By on May 30, 2014

2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited V6 Exterior-002

Remember the nine-speed transmission in the new Jeep Cherokee that gave our rising superstar managing editor a hard time, followed by everyone else giving him a hard time about the truth of this car before walking back their statements in light of their seeing the light? More than 100,000 of the crossovers built before May 5 will need theirs readjusted.

Automotive News reports the software in the affected units will be subject to a five-minute software reflash, followed by a 78-minute test drive to ensure the transmission’s ability to learn how its owner drives is no longer hindered by digital bugs. While all owners will not need to bring their vehicles in for the work, those who do feel their transmission is lacking will have the fix covered for free under warranty.

The nine-speed, which also feeds power to the front and/or all four corners of the 2015 Chrysler 200, has been reflashed once before, and problems early on led to a delay in the introduction of the new Cherokee to sort out the kinks. For what it’s worth, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne isn’t concerned about what may be dinging the quality of the new transmission:

There are always teething issues with every transmission I’ve ever built, and I mean that literally. We keep tuning the transmission more and more as we get more familiar with it.

I’m never satisfied, but I think I’m OK with its application in the current car. It will get better six months from now, trust me.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

104 Comments on “Jeep’s Nine-Speed Undergoes Second Reflash For 100k Cherokees...”


  • avatar
    alsorl

    Just goes to prove you never buy a first year auto. And that is any brand for you anti-American auto lovers on this site. Not just the American made brands.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      There are all sorts of ways to minimize your risk when buying a first year model. Is the engine carryover or used in other vehicles? What about the transmission? Chassis? My 5th gen 4Runner was a good example of this. The frame, transmission, transfer case, diffs, etc, were largely carryover from the 4th gen. The engine was all new, but was basically taking the old 4.0L and giving it all of the upgrades from the proven 3.5L (exhaust variable valve timing, roller rocker valvetrain, timing chain instead of belt, etc.). The Cherokee is a new body on an otherwise not available in the US platform. Some of the engines are carryover from the Dart; some are new. AT is all new. The 4WD systems seem to be pretty new (with like 3 variations, right?) Probably higher risk that a CR-V that was probably an evolutionary change from the previous generation with transmissions, 4WD, and engines that live in several other Hondas. Of course, that isn’t a guarantee, but it is a pretty good bet, IMO.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Didn’t the 4.0L V6 have a chain from the get-go in the 4th gen?

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          You might be right. The last belt might have been the 3rd gen. Anyway, the “new” 1GR was a new engine that was still heavily based on two engines (1GR, 2GR) that had a reliable history.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Yeah 3rd gen 5vzfe 3.4L has a belt, and the optional 4.7L v8 in the 4th gen used a belt. Can’t say I mind, I just had a new one put on at my brother’s shop and I should be good to 190k miles. Non-interference, they’re actually known to last much longer than 90k (150-170k is not unheard of), good news for the maintenance ignorant.

            I’m sort of considering swapping out my commuter Civic and weekend 3rd gen 4runner for a 5th gen under the delusional pretense of saving money (I wouldn’t). That and the fact that I vastly prefer the aesthetics of the older 4runners to the new ones keeps me away.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            A family friend of ours has a Lexus GX 470 (same engine and platform as the 4Runner). It’s now 10 years old and likely crossing 200K miles. It’s no wonder that those Toyota trucks depreciate much slower than anything European or American.

      • 0 avatar
        alsorl

        I was speaking of a whole new model as in a first year auto.

        • 0 avatar
          Drewlssix

          Such a thing is exceedingly rare. Even when mfg,s use “all new” in ads it’s almost always jargon. I recall looking over the “all new” rx8 a decade ago and spotting several bits held over from over a decade before then. Typically you get an all new platform later updated with a new trans then a radically updated engine. By the time everything is “new” the oldest of the new bits is due for replacement.

