Does the Compass’ 9-speed automatic offer better efficiency and performance than the manual? We find out

The Jeep Compass is one of the most popular premium mid-size SUVs in India. It is the only one that offers a BS6 compliant engine in the segment in the form of FCA’s-2.0-litre unit. However, that particular engine is only available with the Trailhawk variant which comes with a 9-speed automatic transmission as standard. All other variants get the BS4-compliant unit with a 6-speed manual only. So it is the same engine and yet not the same. Here’s how their specs compare:

Jeep Compass MT 4×4 Jeep Compass AT 4×4
Engine 2.0-litre diesel 2.0-litre diesel
Transmission 6-speed MT 9-speed AT
Power 173PS 170PS
Torque 350Nm 350Nm
Emission Type BS4 BS6

The only difference on paper between the BS4 and BS6 compliant versions of the same 2.0-litre diesel engine is the slight drop in power while the torque output remains the same.

Acceleration tests

Compass Diesel-MT Compass Diesel-AT
0-100kmph 10.03s 11.18s
Quarter-mile 17.06s @ 128.92kmph 17.58s @ 122.36kmph

Both cars deliver power to all four wheels but the manual variant of the Compass diesel gets off the line quicker than the automatic. It can reach 100kmph a full 1.15 seconds quicker and finishes the quarter-mile 0.52 second sooner at a higher top speed. But the quarter-mile times suggest that the diesel-AT does catch up on the manual variant over a longer distance.

Braking tests

Compass Diesel-MT Compass Diesel-AT
100-0kmph 45.09m 58.16m
80-0kmph 27.56m 35.87m

In terms of braking as well, the diesel-manual Compass comes to a halt much better than the automatic variant. This could be down to the heavier weight of the diesel-AT variant. That said, both variants get disc brakes on all four wheels. Yet, the diesel-MT Compass can stop from a 100kmph 13.07 metres shorter than the automatic variant. Even when stopping from 80kmph, the Trailhawk diesel-AT takes 8.31 metres more than the manual variant.

Fuel Efficiency Comparison

Jeep Compass Claimed (ARAI) Highway (tested) City (tested)
4×4 Diesel-MT 16.3kmpl 16.02kmpl 11.07kmpl
4×4 Diesel-AT 14.9kmpl 17.58kmp 11.74kmpl


As per the ARAI-certified fuel efficiency figures in controlled testing environments, the manual is more efficient than the automatic variant of the diesel-engined Compass. However, when we ran both models through our real-world fuel efficiency tests, the results were varied, especially between city and highway driving.

The diesel-manual variant of the Compass 4×4 always fell short of the claimed mileage figure but comes closest in terms of highway driving where it delivers 16.02kmpl. However, in city driving, its fuel efficiency was 5.2kmpl less than the claimed figure.

The automatic variant, too, fares poorly in city driving with less than 12kmpl. However, it exceeds the claimed mileage in highway conditions by 1.28kmpl. The Compass Trailhawk also features auto start-stop technology with a power take-off unit that disengages the rear axle when not in use.

Here are the fuel efficiency figures you can expect from both variants of the Compass in different driving conditions:

Jeep Compass 50% highway, 50% city 25% highway, 75% city 75% highway, 25% city
4×4 Diesel-MT 13.09kmpl 11.99kmpl 14.4kmpl
4×4 Diesel-AT 14.07kmpl 12.8kmpl 15.63kmpl

Across all average use scenarios, the Compass diesel-AT is more fuel-efficient than the manual variant of the Compass 4×4 diesel.


If you’re looking for better performance, then the regular, diesel-manual 4×4 variant of the Compass is the one to pick. However, if you’d prefer the convenience of an automatic transmission, future-ready BS6-compliance and higher fuel efficiency, the Compass diesel-automatic is the one to go for. However, it is also worth noting that the diesel-automatic is currently only offered with the top-spec Compass Trailhawk which is the most expensive variant and offers features specifically for off-road enthusiasts.