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Unread 02-04-2007, 09:27 PM   #1
rock2r
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Compass Transmission Question

I recently test drove a Compass, a Loaded Sport model. Unless I'm missing something, the transmission only had "D" and "L" for the forward gear selection. I'm aware the tranny is not true gear, but CVT. I thought it was very smooth, albeit somewhat gutless going up a pretty good hill on the freeway here in WA State. When I returned to the dealership and voiced my concerns, the salesman said that my concerns were a "common" complaint with the Sport....but, if I bought the "Limited", the transmission shift gate was totally different than that of the Sport. He said the Limited had the capability to be manually downshifted at high speeds where the Sport did not. I didn't want leather which all their Limited's had, so I walked.

I can't find much info on the transmission differences in Jeep's brochure, or on their website, so I jumped over here from the TJ forum.

Compass owners please shed some light on the gear selection issue. If I could get a loadad sport, with cloth and a transmission that I could "kick down" at high speeds like an overdrive, I'd buy it!

Thanks.

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Unread 02-05-2007, 04:02 AM   #2
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Here are 2 relative links from the forum and an excerpt from Wikipedia. What I haven't found out is: does the Standard CVT2 have a "detent" or "Kick Down Switch" like the AutoStick. Hope this helps.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f98/cvt2-operation-lurching-331575/

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f98/auto-stick-339954/

Compared to hydraulic automatic transmissions:
• CVTs can smoothly compensate for changing vehicle speeds, allowing the engine speed to remain at its level of peak efficiency. They may also avoid torque converter losses. This improves both fuel economy and exhaust emissions. However, some units (eg. Jetco Extroid) also employ a torque converter. Fuel efficiency advantages as high as 20% over 4 speed automatics can be obtained.
• CVTs have much smoother operation. This can give a perception of low power, because many drivers expect a jerk when they begin to move the vehicle. The satisfying jerk of a non-CVT transmission can be emulated by CVT control software though, eliminating this marketing problem.
• Since the CVT keeps the engine turning at constant RPMs over a wide range of vehicle speeds, pressing on the accelerator pedal will make the car move faster but doesn't change the sound coming from the engine as much as a conventional automatic transmission gear-shift. This confuses some drivers and again, leads to a mistaken impression of a lack of power.
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Unread 02-05-2007, 05:05 AM   #3
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I'm in the Ozarks, where there are PLENTY of hills, albeit nothing like the Western states. However, in comparing the Compass to other vehicles I've owned, I've had fewer problems with steep hills.

Gramps' post makes a good point in stating that the CVT is merely being PERCEIVED as robbing power from the drivetrain, and in this case, perception is not necessarily reality. For example, to climb one particularly steep hill in Fayetteville, Arkansas (Township Street) in my old pickup, I'd have to press the accelerator all the way to the floor. Problem is, many automatics require this to stay in a lower gear (unless you shift it manually, of course) - but then, you've raised the RPMs to where you're running out of torque. So you end up in a vicious cycle.

The CVT, on the other hand, tends to find a "sweet spot" where the gear ratio and engine speed is better balanced to what you're trying to accomplish. The downside to this is that you don't get the usual perceptions of power, such as engine noise and transmission downshifts. But it IS downshifting; in fact, on the hill mentioned above, I still have quite a bit of throttle left if I wanted to go faster (this street has a low posted speed limit - and is heavily patrolled - so I don't). You get to a point where you know how hard to press the accelerator when you approach hills, and you sort of magically get the right amount of power. After a while, ordinary automatics seem strange, such as the one in my company car - to me, the automatic of that car feels like I did when I first learned to type, sort of "hunting and pecking" to find the right gear ratio.

Like Gramps, I believe that you may be able to get the auto-stick in a Compass; I just haven't seen one yet.
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Unread 02-05-2007, 06:49 PM   #4
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Gramps, Thanks for those 2 links on the subject. I think that the autostick, for me, would be the way to go, if only for maintaining uphill speed on the freeways in our part of the world.

If you happen to have Jeep's glossy brochure on the Compass, there is an overhead shot of the interior of a Sport. If you look closely, you can see it has an Autostick ...along with cloth interior. But, guess what?? Jeep doesn't market it that way. Have to get the Limited to get the Autostick!

