A Manual Fades From the Jeep Lineup

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
a manual fades from the jeep lineup

When you think of the rapidly dwindling handful of vehicles still available with a manual transmission, you probably didn’t list the Jeep Compass among those remaining holdouts. And yet the compact crossover does offer such a setup, ever since the current-generation model went on sale for 2017.

Well, Jeep offered, but not many buyers took them up on it. Actually, it seems Jeep could barely find any takers — which is why, for 2021, the Compass will carry only an autobox.

This news comes by way of CarsDirect, which noticed the six-speed manual missing from the 2021 Compass’ spec sheet. Offered as standard kit on the entry-level Sport (4×2 and 4×4) and step-up Latitude (4×4 only) trims, the stick shift paired with the standard 2.4-liter Tigershark four-cylinder.

Come ’21, the six- and nine-speed automatics already offered throughout the Compass range will fill the gap.

The reason for the transmission deep-sixing should be clear to anyone. No takers. Speaking to CarsDirect, Jeep spokesperson Amy Grundman said, with no shortage of understatement, “there wasn’t much of a demand for a manual transmission.”

Indeed there wasn’t. Poring through U.S. inventory listings, the publication noticed that less than 1 percent of existing Compasses carried a three-pedal arrangement, suggesting that the actual number of unsold stick-shift units out there number somewhere around 100. The Compass sold more than 144,000 units in the country last year.

Of course, this all means that getting into a base Compass next year will be pricier, though not for the vast majority of buyers who chose to outfit their Sport with an automatic, anyway. That option cost $1,500, which makes the base 2021 model’s MSRP of $25,390 (a $1,615 markup over 2020) pretty easy to swallow.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler]

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  • SCE to AUX Probably couldn't afford it - happens all the time.
  • MaintenanceCosts An ugly-a$s Challenger with poor equipment choices and an ugly Dealership Default color combination, not even a manual to redeem it, still no sale.
  • Cha65689852 To drive a car, you need human intelligence, not artificial intelligence.Unfortunately, these days even human brains are turning into mush thanks to addiction to smartphones and social media.
  • Mike1041 A nasty uncomfortable little car. Test drove in 2019 in a search for a single car that would appease two drivers. The compromise was not much better but at least it had decent rear vision and cargo capacity. The 2019 Honda HRV simply was too unforgiving and we ditched after 4 years. Enter the 23 HRV and we have a comfy size.
  • SCE to AUX I wonder who really cares about this. "Slave labor" is a useful term for the agendas of both right and left."UAW Wants Auto Industry to Stop Using Slave Labor"... but what will the UAW actually do if nothing changes?With unrelenting downward pressure on costs in every industry - coupled with labor shortages - expect to see more of this.Perhaps it's my fault when I choose the $259 cell phone over the $299 model, or the cheaper parts at RockAuto, or the lower-priced jacket at the store.Do I care about an ethical supply chain? Not really, I just want the product to work - and that's how most consumers are. We'd rather not know.Perhaps the 1990s notion of conflict-free, blood-free, ethically-sourced diamonds will find its way into the auto industry. That would be a good thing.
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