By on March 7, 2014

2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk

According to Jeep boss Mike Manley, the Italian-built Renegade will appeal to the off-road brand’s United States customer base despite its Italian roots, especially in Trailhawk form.

Automotive News Europe reports the main concern regarding the Renegade is its off-road capability, which Manley believes will be resolved once the trail-rated Trailhawk arrives in showrooms in 2015 along with the rest of the Renegade family. He also noted the design language expressed by the entry-level Jeep, as well as its footprint, echo that of the CJ family:

The Renegade’s footprint is similar to one of the CJs. It’s much more Wrangler. We’re very pleased, and I think it will work well in the United States.

Though Manley remained silent on the subject of sales figures for the Renegade and platform sibling Fiat 500X, supplier sources expect a total of 280,000 units annually between the two, with Jeep moving 150,000 units and Fiat accounting for 130,000. Price of admission will be announced by Jeep in Q4 2014 for the U.S., Q2 2014 for the European market.

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201 Comments on “Manley: Renegade Will Appeal To U.S. Customers Despite Italian Roots...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    In other news, GM president Mary Barra indicated she believed the new Cadillac Escalade was a very nice car.

    …I mean, is this even news? Of course he says it will be appealing, he’s workin’ there, drankin that purple drank.

  • avatar
    Easton

    I would never buy one but boxy little SUV/crossovers sell like crazy. I’m sure it will sell fine.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      …and promptly be in the junkyard in twelve years or less when major components go south.

      • 0 avatar
        GeneralMalaise

        It’s not a GM product, so little chance of that, if properly maintained.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Disagree, I own and have owned GM product well past the twelve year mark, and I know of several nearing the twenty five year mark. Not saying GM hasn’t put alot of junk out there (because they have along with Chrysler and Ford), just saying its not all junk.

          • 0 avatar
            Sam P

            Truth. Anything GM with a 3800 and 4-speed automatic is nearly indestructible.

            Except for the interiors. The interiors on GM cars below Cadillac were horrifying until the mid 2000s (and Cadillacs of the same era weren’t great).

        • 0 avatar
          GeneralMalaise

          Firestorm 500, I have 38 year old, 33 year old and 2 year old Fiats, all driven at least weekly. ’76 has 153k miles, ’81 has 199k miles (both with original engines/trannies) and the 2012 (an Abarth) has but 20k.

          Don’t preach about strong, built to last GM products, as I know better.

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          And thats a big IF, most cars are just run dry and retired with original fluidsfilters..

      • 0 avatar
        wmba

        I’ve never read “promptly” and “12 years” in the same sentence before.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I suppose there is a first for everything. My Volvo is 21 and my Saturn 16, both still alive and kicking. I figure twelve years is long enough to go through three or four owners and the final ones junking it after something expensive breaks. What should the lifespan of a Jeep be, in your opinion?

          • 0 avatar
            Firestorm 500

            I’ve got one that is 27 years old and is driven 7 days a week. Usually 50-100 miles a day.

            Let’s see if the Fiatsler Jeeps do that.

          • 0 avatar
            SayMyName

            Given what we’ve seen from the Dart and the aborted Cherokee launch, at this rate I’d spend my money on a rebadged Daewoo from GM before betting on a Fiatsler product.

            On a related note, I can’t wait to see how they manage to f*** up the LX cars.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            So, SayMyName, you’re doubting the 150,000 Jeeps/130,000 500L sales? Has Sergio ever led you astray?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @SayMyName

            Whatever happens with LX should be interesting, but if I was in their shoes I’d turn it into the new Panther and run it with minor changes until the end of time. Those models compete with no one, why spend big money redesigning it?

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Fiat will be the death of Jeep as it once was known in the enthusiast circles.

    The far more bold prediction is that Fiat may be the death of Jeep, period, if the new Cherokee and this thing are a sign of what’s more to come.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      if they are wise they will keep one or two capable Jeep models around, much in the same way GM keeps Tahoe/Yukon alongside its heavy car fake SUVs.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        Like the Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited?

        Why, yes, they will keep those money-printers around. Seriously, the Wrangler Unlimited is everywhere, and yet they barely depreciate on the used market and, last I heard, the factory was running at capacity despite the lack of a refresh.

        I’ve even driven one and liked it, despite being more of a Prius/minivan type in real life.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Why?

      From what little we know, it looks like it ought to be no worse than the vehicles it’s replacing in “enthusiast” terms (since “enthusiasts” seem to never care about anything but the Wrangler anyway).

      I don’t see (contra 28) what’s not “capable” about this thing, particularly.

      Real 4WD with a crawl gear, low overhangs and decent angles.

      Is there something I’m missing here other than “eww, Italy/Fiat” or “eww, it doesn’t look how I want”?

      Is that enough to doom Jeep?

      It ain’t enthusiasts who climb rocks all summer who’re keeping Jeep in business *now*, is it?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I’m not going to pass too much judgement on this little thing until more information is presented. However if we look at a very interesting post from yesterday we see the Cherokee has a few decontented things in the undercarriage vs Liberty:

        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/capsule-review-2014-jeep-cherokee-latitude-4×4-v6/#comment-2908897

        I realize this is anecdotal evidence but assuming even half of it its true, it shows the direction the brand is going into. I’m going to quote myself from yesterday:

        “Given the holding back of the model launch to correct the transmission, I think much detail and care was put into the Cherokee. I’m sure it will be capable in the snow and might be able to do some basic offroading, but the fundamental difference between this and the Liberty/XJ which came before it will be longevity.

        This strikes me as being designed for the first and CPO owner only to say 80-100K, and subsequent owners will fight the bean-counting on the undercarriage and other parts which remain to be seen. My ex’s near hill-billy parents, who destroy cars, took an 07 Liberty to 218K last I saw it. Sure it looked like s*it and I believe it was going to/did need a transmission at that time, but I was truly shocked a Chrysler product had held up so well. This new Cherokee is basically a heavy car, these people would probably destroy it before 100K as they typically did the Dodge or Ford cars they drove.”

        When I refer to capable, I refer to a Jeep which can withstand hillbilly abuse for 200K while surviving Northern winters, occasionally towing, being taken deep into the woods for hunting. Maybe this Renegade and Cherokee will be able to do this with flying colors? We shall see.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          I’m not one to defend new vehicles, but killing a Cherokee before 100K will probably take some effort. Even Maseratis of today can get to like 70K before bankrupting you. In basic CUV service these should do fine.

          I mean, yea, there are the hardcore folks out there, and they will be better served by a 4Runner or Xterra or Wrangler or truck in the future. I would assume that these kind of buyers already know this.

          The comfort tradeoffs the Liberty made for toughness hurt it when people shopped it against the Escape or CR-V. So now we get this.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            New engine, transmission, and new use of a relatively new platform, while unlikely I’d say its in the realm of possibility.

            I agree with your last point but Liberty was a true SUV, Escape and CR-V were and are tall cars. So FCA responds with a tall disposable car, kudos. I just don’t hope they forget they also build Jeeps too.

          • 0 avatar
            Sam P

            Fiat/Chrysler will sell a crapton of those tall cars.

            I prefer the off-road capable Liberty and enjoy borrowing my parents’ 2006 CRD Limited for forest service road fun while they enjoy my 330i, but the market wants crossovers.

            As long as Jeep builds the Wrangler in various permutations, I’m good. If the Wrangler turns into some kind of transverse engined crossover, then I think we can all agree that Jeep is dead.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            The only new transmissions that seem to have failed early and catastrophically in the past few years have been CVTs. I think this will be OK…Its just more gears.

            When automatic overdrives came out did people react the same way? I have driven some AOD equipped Fords that had early slippage that made me long for a C4, but really, most of them got to 6 digits on the odometer.

