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post #1 of 19 Old 09-30-2018, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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6th Gear?

To all the 6spd manual owners: When do you use 6th gear? I was cruising at about 75mph and 6th seemed too low and lugged the engine too much anytime a slight hill came around. I kept it in 5th while we went through the mountains, as 6th couldn't even maintain speed going uphill. I'm thinking of pretty much never using it from the way things are going; unless I'm cruising at 85mph+ sometime in the future.


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post #2 of 19 Old 09-30-2018, 03:31 PM
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To all the 6spd manual owners: When do you use 6th gear? I was cruising at about 75mph and 6th seemed too low and lugged the engine too much anytime a slight hill came around. I kept it in 5th while we went through the mountains, as 6th couldn't even maintain speed going uphill. I'm thinking of pretty much never using it from the way things are going; unless I'm cruising at 85mph+ sometime in the future.


Sounds pretty much like 9th gear for us auto Compass drivers. I have been north of 85 MPH here here in the mountains and it will not shift to 9th on it's own and ours is a Trailhawk with the 4.33 gears!

As much as I love our Compass I feel Jeep missed the mark by not regearing our Jeeps for the American market. We could have had a perfect combo had Jeep just given us better differential gears. I think non-Trailhawks should have been geared 4.11- 4.33 and Trailhawks geared 4.80-5.30 The we would have great gearing for off road and been able to make more sane use of our highest gear. Acceleration would have been much better even with 2nd gear starts. But no to save a dime we got stuck with the gearing used in places with much higher speed limits if any limit at all.
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post #3 of 19 Old 09-30-2018, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Well that really does suck. I'd love to lower the gearing some to not only make 6th gear usable, but also allow running larger tires in the future. Right now, if you're not in the power band of the little 4 cylinder, you're not going anywhere fast. Changing the gearing could make a big difference.


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post #4 of 19 Old 09-30-2018, 08:18 PM
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I expect the ratios were chosen to achieve the CAFE standards, not enhance performance. A Jeep may be a utility vehicle, but in fact most Compasses are used as commuters and grocery-getters, and that is the purpose for which the Compass was designed.

Before I bought my Compass I test drove a Renegade and I couldn't even get the Renegade into 9th even at 70MPH on a downgrade. I can get my Compass into 9 on a level interstate highway above 60MPH, but it won't find its way there, I have to use auto-stick. I suspect the reason the Compass took 9th at all is that it has better aerodynamics.

As we have discovered, Compass transmissions are geared extremely high. Considering that gear 5 is 1:1, the 9-spd a/t has 4 ODs! I don't know what the ratios are for the manual transmission, but I suspect a couple of those gears are higher than 1:1. Engine's don't have much guts left after 1:1.
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post #5 of 19 Old 09-30-2018, 09:28 PM
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I expect the ratios were chosen to achieve the CAFE standards, not enhance performance. A Jeep may be a utility vehicle, but in fact most Compasses are used as commuters and grocery-getters, and that is the purpose for which the Compass was designed.


I still hold the gearing was more about keeping buyers in other countries happy you know the ones that drive to work at 110 MPH passing their law enforcement with a big smile on their face .

If we had better gearing we could land in a lower RPM cruise in the 75 MPH range and this would yield better MPG and through that better emissions. The engine does not really care what gear the transmission is in it just wants the right ratios to let it run in it's best RPM for what your asking of it. It does not matter if that gear is labeled 8th or 9th for interstate cruising. Screaming along in 7th or 8th at 2600-3000 RPM under a light or no load situation is not going to yield you decent MPG or better emissions than cruising in 9th at around say 1800-2000 RPM.

In the city they could do the gearing the way the Trailhawk is set up and run 2nd gear starts. Then let you select 1st manually if you need it.

Same goes for the 6 speeds it has already been noted they are geared a bit tall in 1st for many off road situations. This actually pointed us at the auto and ultimately the Trailhawk. Had they given the manuals say 4.33 gearing or better they could use 1st kind of like a granny gear and mostly 2nd for normal city driving. Then they could easily use 6th around 70-75 MPH.

As things stand now most Americans are never going to find legal places they can use their top gear in so it might as well be an 8 speed auto and 5 speed manual. Heck in case of the Trailhawk in normal driving we actually end up with a 7 speed auto with a little low range gearing. LOL
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post #6 of 19 Old 09-30-2018, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by RadRacer View Post
To all the 6spd manual owners: When do you use 6th gear? I was cruising at about 75mph and 6th seemed too low and lugged the engine too much anytime a slight hill came around. I kept it in 5th while we went through the mountains, as 6th couldn't even maintain speed going uphill. I'm thinking of pretty much never using it from the way things are going; unless I'm cruising at 85mph+ sometime in the future.
Yes, I find the same in 6th. If the road is flat, 6th seems fine. However, it can't maintain interstate speeds in 6th if there's any slight hills. I just leave it in 5th if driving through rolling hills, etc.

