2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk: Made Peace With the Shift
by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on September 1, 2016
The nine-speed automatic transmission is arguably our 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk's least-flattering trait. It shifts slow, it shifts often, and it avoids the four-cylinder's power band like the Zika virus. It either has poor programming and calibration or just left the factory too soon. And like Zika, it's spreading, showing up in more and more cars on the market.
But I've made my peace with it.
Now I habitually nudge the shifter to the left and request the shifts myself. It's the only way to drive this thing without completely losing your mind. Use it in the manual gate and you're able to extract that extra bit of power, that extra surge in momentum, to pass a slower vehicle or simply merge with the speed of interstate traffic.
There's still a noticeable lag on upshifts; the engine continues to rev after you've flicked the lever for the next gear. And since this four-cylinder sounds like it's dragging cats through the combustion chambers at higher RPM, it pays to listen, plan accordingly and request the shift a little earlier than you want it.
Fuel economy may suffer a bit, by the way. In the time I've been driving it, I'm averaging a little better than 20 mpg. Our lifetime average is hanging at 22 mpg.
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor @ 25,034 miles