By on May 25, 2016

2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk, Image: FCA

Brent writes:

I’ve located a 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk demo. The owner’s 16-year-old daughter was presented this car on her 16th birthday, and she piloted it for 3,000 miles (a fact that doesn’t altogether leave me with warm fuzzies).

The dealer’s first offer, which included a trade-in of my 2005 Ford Ranger XLT with 51,444 mi, was $17,497 difference — without seeing my truck. My Ranger a very clean, well maintained, two-owner example. Black Book values its trade-in value at $4,400, but I wouldn’t give it up for less than $5,000.

My needs are few, and the truck meets them. However, I’d be happy if I could get into the Renegade for my trade plus $15,000. I’ve always wanted to enjoy the local Jeep jamborees and trail runs, and I need a “Trail Rated” Jeep to participate.

Is this deal feasible or am I being unreasonable? And what things should I keep in mind buying a demo?

You know what’s funny? I actually had a minor stroke in that dealership. I kid you not. And it wasn’t because of an overpriced Jeep Renegade demo, either. Nah, this one isn’t too badly priced, but we’ll get into that in a bit. First things first.

Let me be blunt. The Renegade sucks. I tried to write a review of one that I drove into Brooklyn a few weeks ago, but it was so goofy and stupid that I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. It manages to suck every ounce of the goodness right out of the Fiat 500X and replaces it with 100% Pure Poseur. I’d take the Fiat every day over the Renegade, and twice on Sunday.

But, that being said, it seems like you have an affinity for the car, and I learned a long time ago that nobody really wants a conflicting opinion on a car that he/she already loves. So let’s address the real question you asked: is this a good deal, and what should you be looking for when buying a demo?

Demos can be an outstanding way to get a new car at a much reduced price. 3,000 miles don’t bother me that much on a car. You’re talking about maybe 1/60th of the usable life of a modern car, and you’re likely to get much more of a relative discount on it than that.

So what should you look out for?

First of all, is it really a demo? Or was it a service loaner? Or, God forbid, a program car?

Depending on where you live, all three of these can be sold as “new cars.” Demos typically aren’t that bad, but keep in mind that most car dealers have never actually owned a personal car — they have no idea what cars are really worth. Imagine if somebody gave you a new, free car every 90 days. Would you really take good care of it? Would you ensure that it got its first oil change on time? Or would you just give it back and get your next free car? It’s something to think about.

Service loaners and program cars should be avoided like the proverbial plague. Service loaners are abused by customers daily, and they’re also typically used as the “lunch run” car. Don’t do it. Seriously. Meanwhile, program cars might be driven by a local OEM regional road warrior rep for a few thousand miles, only to be ridden hard and put away wet. Or, even worse, it could have been a press loaner! Do not want.

However, if it really is a demo that’s being sold as new, that’s actually going to be in your favor. You’ll get better financing options than you might on a CPO car, and you’ll qualify for all of the existing rebates. It looks like they have this particular model listed as “new,” so that means that you’ll qualify for the $2,000 in incentives that Jeep is offering, or 1.9% interest financing.

Which brings me to Thing To Look Out For #2: What’s the actual history of this car? I’d ask them for a vehicle history report. They might balk at first, but you’ll want to verify that little Miss PHD (Papa Has Dealership) didn’t run it into a tree. The whole “my daughter borrowed it for 3,000 miles” doesn’t jive with me. Get the real story.

TTLOF #3 (I made up a cool acronym): What’s the actual price? Is the dealer presenting this price to you as before or after rebates? My guess is that the $17,497 price includes those rebates. If that’s the case, they’re only offering you $4,000 for your trade, and Kelly Blue Book Instant Cash Offer is closer to $5,000. The numbers are a bit fuzzy. I don’t think you’ll get anywhere near that $15,000 price you want, though.