      • 0 avatar
        pragmatist

        gtemnykh

        ” Non-interference, they’re actually known to last much longer than 90k (150-170k is not unheard of),”

        By comparison, gears (as well as bands and clutchpacks) in conventional automatics will typically outlast the car if not abused. My Wrangler is currently about 260K on an old 3 speed Torqueflite, my wife’s 87 MB recently was totaled in a crash (no injuries) at over 350K.

        Without abuse, only electronics and hydraulic seals are failure points in modern conventional automatics. CVTs have those failure points as well as a bunch of their own.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          And yet, without abuse I went through THREE automatic transmissions–specifically the torque converter–inside of 6 years and 160,000 miles on one car. A 1996 Chevy.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Um I was speaking of timing belts in engines, not belts on CVTs. Modern conventional automatics still do fail. Look around on Fusion/Escape forums with the 6F35 automatic, or GM Lambdas.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      I agree so I didn’t splurge on the new 4 cylinder Volvo V60. Instead I got the rather dated TSX Sport Wagon.

      • 0 avatar
        Chicago Dude

        The Volvo V60 is not a first year car. This is only its first year on sale in the US. In fact, it seems pretty rare these days for any car to be available in the US when it first goes on sale unless it is a US-only vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      This.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I bought a first-year Saturn Vue back in 2002 and put over 120,000 miles on it with no ‘teething’ problems over eight years. Basically, that means your argument is merely a cliché that only has some merit. Personally, I’m rather impressed by the fact that FCA is bothering to perform these re-flashes at no cost to the owner (well, except maybe for the cost of fuel in that 78-minute test drive).

      • 0 avatar
        alsorl

        Not all first year autos are bad. Juat to be careful when purchasing that auto. This new Jeep had a lot if new technologies to start with, you would be kinda brave to purchase this model.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Always my motto when doing a session of “Car Advice For Relatives.”

  • avatar
    VoGo

    The Cherokee is not American. It may sound American; it may be built with cheap American labor.

    But it was built by a foreign company off one of their platforms.

  • avatar

    I just don’t see the point of a 9-speed in a vehicle like this.
    Unless you regularly find yourself driving on highways at extra-legal speeds…

    All these vehicles need is a Start/Stop system with cylinder deactivation and no more than an 8-speed.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      Didn’t TTAC do a write up where they showed that this design uses 3 ring gears each with three planetary gears so by default you get 9 speeds? The way the design works you can have 3 speeds, 6, 9, 12 etc. but you can’t have 8.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      More gears do not necessarily equal more speed; with closer ratios more gears can mean the engine is always closer to the engines “sweet spot.”

      Bigtrucks, you should know that REALLY big trucks use 10, 12, 13, and 18 speed transmissions not to go faster but to allow the engine to stay within a certain RPM range at a variety of road speeds, none of which are necessarily extra legal. This allows the engine to be used more efficiently and operate in a narrower RPM range where is has the best needed combination of horsepower and torque.

      More gears, when done right, is generally a good thing.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff Weimer

        But this transmission’s 9th gear won’t engage below 80 mph. Kinda useless except for bragging rights.

      • 0 avatar

        YES – I understand that more available gears helps an engine stay in a good powerband, but LOOK: they are having a lot of trouble with it – while the 8-speed was just fantastic.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          I don’t think the term is, “a lot of trouble with it” as far as that goes, it’s a matter of timing because of the automatic differentials kicking in and out, which has nothing to do with the number of speeds in the transmission. Since the system uses ‘dog-tooth’ gears to engage front and rear driveshafts, their timing needs to be very precise under a wide variety of situations where you might see slip in the front and have traction in the back, etc. Since it’s an automatic transmission, you can’t simple press the clutch to balance shaft speeds and shift; the transmission has to make the determinations as to when each step of the engagement occurs.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      I test drove an early version and even the salesman warned me the transmission needed time to learn how I drove. It did detract from my otherwise favorable impression of the little suv. Although I think some of the problem might be with how it works with the 4 cyl engine.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      That argument makes little logical sense, BTSR. Especially when you consider GM and Ford are in a design partnership to create a 10-speed transmission.