          • 0 avatar
            zoomzoom91

            (in response to ‘ajla’)….This, exactly. I don’t understand why people are complaining so much about the Cherokee. You don’t like the looks? Fine, perhaps a valid complaint. The headlights are different. I think it looks cool in person.It doesn’t photograph well. And, it’s not like the Liberty was a great car. The Cherokee will be much, much better for 95% of customers. For the other 5%, there’s a Wrangler or lower-trim Grand Cherokee for them to buy.

        • 0 avatar
          GeneralMalaise

          Probably won’t see much use running ‘shine…

    • 0 avatar
      ellomdian

      “As it was once known in enthusiast circles.”

      You mean the people who wouldn’t be caught dead in a Jeep showroom for the last 10 years, for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is it’s significantly cheaper to buy a old Jeep and make it something FCA probably (legally) couldn’t sell?

      Enthusiasts are great marketing, but terrible customers. Jeep has successfully traded in on DECADES of brand recognition, and if the Liberty didn’t kill them, I really don’t think this will.

      What do people complaining about how awesome the XJ’s used to be, people who complain that Porsches aren’t aircooled, and people who complain about the new IRS in the Mustang have in common? They aren’t people the manufacturers are trying to sell cars to, and their opinions are irrelevant.

      • 0 avatar

        “Enthusiasts are great marketing, but terrible customers.”

        Can I steal that, it perfectly sums up so much that goes unsaid in this business.

        But that said, I hope and pray that FCA keeps the solid axles on the Wrangler.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        This. The problem for Jeep with respect to the Jeep Enthusiast is that the Jeep Enthusiast rarely buys new. Great Jeeps, as with most great 4x4s are built by the owner, not the manufacturer.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @DeadWeight
      Agree watering down the brand. Now what is basically a small CUV is a Jeep?

    • 0 avatar
      Loki

      Much to my chagrin, the Cherokee appears to be selling well (at least in Detroit). It’s getting to the point now where I have the misfortune to see one on the road every day.

    • 0 avatar

      Nah, seems like Fiat is doing a very nice job of refreshing ideas around Chrysler. The company is doing very well, Jeep especially. This s very good as Fiat needs an American presence. I just hope iat is wise enough to use some of Chrysler’s strenghts too.

      BMW does SUVs and it hasn’t watered down the brand. Porsche?

      Fact is 4×4 enthusiasts are a small crowd. Probably well served by the bone (Wrangler) Chrysler already throws at them. This is a sound way for Jeep to grow.

      Traditional, large, floaty gas guzzling American vehicles are losing favor. Americans defected en masse to the Japanese in the mainstream and the Germans in the lxury segment. Ford’s cars are already world cars, very Euro. Most GM are heading that way. Chrysler is in process.

      The only traditional American segment, the full size PUs are the last ramnent. Unfortunately, these have space only in America as the rest of the world is well served by the smaller PUs.

      The SUV-cum-CUV segment lives by a different set of rules. They are a lot closer to cars than PUs. They will continue to get closer to cars, even if in America they subsist in a very large size.

      The world is changing. The car market is changing. American consumers are changing. Everybody is going global. Chrysler/Jeep has no other choice but to follow suit.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “BMW does SUVs and it hasn’t watered down the brand. Porsche?”

        In reference to your rhetorical question, yes those brands have been watered down. But so have all of the other ones. Everyone has been selling out which is why the auto market is so distorted.

        “The world is changing. The car market is changing. American consumers are changing. Everybody is going global. Chrysler/Jeep has no other choice but to follow suit.”

        I agree with you, but what I don’t understand is why folks in the US are “buying this” so to speak. If I want a European feel, size, or style I have several Euro marques to choose from. If I don’t want this, I should be able to get a traditional American style car if I desire. Yet I can’t and its perplexing to me why people want to buy the exact same thing just in different brands and variations. The whole point of branding is Brand A does this better or Brand B is known for that. If all brands produce the same basic thing, what is the point of branding? Jeep, Fiat, Ford, Chevy, Buick whatever its all the same relative product. Why don’t people see this?

        • 0 avatar

          Hey 28!

          I don’t really think the BMW brand has been watered down. With the new products they appeal to a greater swath of people than they did before. But rightly or wrongly, for most, when they think luxury, they think BMW and some others. So, in that sense, I don’t think they’ve lost their luster.

          As to the different choices, grossly oversimplifying here, but…It’s sort of like an ice cream shop. There are 498 flavors, but vanilla and chocolate account for 80% of sales. And thoug it’s pretty much the same, I do prefer the chocolate from store A. Then one day, they attend me badly, or the batch was slightly off, so I check out store B. I decide I don’t like it, but being tired of store A, I go to store C. But in the end, all I want is a chocolate ice cream.

          Now, ice cream connaiseurs are picky and can point out the thousands of minute differences. But how much of the market are they? How many of those are able to pay the extra involved in getting that unobtanium that transforms (in his eyes) regular vanilla into THE vanilla?

          Moreover, tastes do change over time. Going back 50 yrs in the US, how many of your grandparents ate Mexican food? Pasta? Sushi? Nowadays, how many young Americans rarely eat traditional American foods? Something like that could have happened to American cars.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            You missed out on BMW at their peak. The E28 and E30 were cars that combined telepathic handling with the most durable construction that managers and legislators ever allowed to reach customers. They were West Germany at its peak. Everything since has been diminishing flotsam.

          • 0 avatar

            Yes, they and Mercedes (in terms of construction, driving them was very different from the BMW) were head and shoulders above the others. Now not so much. It’s just that everyone has gotten so much better. I know you don’t think so, but it takes some doing to get a bad car.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Marcelo
            You’ve pointed out the reason why some of the prestige brands appear to be going down market.

            The common mans’ cars are getting that much better that the price differential is making the more prestigious brands less competitive.

            If the Grand Cherokee can lift is build quality it would be as good as a Merc, BMW or Land Rover D4.

            The differences are becoming marginalised.

            The reason is robotics.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Marcelo

            I like your ice cream analogy, its spot on. Food tastes change I think because food becomes available. Italian, German, and Polish foods were available in my grandparent’s youth, if not common. I doubt my grandmother ever saw a live piece of sushi or ate a taco. But now these other food choices are available and simply by virtue of them being available some people will try and enjoy them.

            Regarding BMW, I first noticed they began to sell out when X5 came on the scene, but of course you could still get a competent 3 or 5 series. I’m not a BMW aficionado by any means, but even I recognize the new models are radically different than the ones from even ten years prior. Now they throw FWD and near minivan like cars into it. I can’t speak for other world markets but if this is the changing taste of autos in the US, I’d like to cut its tongue out.

          • 0 avatar

            Hey 28! I think you said it better than me. As different cars (foods) become available, some people try it, like it, then their friends try it, like it, sooner than we think, that old mainstay, starts losing ground to the new thing. Eventually, or the old style reformulates itself (necessarily taking on some of the characteristics of the new thing) to continue revelant, or runs the risk of disappearing. That is of course, if the new flavor takes hold.

            You practically described what globalization is. Due to the way we’ve set up the world, our economy, communication technology, there is a converging tendency out there. Of course, due to local culture, elements, tastes, there’ll always be differences. But even these local elements will be changed due to external influences.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Marcelo and 28 Cars Later
            So what will be our ‘global’ food we take to other planets? Oh, along with Fiat Jeeps;)

            It seems the Italians’ have a greater impact than we thought!

            Pizza! Not chocolate or vanilla icecream ;)

          • 0 avatar

            Hey Big Al! Pasta or Italian food is a pretty good example. In much of the Western world it is now a staple. Spaghetti is done in most Brazilian households as I believe it is throughout most Western countries. Chinese or Japanese food (just to cite an example) omn the other hand, I would bet are still mostly eaten at restaurants.