That being said, the number they’re offering you is a very fair price for that Renegade (if that’s what you’re into). Standard industry math for figuring out a price on a loaner is to take the invoice price of the car and treat it like a car that’s exceeded lease mileage — in other words, deduct 20-25 cents per mile. In this case, that’s $26,396 minus about $750, or approximately $25,650. $23,447 seems like a decent deal, once you factor in that it’s at the end of a model year. However, you might be able to find a similar 2015 that isn’t a demo with all the same rebates and a dealer who’s willing to deeply discount it, too.

So, in short — yes, you’re being unreasonable to think that $15,000 is gonna float. But, it never hurts to make an offer and to be prepared to walk away if they don’t accept it. Maybe meet them in the middle at $16,300 and see what happens.

But did I mention that the Renegade sucks? Just making sure.

Bark M. doesn’t like the Jeep Renegade, but he likes you! Send your questions to him at [email protected] or on the Twitters at @barkm302. Gracias.

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66 Comments on “Ask Bark: What To Know When Going Demo...”

  • avatar

    “Let me be blunt. The Renegade sucks.”

    I think it rocks.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s a trendy caricature which is trying too hard. Fifteen thousand little “retro hearkening” cues and details. It looks ridiculous now to people in the know, but will look horrible to even the average commutebot person in a couple of years.

      Just like the PT Cruiser.

      • 0 avatar

        I agree that the styling cues are a bit much, but as a package the Renegade most certainly does not suck. It is reasonably quick, comfortable, and very capable in Trailhawk guise. Just know what you are getting into – at its soul is a CUV, not a 4×4 truck, and performance will be comparable with other CUVs.

        The only question Id have would be long term reliability, and it is too new to tell. Based on FCA’s reliability numbers, it will be below average.

      • 0 avatar

        Whenever I see one with its ugly stubby little rear end I feel an urge to punt it. I agree that they suck. Cheap ploy to capitalize on the Jeep brand. These things almost always backfire. It’s a Cimmeron for our times.

      • 0 avatar

        I don’t think the PT Cruiser is remotely as bad, even if it is awful in several ways.

    • 0 avatar

      We picked one up for my mother at the end of April, trading in her (my late father’s) 2005 LeSabre for it. Aside from the smaller fuel tank and getting used to the 9-speed after having a 4-speed all these years, the Renegade is just fine.

    • 0 avatar

      “Let me be blunt. The Renegade sucks.”

      I’d never buy a Renegade, those I know who have, love them. I think you’d be hard pressed to find a new vehicle sold in this country that really deserves to be described as “sucks” by what is supposed to be an automotive professional.

      Given his trend, time for me to stop reading anything Bark. His articles suck.

  • avatar

    After looking at a 500X and thinking for one hot minute that there was a great deal in small 4WD, only to look at the mechanicals and the track record, I fear this guy’s going to know the feeling that X-car and J-car buyers enjoyed – a subtle burning sensation every time you drive until the electronic parking brake explodes.

  • avatar

    Here’s a rare instance whereby I am going to agree with Bark (it’s really not that rare, but I have an image to maintain as antagonist); the Jeep Renegade SUCKS (caps are necessary for emphasis).

    That Bark then goes on to bless the merits of a Fiat 500XXL crossover wannabe type thing only confirms his sincerity (no matter how objectively wrong his judgment may be).

    But given that this is Bark, we all know he really want to scream in exasperation “[J]ust buy a Ford [insert any Ford model beside a Taurus] you dope, because Ford ROOOLZ!!!”

    • 0 avatar

      omg, I agree with BARK AND DW AT THE SAME TIME ON THE SAME ISSUE!!?!??!?!

      BTSR please come in here and agree with us and I can die fulfilled.

      • 0 avatar

        You all are having a Renault Avantime moment.

      • 0 avatar

        You know what would make the Renegade GREAT? One WORD for you – HELLCAT!

      • 0 avatar

        Sadly, ’tis not to be. This may be about as far away from a HELLCAT as a FCA product can get, but it’s still a FCA product.

        • 0 avatar

          Keep the Ranger and avoid the Fiatslers (Chrysler 200, Dodge Dart and Jeep Renegade / Cherokee) like the plague. The transmission has been troublesome from the start – 2013 – with no solution in sight; plus the construction quality is abysmal!