      The reasoning behind more gears is eminently logical; keep the engine at its most efficient speed for acceleration and cruising. If an engine makes its best power at 2300 rpm, why force it to start pulling at 1500 and wind out to 3000 between gear shifts? On the other hand, the most efficient type would be a Continuously Variable Transmission, whose ability to perfectly match engine power to acceleration/cruise demand is the most economical and performance choice. The problem is that so far, the CVT simply cannot handle the torque of most modern engines, especially when that torque is demanded so frequently by American drivers. The advantages of a CVT would be huge as there is lower cost involved in assembly and maintenance simply due to having far fewer parts. On the other hand, the ‘belt’ transferring power from one pulley to the other is the weakest link in this design for now–easily burnt out in high-torque applications when rigid enough and too easily breaking down when flexible enough to maintain grip.

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      The Cherokees I’ve driven have been in 9th at like 55 or maybe 60, tops. The “problems” with this trans are more like, “customer complaining it shifts weird”. It does, but it’s not nearly as bad as my cousin’s old Audi (73?) that shifted harder from 1-2 at like 25MPH than the built Turbo 350 I had in my Trans Am did at full throttle. I remember thinking, “WTF is wrong with the transmission?”. The answer for the Audi was, and is for the 9 speed, “That’s just the way it is!”

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    It’s going to be hard to knock that first sentence off the throne for Kludge of the Day.

  • avatar
    cbrworm

    While I don’t think that 9 forward gears are necessary, I do think it is slick that almost every aspect is controlled by software that can be upgraded. It is unfortunate that you have to take it to the dealer for the update and a 78 minute (is that accurate?) test drive. Many new cars have cellular connections, it would be nice if you would get a prompt asking you if you would like to have your firmware upgraded. You could answer yes or no. If you answer no, you could access the update through a sub-menu to do the update later.

    It would also be nice if all electrical connections were broken to the transmission, it would mechanically shift through some set of forward gears and still be driveable.

    • 0 avatar
      greaseyknight

      Not going to happen for a very very long time, the security ramifications are massive. Think hackers downloading a virus to your car and then doing whatever they want. Hold you hostage just like the Iphones? Go full throttle with no brakes? Plus their would be the risk of the update being corrupted and having a “bricked” car.

      Most systems in modern vehicles have some sort of limp home mode. In transmissions that often means the transmission defaults to one gear and does not shift. A whole set of mechanical controls is really not an option.

      • 0 avatar
        jpolicke

        I’ll bet the banks would love it with all the subprime loans they’re handing out. No need for some tech to have to crawl around installing an aftermarket disabler, every desk in the collections department would have a big red button to disable cars of past due accounts. Zap! That was easy.

        • 0 avatar
          Toad

          Um, the finance companies already have GPS trackers that will disable the car (when it is parked) by remote control if payments are late. This has been around for a few years now and is used by many buy here/pay here lots.

          Some systems have a green light whey your payments are current, a yellow light when they are late, and a red light when the car is going to be disabled. The systems are effective in that the debtor has a heads up that they need to make their payment or the car will definitely not be drivable very soon.

          • 0 avatar
            jpolicke

            I alluded to that. My point was how thrilled they would be to have the cars leave the factory already equipped.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        “Not going to happen for a very very long time, the security ramifications are massive. Think hackers downloading a virus to your car and then doing whatever they want.”

        Think Penny Gadget and her computer book!

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        Tesla does it.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Sorry, greasey, bad simile. Aside from the fact that those iPhone hacks were due to bad passwords, the cars each have private identifiers that would be rather difficult for the average ‘hacker’ to pick up and ‘lock down’. Even so, the iPhone users that had any sense quite easily bypassed the lockdown and escaped the problem.

        Not an iPhone fault, a user fault.

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      I believe Tesla performs over-the-air software updates.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Tesla has made that capability automatic. Then again, Tesla operates completely differently from everybody else.