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post #7 of 19 Old 10-03-2018, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RadRacer View Post
To all the 6spd manual owners: When do you use 6th gear? I was cruising at about 75mph and 6th seemed too low and lugged the engine too much anytime a slight hill came around. I kept it in 5th while we went through the mountains, as 6th couldn't even maintain speed going uphill. I'm thinking of pretty much never using it from the way things are going; unless I'm cruising at 85mph+ sometime in the future.
everything that everyone else has said in this thread is BULL.

<-6 speed manual owner here just rolled over 23k. and I use 6th gear all the time, everyday, almost every time i drive.

I was originally skeptic of 6th gear, but after I figured out when it's useful I like using it. Mind you I'm in NE - PA (poconos-lehigh valley area) so depending on your topography this may vary.

1) According to the manual you can shift to 6th gear (in economy fuel saving) at 41 mph. I find that while this is "do-able" the slightest hill requires downshifting. However, this will save you fuel if you play the game "how quickly can I get to 6th gear" on all your generally back-country roads etc. you will find you save an MPG or two.

2) I have no problem on rolling highways (Route 80 east of Poconos, Route 78 through Lehigh Valley) using 6th gear at 70-72 mph. This is a great cruising speed for this gear you're right at 2k RPM and just slightly tapping on the gas before going uphill and you won't lose mph. I use 5th to pass or large hills where traffic is not cooperating with my coasting, and 6th gear all other times.

If you don't use 6th gear you're missing out. At any highway speed (>65 mph) I believe that you will have better mpg on the live meter if you drive in 6th instead of 5th for any section of road. Only the largest hills will make you lug, but just down-shift to 5th (if below 80 mph). If you drive around in 5th or lower all the time I doubt you could be doing very good in fuel economy. Of course if you have really large hills then you might never get the chance to use 6th.
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post #8 of 19 Old 10-03-2018, 02:39 PM
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It may depend on year, towing package, or who knows what else. I've seen two different numbers given for the final differential gear ratios. A public-relations piece from FCA gave one number, and bragged about a strong first gear for quick starts, and a Car and Driver article and several other places gave a different number which was not so steep of a gear ratio, which would result in weaker acceleration/torque in all gears, but maybe better fuel efficiency in 6th gear.

It may be useful to compare speedometer readings at a given RPM. What speed is first gear at 3000 RPM, for example? Different vehicles may have noticeably different answers, although tire diameter will have some effect as well.
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post #9 of 19 Old 10-03-2018, 08:44 PM
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I use 6th for anything above 50mph. 5th for 40-50 and 4th for 30-40.

Gearing seems about right for the engine power.
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post #10 of 19 Old 10-03-2018, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by rriggs View Post
I use 6th for anything above 50mph.

Gearing seems about right for the engine power.
This is true for me as well. Downshift to pass sometimes right into 4th. The ability to control gearing is great benefit with a manual.

Bought my daughter a 2018 Compass Latitude with the 6 spd automatic, to avoid all the problems I hear and read about the 9 spd, in both the Compass and Cherokee.

Her Latitude lacks the performance of my Sport, which should be expected with a small displacement 180 hp engine especially in a vehicle that is not very aerodynamic.

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post #11 of 19 Old 10-04-2018, 12:41 AM Thread Starter
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Driving the flat highways here in FL, I do find myself using 6th gear once up to speed. However, when I was going through mountainous areas in other states, the engine couldn't keep up at 75mph going uphill. I've tried to get into 6th around town, and it's not happening. I don't see how 41mph is possible; I'm comfortable in 5th at 45-50mph range, but that's low RPM cruising. 6th gear at those speeds doesn't have the torque needed to maintain speed without a large change in throttle input... which defeats the whole purpose, doesn't it? But, my Compass has only 1600 miles on it, so I'm sure I'll see a little change in power output as it continues to "break in." Maybe it'll be enough to use 6th when I'm below 70mph.


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post #12 of 19 Old 10-04-2018, 01:06 PM
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I'm comfortable in 5th at 45-50mph range, but that's low RPM cruising. 6th gear at those speeds doesn't have the torque needed to maintain speed without a large change in throttle input... which defeats the whole purpose, doesn't it?
if you hit a hill, you are correct, you may need to downshift. If you don't keep up the speed you are correct. However, for any stretch of road; if you can drive it in 6th, you will have better fuel economy than driving the same stretch of road in 5th.

You can't always maintain it, but for whatever stretch you do, you save gas.

If you are at the low end of 6th, not going very fast (45ish), and you jam on the gas pedal then no, nothing is going to happen. You can only gently increase the throttle at the low end of 6th, but doing this lightly will give you better mpg, over lets say the same speed in 5th gear at 2k-2500 rpm.

Same thing with going up a hill, if you don't react to the hill until you are on it, you will not maintain speed. if you anticipate the hill and keep the gas on slightly before-hand you can roll up and down stuff surprisingly well below 2k rpm.

at highway speeds it's usually around 2k in 6th so that's pretty much a good mpg-saving cruising rpm.

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post #13 of 19 Old 10-04-2018, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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Just did a quick test: cruised down a flat road at 45mph.

4th gear I was at around 2100rpm and the cluster said I was getting 44mpg.
5th gear I was at around 1600rpm and getting 46mph.
6th gear I was at around 1300rpm and still getting 46mph. However, every slight imperfection in the road caused it to dip as low as 39mpg while in 6th gear, meanwhile 5th just cruised along with the occasional dip to 44mpg.