          In a word: JUST DON’T!

          • 0 avatar
            formula m

            I guarantee the 16 yr old daughter told dad to take it back. I want a real Jeep.
            Seriously avoid these vehicles!
            I truely like the idea but this is a poorly executed effort.
            Reminds me of my 89′ GMC Tracker 4×4 5spd manual non-convertible in style but the Tracker was light weight, rear wheel drive manual shift which made it a blast to drive at 16. Didn’t see 17 though…
            The Renegade would feel like an amazing vehicle when stepping out of a Ford Ranger that was pretty much designed as a new model in 1993

  • avatar

    Firstly, Bark is right the Renegade sucks. Secondly you don’t specify a V6 or 4WD with your XLT, but a clean example is with above 4,4 with average to rough closer to the 4K figure depending on configuration. Black Book is more regional and is generally more accurate, but I wonder if zee dealer is sandbagging your trade figure.

    28 recommends:

    -Find another model which sucks less and offers all the faux SUV qualities required.
    -Sell Ranger outright if need be, which shouldn’t be too hard as people *want* those.
    -Leave bag of flaming dogsh*t at the Jeep dealer’s doorstep.

    MY05 Ford Ranger 2WD 2.3 reg cab XLT

    03/22/16 ATLANTA Regular $6,000 73,693 Above BLACK 4G A Yes
    04/06/16 MILWAUKE Lease $800 155,584 Below WHITE 4G A Yes
    04/19/16 DENVER Regular $5,600 52,435 Avg BLACK 4G 5 Yes
    05/10/16 ARENA IL Lease $3,000 124,069 Avg GREEN 4G A Yes
    05/18/16 CALIFORN Regular $2,350 176,633 Avg SILVER 4G A Yes

    MY05 Ford Ranger 2WD 4.0 Ext Cab XLT

    02/18/16 SO CAL Regular $9,700 56,182 Above SILVER 6G A Yes
    10/21/15 SF BAY Regular $5,400 86,538 Avg WHITE 6G A Yes
    04/15/16 FT LAUD Regular $5,600 110,755 Avg RED 6G A Yes
    02/17/16 SAN ANTO Lease $2,500 112,725 Below GOLD 6G A No
    03/15/16 RIVRSIDE Regular $7,100 125,635 Avg BLACK 6G A Yes
    01/28/16 NEVADA Regular $3,200 166,075 Below SILVER 6G A Yes

    MY05 Ford Ranger 2WD 3.0 Ext Cab XLT

    05/19/16 ATLANTA Regular $5,800 122,573 Avg GREY 6G A Yes
    05/04/16 PITTSBGH Lease $3,800 126,428 Below SILVER 6G 5 Yes
    05/18/16 SF BAY Regular $4,400 126,667 Avg GREEN 6G 5 Yes
    05/12/16 TX HOBBY Regular $5,750 131,833 Avg RED 6G A Yes
    04/26/16 NASHVILL Regular $5,700 144,506 Avg GRAY 6G A Yes
    05/24/16 ATLANTA Regular $4,800 148,062 Avg RED 6G A Yes

    MY05 Ford Ranger 4WD 4.0 Ext Cab XLT

    04/30/16 PA Regular $5,800 56,202 Avg GREEN 6G 5 Yes
    05/05/16 NORTHSTR Regular $4,500 100,088 Below GREEN 6G A Yes
    05/13/16 NC Regular $6,800 103,644 Avg BLACK 6G A Yes
    04/27/16 PITTSBGH Regular $6,900 115,141 Above RED 6G A Yes
    05/17/16 NEWENGLD Regular $4,300 122,558 Below GOLD 6G A Yes
    05/10/16 OHIO Regular $6,100 130,568 Avg BLUE 6G 5 Yes

    MY05 Ford Ranger 4WD 3.0 Reg Cab XLT

    06/18/14 CEN FLA Regular $6,300 50,485 Avg WHITE 6G A No
    08/20/14 NY Regular $2,700 86,314 Avg WTE 6G O No
    10/08/14 PITTSBGH Regular $7,800 91,202 Avg BLUE 6G O No
    11/13/14 ALBANY Regular $4,400 74,152 Avg SLVR 6G 5 No
    12/04/14 FRDKBURG Lease $6,400 101,969 Avg WHITE 6G 5 No
    01/28/15 NJ Regular $2,150 178,528 Avg BLACK 6G A No
    05/06/15 MILWAUKE Lease $5,500 117,794 Avg BLACK 6G A No

    • 0 avatar

      Site unseen and possibly not knowing the engine, trans, drive and cab I’d be certain that the dealer started low.

