My wife tried out a used 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee recently and was really dismayed at the transmission shifter. She thought it was broken and called me for a second opinion. I drove the Jeep and ascertained that the shifter was probably not broken…just badly designed. It was something that could be learned in time but my opinion was a simple one…why? The engineer that designed this thing was a moron and so was any of the executives that approved it for production. Changing something just to change it is moronic at best. It’s akin to “shooting one’s self in the foot” and is bad business practice. To further support my opinion…I found out that this vehicles was traded in by two former owners and they both hated the transmission shifter. I’m writing this because this very shifter is now in the news. I’ve heard that the shifter has been improved for later models. I truly hope so.
So , exapnd on your displeasure about it and tell us more please. What about it is so odd ?
I’ve always thought how silly it is to have a CONSOLE shifter in both my 06 Escape and 08 Expedition.
The Escape is a CVT . .nothing to shift !
The Expedition, if outfitted with the pickup’s column shifter, could have seats for NINE people.
So many companies shoot themselves in the foot in various ways.
A great example is new small businesses that pick a name that is unpronounceable or very strangely spelled. I would think business 101 would state: pick a name for your business that customers can pronounce and spell. Can’t think of an example right now… why can’t I ? see above. But we have all seen those walking in the malls.
A large and well managed company I worked for, a few decades ago, picked for the model name for a new product c³. Same problem. Is it c3? or c cubed? and how do you enter that into internet search engines?
This explains the problem very well
So many times I’ve repeated myself ;
’‘Technology ; just because you COULD does NOT mean that you should !’’
Is it c3? or c cubed? and how do you enter that into internet search engines?
Doesn’t matter. Any company worth their salt has the search complete properly for various typically expected mis-spellings. I’ve typed in quite a few company names erroneously and still ended up in the right place because they resolved properly.
I do agree with your assertion that the name should be simple enough for most people to recognize and say.
I worked for a place that was changing their name. No one was asked about it, one day they simply announced the new name with great fan-fare to the troops. It took about 1 second for people to realize that the resulting acronym very closely resembled an unpleasant bodily function. They had to cancel the press releases, materials in process etc and revise the name. The same kind of questioning ensued- what idiots came up with this???
Looks like the guy who designed the I-drive is working for Fiat now… still doing stupid design.
I Get It! I’m An Analog Man Living In A Digital World!
(Good song by Joe Walsh, by the way, “Analog Man.”)
Younger folks are taking over from the old farts. We are seeing more and more electronics, gadgets, video displays, etcetera… think cell phones and video games.
I find my self caught up text messaging back and forth, back and forth, with my own children! #&$^! Just pick up the #&$^ telephone and call me! Why do they insist on texting?
Why do they make the shifter like that? Because they can. I know I’m in for some rough sledding in the years to come. I’m an analog man.
I guess those shifters need an override that puts the vehicle in “Park” when the door is opened. Other car brands have it and the newer Jeeps have gone to it.
One of many stupid shifter designs out there, BMW was one of the first…
When the Durango was first introduced I sat in it at the Auto show. The 4wd shifter was so far forward that I had to bend down so low that my head was below the dashboard - just to reach it.
If you’re going to divorce your shifter from any semblance of a normal lever shifter, doing what BMW did is stupid. Let’s make it look like a normal shifter, but not function like on in any way whatsoever.
I prefer Acura’s design:
It’s very clear what button you need to hit in order to do what you want to do. It’s even in the same order as a normal shifter. Whatever’s currently active gets a glowy ring or light to tell you that it’s active.
I don’t know why the trend to move away from lever-based shifters is happening, but if it’s going to happen there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about it.
wolyrobb: “Shifter is more like a joystick”. Brilliant! Target the 14 year old video gamers who are in the market for a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Electronic shifter with barely discernible detents. It reminds me of the turn signal lever on the Opel Vectra rental I drove in 2003. Electronic with no center detent. The signals self cancelled for right angle turns in city driving. Once on the equivalent of our Interstates they were very embarrassing. Standard European passing procedure on this type of highway is engage left turn signal, keep signal engaged until pass is completed, cancel signal, return to right lane. When I attempted to cancel with no detent the right hand signal would engage which is not big deal. When I returned to right hand lane and attempted to cancel left hand would engage. Back and forth. I found if I jerked the steering wheel a bit it would self cancel. Arrrrrrrrr! Transmission only appearing to be in park is much more dangerous! Morons!
“A great example is new small businesses that pick a name that is unpronounceable or very strangely spelled.”
So XEROX is a failure because of their name.
What? You Can’t Call The Gear Selection In On Your I-Phone?
common sense answer: Yes! The recall will provide a smart phone app to engage the electric brakes and another to engage park with the electric shifter. Aw crap! I left my phone in the Jeep.
Apologize to FCA engineers, @missileman! It was some purchasing boob at FCA and the engineers at ZF. Even worse, the same clumsy transmission was used on the Audi A8. Seriously, it’s awful in either case, but paying $90,000 for a car a gear shift so poorly designed that it is a safety hazard is ludicrous.
I don't know why the trend to move away from lever-based shifters is happening,
Same old story- it’s far cheaper to use electronic shifting. Plug in a simple wire harness connector on either end and viola! you’re done. Versus snaking a dedicated cable through the car to the transmission and adjusting it for proper travel. Both the labor and materials are more expensive for mechanical versus an electronic control.
but if it's going to happen there's a right way and a wrong way to go about it.
No truer words were ever spoken…
Plug in a simple wire harness connector on either end and viola! you're done.
Yeah, but you can do that and still have a selector switch that looks and acts like a lever selector. BMW has a selector switch that looks like a lever selector but acts nothing like one, which is more confusing than just going to a push button selector.
“and the engine cannot be turned off with the car in gear”
What the heck is this?? And now they have gone too far. So you have a run away car like the Toyotas and can’t shut the car off if its in gear?? That’s lunacy. When trying out cars, who would even think to test for something like this. Lets see, spare tire-check, key operates door locks-check, turn car off in gear-no go.
“and viola! you’re done”
What if I wanna play the violin?
I lobby the car maker and voila! A dual viola/violin option!