            So, yes Big Al, Italian influence reaches into our own homes! And let’s not forget, American pizza is different from Brazilian pizza that’s different from Italian pizza. But it’s still pizza!

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @cjinsd

            I’m sorry, but bullshite. I’ve owned a number of e30s and e28s, the new cars will outlast them by ages on average, while needing a lot less maintenance along the way. My parents had an ’83 528e from new, probably the most reliable BMW of its age, and it still had an inch thick service binder by the time it was 10. Just ordinary servicing. And those services were bloody expensive even back then. The new cars need far, far, far less. They cost less and give you far more. That 528e was a ripper with its 121hp and 3spd slushbox.

          • 0 avatar
            Sam P

            “with the most durable construction that managers and legislators ever allowed to reach customers. ”

            Bullcrap. I’ll take an E46 or an E90 any day over an E30. Durable construction?? The E30′s crash safety is hilariously bad.

          • 0 avatar

            > The new cars need far, far, far less. They cost less and give you far more.

            It’s the same phenomenon as those who look at old american junkers with the same rosy fondness. What they really mean is that the cars were still simple enough for like minds to fix with hammers and sprockets. The new stuff frustrates them and thus they loath it as computers to a neanderthal.

        • 0 avatar
          suckbangblow

          28 cars later this is so true. In most ways cars are now better and more reliable,powerful smart yet at the same time have lost all identity. In the past ten years cars have become more and more appliance like. Jeep is becoming more of just an idea than something that will actually go off road. I get why as its the only way they can continue to sell cars. If you look at jeeps history you will see they tried there best to fight off the onsluaght of CUVs. The grand cherokee had a solid front axle until 2004. Ford and Chevy sold out in the early 1990′s with IFS. Hopefully Fiat will not kill the wrangler by adding IFS but I dont put much faith in them. I fully expect they will do away with the solid axle Wrangler for the next remodel.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I would hope in regard to Wrangler, Fiat will take a “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” approach. If sales were to plummet I think they would have no choice but to reshape or drop the model but as long as the money is there they would be wise to capitalize on it.

            I think in the broader sense eventually once US consumers pick up on the fact they are getting the choice of ten flavors of vanilla in their new automotive purchases, we may see a brand culling similar to 2008. I personally think there are still too many car brands and if everyone is essentially selling vanilla I don’t see how it can last long term.

        • 0 avatar
          mkirk

          “BMW does SUVs and it hasn’t watered down the brand. Porsche?”

          Is this a joke? Of course with respect to BMW they really can’t win since many will argue that the simple act of not building E30s or 2002s water down the brand.

      • 0 avatar
        GeneralMalaise

        Very we’ll said, Marcelo!

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      As long as the Jeep is the most capable vehicle available in a given segment they are competing in, then they are being true to the brand mission. I don’t personally like the Compass/Patriot, but the “trail rated” version with the crawl gear are more capable than the other CUVs in that segment.

      Understand that I am the “rabid enthusiast” that owns 2 Wranglers – a 2002 Sahara with a mild lift and skidplates galore and a 2006 Rubicon Unlimited with a bigger lift and tires, as well as the aforementioned skidplates. I take my vehicles off-road and have bent sheetmetal in the process. I’m also the oddball that thinks the current Wrangler is too car-like with its low sills and factory power windows. In spite of all that, I’m fine with Jeep offering vehicles like the Cherokee and the Renegade so long as they are more capable than their competitors. They have to ring the cash register somehow, and that means being a player in volume segments that are growing.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Actually, Deadweight, Jeep has a reputation for killing its hosts. Where is Kaiser/Willys/AMC now? Look what happened to Chrysler! Most of us may live long enough to see Fiat killed off/swallowed and Jeep ingested by the new host, or sold off to its next victim.

      • 0 avatar
        suckbangblow

        Lorenzo, so true except for the host being the victim. More like Jeep being the victim(especially with Fiat). Can’t possibly think of a company that would understand the jeep brand less. The patriot was bad enough but at least they had enough sense to not compromise the wrangler or further comprimise the Grand Cherokee(to much)

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I will test drive one of these just to satisfy my curiosity when they come out, I wonder what the price will be for a Trailhawk with no other options?

    After all of the Cherokee threads, I am very tempted to go drive one to see what the fuss is about, local dealer has both 2.4 and 3.2 models in stock. Their cheapest one is $30k for a 2.4 TrailHawk… does this not strike anyone else as crazy? Went online to build one and sure enough that’s as cheap as they get.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Of course they will sell, college girls that get drunk and wreck their VWs have to drive something.

    The bigger deal is if this the best thing the company could come up with, they need to hire me, I could put a trail rated badge on a dart/fiat just as easily as anyone else.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Let me make a statement that is hard for me to make.

      3/4 of the people that read this will probably agree 100% with this statement for a TOTALLY different reason then myself.

      I’m glad the HUMMER brand died, sure I wish they could have dropped us the Hx concept before their adieu, I mean an actual wrangler sized vehicle with removal top? BA to the bone. But if they had attempted to go after the CUV market or were forced into building these cars to satisfy a mandate… I would have been embarrassed. Being as most automotive people can’t get around the media fed hate, there is a lot of things that the brand brought to the table for GM and several firsts that will mostly never be recognized.
      I honestly have never cared for the jeep, wrangler that is, I respect it very highly as an offroad vehicle as well as its enduring abilities to continue to attract consumers to a basic design, for what over 70 years now? But selling vehicles for an image that only exists in one vehicle is wrong, the wrangler has stood the test of time and has only gone up, it represents the brand as much as the HMMWV represented the Hummer brand. Yes support the brand with multiple vehicles in its portfolio but don’t abandon the foundation, don’t abandon the vehicle that defines the brand, especially as well as it sells for a vehicle that is, as already mentioned a printing press.

    • 0 avatar
      myheadhertz

      I had a 1986 Honda CRX with 13″ wheels and very little ground clearance. I took it off road in Nevada many times. The CRX was perfect for riding the center hump and the side of the trail. Took it slow and easy and never got stuck. Dry lake beds – Whaaa Whoo! To be honest, most of the trails I rode in the CRX, I first checked out on my mountain bike to make sure there were no surprises. My CRX was trail rated!

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        When I was really little we used to drive old cars out of the back through trails at a relatives house, had a ton of fun.

        Old El Camino could get it.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I have been wondering what ‘trail rated’ means.

    The use of trail rated by Jeep seems to be more for marketing. It really has no value unless a rating is given to the vehicle.

    Using the term ‘trail rated’ only makes the Jeep sound cooler.

    So this so called trail rated Jeep is meaningless. A Toyota Corolla can be trail rated as can a NASCAR.

    Here’s a link to explain trail ratings.

    http://offroadinghome.djmed.net/resources/trail_rating.html

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      http://www.jeep.com/en/jeep_capabilities/trail_rated/

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Quentin
        Thanks for the Jeep link. But Jeep really don’t give any benchmarks in which they use to measure.

        It does appear it will be good enough to ford shallow waterways and drive on un-improved roads.

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-X

      Trail Rated refers to the extra, unseen capability.
      Like with:
      Trojan Condoms: Drunken Party Rated
      Coors Beer: 2AM Beer-Goggles Rated
      Alpo Dog Food: Neighbor’s Yard Rated
      …and so on.

    • 0 avatar
      azmtbkr81

      I think it means (or used to mean) that it was able to run the Rubicon trail. For some of Jeep’s newer vehicles I suspect “run” translates to being towed with both bumpers removed.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        azmtbkr81
        I had a 1995 Jeep Cherokee Sport here in Australia I bought new.

        I was quite a capable off roader, when it wasn’t in the shop for repairs. I had it 15 months and it spent 6 of thoose in the shop.

        The best part of the vehicle was the 4 litre in line 6 and low range gearing. Somehow I don’t think this vehicle will come close to it’s level of off road performance.