      However I agree that if the Ranger has to go the only way to do it is private sale. A good Ranger priced right will go in a day on craigslist and bring top dollar around here. I had a friend that was looking for one and the problem was that by the time he could call all the good ones posted that day were already gone.

      • 0 avatar

        This – if he wants $5K for the Ranger clean it up, take the 24 necessary pictures to show it right, put it on CL and OfferUp for $5.5K negotiable, play the game, get your $5K – be done with it.

      • 0 avatar

        True, but I can’t imagine the conversation was something to the effect of “2005 Ford Ranger XLT, huh? [typing] $4400”. Anyone worth his salt is going to clarify on 4×4, V6, and probably transmission even over the phone.

        • 0 avatar

          Yeah anyone halfway decent would ask for more specifics. On the other hand if they were in a rush they might just look up a 4cyl 2wd and call it good enough for someone on the phone.

      • 0 avatar

        People who drive demos care just a small bit more about the car than do drivers of rental cars. Demo drivers have the car for two or three months; rental drivers have the car two or three days.

        However, over 43 years of buying cars I’ve purchased a demo (92 Miata) and a former rental car (09 Mustang Convertible…for the wife). Both turned out great with no problems after the warranty expired. The balance of a factory warranty and your own due diligence are the keys.

    • 0 avatar

      Mr. 28, would you mind sharing numbers for the MY00 Ranger? I am in a similar position. 2wd 3.0 supercab XLT.

      I gave $6,650 for it 12 years ago and as far as I am concerned it doesn’t owe me a dime. It’s been the most reliable vehicle I’ve ever had, including a whole bunch of Hondas, Acuras, and Toyotas. It seemed to resist depreciation better than any vehicle I’ve ever had as well.

      • 0 avatar

        No problem.

        MY00 Ford Ranger XLT 3.0 Ext Cab 2WD

        05/10/16 STATESVL Regular $3,600 83,283 Avg BLUE 6G A Yes
        05/05/16 ST PETE Regular $4,300 88,667 Above RED 6ET A Yes
        05/24/16 DTNA BCH Regular $2,900 111,113 Avg RED 6G A Yes
        05/11/16 CALIFORN Regular $3,400 131,678 Avg BLUE 6G A Yes
        05/19/16 SO CAL Lease $1,050 139,419 Below WHITE 6G 5 Yes
        04/27/16 SF BAY Regular $3,400 143,147 Avg RED 6G A Yes
        05/04/16 SAN ANTO Lease $2,900 152,971 Avg WHITE 6G A Yes
        05/03/16 ATLANTA Regular $1,700 169,191 Avg RED 6G A Yes
        05/03/16 FT LAUD Regular $1,700 169,389 Avg BLK 6G A Yes
        05/16/16 NC Regular $2,900 179,197 Avg RED 6G 5 Yes
        05/18/16 TUCSON Regular $1,600 211,879 Avg BLUE 6G A Yes
        05/10/16 ATLANTA Regular $1,000 235,021 Below WHITE 6G A Yes

        • 0 avatar

          Huh, I just got $1100 for a 2001 Ranger “S” (absolutely strippo – rubber floor and seat, stick, no radio, no cruise, no A/C) with 330K on the odo!

          • 0 avatar

            Did you want more for it?

            Scrap is about the lowest I have ever seen it, they’re paying $150 a car. A 330K stripper Ranger sounds like its tired, yet they gave you ten times scrap give or take.