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post #14 of 19 Old 10-05-2018, 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by RadRacer View Post
Just did a quick test: cruised down a flat road at 45mph.

4th gear I was at around 2100rpm and the cluster said I was getting 44mpg.
5th gear I was at around 1600rpm and getting 46mph.
6th gear I was at around 1300rpm and still getting 46mph. However, every slight imperfection in the road caused it to dip as low as 39mpg while in 6th gear, meanwhile 5th just cruised along with the occasional dip to 44mpg.

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The displayed mpg is an estimate. Do you really believe a dip in the road would drop the mpg as much as you mentioned? The compass may get 46 mpg if it was dropped from a plane.

Knowing how the vehicle performs under varying conditions and paying attention to the road ahead helps in determining the gear that needs to be selected to maintain speed.
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post #15 of 19 Old 10-05-2018, 01:07 AM Thread Starter
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The displayed mpg is an estimate. Do you really believe a dip in the road would drop the mpg as much as you mentioned? The compass may get 46 mpg if it was dropped from a plane.

Knowing how the vehicle performs under varying conditions and paying attention to the road ahead helps in determining the gear that needs to be selected to maintain speed.
I know it's not going to get 46mpg, but it at least gives you an idea of what the engine is doing and what's it's consuming.

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post #16 of 19 Old 10-05-2018, 12:43 PM
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I have the smaller of the diesel engines and find that 6th does help the MPG. On a steady run on rural roads I often see 60-70MPG. Day to day is around the 50MPG mark. Motorways are 50-60MPG.

The computer overestimates a wee bit showing a lifetime MPG of 52MPG compared to my manual calculations between fillups of 50MPG overall.
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post #17 of 19 Old 10-06-2018, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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I have the smaller of the diesel engines and find that 6th does help the MPG. On a steady run on rural roads I often see 60-70MPG. Day to day is around the 50MPG mark. Motorways are 50-60MPG.

The computer overestimates a wee bit showing a lifetime MPG of 52MPG compared to my manual calculations between fillups of 50MPG overall.
I wish I had the diesel The US doesn't have that option. I had the V6 3.0L Turbo-Diesel in my Grand Cherokee and it was awesome


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post #18 of 19 Old 10-08-2018, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RadRacer View Post
Just did a quick test: cruised down a flat road at 45mph.

4th gear I was at around 2100rpm and the cluster said I was getting 44mpg.
5th gear I was at around 1600rpm and getting 46mph.
6th gear I was at around 1300rpm and still getting 46mph. However, every slight imperfection in the road caused it to dip as low as 39mpg while in 6th gear, meanwhile 5th just cruised along with the occasional dip to 44mpg.

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i just did a quick test and was cruising down the road in 6th gear at around 45 mph (sometimes down to 42 sometimes up to 48.) getting 65+ mpg. When I came to a hill, not a dip, or an imperfection, but a hill, I gassed it a tad to keep the speed up before getting there and the mpg went down to the 40s. At the top of the hill, off the gas and the mpg was 75+.

I drive the same stretch of road every day and I do it in 5th sometimes and I get good mpg mostly 40s and 50s and stuff but you have to gas it a lot more, so I don't see how that can be more "efficient".

So I dunno maybe new engines don't perform as well or not as good in 6th gear. Maybe you're just gassing it at the wrong time.

Of course 5th and 4th at that speed seem to be much more responsive, and more managable, however I don't see the similar mpgs as you do.

my jeep just seems to love rolling around in 6th pulling up and over all the little hills. I don't know that I have any "flat" stretch of road to try it on, as most of the stuff around here is hilly in one way or another.

I know that when I started using 6th gear around here my average efficiency went up around 3-4 mpg (calculated on odo/tanks)

good luck!

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Last edited by joninpa; 10-08-2018 at 01:37 PM.
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post #19 of 19 Old 10-08-2018, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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i just did a quick test and was cruising down the road in 6th gear at around 45 mph (sometimes down to 42 sometimes up to 48.) getting 65+ mpg. When I came to a hill, not a dip, or an imperfection, but a hill, I gassed it a tad to keep the speed up before getting there and the mpg went down to the 40s. At the top of the hill, off the gas and the mpg was 75+.

I drive the same stretch of road every day and I do it in 5th sometimes and I get good mpg mostly 40s and 50s and stuff but you have to gas it a lot more, so I don't see how that can be more "efficient".

So I dunno maybe new engines don't perform as well or not as good in 6th gear. Maybe you're just gassing it at the wrong time.

Of course 5th and 4th at that speed seem to be much more responsive, and more managable, however I don't see the similar mpgs as you do.

my jeep just seems to love rolling around in 6th pulling up and over all the little hills. I don't know that I have any "flat" stretch of road to try it on, as most of the stuff around here is hilly in one way or another.

I know that when I started using 6th gear around here my average efficiency went up around 3-4 mpg (calculated on odo/tanks)

good luck!
Hmm, maybe my engine just needs more time to break in. I'm about to roll over 2000 miles .

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