New Jeep Compass Coming Soon

New SUV

Stellantis/Jeep

The Chicago Auto Show is happening now, which means we've already seen a few new models and concepts. Just yesterday, Jeep introduced the new 2022 Compass compact SUV. It gets a new design inside and out, updated tech, and a load of new available driver aids. The Compass' refresh comes as new models from Ford, Subaru and others could cut into Jeep's off-road dominance.

As it was in previous model years, the new Compass is powered by a 2.4-liter "Tigershark" four-cylinder engine that makes 177 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. It's good for up to 31 mpg on the highway in 2WD models and can deliver a max towing capacity of up to 2,000 pounds in 4WD models. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard for Compass Sport and Latitude 4X2 models, while all others get a nine-speed automatic transmission that can handle the 20:1 crawl ratio setting in the Trailhawk model.

An all-new Latitude LUX trim joins the Compass lineup for 2022 as well. It features leather upholstery, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped heated steering wheel, an eight-way power driver seat, a seven-inch full-color gauge cluster, and the larger 10.1-inch screen.


2022 Jeep Compass The new Compass is more upscale than its predecessor.Stellantis/Jeep


The Compass comes with a class-leading 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen, but higher trims get an even larger 10.1-inch unit. It offers standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and runs Uconnect 5, a colorful, responsive infotainment system with advanced features and tech.

Several new safety features make an appearance, but most are added-cost options. The highway assist system offers a semi-autonomous driving feature, which Jeep says will become available later. Other tech includes traffic sign recognition, standard pedestrian/cyclist automatic emergency braking, a surround-view camera system, parallel and perpendicular parking assist, and a long list of more traditional advanced driver aids like blind spot monitoring and parking sensors.

The Compass lineup for 2022 includes five trims: Sport, Latitude, Latitude LUX, Limited, and Trailhawk. Pricing for the new Compass starts at $26,490, including a $1,495 destination charge. At the top of the lineup, the Trailhawk and Limited models both start at $32,890. It's expected to start arriving on dealers' lots in fall 2021.


2022 Jeep Compass New color schemes highlight the Compass' interior.Stellantis/Jeep

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Photo by Getty Images/Cavan Images RF

2021 Jeep Jamboree schedule features 31 events in 24 states

Off-Roading

The dates and locations of the 2021 Jeep Jamboree schedule have been announced. The roster includes 31 events, with a new event in Ohio making the calendar as well as a three-day event in Missouri.

Jeep Jamborees are weekend events that have been a part of the Jeep lifestyle since 1953. It was then, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, that Mark A. Smith (now a member of the Off-Road Hall of Fame and the Explorers Club) arranged an off-roading expedition across the Rubicon Trail. The following year Willys, the original Jeep manufacturer got involved and the rest, as they say, is history.

Each Jeep Jamboree is a family-oriented four-wheel drive adventure that allows for fun for everyone from novices to experts. Organizers advise that any Jeep with a 4-LO transfer case can participate. The style of Jamboree varies by event: Classic, Select, Signature, and Adventure. Be sure you research the event style ahead of registering so you know what to expect, including the cost, which varies by event.

Jeep descending in Sedona, Arizona Jeep Jamboree events have guides to assist drivers when they encounter tricky terrain. Photo by Getty Images/Cavan Images RF

The Jeep Jamboree website has a helpful FAQs section that can help you navigate the ins and outs of the events.