        • 0 avatar
          LeadHead

          How did you manage to do that? Two weeks in a shop, and you could completely rebuild an XJ top to bottom. They’re super simple.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Leadhead
            The vehicle was a nightmare. I sold it and bought a new 1997 D20 Navara with a 3.2 diesel. Prior to this Navara, my second, I was like many on this site ‘gasoline only’.

            The engine was the only part of the vehicle that didn’t need to be repaired.

            The diff was going when I traded it in with 90 000km on the clock.

    • 0 avatar
      GeneralMalaise

      Now a days, it’s more trail Mix rated…

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Let’s make it easy…

      “WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE TRAIL RATED?

      The freedom to go anywhere and do anything. The recognized standard for proven off-road capability. Jeep® Trail Rated® vehicles pass a series of grueling tests designed to prove off-road performance on the world’s most demanding terrain.

      There are 5 test points

      Traction:

      Jeep® Trail Rated® 4x4s have enough traction to climb the type of hills most people would only attempt with a rope and a spotter. Jeep vehicles offer a variety of 4×4 systems to suit all kinds of terrain and driving conditions. Testing includes traction on untamed, slippery roads (wet, mud, snow) and on steep grades.

      Water Fording:

      The ability to cross a specific depth of water at a specific speed keeps you moving forward so you can cross streams and flooded underpasses. Your Trail Rated® Jeep® vehicle features additional electrical and body sealing, along with a high air intake for optimum water fording+ capability.

      Maneuverability:

      Jeep® 4x4s have the footwork to navigate narrow gaps, dodge emergency situations and avoid cosmetic damage to underbody sills thanks to precision steering and optimized wheelbases. Even gazelles don’t move like this.

      Articulation:

      The articulation standard indicates that when one or more wheels are elevated, the Jeep® 4×4 system helps the others stay on the ground longer to keep you moving. Suspensions enhance off-road performance by maximizing flexibility, axle articulation and wheel travel

      Ground Clearance:

      Why prove that Jeep® 4x4s can climb over obscenely large obstacles? Because one day when you need that capability, you’ll know you have it. Jeep 4x4s are tested for ability to drive over obstacles or logs, or whatever else happens to be in your path, includes approach, departure and breakover angles.”

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    It’s an interesting dilemma.

    On the one hand the Jeep faithful crawl under and see weaker, thinner, stamped steel components of a car, that were once the forged components for a body on frame (going back in time) vehicle that could be bounced down a boulder field and ask for more.

    On the other hand you have the 99% of buyers who don’t give a crap, and buy vehicles with designations like TrailHawk, TRD, Z-71, NISMO Off-Road, and Raptor because of the BAMF factor. The most off-road duty any of them ever see is the occasional patch of gravel in that pesky construction zone a 1/2 mile from Costco – or parking on the grass for the kids soccer game.

    So do you build for enthusiasts, and the readers of TTAC that will groan about IRS, complicated transmissions and weak components – or do you build for the general public who have already been buying diluted Jeep products.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      It’s pretty clear which approach they’re taking with their latest entries and it’s pretty clear it’s working out very well sales wise. The thing that’s puzzling is that Jeep still makes the Wrangler for the “faithful” that want a crude and rugged vehicle. Yet they complain that Jeep dare to make a vehicle that appeals to the masses so they can turn a profit and keep making “real” offroaders.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        The new Cherokee looks like an overpriced, chubby Hyundai.

        The Renegade looks like the cuter, younger sibling to the Kia Soul.

        Both hold a very high probability of scraping the bottom of both Consumer Reports and J.D. Powers reliability/dependability indexes.

        I’m not seeing the forest for the trees, maybe.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Apparently not. Vehicles like the ones you described are part of one of the fastest growing and biggest segments in the market. Jeep would have been foolish *not* to bring the Renegade and Cherokee to market.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            More expensive, less reliable Hyundai/Kias?

            *I admit the verdict isn’t yet established regarding reliability, but I feel as if this is more a case of Fiat needing to prove me wrong, rather than the opposite.

          • 0 avatar
            SayMyName

            Agree with DW. I’d bet my next paycheck that strong Cherokee sales now will mean horrendous service headaches and thousands of furious owners at Fiatsler dealerships in the near future.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “Agree with DW. I’d bet my next paycheck that strong Cherokee sales now will mean horrendous service headaches and thousands of furious owners at Fiatsler dealerships in the near future.”

            How can I take you up on this? How shall we set the terms?

            I have the data, you bring the money.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            danio; you “have the data” now regarding the reliability/durability (or lack thereof, as the case may be) of the Fiat-based Cherokee & Renegade models?

            I’d like to see it if you do – even if it is, as I suspect it must be – based on information gleaned from existing Fiat products that the Cherokee & Renegade will share major components with.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Explain how the wrangler isn’t profitable? The only added expense is the retooling after a while from being used so much.

        Isn’t the wrangler their second bet seller w/ 210k units last year? That’s no drop in the bucket.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “Yet they complain that Jeep dare to make a vehicle that appeals to the masses so they can turn a profit and keep making “real” offroaders.”

        So Jeep loses money on the Wrangler? That’s pretty big news.

      • 0 avatar
        zoomzoom91

        well said.
        (replying to danio’s comment @4:04)

    • 0 avatar
      azmtbkr81

      Short vs long term success. Watering down the product and selling cheaply may lead to short term profits but will weaken the brand in the process. Many luxury and specialty brands have gone “mass market” and the trajectory is nearly always the same.

      Most buyers don’t care specifically about forged suspension components but they do care about the opinions of people who care about forged suspension components. In other words posers don’t want to drive poser vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      What is forged about BOF. Just cast, stamped and maybe extruded metal. Forged pieces are more likely with independent suspension. At least the uprights.

      • 0 avatar
        Wheeljack

        Exactly. The old TJ Wrangler (I own 2 of them and love them) and the XJ had stamped steel control arms in the front (and rear on a TJ) and they hold up just fine. They are designed to flex and twist to some extent while offroading because there’s only so much flex that can be designed into a bushing.

        If anyone doesn’t think the engineers took all of this into consideration when they designed the new Cherokee, they are fooling themselves. The vehicle will hold up fine. Any vehicle that is regularly rock-crawled, including the Wrangler, will eventually experience some suspension component failures. That this is a surprise to anyone is what’s really shocking.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    I want the ground clearance of that one in the photo with FWD only. Will I be able to get that?

    All I care about is driving on roads with big holes or deep snow with ruts from huge 4X4s. If I don’t bottom out, FWD always gets me through.

  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    Well, I for one am yearning for a simpler time, and this vehicle suggests that. When headlights didn’t touch the door mirrors, and the bulbs didn’t cost $125 each, and squared off bodies meant more room per footprint. And that Moab topo map on the dash… nice. That’s how I want to die; with that embossed on my face.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    We had a similar vehicle to this in Australia called a Daihatsu Terios.

    If I remember they came out in 1997 and had a 1.3 litre engine.

    http://www.pakwheels.com/forums/attachments/4×4-clubs-off-roaders-suv/756986d1361942190-information-regarding-terios-1-3-145018023_88cd479201_eto_pakwheels-com-.jpg

    An interesting photo of a Terios

    http://www.imcdb.org/i570943.jpg

    Here’s how this Jeep will end up in Australia ;)

    http://www.buggiesonline.com.au/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/p/1/p1160142_2.jpg

  • avatar
    rpol35

    I would contend that most people who buy cars of this ilk never take them off road unless you consider a beach you can drive on to be off road.

    It seems that real off-roaders or rock climbers use old modified CJ’s/Wranglers or Cherokee XJ’s.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      So true. This is why CUVs sell so well. People like the feeling of a bigger vehicle with more ground clearance. They like vehicles that look tough and appear to play the part. Same reason pickups sell like crazy. How many people actually load the bed or tow things? How many people have four door sedans yet drive alone to work every single day? People buy vehicles that they dream might do something (like go off road) one day, yet it rarely happens.

