At least Jeep tried.
And there goes another one. Just a few days after we learned the Honda Accord is losing its manual transmission, we discover that for the upcoming 2021 model year, the Jeep Compass will no longer have a six-speed manual transmission for any trim level. This information comes from a dealer order guide obtained by CarsDirect and later confirmed by a Jeep spokesperson. The reason for the manual's departure was due to a lack of demand, as has been the case with other makes and models.
The outgoing 2020 Compass came standard with a six-speed in the base-level Sport trim. Customers could also opt for three pedals with the 4x4 version of the Latitude trim. Aside from having a 1 mpg advantage over the Compass's six- and nine-speed automatic slushbox options, the manual provided drivers with a bit more fun behind the wheel.
The 2021 Compass will continue with the same 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine producing a respectable 184 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque. The six-speed automatic will also continue to be found on front-wheel-drive Latitude and Limited trims, while the nine-speed is for the four-wheel-drive Trailhawk and Limited.
Not only were there not enough interested manual-equipped Compass buyers, but there was also a lack of appropriately specced vehicles on dealership lots with manual Compass models making up less than one percent of national inventory. Even if you were keen on buying one you'd have an extremely difficult time doing so. The only realistic option would have been to place a custom order.
But there's another downside to this: the 2021 Compass will carry a slightly higher base price of $25,390 including destination. That's $1,615 more than the least expensive 2020 Compass. However, the automatic was a $1,500 option last year, so the 2021 price is really only a $115 increase if you were to compare apples to apples.
With the Compass-manual combo now out of the picture, the sole compact crossover with off-roading capabilities to offer one is the Subaru Crosstrek. Bear in mind Crosstrek buyers can only get the manual in the base trim and not the more powerful engine option introduced for 2021.
If you're still committed to getting a Jeep Compass with a manual then you need to act fast.