Oh well, we'll see how the Patriot's configured.
Even though I'm a TJ guy at heart, I think the Compass is a very practical commuter car and an EXCELLENT value for the buyer compared to anything in its class. I've looked at them all.
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Unread 02-05-2007, 07:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rock2r
Gramps, Thanks for those 2 links on the subject. I think that the autostick, for me, would be the way to go, if only for maintaining uphill speed on the freeways in our part of the world.

If you happen to have Jeep's glossy brochure on the Compass, there is an overhead shot of the interior of a Sport. If you look closely, you can see it has an Autostick ...along with cloth interior. But, guess what?? Jeep doesn't market it that way. Have to get the Limited to get the Autostick!

Oh well, we'll see how the Patriot's configured.
Even though I'm a TJ guy at heart, I think the Compass is a very practical commuter car and an EXCELLENT value for the buyer compared to anything in its class. I've looked at them all.
First off, I am NOT trying to talk you out of the AutoStick if you think that it will do a better job for you. A couple of us have hashed it around and haven't found where it would be that much of a benefit, but we live in relative flat land compared to where you are. That being said, I used to go up into your neck of the woods on occasion from where I lived along the CA/OR border up to and past Seattle so I am some what familiar with the terrain. There were places on our cross country trip that were really quit similar that I had no problem with just leaving it in Drive. These areas were around St. Louis, Albuquerque, Flagstaff, the drop down to Phoenix but I think most of all was the diagonal drive across New Mexico and going through Ruidoso, beautiful country! It may be worth seeing if you could get at least a 1/2 day test drive and see what happens with out the AutoStick.

Back when I was making those runs up to Seattle I had a '64 Imperial with a 413 that would flatten out any hill that got in it's way and my Challenger had no problems either, unless it rained and then the Imperial was like fish out of water. The Compass handles those twists, turns and rain better than either one of those did. The Patriots are showing up at the dealers around here. If they're not in your area yet, they will be soon.

Last but not least, don't be afraid to NAIL it. Just like any other 4 cylinder that is lacking on low end torque they make up for it with higher RPM. Use it! The transmission will handle itself.
Good luck!
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Last edited by Gramps; 02-05-2007 at 08:08 PM..
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Unread 02-05-2007, 10:18 PM   #6
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Not to hijack my own thread, but here goes: Gramps, you say the Patriots are out in Badger country...as in you can actually touch them?

If you've seen them up close, what's your take? I'm in SoCal on business for the past week and there's none here yet that I've seen. I fly back to the Northwest tomorrow, so I'll swing by my dealer on the way home from the airport. If the prices are in line with the Compass, it's worth a good look to me. I'll drive the Sport Compass again and romp on it this time while keeping an eye on the tach.

Thanks for your input.
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Unread 02-06-2007, 04:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rock2r
Not to hijack my own thread, but here goes: Gramps, you say the Patriots are out in Badger country...as in you can actually touch them?

If you've seen them up close, what's your take? I'm in SoCal on business for the past week and there's none here yet that I've seen. I fly back to the Northwest tomorrow, so I'll swing by my dealer on the way home from the airport. If the prices are in line with the Compass, it's worth a good look to me. I'll drive the Sport Compass again and romp on it this time while keeping an eye on the tach.

Thanks for your input.
I'm close to the Belvidere plant and because of transportation the 12 dealers within a 50 mile radius of me will get them sooner than others. The 3 that were in my search last week are gone now but those have been replaced by 2 others at different dealers. Looks like they may be going fast! None of the dealers are on my way for a quick stop to check them out and the weather wasn't the friendliest so I haven't actually touched any of them yet. This weekend I will be heading in to Janesville and may get to see one locally if they have one. Monday the 12th I will be going in to the Chicago Auto Show and hopefully get some good pics of it and the Trailhawk to post.

I just did a dealer search for Seattle, zip 98101 and none of the 10 dealers in that search had any. That of course could change by the weekend.