  • avatar
    65corvair

    I bought a Neon when they came out, built in the first month of production. Great car, spent more on tires in 217,000 miles than unscheduled repairs.

    Have an ’11 Fiesta, it’s been a very unreliable. 17 problems to date. Even the manual transmission have had multiple problems.

    Will I ever buy a first year car again? No. I’m going to wait to see how the car does in the TrueDelta reliability survey.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      It’s a shame about the Fiesta transmission. I’m disappointed that Ford has concentrated more on gadgets than building solid cars during their latest product cycles.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Sounds like your Fiesta has lived up to why I will never willingly buy a new Ford. Every Ford I’ve owned so far has been a lemon in one way or another.

  • avatar
    1998S90

    Sergio, that word you keep using- literally- I don’t think it means what you think it means.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      Yes, pushing the metaphor conjures sheared gears.

    • 0 avatar
      LALoser

      LOL! “basically”, “the thing is” “literally” “a sea change” “going forward” in “service delivery”.
      ..or something like that…

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      It’s more than the word, it’s the arrogance of the whole sentence:

      “There are always teething issues with every transmission I’VE ever built…”

      Sergio has never built a transmission (literally), nor designed one, nor been in charge when many transmissions Fiat uses were designed. The revelation of the size of Sergio’s ego in that sentence is staggering.

  • avatar
    DDayJ

    The 545RFE in my 99 Grand Cherokee was brand new at the time as well. I remember they re-flashed that one early in its life too. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it to enable the 5th speed, since it was equipped with it, but originally was programmed as only a 4 speed auto? Anyway, mine has 130k on it now and performs like it’s new. It hasn’t exactly been well cared for either.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      The 99′s had a 45RFE, which after the upgrade does become the 545RFE, so you’re correct. It added the other OD….which oddly enough they could have had a 6 speed out of it instead of using that “Second Prime” ratio.

  • avatar
    zerofoo

    Big deal – the ZF licensed 8-speed in my wife’s 2014 GC has been flashed 3 times for “shift quality” issues.

    Before the last two flashes, eco mode was basically unusable. It would hold 8th gear in almost every driving situation. Now the thing (mostly) picks the appropriate gear and shifts pretty well.

    The cynical part of me thinks that they ship with one firmware for EPA MPG ratings and then push out the “real” firmware later on.

    Welcome to the new world where everything is a computer – and developed the same way.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I still doubt the necessity of more than 6 speeds in an automatic, might as well go CVT if you’re going beyond that. I’ve driven a few 5-speed autos where I thought “hmmmmmmmmm one more gear would be just perfect.” But I have never driven a 6 speed where I thought, “wow this thing needs extra gears!”

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      CVT’s have low torque limits.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Hey PDan, (disclaimer, just musing not preaching)

      Was just discussing this with a cvt driving former manual driving friend.

      My understanding is that these 9,10, 11 speed boxes forthcoming, when attached to a modern car engine are more and more akin to a cvt. The advantage of a cog box rather than a belt/cone box is that the planetary gearsets and clutches/brakes are two position elements (on/off), so grabbing a new gear is a matter of a bunch of elements opening and closing, where as a cvt requires the cones to move to change ratios. So, the cog box should be quicker to change ratios, and be less prone to the dreaded “rubber band” feeling attributed to cvt, as well as the cvt drone. So assuming similar ratio spreads, a cog box will be quicker to grab a set ratio and more direct.

      The advantages of the cvt would be a better ability to pin the engine speed at, rather than around its sweet spot, as well as in theory a wider ratio spread. This would mainly come down to programming I think, what engine speed the box tries to achieve for a given input. Given this a cvt in theory should achieve superior economy, though of course there are many many factors. Also, I believe the reason 2 speed gearsets in front of cvt have been proposed is to help with slow “downshift”.

