Jeep is playing to a more mature and sophisticated market here than it was, three years ago, with the Renegade crossover. It has created an interior with less in the way of visual charm and intrigue – but, instead, what’s clearly intended to be a more refined and luxurious ambience, and a more upmarket feel.
But, judged against compact SUVs’ increasingly high standards on perceived quality and fit-and-finish, our test car’s relatively plain, monotone and ordinary-feeling cabin failed to make much of an impression. Parts of the Compass’s interior clearly represent attempts at material richness, but they’re not all convincing (the cheap-looking ‘leather’ on the centre armrest is a case in point). Meanwhile, the car’s nicer ingredients are significantly outnumbered by plenty of fittings (HVAC, headlight and infotainment controls) that look or feel a bit cheaper than the likes of the Tiguan and XC40 now lead you to expect.
The Compass’s cabin is adequately comfortable and broadly pleasant. Our test car’s front seats were a touch too flat to offer decent support and didn’t have enough head restraint adjustment for taller drivers to make themselves entirely at home, but ergonomic control layout and adjustability were otherwise good. This isn’t a particularly spacious car by class standards, but it’s competitive.