Jeep Compass petrol engine discontinued; no replacement in sight

Jeep Compass petrol discontinued

Jeep has pulled the plug on the Compass petrol in India as the 1.4-litre turbo-petrol unit does not meet the latest BS6 Phase 2 emissions norms that came into effect this April. The company had already started phasing out the petrol engine with the discontinuation of the manual variants back in December 2022, following which the petrol engine was only available with the DCT automatic gearbox. However, that too has now been taken out of showrooms.

The Compass will, therefore, continue as a diesel-only SUV, but crucially, this leaves Jeep with no petrol-engined model in the mainstream SUV segment where demand for diesel is steadily reducing.  

  1. Jeep’s 1.4-litre turbo-petrol engine has been discontinued globally
  2. Petrol variants contributed to over 50 percent of Compass’ sales
  3. Compass Trailhawk variants have also been discontinued  

Why Jeep can’t offer a Compass petrol any longer?

Jeep had already stopped production of the 1.4-litre turbo-petrol unit globally due to stricter emissions norms abroad. This engine was available in markets like South America and Europe. A new and more efficient 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine replaced the older unit in most of these markets when the facelifted Compass arrived in 2020. India was, however, one of the very few remaining markets to continue with the 1.4-litre engine even with the facelifted model since it was compatible with Indian emissions regulations back then.

The petrol engine contributed to about 50-60 percent of the Compass’ sales in India, and in some metro cities such as Delhi where diesel is discouraged, it went up to as much as 80 percent of total sales. The Compass sells about 650 units a month on average, which means the share of the petrol variants work out to be 350-400 units a month in our market.

Now, there’s clearly no business case in upgrading an engine to meet emissions norms for just a few hundred units a month, let alone for just a single market like ours. The Compass is also exported to international markets with a 2.4-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine from India, but this too is unsuitable for the Indian market.  

Foreseeing the stricter emissions norms, Jeep could have acted on this much sooner. Ideally, the carmaker should have replaced the outgoing engine with the new 1.3-litre unit in India like in other markets, but that’s something that should have been accounted for in product planning long ago. It typically takes two to three years for a new powertrain to be approved and validated for launch in a new market.

The only possibility for a petrol engine to make a comeback in the Compass line-up in India is with the next-gen model due in 2026, which is also expected to have an all-electric version.

Jeep Compass Trailhawk discontinued too

In addition to the petrol variants, Jeep has also discontinued the top-spec Trailhawk variant of the Compass that came with the 2.0-litre diesel engine and a 4x4 drivetrain. The model has been delisted from the Jeep India website, although some dealers continue to have limited unsold stock of the vehicle.  

What does this mean for Jeep India?

For the foreseeable future, the Compass and the Meridian, which are mainstays of the brand in India, will continue with a sole diesel engine, while the flagship Grand Cherokee and Wrangler are powered by a petrol engine. This leaves them quite vulnerable in the mass-market segment that is moving away from diesels. Given that the petrol variants contributed to a majority of the Compass’ sales, the company’s overall volumes could see a significant drop. Moreover, the Meridian too hasn’t quite kicked off like Jeep would have wanted, so the withdrawal of the petrol engine comes at the worst time possible.

Also See:

Honda e:Ny1 electric SUV breaks cover

Toyota Yaris Cross SUV revealed for ASEAN markets

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