When you nail it, the tach goes to 6 grand and stays there until your speed comes up to where you want it. The media reported that it sounded like a bucket of bolts at that RPM but all that I hear is exhaust noise and I don't see how you could over rev it , hasn't happened to me. Reminds me of my drag racing days, come off the line at 6, feather the clutch and wait for the speed to catch up and hang a shift. Of course without the clutch, low end kick in the pants torque and the tire squealing. Can't have everything.
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Last edited by Gramps; 02-06-2007 at 05:26 AM..
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Unread 02-09-2007, 03:58 PM   #8
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Autostick for me

I have not needed the stick driving around town. I'm leaving the control of the Jeep to that control system they built in.
:suicide:
BUT I'll be going to Colorado this summer and driving some mountain roads. I will feel alot better going down hill with some low gears!!!

The leather seats are alot better on my back than the others, heated too.

I like the new comercial better. Robot chasing a compass. Hmmmm.
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Unread 02-09-2007, 04:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ponderosa
I have not needed the stick driving around town. I'm leaving the control of the Jeep to that control system they built in.
:suicide:
BUT I'll be going to Colorado this summer and driving some mountain roads. I will feel alot better going down hill with some low gears!!!

The leather seats are alot better on my back than the others, heated too.

I like the new comercial better. Robot chasing a compass. Hmmmm.
New commercial MUCH better.

http://brandnewschool.com/project.php?id=403

John, do you have Cruise Control? It held the down hills just fine for me but Colorado is different. Let us know how it goes. Peace of mind is a good thing, you get a lot of that with a Compass!
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Last edited by Gramps; 02-09-2007 at 06:07 PM..
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Unread 02-09-2007, 05:52 PM   #10
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Sooo......save me the frustration of calling a dealer. Can you get a fully loaded Limited AWD w/auto-stick WITHOUT leather?



Footnote: I'm back in the Northwest now and still no Patriot sightings here. A quick on line inventory search turned up zero in a 50 mile radius also.
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Unread 02-09-2007, 06:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rock2r
Sooo......save me the frustration of calling a dealer. Can you get a fully loaded Limited AWD w/auto-stick WITHOUT leather?



Footnote: I'm back in the Northwest now and still no Patriot sightings here. A quick on line inventory search turned up zero in a 50 mile radius also.
To the best of my knowledge NO. Leather trimmed buckets are standard on the Limited and Jeep.com won't let you configure it any other way. Why may I ask do you not like leather? Especially if they are heated? But I did read where someone had the dealer install leather seats in their Sport. Maybe if you shave your legs and talk real nice....

The 2 that were available for me to look at on Wednesday are both gone. I also see a lot more listed with 5 spds than the Compass had on the show room floors.
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Unread 02-09-2007, 07:12 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=Gramps]To the best of my knowledge NO. Leather trimmed buckets are standard on the Limited and Jeep.com won't let you configure it any other way. Why may I ask do you not like leather? Especially if they are heated?



I do like heated leather alot...just not the particular 2-tone pattern that I saw on the units I looked at...just too "boy-car" looking in my opinion...but that's just me. We would be getting this vehicle to haul the mutt around in (big lab/rotty mix), so I think cloth would be the better way to go due to the "toenail/slobber" factor. Anyone with leather hauling big dogs feel free to chime in...or for that matter, anyone hauling big dogs in a Compass, how's the fit. There I go hi-jacking my own thread again...sorry!
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Unread 02-09-2007, 07:46 PM   #13
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Well, we do have about a 90 lb golden-goofy-dorkosaurus that has ridden in the wife's GC with leather and we put the seats down. If we took her in the Compass the seats would be down in it too and I do believe she would fit just fine.

Funny thing, the 2 tone leather is what sold the wife, me, I didn't care, just one of those matter of taste things and understandable. Maybe a big blanket would solve the problem, at least from the dogs point of view.

Hi-jacking not a problem!
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Unread 02-15-2007, 06:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rock2r
Anyone with leather hauling big dogs feel free to chime in...or for that matter, anyone hauling big dogs in a Compass, how's the fit. There I go hi-jacking my own thread again...sorry!
Hey rock2r! Found this for you, another good review and its about dogmobiles!! You'll like it

http://www.petconnection.com/blog/20...-jeep-compass/
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Unread 02-16-2007, 01:40 PM   #15
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Thanks for the link Gramps,

Funny that the writer picked up on the cupholder vs. paw issue. I had that concern also.
The wife and I are waiting to test drive a Patriot (if they ever get here) before we pull the trigger.
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