2021 Jeep Jamboree events, dates, cities, and states:

  • March
    • March 4-6, 2021 - Table Mesa, Anthem, Arizona
    • March 18-20, 2021 - Texas Spur, Llano, Texas
  • April
    • April 22-24, 2021 - Arch Canyon, Blanding, Utah
    • April 29- May 1, 2021 - Palo Duro, Amarillo, Texas
  • May
    • May 6-8, 2021 - Tennessee Mountains, Oak Ridge, Tennessee
    • May 6-8, 2021 - Big Bear, Big Bear Lake, California
    • May 13-15, 2021 - Land Between the Lakes, Marshall County, Kentucky
    • May 20-21, 2021 - Badlands, Attica, Indiana
  • June
    • June 9-12, Top of the Ozarks, Seymour, Missouri
    • June 10-12, Tillamook, Tillamook, Oregon
    • June 17-19, Drummond Island, Drummond Island, Michigan
    • June 24-26, Penn's Woods, Bradford, Pennsylvania
  • July
    • July 8-10, 2021 - Killington, Killington, Vermont
    • July 15-17, 2021 - Northwoods-Mole Lake, Crandon, Wisconsin
    • July 22-24, 2021 - Silver Valley, Mullan/Wallace, Idaho
    • July 29-31, 2021 - Coal Mountains, Coal Township, Pennsylvania
  • August
    • August 12-15, 2021 - Rubicon Trail, The Rubicon Trail, California
    • August 18-22, 2021 - Beartooth Adventure, Cody, Wyoming
    • August 26-28, 2021 - Big Horn Mountains, Dayton, Wyoming
  • September
    • September 9-11, 2021 - Killbuck, Killbuck, Ohio
    • September 16-18, 2021 - Catskill Mountains, Monticello, New York
    • September 16-18, 2021 - Ouray, Ouray, Colorado
    • September 23-25, 2021 - Black Hills, Deadwood, South Dakota
    • September 23-25, 2021 - Ozark Mountains, Ozark, Arkansas
    • September 23-25, 2021 - Uwharrie, Troy, North Carolina
    • September 29 - October 3, 2021 - Emigrant Trail Adventure, Black Rock Desert, Nevada
    • September 30- October 2, 2021 - Maine Mountains, Bethel, Maine
  • October
    • October 14-16, 2021 - Gateway to the Cumberlands, Williamsburg, Kentucky
    • October 21-23, 2021 - Greenbriar Valley, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
    • October 21-23, 2021 - Moab, Moab, Utah
  • November
    • November 4-6, 2021 - Death Valley, Death Valley, California
Rolling registration happens December 7-11, 2020.
Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

What are Jeep's Trail Rated and Desert Rated designations? Is there a difference?

Buying Guide

Jeeps often come Trail Rated. They wear a Jeep Brand Trail Rated badge that denotes a level of prowess and equipment to conquer terrain that the average SUV or truck does not have. Now, there's also Desert Rated, which debuted at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show on the 2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave. This new badging takes the mission of tried and tested off-roading even further.

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What is Trail Rated?

Only four-wheel drive (4x4) Jeep models can earn the Trail Rated badge. But, it's only the first step. Models that earn that designation have based tests of traction, water fording, maneuvering, articulations, and ground clearance.

Harsh and unpredictable driving conditions including deep mud, loose gravel, and snow are part of the traction testing.

To assist with the water fording capability of the vehicle, Jeep seals electrical connections and body openings, and rearranges the air intake to a higher position, to protect the vehicle in several feet of water. How much water depends on the model.

The best off-roading vehicles are also agile. Jeep tests each Trail Rated model for the ability to deftly dodge obstacles. The Jeeps' wheelbases and steering are optimized for handling off-road terrain like tight switchbacks and emergency driving situation.

Trail Rated vehicles are capable of impressive articulation thanks to suspension flexibility. Achieving good articulation meal that wheels remain stable and engaged when one or more tires are off the ground.

2020 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk All of Jeep's vehicles are available with a Trail Rated badge.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Having Trail Rated ground clearance means that a vehicle has a good amount of room between the bottom of the vehicle and the harsh terrain it will conquer. This means that the Jeep can traverse rocks, water, and logs without damaging the underside of the vehicle. The rating also means that the SUV or truck has high approach, breakover, and departure angles.

To test all of these models, Jeep takes to the Rubicon Trail. Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, the trail is 22 miles of treacherous landscape that will put any vehicle to the ultimate test. The natural off-road adventure park where the trail is located features boulders, water, and well-worn landscape.

Jeep also develops and tests its vehicles at FCA US headquarters in Michigan and beyond, including the harsh winter conditions of Northern Michigan.

What is Desert Rated?

Like Trail Rated vehicles, Jeep's Desert Rated lineup has been developed and tested in harsh conditions. To earn the Desert Rated badge the 4x4s had to pass traction, desert prowess, ride control and stability, maneuverability, and ground clearance tests.

