Here is what most people don't realize, with the nine speed (as in my Cherokee V6) there is a driver selectable knob with Auto, Snow, Sport, and Mud modes. The tuning of the transmission in this car is selectable. If I want crisp shifts and a six speed comparable mode I put the selector in Sport mode. The revs are kept higher in each gear of this mode as the transmission keeps the motor, as seen on the tach, in the 3000 to 4000 rpm range and the top gear 6th gear is what you see in the 70+MPH speeds. You can still throw the select lever and access 7th, 8th, or 9th manually. But in Sport mode you lose the Mpg that the Auto mode gives you. I have verified that on my Cherokee to my satisfaction. In auto mode you get more mpg because the program lets the gears work at 2000 to 3000 rpm range, or lower. Nothing more dramatic than that. The transmission works as it should. You just need to spend a little time with it to learn how it is programmed to work. So, to me all this hubbub about the transmission is taken with a grain of salt. Take some time and learn how it works, that's my advice. So, it's very flexible, fun to drive and by no means dead.