2022 Jeep Compass gets a refresh with a much sharper interior

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The 2022 Jeep Compass has been revealed in U.S.-spec for the Chicago Auto Show. And it’s pretty much just like its European counterpart, with a modestly updated exterior and a thoroughly overhauled and improved interior. But under the freshened body, the new Compass is pretty much like the old one.

The main design differences on the Compass include revised front and rear fascias. The front gets slightly smaller slots, and the lower grille is enlarged. The headlights are smaller, and all models get LED units, with reflector versions on entry-level models and projector ones on higher trims. The differences at the back lie mainly in restyled taillights.

The biggest changes to the car are on the interior. Gone is the lumpy, plasticky dash of the old Compass. In its place is the lower, wider, cleaner version from the European car. It features an upholstered and stitched middle panel that adds some variety and some more pleasant materials, and has nicely integrated air vents. The infotainment system now uses Uconnect 5, and the Compass comes with a 8.4-inch touchscreen standard, with a 10.1-inch screen available. Higher trim levels can also be had with a 10.25-inch instrument screen.

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Carried over from last year is the naturally aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder making 177 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. On the front-drive models, it comes with a six-speed automatic, and all-wheel-drive models get a nine-speed. No manual transmission is available. Two all-wheel-drive systems are offered, with the main difference being that the version in the Trailhawk includes an ultra-low first gear giving it a 20:1 crawl ratio for slow off-roading.

Fuel economy is practically unchanged, with the front-drive version getting 22 mpg in town, 31 on the highway and 24 combined. The all-wheel-drive version gets 22 city, 30 highway and 25 combined.

Missing in action is the Compass 4xe, already announced for Europe. But Jeep’s plans to offer plug-in hybrids in every segment leads us to believe the hybrid is coming eventually.

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Jeep says it has made some revisions to the steering and suspension that should make the Compass more responsive and more refined. It also says articulation has been improved, with the Compass having up to 6 inches of it up front, and 8 in in the rear. Ground clearance is just barely improved for the Trailhawk with 8.6 inches versus 8.5 for last year. Otherwise, it has the same approach, breakover and departure angles, and the same suite of features such as skid plates, red tow hooks and a “Rock” driving mode.

The updated Compass goes on sale this fall. The base Sport starts at $26,490, and adding all-wheel drive brings it up to $27,990. That’s an increase of about $500 over the previous one.

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