        • 0 avatar

          Thanks! Looks like pricing it at $3K would make sense given above avg condition. So if I get that, $3650/12yrs=$304/yr depreciation. Awesome.

  • avatar

    Brent: is your Ranger a 4×4? If yes, and your Jeep club allows non-Jeep brands, you could just use the Ranger for trail runs and jamborees instead of the Renegade, which won’t be up to the task anyway.

    If not, then consider a model year 2011 or 2012 Jeep Liberty. They are inexpensive, have a real 4×4, and a low-mileage sample is not hard to find.

    • 0 avatar

      Dealer demos are often registered as demos with the manufacturer and the warranty started when it was registered as a demo.

      It has 3,000 miles, probably used up a couple of months of warranty, too.

      Bring the truck you are trading to the dealer, $ XXX difference without seeing your truck is an academic number at this point.

      You are looking for 15 difference, see what the dealer comments are after seeing your truck. Stick to your 15 difference, posture that you will “walk” and by the second round of negotiations you are either closing a deal or walking.

      About the Renegade, its your money you are free to spend it as you see fit.

  • avatar

    Leaving out my opinion of the Renegade, I disagree that a loaner, or manufacturer owned vehicle is any different than a Demo. They live similar lives. You’re looking at cars too new to worry about service history. I would recommend it if the vehicle can be registered as new in your state and you are getting a decent incentive. If it can be a new vehicle, that means the warranty is going to start at the mileage you are buying it at. Just like any used car, make sure to do a PPI beforehand from someone outside your dealer.

    • 0 avatar

      No most warranties start on the “in-service” date regardless of when it was first titled and the warranty runs out at XXk miles whether it was first titled with 12 miles or 12,000 miles on the clock.

      But I agree that the service loaners and factory cars aren’t to be avoided at any cost. Sure there are a couple of Baruths out there that see any car that they do not own as fair game to flog within a inch of its life but the average person drives that service loaner just as he or she would drive their own vehicle.

      • 0 avatar

        “…the average person drives that service loaner just as he or she would drive their own vehicle…”

        And hopefully this average person doesn’t flog his personal car to within an inch of its life too!

        (But agreed – it’s improbable that irreversible damage was inflicted on a service loaner during that period.)

  • avatar

    Seems unlikely that any abuse significant enough to cause a problem long-term would not also show up during the warranty period.

  • avatar

    Service loaners aren’t always bad, but by and large they do make me suspicious. My old Mazda3 was a service loaner for a Mazda dealer in Macon, Georgia for the first six months of its life. I drove it for six years and 65,000 miles with no real problems. Of course, I guess the six months wasn’t enough time for it to have been abused. But then again, it racked up 12,000 miles in those six months, so who knows. Either way, I wouldn’t buy another service loaner just because I was more willing to gamble on it at age 19 when I bought that 3 than I am now.

    As for this Renegade, I’m with Bark. Get the real story and ask for a vehicle history report to see if it’s been titled/registered before.

    • 0 avatar

      I’d buy a service loaner over a rental car. Personal experience, I’m generally pretty kind to a service loaner, I have a perceived relationship with the dealership and if they provide loaners they are doing me a perceived favor.

      A rental car? I am merciless. I would never, ever, ever, buy a used rental car.

    • 0 avatar

      Most people just drive normally, no matter what they’re driving. Normal driving by normal people is actually pretty hard on brakes, but doesn’t abuse the rest of the car too much. And cars will usually survive an isolated abusive use or two without any issue.

      I’d be happy to buy an ex-loaner/demo/rental if it didn’t show any obvious problems and was a good enough deal.

  • avatar

    I won’t comment on the Renegade, or the Ranger.

    But know this: the people who drive “demos” don’t give two sh*ts about said demos.

    My folks would drive different demos all the time (as they worked for a car dealership for years). Sometimes they would have the same car for two-three months at a time. Other times, they would have the car for as little as a week, even a matter of days.

    Every once in a while, they would be offered a demo which they would really, really like. They had the option to buy it. Sometimes the owner would agree to sell them the demo, other times, the owner would NOT. I guess it would depend on how much $$ the owner of the lot thought he could make off of it.

