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Jeep transmissions cut thirst

by David Zatz on

ZF 8-speed planetary gear sets

Allpar reader mentalicca discovered that EPA ratings for the Compass, Patriot, and Grand Cherokee SRT8 have been updated. They show that the six-speed automatic added around 1 mpg highway on the Compass and Patriot, over the CVT; and that the eight-speed pushed the Grand Cherokee SRT8 up to 13 city, 19 highway, an increase of 1 mpg in both city and highway mileage.

The CVT was advertised as having superior gas mileage versus conventional automatics, but at the time it was being compared to four-speeds with relatively low ranges; the greater overdrive of the Hyundai six-speed most likely overcame inherent efficiencies of the CVT on the highway, even as it delivered a generally preferred driving experience.  The real surprise of the group was the relatively small gas-mileage boost of the eight-speed automatic when coupled with the 470 horsepower SRT8 engine. Still, at a typical 12,000 miles per year, the transmission swap will save 57 gallons of fuel per year per owner ($205 at $3.60 per gallon), while delivering superior acceleration.

EPA Gas Mileage CVT (FWD) Auto (FWD) WA580 HP8
Jeep Compass / Patriot FWD 21/27 21/28
Jeep Patriot / Compass 4WD 21/26 21/28
Grand Cherokee 12/18 13/19

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