The 2022 Jeep Compass showed itself at the Chicago Auto Show on Wednesday, and while there are a bunch of subtle alterations to exterior design and content availability, the big change is the interior. Based on these new photos, it’s in a different league than the 2021 Jeep Compass’ cabin.
Let’s get straight to it. Here’s the outgoing 2021 Jeep Compass’ interior:
And here’s the new interior:
As heavily-edited as that interior picture photo is, the overall design is clearly much, much cleaner. It’s a surprisingly thorough interior update to a vehicle that is, by and large, carryover from the outgoing model-year.
The new steering wheel gets rid of the round Jeep badge with its round center chrome ring. A rectangular Jeep badge takes their place. It’s a little more grown-up looking, I think:
Also more grown up is the dashboard, which gets rid of the thick plastic around the vents and infotainment system. Now the screen has a thin bezel and the vents are more seamlessly integrated into the dash.
The huge expanse of black plastic that once made up the dash — particularly on the passenger’s side — has been broken up with some chrome trim and what looks like stitched, colorful fabric. The switches at the base of the center stack — switches that I think looked a bit silly due to their spacing and the fact that they on a rather large flat surface— have been swapped out for more tightly-spaced switches on a thinner, sleeker surface.
What a massive step up, even if it’s a bit busy in some areas:
Since 2011, when the Compass ditched its ridiculously happy face, the baby Jeep has been emulating the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Everything from the Compass’ headlights to its grille to its interior has shared similar design elements with the upscale Jeep.
So it sort of makes sense that now that there’s an all-new Grand Cherokee L, the Compass would get new guts that look a little more modern. For reference, here’s the new Grand Cherokee L’s cabin. You’ll notice a similar steering wheel and a somewhat similar dash layout:
For comparison, the outgoing Grand Cherokee’s cabin shared the old Compass’s round Jeep badge in the steering wheel, the plastic trim around the vents and center stack, and the widely-spaced buttons under the screen:
The Compass does not get new bones like the Grand Cherokee did, but to be fair, the little Jeep has sat on the Fiat-based Small-Wide platform since only 2017 (model year), while the Grand Cherokee had been sitting on the same bones since 2011.
I am surprised that Jeep hasn’t announced new powertrain options. Under the hood is still the same underpowered 2.4-liter naturally aspirated “Tigershark” engine making 177 horsepower and 172 lb-ft of torque and mated to a nine-speed automatic. Jeep has said it plans to electrify its whole lineup by 2022, and there’s already a hybrid Compass sold in Europe, so I wouldn’t be surprised to hear about a plug-in Compass in the near future.
As for exterior styling, changes are subtle. Here’s the old model in Trailhawk form:
And here’s the 2022:
The center grille opening has gotten larger, Jeep has given up on trying to disguise the upper grille “slots” as actual slots by replacing the fake mesh with matte pieces, the headlights are different, the fog lights have changed, and there are a bunch of other subtle alterations.
Here’s how the old non-Trailhawk looked:
And here’s the new model in non-Trailhawk form; it looks a bit busy up front with its center grille that blends into the fog lamps and its larger lower grille:
Jeep also mentions that the new Compass gets a “modified steering gear,” new suspension tuning and “Highway Assist,” which Jeep defines as a “semi-autonomous driving system” delivering “hands-on-wheel and eyes-on-road automated driving using lane-centering with adaptive cruise control.” Automated Emergency Braking is now standard, and there’s a new optional Traffic Sign Recognition system that communicates to the driver speed limit and do-not-pass signs.
But the real story is that interior. It looks like a quantum leap.