I just finished an 800+ mile trip from near Chicago down to Columbia Missouri to the University in my KL. The conditions on the way down on I57 and I70 through St. Louis were rain and fierce headwinds and temps in the low 50s. The return trip was sunny, 70 and no winds at all with the air conditioning on. On the way down the V6 pulled strongly but I did notice the transmission did a lot of down shifting going through the rolling hills past St. Louis. Traffic was steady but moving at 80 mph other than in road construction sites (55mph). The return trip was a joy. With no headwinds to fight, the transmission stayed mostly in 8th gear. I still managed an average of 25.2 MPG for the whole trip. On the way down I filled up at home and just before hitting St. Louis. I filled up when I reached Columbia. The amazing thing was that on that tank of gas I drove back to Charleston IL (248.5 mi with 84 miles showing on range to empty) and needed only one fill up to reach home.
Impressions: Unless you’re used to driving with as many gears as this transmission has, and depending on conditions (headwinds), you will see more gear changes. It feels different than the 6 speeds I have always been used to. On the way back there was a minimum of shifting (even in the rolling hills) and was a pleasure to drive.
Take away: For a V 6 the fuel efficiency was amazing depending on conditions. The drive was very comfortable. Need to revise my thinking when driving the 9 speed