My observations, plus annoyances and tricks to avoid them - 2014+ Jeep Cherokee Forums
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 04-27-2017, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2017
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My observations, plus annoyances and tricks to avoid them

I'm a few months into 2016 TH ownership so I thought I'd share. In general everything is great. The driving experience is completely acceptable for a 4200 lb SUV with electric steering and AT tires. It's not scary to hustle through corners despite the complete lack of steering feel.

Transmission: Pretty good in general. IT REWARDS SMOOTH AND DECISIVE APPLICATION OF THROTTLE more so than most autos that I've driven. I suspect a lot of folks are more stabby on the gas pedal than they think they are. If you're jerky with your right foot it's going to feel like it's confused. Shifts a lot but that's what happens with a lot of gears. Upshifts are basically always smooth, 4 - 5 is a bit slower than the rest as expected. I love the auto downshift feature when the vehicle senses off-throttle acceleration (aka going down a hill) and you tap the brakes. It's even occasionally done it sans brake application on steeper hills.

- Lower gear downshifts can be a bit abrupt, mostly 4 -3 and 3 - 2 which happen at lower speeds on hills. Trick: learn how to prod the gas pedal just enough pre-hill to make it downshift before the load of climbing the hill is put on it.
- Sometimes a bit reluctant to downshift in general. More of an issue at lower speeds. Trick: again, learn just how much to gas it to get it into a lower gear before you're on top of the situation that required the lower gear.
- Other times it seems all too happy to downshift farther than necessary. For me this is mostly going to 4th when the engine would have had enough oomph to do the job in 5th. Trick: not being mister stabby with the gas pedal mostly mitigates this.
- Highway passing downshifts like 8 all the way down to 4 are slow. Understandable because it has to rev match and re-engage both dog clutches. Trick: either ERS downshift early to 7 or below, or get on the gas lightly and early if possible so it doesn't have to downshift so far when it's actually time to floor it.

Adaptive cruise: Great, if those in front of you are driving smoothly and if you're not in very hilly terrain.

- It's a bit lazy to react going up a hill. It'll let the speed drop 3mph, then have to give it a lot of gas to speed back up, usually resulting in 4th gear at 70mph. Had it reacted faster 5th would have been fine. Trick: roll on to the throttle yourself when just starting up the hill to maintain speed. Also pre-downshifting with the ERS helps.
- The rubber band effect when traffic speeds vary a lot. I consider this a hallmark of a not-so-good driver. It's really lazy to react to the vehicle in front of you accelerating, especially if it just had to brake to avoid hitting the same vehicle. The vehicle will be visibly pulling away and the Jeep is like "oh... maybe I should stop braking now", folowed by "floor it!". Also happens when someone merges in front of you into your following space. Understandable because 1 radar sensor can only do so much, but it's still annoying. Trick: Pay attention to traffic and understand when this is going to happen. Manually give it some throttle, even a teeny bit, to reign in excessive braking.
- On downhills it really favors riding the brakes instead of blending brakes and downshifting. It does downshift eventually though. Also it'll let your speed float up 3mph above the set point then brake back down. Very annoying for those behind you I'm sure. Trick: either turn in off on long downhills or downshift with ERS.

Engine start/stop: Good enough. Kind of gimmicky but does save gas.

- Really needs a way to set it to default off, or at the very least needs a user-settable activation time delay. As is it activates within like 1 second of stopping. Trick: be quick to hit the off button and/or learn how gentle you need to be on the brake to avoid activation. And be quick putting it into park before the system triggers. I've also found that if you want it to restart before it's actually time to go, you can lift of the brake just enough to trigger a restart but not have the vehicle move at all.
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Last edited by iwfur25; 04-27-2017 at 01:12 PM.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 04-27-2017, 02:08 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 4,657
Originally Posted by iwfur25 View Post
I'm a few months into 2016 TH ownership....

.... And be quick putting it into park before the system triggers....
Very nice writeup on managing the drivetrain, especially for only a few months ownership.

Only thing I can add is when ESS is on and putting in Park, many are unbuckling seat belt or throwing shifter into neutral before hitting zero mph. Either action disables ESS.

2015 White/Black Limited | 3.2-L V6 | Active Drive II | Tech Grp | Lux Grp | Trailer Tow Grp | SafetyTec | Uconect 8.4AN | 9 Speakers | Tonneau Cover | Born 09-06-14 : (( (( (( (( (( (( (( :
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