      All in all, I think super multi speed gear boxes and cvt are just two sides of the same coin, attempting to achieve the same thing with different methods and different pros and cons. Either way, it is a great time to be a mechanical enthusiast.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      While I agree with your view that the CVT is the better choice, the CVT has its own reliability issues due to the ‘belt’ simply not able to stand up to American torque demand, especially with the more powerful engines. As such, more gears help keep the engine at the best speed for the power demand with higher gears for economy at speed and more in-between gears to help keep the engine from ‘peaking’ so drastically during acceleration.

      As an example, my 6-speed manual realizes about a 800rpm drop between 1st and 2nd, another 800 between 2nd and 3rd, then a near-1500 rpm drop between 3rd and 4th before going a little more close-ratio between 4th, 5th and 6th at around 400 rpm each. To me, a more balanced ratio involving almost exactly the same rpm drop between gears would make much more sense.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        This is why Honda, for instance, didn’t pair a CVT with Accord V6s.

        Ironically, the new Acura TLX has a DSG option on the four-banger, but a multi-speed conventional slushbox on the more powerful V6s.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Can’t tell you how many times I tried for a 5th gear with a 4-speed stick, 6th on a 5-speed and 7th on my current 6-speed. I’d love to get that thing down to 1500 rpm at 60mph.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Quote of the day:

    “There are no defective transmissions, just sh!tty software”

  • avatar
    Syke

    Before we start slagging the Cherokee too badly, think for a minute. How many times a year does your current version of Windows suddenly get an upgrade? Usually unannounced (unless you follow the techie publications religiously), and invariably shows up as you boot up at 0600 because you’ve got some immediately work that HAS to get done before you do the daily commute to the office.

    Welcome to the future of cars: The more software controls for drive trains, the more you’re going to see mid-year and mid-production-life reflashes (upgrades).

    Welcome to one of the (and the newest) reasons why I’m still happy driving a five speed manual.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      You’ve got a good point, but Windows sucks and as a user you have other choices. Your choices on avoiding new car software upgrades is much more limited.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “More limited”? You’re sure?

        How many different car brands out there compared to computer OSes? I’d say your choices are LESS limited, though if you’re a fan of just one brand, you may be out of luck.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Not true, if you want a conventional auto you choices are becoming more limited. If you hate auto trans in general and prefer manual they are very limited. If you prefer a V6 your choices are limited. If you prefer normal radio/cd and hvac controls your choices are limited. If you prefer a coupe your choices are limited. Cars are not nearly as generic as software to power an x86/x64 based PC.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Folks, if you want yourself a Cherokee, just buy yourself a XJ.

    Lol! Nobody, and I mean NOBODY- saw this coming.

    This is likely the first of a “laundry list” of issues to come (did I get that old fable correct?)

    This could prove to be a bigger disaster than the Hindenburg.

    I’ve got 7 gears in my GLK350, which in my humble opinion, in stop and go driving, likes to go hunting far too often already. I couldn’t imagine living with the nine-speed wonderbox.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Gotta find ‘em to buy ‘em (the XJ), my friend. They’re not exactly common on the used car lots any more.

      And yes, I do agree that high gear count means a tranny will hunt more often–that typically means you’re not driving smoothly enough. I’ve always said, “It’s not how fast you drive, it’s how smoothly you drive” that gets you there first.

      • 0 avatar
        billfrombuckhead

        Actually this transmission is quite smooth and usually the shifts are imperceptible because the steps are so small.

        The 8 speed Torqueflite is a revelation to most people as it shifts flawlessly while allowing the Pentastar to have V8 performance with 4 cylinder gas mileage

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          I agree, it is quite smooth. I will also say that I think it works better with the V6 than it does with the 4-banger because the 4-banger doesn’t have enough twist to do the transmission justice.

          And that is probably what will be changed in the new firmware: the shift points.

          One of the guys I play poker with owns a couple of CJDR dealerships and he told me the issue is not on flat and level terrain, or going downhill. The issue is in winding hilly terrain going uphill. With the 4-banger that transmission is busier than a one-armed wallpaper hanger.

