The base engine on the Compass remains a 158-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder ‘World Engine,’ while top Limited models come with a 172-hp, 2.4-liter version; a five-speed manual gearbox is standard, while the six-speed automatic is offered as a step up across the lineup.
The six-speed brings a higher top gear for lower revs at highway cruising speeds, while there’s also a low 4.21 first gear for stronger launches—plus AutoStick manual control. The new automatic is also essentially maintenance-free, with a sealed-for-life design, with no dipstick and no flushes or fills required.
It's also as much of an improvement in drivability as you might think; in a short spin, we found the new automatic transmission in the Compass to be not only more responsive, but more settled. Otherwise, we've found manual-gearbox versions of the Compass to have decent drivability, although a notchy shifter and imprecise clutch behavior sapped some of the enjoyment.
We'll add more impressions on the new automatic as soon as we can spend more time with one.