      The hardcore guys know what they want… and they buy used. Same thing goes for track day vehicles. Very few ‘Vette owners take their pride-n-joy to the track, instead you find the serious guys sliding around in stripped Miatas, beating them to death.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        How many people have dining rooms in their houses they never use? A lot, I’m sure, but someday all the relatives might show up for dinner and you’ll be ready ’cause you’ve got a dining room.

        One of the greatest feelings of commuter empowerment is the first time you’re stuck on an expressway because of snow/ice or some other disaster and after sitting awhile going nowhere it dawns on you that you’re sitting in a very capable Jeep 4×4 and you don’t have to just sit there and across that snow covered muddy median you go to the other side and freedom. Even if that’s the only time you ever engage 4×4, it’s worth it

  • avatar
    oldowl

    The zombies of the Henry J, the Metropolitan, the Crosley, the King Midget, and the Jeepster are rising again. Take cover.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    How many people here have actually taken a Jeep rock crawling?…

    …Me either and I’ve owned four “real” Jeeps. I’ve been off-road plenty with them and they’ve always behaved as they were meant to. IMO 90% of Jeep owners never take them off-road and the of the 10% that do 90% never take them rock crawling. Jeep will do just fine with these vehicles with or with out our help or approval and for that one guy over in the corner who rock crawls, they still make the Wrangler just for you. How many other car companies would make a vehicle for that one guy for $25K?

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      I’m guessing that the percentage of Americans who run and finish marathons is greater than that of Jeep owners who ever take their non-Wranglers off-road, let alone torture them over big rocks.

      May even be true for Wrangler owners.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Around here I don’t know where I would find any rocks to crawl, but give me a snow covered corn field and Yee-Haw!

        In many circles Wranglers are nothing more then butch Miatas

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          As far as I can tell, rock crawling is a west coast affectation. Mudding is a southern thing. Logging roads in the PNW, deep snow in the NE. Every region has their Jeep focus and thinks that it should be the main design criteria for new Jeeps.

    • 0 avatar

      Since you asked, I’m part of a local Jeep club and I wheel with them once in a while. I reached places where RAV4 would not ever reach, mostly because the size of rocks. But honestly, rock climbing is not my favourite excercise. Generally, I use Jeep as an expedition vehicle, with biggest rocks it has to cross are about 40 cm or 16″ across. Think something like the Imogene pass between Ouray and Telluride, Colorado.

  • avatar
    mjz

    This is all so much bull$hit. Everyone lamented how Jeep is “doomed”. Did you check sales for last month? No? Jeep had the biggest f*cking percentage increase of any volume brand in the industry. 47 percent. Other car companies would KILL for that that kind of volume and percentage increase. Jeep is doomed my a$$.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      Well, after that stark, staring truth nugget I bid TTAC, Fiatsler and Sergio “Buonanotte a tutti!”

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      I think what they mean is the purist’s ideal of what a Jeep was and should still be is “doomed”. Purist’s ideals don’t sell cars, making cars people want sells cars. Since Jeep is now more global then ever there are millions of potential Jeep buyers who have no idea what it was 30-40 years ago and couldn’t care less

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      LOOK AT ALL THE CUTLASSES OLDSMOBILE SELLS!

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        WHEN PEOPLE STOPPED BUYING THEM OLDSMOBILE KILLED IT. What’s your point and why are you shouting?

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          My point is that sales and reputation today don’t mean much for future longevity.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Actually, Oldsmobile destroyed the Cutlass long before they killed it, by turning it into an ‘econobox’ rather than a “personal luxury” car that happened to have some performance. The Cutlass became most popular between ’68 and ’75, after which it became, again, a fairly basic family hauler. Once it lost its sport chops, it was just like every other sedan on the market and lost its own identity in the process.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @mjz
      Wouldn’t it be funny in 50 years from now Jeep is known for it’s cars, not 4x4s.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    Finally, Jeep has abandoned its roots and focused squarely on the 30something outdoorsy lesbian market that Subaru had cornered for so long!

    I assume that these have cargo compartments for lacrosse gear.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Hi Bertel, is that you?

      Subaru are doing pretty well, so whatever they are doing is working.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Ha, too funny. Gay men and women are among the biggest purists and a long time solid Wrangler customer base

    • 0 avatar
      Atum

      If these get decked with Obama stickers (as well as the expected Vineyard Vines, JR Criders, and monogram stickers), I’m officially losing interest in the automotive world and humanity (like I had any hope in humanity in the first place. The only TV I watch is Fox News).

      This is about as horrific as Kennesaw Mountain’s football team (ask Steve, he’s a local. He probably knows).

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        “The only TV I watch is Fox News”

        Then stop it. You are far too young to become an embittered, frightened octogenarian who believes white Christians are a persecuted minority. Go watch Top Gear and play some video games or something.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I agree with most of what 30-mile-fetch said, you must never only hear one side of the argument. You must learn how to research your own facts and reason.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Sounds to me like you need to “get a horse”; you don’t want a car, a truck or any other kind of personal, mechanical transportation because they’re all driven by ‘deviates’. (Don’t believe me? Then please explain why so many full-sized trucks are blinged out, squashed and otherwise made to look just plain silly.)

      • 0 avatar
        racer-esq.

        Watching Fox news is not a good strategy for being informed:

        http://publicmind.fdu.edu/2011/knowless/

        http://publicmind.fdu.edu/2011/outfox/

        Other than Judge Andrew Napolitano and Shepard Smith it is just an echo-chamber for the biggest “Southern strategy” legacy “conservative” idiots.

        Here is some reading if you want to be able to support conservative principles without sounding like an idiot:

        http://reason.com/

        http://www.cato.org/

        http://www.rightoncrime.com/

        http://www.leap.cc/

        http://www.goproud.org/

        Pro-tip: If you think drug prohibitions, restrictions on same-sex marriage freedom to contract, wasteful government spending on cops, prisons and troops, government intrusion into sex and reproduction or an embargo on Cuba are “conservative” you are doing it wrong.

        As a socially liberal economic centrist I would like to have a party that supports classical economic liberalism, to keep the leftists quickly forgetting the failed experiment of the USSR in check. But the Fox News, etc., seem focused on making the Republican Party into an unelectable parody of conservative values.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          Also interesting is “Spengler” over at Asia Times online (atimes.com).

          That’s David P. Goldman, an economist and general polymath who has lately been getting head-time on some network news programs.

          If you can imagine a partnership between Pch101 and CJinSD writing on global politics and economy, that’s Spengler. He also does the best, most lucid and legible charts & graphs I’ve ever seen.

          Caveat: He’s a practicing Jew and openly pro-Israel. In print, he sometimes goes off on silly tangents as a result. But not often. Event the brilliant are sometimes religious, especially as they age.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            It’s hard not to be pro Israel when its surrounded by countries sending mortars into its cities day and night, but I guess genocide is ok to you?

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Depends on *who’s* being genocided.

            Certainly not Jews, we need them.

          • 0 avatar

            > That’s David P. Goldman, an economist and general polymath who has lately been getting head-time on some network news programs.

            Those are largely mutually exclusive domains. Network news generally lacks the attention span for anyone smart and self-respecting enough to whore themselves to for publicity except maybe as comedy.

            > If you can imagine a partnership between Pch101 and CJinSD writing on global politics and economy, that’s Spengler.

            That’s not a worthwhile mix for those who believe that reality is a thing. An articulate dumbass is still a dumbass.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @racer-esq
          The problem with Fox News is people believe in it.

          When I stayed at my mother’s over Christmas she had Fox News on all day. I banished it along with that other crap MSNBC.

