points
  • Ridiculous price
  • Less spacious than rivals
  • Disappointing powertrain
  • Low fuel economy
Full report

Despite SUVs being extremely popular, Jeep has a tough time selling its smaller models including the Cherokee, Renegade and Compass. The last one didn’t even manage to top 6,000 units sold in Canada last year. The company introduced a new generation for 2017, and now comes a mid-cycle update for 2022.

Will it be enough to catch up with the competition? Sure, today’s Compass boasts higher quality than its predecessors, but so do a number of rivals. And while it used to be put in the same class as the Mitsubishi RVR, Chevrolet Trax and the like, the Compass actually goes up against upper-tier, almost compact-sized SUVs.

Photo: Antoine Joubert

What’s New?

From the outside, the 2022 Jeep Compass doesn’t appear to have changed much. The front end has been tweaked a little along with the wheels and some of the exterior accents. The evolution is much more striking inside with a new instrument cluster and 10.25-inch centre touchscreen on higher trim levels. The cabin is more modern and more inviting, helping the Compass shed its unenviable reputation for build quality, fit and finish.

Safety content is updated, as well. You’ll find pretty much all the advanced driver assistance features and alerts you need—some of them carrying a hefty price because more and more people are asking for these gadgets and nannies, and Jeep naturally wants to cash in.

Photo: Antoine Joubert

Despite the various improvements, the 2022 Jeep Compass is still smaller and less spacious than the average competitor, with tighter rear seats and trunk. The shorter wheelbase also affects ride quality, although engineers have specifically revised the suspension and damping characteristics to increase comfort on the road. The massive 19-inch wheels on our tester largely spoiled their efforts, mind you.

The driver’s seating position and ergonomics are great. There may be a plethora of features and functions in higher-grade Compass models, but everything is easy to reach and intuitive to use. As for the seats, they prove really comfortable and offer ample adjustment.

Photo: Antoine Joubert

Trailhawk When Nature Calls

A growing number of off-road oriented SUVs are hitting the market (Ford Bronco Sport, GMC Terrain AT4, Subaru Forester Wilderness, Toyota RAV4 Trail, etc.), but Jeep remains a leader in that department. The 2022 Compass returns with a Trailhawk model boasting extra ground clearance, all-terrain tires, skid plates and a sophisticated 4x4 system. Add hill descent control, and you have yourself a machine that can tackle the most challenging conditions.

While the four-cylinder Tigershark engine deserves its fair share of criticism, it has one thing we love: generous low-end torque. Not just for off-road excursions, but for daily driving, too. Alas, Fiat-sourced MultiAir technology makes it rough-sounding and quite thirsty at the pump, despite the nine-speed transmission. The 2022 Compass’ official fuel consumption rating is 9.5 L/100 km (city-highway combined), but we couldn’t do better than 11.2 L/100 km during our winter test drive. Output is pretty decent at 177 horsepower, but the competition is generally more refined and technologically advanced.

Photo: Antoine Joubert

How Much? Seriously?

For all the reasons listed above, the Jeep Compass is losing many customers and depreciating faster than most rivals. Prices have gone up with the 2022 mid-cycle update, and combined with the lack of manufacturer incentives, you almost have to be out of your mind to buy or lease a Compass.

The base Sport model starts at $29,195 and misses a lot of desirable features including AWD. Meanwhile, our Limited tester came with a slew of options and nearly topped $50,000. Can you believe that? You could buy the most luxurious Toyota RAV4 Hybrid for the same amount of money—and enjoy more space, more comfort, more power, better fuel economy and a much higher residual value. We could give you a bunch of other examples proving that the Compass is no match for the competition.

Photo: Antoine Joubert

Oh, by the way, Jeep will lease you a 2022 Compass at 6.69 percent. With a unit like the one we tested, you’re looking at monthly payments of $821 (including tax) over four years and with an annual allocation of 18,000 km. Take $24 a month off, and you could lease a mid-range Acura RDX Tech that carries a $2,000 higher MSRP.

Watch: Miranda Drives the All-new 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

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