2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave The Jeep Gladiator Mojave is the automaker's first model to wear a Desert Rated badge.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Most of that testing is similar to Trail Rated testing, but takes place in a desert climate. Jeep's Desert Rated vehicles have been engineered to take on the intense heat, coarse sand, loose gravel, and pervasive dust that makes up desert landscape.

The first Desert Rated Jeep is the 2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave. More vehicles that sport the badging are planned.

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Three new plug-in hybrid electric Jeeps coming with "4xe" badging

New Model News

It's no secret that Jeep's parent company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, is behind the curve when it comes to electrification of its fleet. That's something the all be helped thanks to the company's forthcoming merger with PSA Group. At CES this week, Jeep took a big step forward showing off three plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) SUVs.

The Jeep Wrangler, Compass, and Renegade PHEVs coming down the line will all carry the new "Jeep 4xe badge". This will be the badging on all forthcoming electrified Jeep vehicles.

Jeep 4xe bagdge PHEV variants of Jeep vehicles will have unique badging.Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

PHEVs benefit from the best of both types of fuel supply. They have a battery pack that holds a charge that usually holds around 30 miles of all-electric range. The battery pack is powered via a cord and plug outlet that can be attached to either a charging station or a household electrical outlet. Power regeneration usually comes from braking and coasting, which allows the battery to recharge without being plugged in.

The vehicles also have a hybrid component with electric motors that run on power supplied by both the battery and gasoline. That's right, there's a fuel tank in the vehicle in the traditional place, though it's usually smaller than what is in a traditional internal combustion engine vehicle.

Jeep is saying that the forthcoming production variants of these vehicles will be the "most efficient and responsible Jeep vehicles ever, providing absolute and quiet open-air freedom while taking performance, 4x4 capability and driver confidence to the next level."

When can you expect to see the models for yourself? Jeep is touting official debuts of the vehicles this year at the Geneva, New York, and Beijing auto shows. The Geneva show is the first one on the calendar, happening the first week of March.

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Check out the capable and comfortable 2020 Jeep Compass

Slideshow: 2020 Jeep Compass

The Jeep Compass is a compact SUV that slots below the Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Grand Cherokee in the automaker's lineup. It wins points for being both off-road ready and family-friendly.

This slideshow covers the 2020 Jeep Compass, 2020 Jeep Compass Latitude, 2020 Jeep Compass Limited, and 2020 Jeep Compass Trailhawk.

2020 Jeep Compass

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

The 2020 Jeep Compass is manufactured in Brazil, China, Mexico and India. It is sold in more than 100 countries.

2020 Jeep Compass Latitude

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

​New for 2020, the Jeep Compass Latitude is available with the Luxury Seat Group, which includes power passenger seat, memory driver seat and ventilated front seats. The package is also available in High Altitude and Trailhawk models.

2020 Jeep Compass Limited

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

The Compass Limited is differentiated from the rest of Compass lineup by its Bright Chrome exterior accents.

2020 Jeep Compass Trailhawk

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

The 2020 Jeep Compass goes on sale in late 2019.

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Boston Dynamics' robot to patrol Kia factory

Frightening security

Breaking into an auto manufacturing facility was already a very bad idea, but new security tech being tested by Hyundai Motor Group makes it downright terrifying as well. In addition to cameras, sensors, and armed security guards, would-be burglars at a Kia plant in South Korea now have to face off with a semi-autonomous robot dog.

The Boston Dynamics quadruped robot, named Spot, is being tested as a safer and more effective way of providing security patrols to the plant. The dog is one of several robots designed and tested by the firm, which has long terrified the internet with its physically capable electronic beings.

Boston Dynamics Spot Robot The robot uses various sensors to detect danger and intruders.Hyundai

If you haven't seen it, the Boston Dynamics robot dog is frightening enough on its own, so it's an excellent choice to provide factory security. The robot uses an integrated thermal camera and 3D LiDAR to detect people around it, and can monitor high-temperature situations and fire hazards. It can be controlled remotely through a secure webpage, which allows personnel to see what's going on in the factory without putting themselves in danger.

The robot is capable of navigating tight spaces and can identify issues not visible to the human eye. It's also able to semi-autonomously navigate its environment, and has been developed with task management and deep learning-based vision technology. Boston Dynamics says that its tech can be expanded to other types of robot platforms.