          I’m surprised people actually watch that kind of crap in the US. TV stations like Fox News and MSNBC wouldn’t make it off the ground here in Australia. They have tried, but failed.

          They are a waste of bandwidth.

        • 0 avatar

          > As a socially liberal economic centrist I would like to have a party that supports classical economic liberalism, to keep the leftists quickly forgetting the failed experiment of the USSR in check.

          It’s funny because it’s true that the only people who believed the USSR was “socialist” nevermind communist are the US & Soviet propaganda machines, each for their own amusingly different reasons.

          It’s also worth pointing out that “reason”.com or cato largely use these same frameworks which again have almost nothing to do with econ or anything beyond rhetoric, which is why it’s even possible to present their “ideas” to the common man.

          Unfortunately, learning about the world requires actual learning, which is pretty hard or at least time-consuming. So imagine what these dummies are getting trivially spoon-fed to them.

        • 0 avatar
          Sam P

          “Pro-tip: If you think drug prohibitions, restrictions on same-sex marriage freedom to contract, wasteful government spending on cops, prisons and troops, government intrusion into sex and reproduction or an embargo on Cuba are “conservative” you are doing it wrong.”

          I wish more conservatives were like you. I would have voted for Jon Huntsman if he had been the GOP nominee in the 2012 election.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            I believe most conservatives have similar views as racer-esq, so do most liberals. We only hear about the extremes of both sides because it makes better copy

          • 0 avatar

            > I believe most conservatives have similar views as racer-esq, so do most liberals. We only hear about the extremes of both sides because it makes better copy

            This is trivially untrue given both major parties have fairly narrow focus on more or less the same donors, yet their constituents are obviously farther apart eg Tea Party whose candidates actually get elected.

            For all that this “silent majority” believe themselves an actual plurality, when a centrist candidate like Obama gets elected (ie more or less the same policies as his predecessor) the rhetoric still couldn’t be more sharply divided.

            IOW, if anything the populace is actually more divided than the politicians.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Are you seriously trying to label a car as being potentially liberal?

        .

        Face-palm

      • 0 avatar
        azmtbkr81

        Turn off Fox news man, it is poisonous and carefully crafted to enrage or at least bum you out. I say that as a moderate Republican.

        I agree that it is increasingly tough to be an auto enthusiast, particularly and off-road enthusiast, with the remaining capable 4x4s disappearing faster than a Cherokee’s bumper at an off-road park.

        Auto makers offer 50,000 different minor variations of the same old boring-ass sedan and CUV platforms and then scratch their heads and wonder us Gen Y-ers have lost interest in cars.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        I’m not sure how Fox News is labeled politically right, its only redeeming feature is half the sensationalism of all the extreme liberal stations, and maybe 3 moderately conservative hosts.

        Seeing though that Fox News destroys all the other news channels in viewership, one could only imagine how big a success an actual conservative network would be.

        • 0 avatar
          LALoser

          I think Fox does a great job of beating the populist drum and using emotion grabbing words, innuendo and leads. Its funny how everyone is a victim…the “right” will bang on about worthless cash sucking people killing you, the working person…the “left” will drone on about the elite keeping them down. Meanwhile, nothing is accomplished, but people feel validated. Or something like that.

        • 0 avatar
          tonycd

          Fox News is too liberal for you?

    • 0 avatar
      Buckshot

      Subarus are for lesbians??? Lobotomy?
      Chevys are for rednecks?

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Well, I wouldn’t buy a 500L simply because I’m not a fan of sedans. On the other hand, I have no problem with the Renegade.

    • 0 avatar
      darex

      Newsflash: the 500L is a hatch, not a sedan.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        You sure? Sorry, if it’s got more than two doors it’s either a sedan or a CUV. You may call it a ‘hatch’, but really? As far as I’m concerned it’s a sedan. 3-door I can live with; 5-door I simply don’t need–especially when it’s that small. If I do go for a Renegade (and I am tempted) the back seats will be down 100% of the time as even my lazy dog should be able to jump in without using the running board as an assist.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          What is a Prius in your taxonomy, then?

          The Prius ain’t no sedan (no trunk, better interior space utilization/cargo capacity), and it ain’t no CUV (not a wagon of any kind, much less a tall one). The Prius just doesn’t belong in either category, so it needs another category. I suggest we call that category “four door hatchbacks”.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            The Prius actually classes as a 5-door hatch, unless you buy the wagon version which is almost pure station wagon.

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    I drove my trail rated ’94 Mustang GT convertible to the top of Brian Head (Utah). Had to go real slow here and there. Reminded of the time I saw a Coupe De Ville crawlin’ up one of those back roads above Sedona, windows down, stereo blarin, fat guy driver waved at me with a 5th in his hand.

  • avatar
    LectroByte

    It looks like a Jeep. Shame that they couldn’t put a similar face on the new Cherokee.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I don’t like this design because I think it looks goofy and disproportionate. But I don’t understand why anyone these days should be offended by a quintessentially-American car that uses a foreign structure. Many of today’s greatest cars are global or multinational efforts, and I think that’s a good thing. If it weren’t for FIAT and its Italian resources, this car might never have come to fruition at all…

  • avatar

    Just as the fastest car is a rental, the best off-road is a beater. Most everyone you see on trail with a shiny new one is going maybe a fraction mph to mind the skidplates, while the run-what-you-brung class is hauling ass past them.

    All the complaining is from the whiners who won’t use them anyway, whereas the actual buyers don’t even know where the trailhead starts. It would all make for a great slapstick comedy if only the participants weren’t so dead serious.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Not all “run what you brung” off-roaders “haul ass” past them. While I agree that there are idiots in the dirt just as there are idiots on the roads, there are others who prefer the technical side of off-roading rather than hooning around. Sure, racing around is fun, but I’ve also seen that type get stuck and have to be pulled free by one of the more technical drivers.

      • 0 avatar

        The main point is that off-roading is a very brutal game, and outside of those rich enough to not care about money most are worried about the shine on their precious.

        It’s not unlike track racing where the slowest guys are often those with the “fastest” cars. You know, the ones in the GT3′s getting lapped by mustangs.

  • avatar
    threeer

    In my (admittedly small) sampling group, I’ve gotten the same response when asking an opinion of this vehicle…lots of laughter. Naturally, that means they’ll sell a crap ton of these, as 99.9999% of buyers will give exactly zero of a damn that it is made in Italy. Be that as it may, make my Jeep a Wrangler…six speed manual, soft top, hand crank windows please…

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Many married guys like me are already envisioning or have made our first pitch to our wives on this car. The fact that its exterior is fluffy-kitten cute will not hurt our case.

    I would never make a major purchase my wife was unhappy with because domestic harmony is worth more than any aggregate of metal, plastic and glass. But I daresay this one could easily sail through.

    Now if only I can get Trailhawk ride height with only FWD. Ain’t paying for something I don’t need, like AWD.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Just don’t tell her all the wheels spin, she doesn’t need to know. Most people don’t know which wheels spin anyway. Once you have the AWD you’ll be glad you got it

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        “Once you have the AWD you’ll be glad you got it.”

        I may have no choice and I don’t discount your advice.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        I had an AWD Escape. I didn’t need AWD. I gave it to my mom, since she does a lot of soft-roading on reservations.

        I’ve had a chance to drive the Escape recently, and it’s nice to have AWD when accelerating on slippery roads. And I’m glad I know what AWD cars can do. But let’s not confuse that with being glad I got it.

        It’s likely that, as my son gets older, and after my wife gets her faculty job, that I’ll be near a place with a lot of fire roads. I like computer controlled AWD with computer controlled fake slip differentials much than traditional four wheel drive, so an AWD vehicle like another old Escape (undervalued!) or this Jeep could be something that I use in the future.

