Originally Posted by mdram4x4
works just fine, i use it every day. sure it will downshift at times, all trans will
I'd be willing to believe its a touch better in the Latitude and TH trims, since they have lower final drive gear ratios than the Limited trim, but either way its still going to downshift way more than a traditional 4 speed auto tied to a V6. There is simply not enough torque in the lower RPM range of the 2.4, combine that with really tall gearing in my Limited trim and piss-poor transmission programming and you get downshifts for every slight breeze and almost every hill.
If I put my roof rack and Thule cargo box on, the effect becomes nearly unbearable. You absolutely cannot
use cruise control with this thing on a 70+ MPH highway with a large cargo box unless you stick it into manual/auto-stick mode. If you don't, it bounces between 7th and 8th gear non-stop for miles and miles on end, even if you are going downhill. Even if you aren't using cruise, the constant downshifts are a problem with the cargo box.
Am I exaggerating slightly? Absolutely. My frustration is not an exaggeration, however.
If I ever get my hands on some kind of tool that can tweak transmission parameters, I am going to set this thing to hold every gear longer and lock out 8th unless you are going at least 80 MPH. That would pretty much cure it. The tools exist for other FCA vehicles (hptuners mpvi2), they just haven't quite matured for the ZF9 yet, but they will and I will be waiting. One day there will be enough tools to poke and prod this half-baked car into a really good machine.