The robot dog is currently in the pilot stage at Kia's plant in South Korea. It will be used to support late-night security patrols and increase safety for workers. Hyundai Motor Group will assess the robot's effectiveness and suitability for the job before expanding its use in other industrial sites.

Lexus IS 500 F Sport stars in new marketing campaign

New sports sedan

Lexus knows how to make a good V8. The LC 500, RC F, and even older cars like the SC 400 all feature a buttery, powerful Lexus V8. The IS sports sedan never has been given the V8 treatment, but that's about to change for the 2022 model year. The automaker is jamming a big V8 in the space normally occupied by a four- or six-cylinder engine to create the 2022 IS 500 F Sport. The automaker's new marketing campaign for the car takes a slightly different approach than the "big red bow" commercials it usually makes, starting with a short documentary called "License to Thrill."

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport 14 drivers competed for a chance to be one of the first IS 500 F Sport owners.Lexus

The IS 500 F Sport is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 that makes 472 horsepower. It's the most powerful Lexus IS ever, so it's not surprising that the automaker chose to highlight its performance in its launch marketing campaign.



The documentary follows 14 auto enthusiasts who participated in a driving event for a chance to own (buy) one of five early cars. Drivers were taken to the Apex Motor Club in Arizona, where they received tips from Lexus IMSA drivers Townsend Bell, Jack Hawksworth, and Aaron Telitz before hitting the track in an IS 500 F Sport. Each driver had an opportunity to set the best lap times in the car. Top lap times earned a chance to be one of the first to purchase the car, but Lexus also gave away one IS 500 to an unexacting participant.

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Lexus gave away one of the cars.Lexus

The IS 500 launch will include other events that involve artists and content producers. Pro driver JR Hildebrand will drive the car for a MotorTrend special, while 100 Thieves and Garagisme will create publications and video content involving the car.

How to buy a modified car: Three tips

Buying guide

Modified cars are a mixed bag. Sometimes, they're incredibly well built and better than the original, but too many times they're only partially finished or end up being rushed as their owners get late-project anxiety. Whatever the case, buying a modified car can be a stressful process if you haven't done your homework ahead of time. The good news is that you can get a good deal on a reasonably well sorted project or modified car, but you'll need to be careful. Looking at used Lexus LXs earlier today, it became clear that there are as many modified vehicles for sale as there are clean examples.

This LX got me thinking about the breakdown between buying a rig and building one. The modifications made by this Lexus' seller are almost exactly what I would do if I were building a light overlanding rig. What could go wrong? I'm still on the fence about the Lexus, but the three topics below will help you make the right decision on buying a modified car.

2004 Lexus LX 470 Even if the mods are well done, you'll want to have the vehicle inspected before you buy.Bring a Trailer

Understand your personal taste

I mentioned the LX470 and how the owner's updates were pretty close to what I'd do with the truck. That's an exception to the rule, because 90 percent of the time I walking away from a sales listing because of modifications, rather than the other way around. If you're hoping to find a tastefully modified car that matches your exact tastes, you could be waiting a while. If you're hoping to sell a modified car, the same is true in reverse. Finding a buyer for your extremely personalized project car may not be the easiest thing you've ever done.

2004 Lexus LX 470 It's a good idea to seek out vehicles in solid shape, regardless of mods.Bring a Trailer

Be aware of condition and quality

This Lexus looks to be well maintained and in good shape. It also doesn't hurt that the LX is one of the most reliable vehicles built by one of the world's most quality-conscious automakers. Even so, it's hard to know what you're getting with this, or any other, modified vehicle. There's a little rust in this image, but the lift kit, wheels, and bumper mods all look good. However, even if the truck looked brand-new, you'd want to get a pre-purchase inspection. An independent mechanic can tell you if there are potential issues that are unrelated to mods, and you'll want to be sure that any modifications are installed properly.

2004 Lexus LX 470 Some mods are more useful than others.Bring a Trailer

Keep an eye on the price

Most people are reasonable when it comes to selling their modified cars, but there are hundreds of "I know what I got" memes on the internet for a reason. Some sellers want to recover every penny of the money they spent customizing their cars. They're convinced that the mods drastically increased the car's value and can't understand why the customized car isn't as attractive to you as it is to them. Tread lightly and be careful not to insult the owner, but it's your job to work toward a reasonable, fair price.