        But AWD “just because” is a non-starter. I’ve done drive-offs with FWD, traditional 4×4, and AWD in the worst winter conditions I encounter in Central Illinois, and AWD is the best – but only by a little bit. FWD is 95% as good in the conditions I encounter, and costs less to buy and maintain.

        P.S. Traditional 4×4 is lousy because I encounter patches of slick snow/ice intermixed with black pavement. My reflex is to flip the switch every few seconds. It would be much better if a computer did that for me, like it does with an AWD system. Also, parking with locked 4×4 causes binding, and it’s usually the worst part of the drive (so it’s the thing I least want to do in RWD). I’ll take AWD or FWD over that every day of the year out here.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          I disagree with your “traditional 4×4 is lousy”. I intentionally purchased a Wrangler for its full-time 4WD and bluntly speaking, I DON’T constantly switch in-and-out of 4WD on roads like you describe.
          I will agree that tight maneuvering on dry pavement will cause the binding issue you describe, but even then it’s easy enough to kick it out of 4WD for that purpose IF the parking area is dry pavement.

          I’ve been driving AND parking with my Wrangler for over 6 years and quite honestly I prefer the manual control of the 4WD over any AWD or computer-controlled system I’ve driven up to now. From what I’ve been reading so far and from what I witnessed for myself with the new Cherokee, I believe the Jeep’s newest computerized system will make all the others look sick. Even if it does ‘feel’ weird in operation.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    The styling on the renegade is brilliant. The cherokee is “meh”, but chrysler/fiat seems to be getting better with each new vehicle they are coming out with, which is a positive trend. If the Buick Encore sales numbers proved anything, it’s that this segment sells, and this thing is going to sell like hotcakes! The enthusiasts worried about the “real” jeeps still have wrangler, wrangler unlimited for now, and used old jeep cherokees. I mean seriously, who buys a new wrangler and takes it rock crawling or dune jumping?

    Jeep needs these vehicles to keep selling as it helps the entire brand. Wrangler can’t carry the brand by itself. Unfortunately, the consensus is that wrangler is going to have to change to keep up with regulations, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be less capable, and the used wrangler market will not dry up in our lifetimes. However, I trust Jeep/Chrysler/Fiat to not screw it up, Wrangler is a hot seller, selling every single one they make, and only a severely mentally deficient idiot would change it from what has been selling that well.

    Personally, I think a a modern cherokee with boxy utility, an 8 speed manual, RWD bias, hi/low transfer case with electronic lockers and swaybar disconnect, torquey inline 4 or inline 6 diesel, unibody, properly designed IFS as in the hummer H3s, would have made the perfect cherokee, but we can’t always get what we want.

    Cherokee drivers, men and women alike, have always prided themselves on being different/unique rugged types, and selling that image with a warmed over crossover isn’t going to hold water over the long run, the current cherokee should have been styled as, and branded as a Chrysler product.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      “I mean seriously, who buys a new wrangler and takes it rock crawling or dune jumping?”

      You would be surprised at how many brand new Wranglers with thousands of dollars in modifications are at the various off-road events and venues I go to and these people in many cases wheel them every bit as hard as the beater crowd. Apparently there are a lot of people with a lot of disposable income that don’t care about vehicle damage since they’ll either just get it fixed or wear it as a badge of honor.

      The last time I went to Moab, the JK Wranglers (2008+) FAR outnumbered the older Wranglers (TJ, YJ), which was quite surprising to me.

      • 0 avatar

        > The last time I went to Moab, the JK Wranglers (2008+) FAR outnumbered the older Wranglers (TJ, YJ), which was quite surprising to me.

        Stats like these tend to be very self-selective. Paupers from cross the country aren’t exactly vacationing down there. I mean, those trophy trucks down in baja sure look nice, too.

        • 0 avatar
          Wheeljack

          Well, its not just Moab, I’m seeing this trend at other Jeep events or offroad venues that are more approachable to the “paupers”.

          By the way, if you book in advance and don’t feel like you deserve to stay in a luxury hotel, you can do Moab very inexpensively. The last time I went, me and an old high school buddy split a 2 bed room for about $250 a piece for 5 days. We bought supplies at the grocery store to make breakfast and lunch and ate dinners out at reasonable places. I probably had more into fuel expenses driving there and back from Michigan than I spent in Moab proper.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        > The last time I went to Moab, the JK Wranglers (2008+) FAR outnumbered the older Wranglers (TJ, YJ), which was quite surprising to me.

        Speaking of Moab, this is TTAC so it’s time for a bit of “Panther Love” – sometimes it’s all about skill.

        http://goo.gl/RSnveH

        http://goo.gl/Cyac5W

        Edit – had to do a bit of url magic.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Do you REALLY want the Cherokee to follow the Hummer H3′s lead? After all, look what the H3 did to the Hummer brand. I’m not saying it wasn’t capable, but it certainly wasn’t a Hummer, even if it did carry the styling across.

      Besides, this article is about the Renegade, not the Cherokee and I think it will do remarkably well as it is in many ways a throwback to the original Willys.

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        The H3 was the most capable of all the hummers in all the tests while the H2 was nothing more than a severely overweight tahoe with even worse visibility.

        I think there’s a reason H2 buyers were mocked so, and deservedly so.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Seriously more heresay?

          H2 shared nothing mechanical with the Tahoe.

          The frame was 3 piece hydro formed setup 3/4 front section, 1-1/4 ton mid boxes and reinforced 1500 in the rear, it has a coil over/air rear, 3/4 rear axle with standard rear push button locker. It has the same front end as a 3/4 and 1 ton duramax diesel, 3/4 front axle, 6.0l engine with 4l65e trans, full time 4wd Borg Warner transfer case and stock with 35 inch tires.
          The H2 was built by AM General across the street from the HMMWV facility.

          Where’s the Tahoe? I’m not seeing it?
          The only people that deserve to be mocked are idiots who believe everything people tell them.

          • 0 avatar
            nickoo

            Yes, it was a slam against the pig that the h2 was, in reality, you are correct, the front and rear sections were based on the GM truck/full size SUV frames:

            “The H2 was built under contract by AM General at a specially constructed plant in Mishawaka, Indiana, USA. The H2′s final frame assembly is made up of 3 sections: The front uses a modified GM 2500-Series utility frame, the midsection is all new and is completely boxed, and the rear section uses a modified GM 1500-Series frame which is upgraded for the 8,600 pounds (3,900 kg) gross vehicle weight.”

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I’ll have you know, the first vehicle I bought new, was an H2, in 03, within two days it was in the woods getting used for what it is made for. It is an excellent offroader and even after adding multiple vehicles to my garage that 03 is back to being my DD and fun truck.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Sam, what are you talking about? just as front and rear lockers were availible on the JKU so were they on the H3. Also it didnt have such a ridiculously long wheelbase as the SUV version.

            So the magazine got the base H3 W/O lockers and the jeep W lockers? Sounds even.

        • 0 avatar
          Sam P

          And that “capable” H3 still got beaten by a Wrangler Unlimited in new stock form.

          http://www.caranddriver.com/comparisons/2008-hummer-h3-alpha-vs-2008-jeep-wrangler-unlimited-comparison-test

          “Pushbutton-lockable front and rear differentials lower almost to zero the odds of getting stuck (the Hummer relies on electronic traction control to keep the grounded tires turning). Low doors, a compact dash, and lots of glass give the Jeep greenhouse visibility compared with the H3.”

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        H3 didn’t do anything bad to the hummer brand, it was profitable just as the other two. Each consecutive vehicle was designed to offer equal capability to the original for a larger audience. AM General required it to pass the same obstacle course as what they use to teach soldiers the HMMWV capabilities.

        It had a reinforced frame, availible as pickup or SUV, availible V8, availible front and rear lockers, standard manual transmission, 33″ tires with lockers. And as the original it had brake throttle modulation.
        Nothing inheritally wrong with it, and it would easily out wheel any of these uniframe deals.
        This coming from someone with two H1s in my shop.

