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2022 Jeep Compass Gets Upgraded Cabin, Uconnect 5

The second-generation Jeep Compass is now six years into its lifecycle and while the exterior  design doesn’t look particularly dated, the interior is looking a bit out of place compared to many of its newer contemporaries. Thus, for the 2022 model year the designers at Stellantis have thoroughly revamped the interior of the second-smallest Jeep while retaining a light touch on the bodywork. 

Most observers probably won’t even notice the recontoured fascia which retains the traditional seven-slot grille and the same basic headlamp shape. The interior features of the lamp clusters have been redone with signature lighting surrounding the LED elements. The open section of the mid-grille in the bumper area now flows into the fog lamp pockets and the bottom section has new texturing to help minimize the view of the driver assist sensors. At the rear end, the taillamps have also been reworked, but pretty much everything else carries over. 

Inside is where things get way more interesting. For 2022, the Compass looks far more premium than both its predecessor and one of its primary competitors, the new Ford Bronco Sport. The new dashboard design is more dominated by horizontal lines that give a greater impression of width. Within the horizontal accents, new slim-line vents replace the large rectangular units from the old model. They are almost hidden between the layers of the dashboard, following the pattern set by Tesla on the Model 3/Y although likely without the sophisticated blending system the EV upstart uses to direct airflow. 

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The sides of the center console now rise up to meet the dashboard on either side of the climate control knobs providing a greater feeling of separation between the front occupants. The biggest change is the new center touchscreen which goes from being embedded into the dashboard, to sitting on top like a tablet. The base configuration uses the same size 8.4-inch touchscreen that was previously optional and is slightly larger than what is available on the competition. As an option, buyers will now be able to get a 10.1-inch touchscreen. 

Both screen sizes include Stellantis’ new Uconnect 5 infotainment system which is built on Google’s Android Automotive operating system. Unlike Volvo which is also including Google Automotive Services (Google Maps, Assistant, and the Play store) Stellantis is mixing up its own combination of services including Amazon Alexa for voice recognition and TomTom maps. 

The Uconnect 5 approach  works well, but may be more limited in its access to other apps that can run directly on the system because developers will have to do deals with Stellantis to install apps. However, if your preferences include either Apple or Google services and apps, you can still use both CarPlay and Android Auto with a wireless connection. Stellantis includes both USB-A and USB-C ports in the console as well as an available wireless charging pad. Sitting directly in front of the driver is an available 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster.

As expected heading into 2022, Jeep is adding more driver assist features to the Compass including a Highway Assist system that combines lane centering capability with adaptive cruise control. Like other current systems such as Nissan’s ProPilot Assist, Ford’s CoPilot 360 and even Tesla’s AutoPilot, Highway Assist is a hands-on system that will do it’s best to track the lane and keep the Compass centered, it is not a self-driving system. Limited, Trailhawk and High Altitude trims also offer traffic sign recognition which display speed limit and work zone information in the cluster. A new standard feature on all 2022 Compass models is automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection. 

Under the hood, the Compass carries over the same 2.4-liter “Tigershark” four-cylinder that has been in the Compass since the second-generation model debuted in 2016. That means 177-hp and 172 lb-ft of torque which is reasonably competitive for the segment but isn’t going to excite anyone with its performance. Unlike the Bronco Sport which is distinguished from its Escape sibling by standard four-wheel-drive, the Compass also offers front-wheel drive variants. The front-drive Sport and Latitude trims pair the 2.4-liter with a six-speed automatic while other variants and all four-wheel-drive models get a nine-speed automatic. All Compass models also have automatic engine stop-start standard. 

Of course, the Compass wouldn’t qualify as a Jeep if it didn’t offer fully capable four-wheel-drive systems. Sport, Latitude and Limited 4×4 models get Jeep Active Drive that can automatically engage four-wheel-drive mode and deliver up to 100% of available torque to the rear wheels based on traction conditions. Other 4×4 models get the Active Drive Low system with a two-speed transfer case that provides a crawl ratio of 20:1, slightly more than the 18:1 ratio in the Bronco Sport. 

From an off-road perspective, the Compass has always been fairly capable, especially the Trailhawk. Between the Ford and the Jeep each has an advantage in some areas, but overall they are relatively close. The updated Compass has a significantly improved interior that looks more premium but the Ford has a space advantage, especially with its taller roof that allows stowing bikes inside. The updated Compass should be on sale this fall.

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