I bought my new 2012 T&C about a week and a half ago with 8 miles on it. We've got about 500 on it now and I'm curious to see if others are noting the same types of transmission response that I've observed.
It seems that the transmission is somewhat indecisive - like it's always hunting for the right gears. From a dead stop, acceleration is great, but then it quickly upshifts before it's really used up the power band (it's being overly eager to save fuel, I'd wager). This results in an awkward dance where I'm not yet going fast enough before it upshifts, so I have to push the pedal harder, causing the transmission to downshift again to get any speed, then upshift again as soon as possible. It's really rather annoying to me.
Once you're up to speed, the engine is quite powerful, but again, hampered by the indecisive tranny. If I'm going along at 50mph, then need to slow for a braking car, then need to get back up to speed, the transmission hesitates and then finally downshifts, causing a bit of whiplash effect to the passengers. Not really smooth at all. I'm not pushing the pedal hard and "gunning it" either -- I know how to drive smoothly, and with this van, it seems you've got to really baby the throttle and tell the tranny to stay put as long as possible, or else endure the jerks when it changes with any bit of pedal pushing at all.
One last thing is especially weird... if I come to a quick, sudden stop, and it has to downshift all the way to get going again, there is a quick shaking/jerky feeling from the transmission, almost like it's cutting out or slipping for a second. It's not in my head, it doesn't do it all the time but in the last 500 miles it's happened about half a dozen times and it's a little disconcerting. There are no weird noises or other symptoms of problems, so I'm just chalking it up to a generally unrefined transmission.
Hopefully I'll get used to it, but I just wanted to know if anyone else experiences this. Would be nice if there was some transmission computer reflash the dealer could do to make it stop rushing to upshift, because that's purely a programming thing. Econ mode helps even it out, actually, because it will at least hold a gear instead of bouncing up and down, but it castrates performance obviously.
Anyway, just wanted to see if I'm nuts or what... thanks