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More Transmission Woes - 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited August 2016 in Jeep
imageMore Transmission Woes - 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk Long-Term Road Test

Our long-term 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk hasn't received much praise for its 9-speed automatic transmission. Herein, yet another editor gives it the thumbs-down.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • adamb1adamb1 Cookeville, TNPosts: 122
    My '14 Fusion Titanium will do this from time to time. If I am accelerating and lift around 45 mph, the trans will upshift and dump the rpm's into high gear which causes that kick in the rear.
  • yellowbalyellowbal Posts: 234
    Are we feeling more shock since the torque converters lock so much earlier now? I don't remember ever feeling harsh shifts in the old Toyota 4 speed autos.
  • gslippygslippy Posts: 514
    This transmission might be forgiven if it delivered class-leading fuel economy or performance. But it's actually worse in these areas.
  • MCZCOKEMCZCOKE Posts: 18
    This is milk out the nose kinda funny. It's a Jeep thing! LMAO
  • stuntman_mikestuntman_mike Posts: 57
    edited August 2016
    Had a Chrysler 200 as a rental with that engine / transmission combo last year and it was enough for me to swear that I'd never buy one. Good luck to you if you're on the gas or lifting during the 4-5 or 5-4 gear transition. You get on the gas during the upshft: Nothing. Then it finally downshifts and shoots you forward, so you lift. Then it upshifts again and you're back where you started from. Lather, Rinse, Repeat. (The Do-Loop of Doom.) The delay during the engage / disengage of that dog clutch is very pronounced when compared to the other shifts to which you're accustomed. I don't think that I ever got it in a high enough gear to ever engage the second dog clutch.

    I'd read on Allpar that there was another firmware update a few months ago that finally sorted out the Cherokees with this transmission. I wonder if it's applicable to Renegade too?
  • bloodyrbloodyr Posts: 11
    I can't recall many auto transmissions that I've been happy with. I had a 2002 Jetta VR6 that would occasionally upshift about as hard as Josh is describing here. It was violent. The dealer eventually found the issue (a tech had to take it for the weekend to recreate the issue), but it was never completely satisfactory. My wife's VW Routan transmission is total garbage. It clunks into gear any time you step on the gas. My old Infiniti 5 speed auto was decent, but on cold mornings the 2-3 upshift was pretty hard until the car warmed up.

    I could go on and on... luckily I have a manual again so I don't have to worry about it now. I think one of the main problems of modern autos is that they aggressively upshift in the name of fuel economy, which can put you in a gear you have no business being in and lead to some of these clunky shifts.
  • reminderreminder Posts: 383
    The best 5-speed auto I've ever driven was in a Honda accord. The mapping of the motor & transmission was excellent. I never experienced an occasion when the the car was caught flatfooted. I know they went to CVT not long ago, but they had the best conventional automatic in my experience.
  • Check the new recall on these...it can drop from whatever gear it's in, into neutral, at any time, at any speed.
  • I'm amused to see this entry after my comment in the previous Renegade entry:

    Will anyone be sad to see this car go? The one-liner conclusion I've drawn from following your 12 months with this car is, "With its compact size and offroad capability the Renegade showed promise... but with its quirky, ineffective transmission it failed to deliver."
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,048
    These systems do things that a lot of people might not be aware of. Stepping on the accelerator position sensor (gas pedal) is just an input to the computer telling it what the driver wants. The computer has complete control of the throttle assembly and will use the throttle to change engine speeds at shift points independent of the drivers input. As mentioned in one of the other responses the ZF does use dog clutches for two shifts, which are explained in this video found on YouTube.

    It's easy to theorize that the 5-4 shift while slowing down might be the culprit since it is one of the gear changes that use a dog clutch. It doesn't have to be that shift that is causing the sensation, but people do like to blame what they don't understand, or what is new. Capturing one of these events on a data recording would be the first step to prove/disprove that theory. What "might" be seen is when the shift is commanded, the throttle is opened to speed the engine up slightly which would be normal. When the harsh shift occurs the timing of the engine speed change might be offset from the actual shift event. It easily could be that the engine hesitates slightly, requiring more throttle and then the result is too high of an rpm when the shift completes.
  • 2002 Ford Explorer was the same. 37-41 mph jerking/thud in stop and go traffic. 34,000 miles. Company car. Told employer. He told me the transmission was replaced under warranty already for this issue.
  • gslippygslippy Posts: 514
    I'm surprised at the comments here claiming bad shifts from other transmissions, as if to say 'they all do that'. My experience with Hyundai/Kia products using conventional electronically-shifted transmissions is that they've been great - smooth, reliable, predictable shifts every time.

    Buyers expect their cars to respond predictably. The actual number of gears isn't important, whether its a 1-spd EV, a CVT, a 6-spd auto, or a 9-spd ZF with dog clutches. Uneven shifts or throttle response can be unsafe, contribute to shorter drivetrain life, and lower customer satisfaction. Having test-driven a 2.4/9A Renegade, I wouldn't touch this transmission in a new car, let alone in a used car.
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