Last year, Jeep pulled off a transformation, giving the dowdy Compass a makeover that corresponded with the all-new Grand Cherokee. While the Compass isn't exactly as attractively proportioned as the Grand Cherokee, this is a case in which the details make the difference
The nips and tucks worked wonders; even though it's still a little awkward from some angles, the 2012 Jeep Compass is now somewhat attractive, if a bit conservative. The proportions are the same, with the boxy wheelwell outline and smooth rear-pillar upkick preserved. The front end is essentially a smaller, softer version of the Grand Cherokee's, while the taillamps have also been softened. Overall, the Compass has a vaguely sleeker, classier look from some angles, but from others there's still a hint of ungainliness.
The interior of the 2012 Compass is straightforward and functional—and appealing in appearance if not always touch. The Compass doesn't quite get the total makeover that several other Jeep and Chrysler products have received over the past year or two. The Compass's cabin has been modestly spruced up with better materials and a cleaner look, but it definitely feels done on a budget. Jeep claimed to have upgraded trims and finishes last year, but aside from the attractive optional leather seats with contrasting piping those upgrades are basically limited to a new steering wheel, some new knobs for the climate control, and a few more bright plasti-chrome accents.