          Other than that, the new Cherokee is a good seller, at least in MY area.

  • avatar
    mcarr

    Seems to me that in the Cherokee, it would’ve made more sense to use a numerically higher axle ratio so that 9th gear was usable under 80 mph, and 1st gear was even lower for better off roading. Heck, engaging 1st could be optional, the transmission could normally start in 2nd.

    But they never asked me.

  • avatar
    sitting@home

    My transmission is controlled by the best computational device ever known to exist and is continually learning my driving style. It uses sensors that detect weather conditions, road conditions and all surrounding traffic and is prescient enough to know upcoming hazards and often the topography of the route. It’s almost completely immune to unintended acceleration and almost always in exactly the right gear.

    It doesn’t matter how many gears and how often you reflash an automatic transmission, it will will always be inferior to a stick shift.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Believe it or not, I’ll agree with this.

    • 0 avatar
      hybridkiller

      “It doesn’t matter how many gears and how often you reflash an automatic transmission, it will always be inferior to a stick shift.”

      I’m guessing you weren’t too thrilled when carburetors were phased out in favor of computer controlled fuel injection.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Fuel injection is simply better than carbs at getting the right amount of fuel into the engine under all conditions. An automatic is not better than I am at picking the right gear in all conditions. It is *easier* in that it can shift for itself, but with the possible exception of the GPS-linked automatic that Rolls-Royce is using, an automatic can only ever be reactive. I can proactively shift. I can decide if I want to accelerate at low rpms with a wide open throttle or downshift. I can go from 2nd to 6th if the conditions warrant. And on and on and on. The automatic can shift faster than I can, but so what? I am not racing anyone.

        • 0 avatar
          See 7 up

          +1
          Also, automatics are not “easier”. They require me to do things like move the shift lever in park before I can remove the key. I have to constantly keep my foot on the brake in heavy traffic situations. I have to react to its mistakes (downshifting mid turn when I just want a little power, or causing me to let off the gas cause I just wanted a little acceleration, but now its stuck in 2nd gear going 45 mph cause it “learned” I am sporty…)

          I have no idea how people drive autos on a daily basis.

          • 0 avatar
            hybridkiller

            “Also, automatics are not “easier”. They require me to do things like move the shift lever in park before I can remove the key. I have to constantly keep my foot on the brake in heavy traffic situations”

            And how is that more trouble than constantly having to work the clutch?

            “I have to react to its mistakes (downshifting mid turn when I just want a little power, or causing me to let off the gas cause I just wanted a little acceleration, but now its stuck in 2nd gear going 45 mph cause it “learned” I am sporty…)”

            I don’t know what you have been driving, but it sounds like you have/had a car with a pretty piss-poor AT, or one that was malfunctioning.

            You obviously prefer MTs, and I have no beef with that – it’s simply personal preference.
            In my lifetime I have owned almost as many vehicles with MTs as ATs – and currently own one of each – and I agree MTs have their optimal applications. But this notion that all ATs are somehow inherently inferior to a MT is just plain nonsense. As a famous politician once said: You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            As a manual transmission driver myself, even I have to disagree with what you’re saying here, See. Automatics ARE “easier”. You don’t have to constantly coordinate the clutch, gas, brake and shifter to travel from point A to point B. You just set it and go. Its “mistakes” even with the old Powerglide and other designs were based strictly on the power demanded from the engine and the speed at which it was already turning. Modern transmissions are much more reactive to these demands.

            However, the biggest advantage with a manual transmission today is more precise control of your speed. You select a gear and let out the clutch to accelerate while feeding gas to the engine for power.

            The clutch is a physical link between engine and transmission as compared to a fluid link with a torque converter. When you let off the gas, you don’t simply coast, the gear selection and the engine compression work to decelerate the vehicle, actually taking some of the work off the brakes and helping them to last longer–as much as 100% longer if driven carefully. Your speed control as such is more precise–but NOT easier.