    Furthermore, might I just add… the “I bought it for my teenage daughter and she didn’t like it” line sounds a helluva lot better than “I let my multiple DUI offender/alcoholic car salesman drive the ever loving sh*t out of it for the past four months because he is my best salesman”.

    Just sayin’.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I would personally not feel comfortable showing up to a Jeep event in a Renegade.
    It would be like showing up to a track day with an automatic, folding hard top Miata. Right idea, wrong execution.
    But that said, you be you. People crap on cars that I love and have loved, so get what you want.

    And $4,400 for a working reasonable mile truck, any kind of truck right now, is a screaming bargain – for the dealer.

  • avatar

    …Or, even worse, it could have been a press loaner!…

    My now sold 2005 Saturn Relay FWD3 spent it’s first 12 months as a press loaner. Yup. All those reviews that said how badly the Relay sucked were written by folks who drove that van.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    9-spd automatic + 2.4L tractor engine = NO DEAL.

    If you really want the Jeep experience, by a used 09 Wrangler for $18k with under 50k miles on it.

    • 0 avatar

      The 3.8L lump + 4spd auto is much worse.

      • 0 avatar

        Oh geez Danio, I saw this in the recent comment sidebar and was worried you were going to bring the full wrath of 28CL and the church of 3800 down on yourself.

        • 0 avatar

          While we’re at it, they were good engines in their heyday, but are lumps now.

          As far as the Renegade to Wrangler goes, I’d rather drive the Renegade day to day than an early JK and maybe even a more recent JK. The hate for the Renegade comes from a perceived lack of “cred”. I agree it’s not an outstanding vehicle, but that’s not a requirement for this class.

          • 0 avatar

            I totally agree for daily duties a CUV like the Renegade should be superior to a Wrangler. I dont hate the Renegade for lack of cred. I hate it because I think its a terrible looking, cutesy Easter Egg having little turd with powertrains that dont appeal to me at all.

            And they are hideously overpriced in Canada. 36.5 Canuck Kilobucks for a Trailhawk with no options except the popular equipment group ticked. No fancy roof or radio. I can get a similarly loaded V6 Crew Cab Canyon SLE with auto 4×4 and G80 rear locker for that money.

            (All just my opinion people)

          • 0 avatar

            “I hate it because I think its a terrible looking, cutesy Easter Egg having little turd with powertrains that dont appeal to me at all.”

            Do these factors not cause it to lack cred? They do to me!

          • 0 avatar


            Theres no doubt in my mind a Renegade Trailhawk will go farther offroad than 95% of people would need it to. So from that perspective, it doesn’t lack the cred it needs as a Jeep. I respect what Jeep engineers have managed to make the unibody CUV Renegade and Cherokee capable off, for mass market road based vehicles.

            But I see your point as lacking cred in general.

          • 0 avatar
            SCE to AUX


            Actually, I don’t care about ‘cred’. I’ve never owned a 4WD or AWD vehicle, and the Renegade was the first Jeep I’ve ever driven.

            I was turned off simply by driving it.

        • 0 avatar

          He’s going to trigger a new Crusades.

  • avatar

    Don’t trade that pickup. Nice smaller pickups are REALLY hard to find. I spend 10 weeks looking for a nice S10/Sonoma.

    Put that sucka on Craigslist and hold out for top dollar.

    Then go negotiate ruthlessly on the Jeep you want.

  • avatar

    Does Brent have bad credit? For a few hundred more, he’d have a new ’15 Renegade, but why not offer $20,000 for it, then ask $5,000 for his Ranger?

    I’ve seen dealers hand out “demos” to employees to rack up some miles, just for “used car” inventory specifically for “poor credit” customers at almost full, original MSRP.

  • avatar

    Is the Ranger 4×4?
    If yes, you already own a 4×4 that is more capable than the Renegade.

  • avatar

    I can’t see getting rid of the Ranger being a good idea. Guarantee that the next week you’ll wish you still had it. And finding another similar truck would be a nightmare in that price range. Keep it and shell out the $5k another way.

