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I have a new, 2016 Jeep Trailhawk, with the 2.4L engine, and 9 speed automatic Transmission. When I start from a dead stop, in "D", the vehicle starts out in 2nd gear. To verify this, if when you start from a dead stop, and move shift lever to the left, it indicates 2nd gear up on the dash display. If you bump the shifter to the negative position, while you are starting off from a dead stop, you can feel the transmission drop to 1st gear, AND the display shows 1st gear up on the dash. I have approximately 300 plus miles on the vehicle. When I took the vehicle to where I purchased it, they were surprised that it didn't start off in first gear, in "D". So, a technician checked to see if there were any "TCM", or "PCM" updates, and none were found. I tow an enclosed aluminum trailer, not exceeding the 2,000 lb towing capacity, but I feel that 1st gear is needed, to get the vehicle moving, then it can upshift to the higher gears, as needed, depending on what speed you want. My other concern is that when just driving the vehicle at highway speeds, with no trailer in tow, I've yet, to see 9th gear displayed up on the dash. Again, you can verify this by moving the shifter to the left gate. The dealership said they checked a couple of other Jeeps, and they also showed a 2nd gear for takeoff from a dead start. Has anyone else checked this out ? I'd appreciate any/all input. Thanks :)
 

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I have a 2015 Trailhawk, it starts out in 2nd gear too. I do get into 9th gear at 60 mph cruising on a flat or downhill road. When traveling the other direction on that road, which than is uphill, the best I see is 8th gear.
The reason the Trailhawk doesn't use 1st gear is because it has a lower gear ratio than the other renegades. It uses 1st gear when in rock crawling 4 wheel drive mode, that how they get a 20:1 low range rock crawl mode. The other Renegades don't have rock mode, as far as I know and read, and they have a higher gear ratio so they utilize 1st gear during normal driving.
 
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