        • 0 avatar
          LALoser

          I heard GM is thinking about a new SUV based on a Hummer. Didn’t look, but Left Lane News mentioned it.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Yea, I posted about it in TTAC forums, I don’t want to get my hopes up, it will probably be offroad styled vs offroad capable. If we’re lucky they’ll drop us the HX concept.

          • 0 avatar
            azmtbkr81

            Wow, this is the most exciting bit of auto news I’ve heard for some time.

            I’m encouraged that the article says “This won’t be merely a gussied-up Terrain with some skid plates and a lift kit: we’re talking an entirely new vehicle that is purpose built to tackle the rough stuff.”

            I’ll be watching this one closely.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        The H3 was a very capable off-roader, if anything it was an asset to the Hummer brand

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Ability is more important than appearance–as long as at least one model retains the classic appearance. All current Jeeps carry the 7-slot grill to keep the family semblance, but with the ever-greater demand for improved fuel mileage, the flat, squared off noses and windshields had to go. The Jeep needs to go aerodynamic for their road-centric rigs and quite honestly even the Wrangler could stand some softening. I’ve seen a lot of concepts over the years that present a more aerodynamic look that still keeps enough of the traditional Jeep shapes for all but the purists.

      And the purists are going to have to accept Change just as they have over the last 60 years. Each model has grown slightly from its predecessor and each Change has elicited complaints; yet we still see even the “Not-a-Jeep” JK getting serious lifts and extreme mods and pretty much blowing away their lifted and modded predecessors. Soon enough I expect to see the JK shrink again, taking a sleeker, more relaxed look that could offer a 20% or better improvement to fuel mileage while still offering the serious off-road chops that make the Wrangler a Wrangler. It may go full independent suspension which current purists despise, but if it adopts new chops that give it better clearance and even greater flexibility while offering better economy as well, what’s to complain about?

      I personally like the concept of the new Renegade for a lot of reasons. It’s significantly smaller and lighter so will offer better economy than almost any other model while still retaining the capabilities that made the original Willys what it was, albeit in a high-tech manner. And don’t put it past the aftermarket engineers to find ways to lift and flex that thing to the point of ridiculousness.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        You seem to be more worried about appearance rather than function.
        For the price of the wrangler, a fully independent setup of matching capabilities is simply not possible. No way around this.
        Jeep has 6 other cute-utes, why not focus on these rather than a single vehicle that defines the brand. Technology is great, but the new jeeps are not made to do anything offroad further than a gravel fire road.

        Why are you so worried about changing a vehicle that has increased sales despite what technology you consider inferior, all from very little changes?

        Consumers WANT what the jeep wrangler offers and pay for it, maybe other manufacturers should consider this? You act like jeep is a hindrance to your diabolical plans and must be destroyed, why?

        This race for fuel economy is rediculous, not everyone cares about getting 30+ mpg. Why should manufacturers be forced to produce something consumers could care less about.

        If you so strongly believe the upcoming renegade is as capable as the Wrangler why not buy one and take it through moderate offroading? I garantee it cannot take sliding across the side of a rock, going down a wet clay path, go through a simple 3 ft deep ditch without thought of what line needs to be taken. These are all realistic actions that should honestly not even give someone in an offroad vehicle a second thought.

        You can have a center, rear, front differential, but get into any type of wet clay ground and see how well that works for you. You can’t go out on a whim and add offroad tires, they won’t fit. You can’t get off the road to move for an emergency vehicle by way of going through the ditch, you’ll tear up the front bumper. I can’t go across a drainage ditch with large rocks, it will deform the uniframe, break the twig like setup underpinning the vehicle.

        You can have a offroad vehicle with good road manners, but you can’t have an on road vehicle with good offroad manners.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Looks like a Jeep afflicted.

    Diseased/Mutant.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    You know the more I look at this, the more it would seem to make sense in the absence of the new Cherokee. If the new Cherokee had not launched at all, or launched as something different than it is, this Renegade fills a gap and gives consumers a new choice. But sitting in the showroom next to Cherokee and also beside unsold/CPO Compasses and Patriots, as a consumer I’m going to look at it and say “but they are all the same”. Sergio & co have done a great job of shaping product around the legacy Chrysler brands and reducing overlap. But I keep looking at this and I see overlap, more with Patriot/Compass than Cherokee but its there with Cherokee too. This will launch with a 2.4 I4/auto and I believe Cherokee’s base model uses the same drivetrain. Oh but one’s bigger, so what? Will most drivers care? If you’re not hauling the 2.2 children around, does it matter if one is slightly bigger? I could see all four models cannibalizing each other’s sales, even after Compass/Patriot are out of production but are still available CPO.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      The Compass/Patriot is scheduled to be discontinued at the end of this model year, this should help eliminate any confusion in the showroom or marketplace. I don’t see the CPOs being a problem, you can’t just make pre-existing cars disappear.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      ” I could see all four models cannibalizing each other’s sales, even after Compass/Patriot are out of production but are still available CPO.”

      Perhaps, but likely no more than the Impala “Classic” does for the Epsilon Imp. Model life cycles are a fact of life.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Good point, but W-body is worlds different than Epsilon Impala save for being a V6 sedan. I’d wager Compass and this Renegade are much closer.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          The Chrysler PM/MK platform that the Compass/Patriot/Caliber/Mitsubishi Lancer/Outlander are built on share nothing with the Fiat 500L platform. Except for one engine the Renegade has a different trans, 4×4 system and suspension then the Compass/Patriot. Absolutely completely different vehicles

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Considering the Renegade is replacing the Patriot/Compass–at least for a while–I don’t think you have much to worry about. And if you’re not hauling 2.2 children around, the Renegade is a far more appealing rig.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    The Cherokee looks substantially larger than this appears. I like it. Let me order it with a vinyl floor and make sure it can tow a little bit and it could work. I haven’t seen the modern one, but living in Italy circa 2000 the Panda was a rough little car that looked about like something Jeep could have built.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    Here, for all the “It will suck off road” haters

    http://cars.uk.msn.com/news/fiat-panda-4×4-monster-truck

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Just an anecdotal story from driving around some forest access roads today after a hike in my 4Runner. The gravel roads were a bit washed out and soft in some places, but totally passable with a sedan, as evidenced by the Honda Civic we saw along the way. The other 4x4s we saw out and about were exclusively Jeeps: 2 XJ cherokees (one extensively modified, one stock), 3 Wranglers (one TJ, 2 JKU). One of the JKUs followed me along the road, easy 30 mph driving. There are some pretty deep potholes along the way, oftentimes 5+ in a row in a corner. I was just driving to get out to the road home, but the guy behind me was having a ball hitting all of the puddles, and even purposely hitting all of the potholes(!) I found this rather amusing, and wondered how one of the new KL Cherokees would fare if such a gentleman were to own one. Elsewhere along the drive I saw a bunch more JKs, as well as more modified XJs. Also saw a resto-mod FJ40 for sale by the side of the road (drool). Southern Indiana apparently has quite a few 4×4 enthusiasts!

  • avatar
    Luke42

    I secretly like Jeeps, but have been scared off by poor MPG and lousy interior space utilization. This little Jeep could fix both!

    If this one has good MPG numbers, and doesn’t try to be something it isn’t (my problem with the Escape I used to own), this really tempting. I’m an American, so Manley is probably right about the appeal – I like it a lot, at least! I agree with pretty much everyone that this thing will be a great seller.

    I’ll take mine in electric or diesel, with a brown interior and chrome highlights.

    On thw othwr hand, if it can’t humiliate my minivan in the MPG department, then Jeep will have to wait until one of my Toyotas wears out before I can justify buying any vehicle. Which, by the looks of things, will be a very long time.


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