  • avatar

    I can’t be reasonable about this; the Ranger is the better vehicle. Renegades rub me in the wrong way. Rangers are honest smallish work horse trucks. If you need membership in “club Jeep” get a Jeep. Renegade is a Fiat with a downgraded interior and a body kit.

  • avatar

    Contrary to some commenters, I think it looks great–at least form this angle. It also has an ample greenhouse (although I can’t tell from this about rear vision). If I were going to buy something for looks and greenhouse alone, I’d buy this. Unfortunately, on the two Fiats for which Consumer Reports has enough data, reliability is bad (but i fyou really want the car, check, too).

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I like its looks, too.

      But driving it was a tremendous letdown, like learning that the hottie you’ve always wanted to date turns out to have terrible breath.

  • avatar

    A 2015 is not the current model year. The mileage isn’t bad (even with my rule of thumb that 1 rental-demo mile = 2 to 3 real miles. However, if this 2015 is stolen or totaled, you will have all the downside of a not-current-model, without a significant discount on the price. It’s May!! We’re halfway through 2016, the 2017 models will be here soon. A 2015 (first year model) doesn’t do it for me. With discounts, haggling and rebates, if it’s not a screaming deal, buy a new one or get a reasonably depreciated ride.

  • avatar

    My family owned a dealership for a number of years. My parents and I always treated our demos better than if they were our personal cars. We never forgot that someone else was going to own that car after 5,000 miles. Our managers knew to treat the demos well and they inspected the sales staff’s demos on a regular basis. Of course, I can’t vouch for every demo at every dealership, but don’t assume that a demo was always mistreated. A close look at the car will probably give you an idea of how it was treated.

    A demo usually sells for close to invoice, often several hundred dollars less than a “fresh” one. Being a demo does not automatically mean thousands of dollars in savings.

    Program cars could be manufacturer demos or former rental cars. Service loaners, like rental cars, have had multiple drivers but are likely to have been inspected by someone in the service department upon return. Rental cars are generally not as thoroughly inspected.

    A demo in great condition is nothing to be concerned about. Service loaners require a little more caution. Rental cars concern me.

  • avatar

    I admire your courage to even ask for an opinion on a Fiat or a Fiat derivative on TTAC!
    You would be wise to look elsewhere for an honest assessment.
    Try the Fiat forums or almost any other forum without such an anti Fiat bias.

  • avatar

    OK, maybe it sucks, but does it suck as bad as a Compass or Patriot? Just curious since I didn’t thing anything short of a Mitsubishi or Suzuki sucked as bad as those Jeeps.

  • avatar

    In my lifetime, I’ve bought both a demo and a program car as new vehicles. The program car was a ’92 Dodge Spirit that was an okay deal with not quite 4K on it, but I only spent $200 for the Chryco extended warranty which saved us probably $5000 over the lifetime of the warranty. Great f’ing deal. Best $200 I ever spent. The demo was a ’96 Voyager – it was almost a year old with 10K on it, but it had been maintained well.

    Your story may be different, but it’s a vehicle that should last 200K or more, so if it’s a good deal and you like the Renegade, do it.

    I test drove a Fiat 500L, and contrary to the B&B, I liked it. Maybe because it was a manual transmission, but it drove and handled much better than I expected. If you like the car, buy it. don’t listen to us grumps.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      The manual transmission receives very good reviews. It’s the polar opposite of the awful 9-spd automatic.

      And, the MT is paired with the 1.4 Turbo, which is smoother than the 2.4L, but just not as powerful. The combination of 2.4L – 9A is icky.

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  • probert: It has no trunk…badoing.
  • probert: KIA/Hyundai’s have buttons, knobs and levers for critical functions. Easy to use and everything falls...
  • probert: I think it is a very good looking car, not sure why the writer assumes it is a forgone conclusion that it...
  • probert: just a hint – yes
  • Lou_BC: @SoCalMikester – Yup. My dad would use a rag soaked in diesel.

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