            No, the strongest advantage of a manual transmission is that there is no torque converter to fail while the clutch plates are made to be easily replaced–for me typically well after 100,000 miles. I’ve never had an automatic last that long without a $2,000 rebuild (every one of which was a different shop wanting to replace all the bands as well as TC). My last automatic transmission car needed a ‘rebuild’ roughly every 60K miles. My previous MT car just had its clutch plates replaced at 130K miles and my current one isn’t even close at over 50K miles.

            The automatic offers simplicity and easier driving–as evidenced by the fact that many car thieves today simply don’t know how to drive a stick. If I had to have another complaint about automatics based on this article, it would be that rather than ‘learning’ your driving style, give it two modes–selectable economy and ‘sport’ modes.

    • 0 avatar
      CrapBox

      Amen. For six months of the year, I travel on icy, windswept roads. A standard transmission allows me to pick the right gear for the conditions. It’s a bigger safety factor than AWD.

  • avatar
    dude500

    CVT should be brought back to F1:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3UpBKXMRto

    After 6 gears, what’s the point? Go infinite-ratio instead.

    • 0 avatar
      See 7 up

      The only issue is that they are programmed, for road cars, to act like standard transmissions.
      If I am going to drive an auto, I actually prefer the smoothness of a true CVT.

      F1 and racing discussions are pointless. Racing is about going fast, not about enjoying the car. Like all the people that say how DSG are cool cause f1 drivers use them, and if f1 drivers use them, they must be for “real” drivers. I am not manual snob, but manual shift control was taken away from F1 drivers because it presents a potential place for driver error to cause a loss. In that regards, F1 did take some driver skill out of the equation, even if that driving skill is at a extremely high level, relatively speaking.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        It’s not about skill or even driver consistency. Fully manual transmissions simply shift too slow to be competitive against semi-automatic gearboxes in formula racing.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    Interestingly the Evoque has not had any major issues with the same gearbox. Also interesting that the Evoque is proving to be a very reliable car. Through Jeeps problems maybe we are now seeing Land Rover start to shrug off their past reliability problems!

  • avatar
    scwmcan

    Except the Evoque has just barely begun shipping with the nine speed ( was introduced with a 6speed) so a little early to be saying it has been very reliable with the nine speed.

  • avatar
    See 7 up

    None of my transmissions have to learn me, cause they are me.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      The 3-speed Torqueflite in my old Chrysler didn’t care who I was, it just responded to the 361 V8 it was connected to. It didn’t learn my driving habits, I had to adjust my driving habits to IT. It turned out the Torqueflite knew more about driving than I did.

  • avatar
    billfrombuckhead

    Tuesday there will be another sales report showing booming Cherokee sales and surging Mopar deliveries smashing the 50 consecutive month increase in sales banner while everyday thousands of cars of all makes and types get get computer updates.

    Sour grapes from TTAC and it’s American car hating fan base.

    Mopar uber alles

  • avatar
    luvmyv8

    Probably still better then the woeful transmission I had in my Chrysler 200 rental….. then again the 4 cylinder didn’t do it much favors either. Jack hit it spot on with his review from a few months past. The Cherokee can’t be as bad as that was.

  • avatar
    hybridkiller

    “No, the strongest advantage of a manual transmission is that there is no torque converter to fail…”

    Let’s not forget that not all modern ATs are slushboxes.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “that gave our rising superstar managing editor a hard time”

    This article brought to you by Dyson.

  • avatar
    dpb

    Hi,

    Very Interesting review of the nine speed transmission. I have driven this vehicle twice for extended periods and thought how smooth this box was. ZF make good products and the real question is, would you buy this vehicle knowing the detail about the transmission?

    I am looking to buy an SUV and hold on to it for at least 7-years. A friend has the 2008 Grand Cherokee and has just spent a ton on the 4-wheel drive system. Needless to say, I do not want be in the same boat. Or, should I go with the Forrester, manual, although Motor Trend just had an article RE the oil consumption…. Not sure… Or, get a Ford Escape..? Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India