By on September 26, 2016

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I’ve told epic tales before. Specifically, I’ve told you a story or two about the times I’ve spent at EPIC Hotel in Miami. In your author’s humble opinion, it’s the best hotel in America. The combination of the brilliant customer service, the enormous suites overlooking Biscayne Bay, the rooftop pool, the jazz club, and the best Japanese steakhouse anywhere makes EPIC, well, epic, even before all the kids were saying it.

I stayed at EPIC this past week while working in Miami, and there was only one thing about my week that didn’t fit the description: my rental car — a 2017 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk.

In a place where everything about the experience is finely crafted and authentically brilliant, the Trailhawk is that awkward kid who’s trying too hard to fit in.

2017 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk Trail Rated Truck Badge, Image: © 2016 Bark M./The Truth About Cars

You might remember that I was quite fond of the Renegade’s cousin, the Fiat 500X (and that my dear friend, Rebecca, was not). So why did the Renegade Trailhawk leave me feeling like I had just bought a fake Rolex?

Everything about the Trailhawk feels like a lie. Here, let me give you an example.

IMG_3154

Look at that. Will you just look at it? Is that “paintball splatter” (according to Jeep) or just fake dirt (which is what it looks like)? Whatever it is, why does it need to be there? To make you feel like you’re doing some sort of Active Lifestyle nonsense when all you’re doing is driving to Whole Foods? 

I get it, though — because you paid $27,240 for it (for which you could have purchased a real fucking Jeep Wrangler), you wanna feel like you have some sort of Jeepy cred. I’m sorry. I promised myself before I started that I wouldn’t do that. Jeep me.

2017 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk Trail Rated Badge, Image: © 2016 Bark M./The Truth About Cars

Oh, look, it’s Trail Rated. Let’s go conquer the peaks of the Himalayas right now! Or drop the kids off at school. You know. Whichever. In case we accidentally find ourselves climbing over the occasional parking block at the Home Depot, the Renegade Trailhawk’s off-roading capabilities will definitely come in handy.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m aware that the Trailhawk can off-road pretty well. I even took a ride around the off-roading course outside the New York International Auto Show in one earlier this year, and I remember being impressed by its capabilities. But the average Trailhawk is no more likely to be off-roaded than your average C7 Stingray is to be tracked. And even though I intellectually understand this, it still offends me.

But no amount of paintball splatter and aggressively styled red badging will save you from the inglorious combination of the Renegade’s 2.4-liter four-cylinder and FCA’s ubiquitous nine-speed transmission. It seemed kinda quirky and cute that the 500X wasn’t particularly fast. In the ridiculous squared-off packaging of the Renegade, it just made me angry. Jeeps are supposed to be manly. The Trailhawk actually sucks testosterone directly through the sole of your shoe every time that you attempt to accelerate. You put your foot down. And then you wait. And then you wait some more. And then you start to wonder what sort of Mustang you could have bought for this kind of money. (The answer to that: damn near a GT, especially if you opted for the bigger UConnect screen.)

2017 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk Interior, Image: © 2016 Bark M./The Truth About Cars

Unfortunately, the fine people at National did not opt for the larger UConnect screen. Nor did they opt for power seats, or any leather anything (with the exception of the wrap on the FCA parts bin steering wheel, which was actually quite nice). The Renegade had one feature that was particularly annoying, too: every time I put it in Park (or when the valet did it), the electric parking brake went on immediately. The first four or five times I shifted from Park to Drive and tried to accelerate, I couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on. After that, I slowly started to hate the Renegade more and more with each press of the “P” button.

Now, with all that being said, you might be wondering: is there anything that you liked about the Renegade? Well, to be honest, there was one thing I liked about it. I liked how much women liked it.

Each and every time a female colleague or passerby saw the yellow eyesore that is the Jeep Renegade, I heard nothing but positive comments.

“Look how cute that thing is!”

“Wow, this is your rental? It’s so cute!”

“How is it? I think they’d be cute for a college kid or something.”

“I could totally see myself driving one of these.”

It was then that I realized Jeep did not make the Renegade Trailhawk for me. No, the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk was squarely aimed at the fairer sex, whether the folks up in Auburn Hills want to admit it or not. And while no self-respecting dude would spend his hard-earned cash on a Renegade when there are actual Jeeps to be had for the same money, it’s not hard to see why a woman with absolutely no interest in doing anything resembling off-roading would find the Renegade compelling.

The strategy appears to be working, too. Here’s a list of some of the vehicles that the Jeep Renegade outsells in America, according to our own Tim Cain’s statistics:

That’s kinda surprising. In fact, FCA sells more Renegades in a month than they do 500Xs in a year. It makes me want to stand in front of the Renegades at Jeep dealerships with a sign that says, “Do you want a better version of this car for less money that will make you look like less of a douche? Follow me to the Fiat store!”

I think the Renegade knew how much I disliked it, and on my way to drop it off, it made me suffer one final indignity. As I left my office, which was 4.2 miles from the airport, the low fuel light came on.

“No matter,” I thought to myself, quite cheerily. “I’ll refill it at the gas station by the rental car center.”

Approximately two miles later, I was stopped dead in the middle of Miami rush hour traffic. For the very first time in my life, I had run out of gas. Hell hath no fury like Miamians who are dealing with the crushing flow of humanity that hits the highways at 4 p.m. on a Friday. I sat there with my blinkers on, cowering apologetically behind the wheel as I tried in vain to get the young lady at National customer service to understand the various letters of my rental agreement number.

“NO, IT’S Z AS IN ‘ZOO!” Z! AS IN ‘ZOO!’ NOT G! NOPE, NOT D! ZEEEEEEE!”

Luckily, at that moment, I was saved by a nice man in a Ford Transit Connect whose only job was to provide roadside assistance to dipshits like me who were blocking traffic. He gave me a gallon of gas, refused to take the $20 bill I offered him, and went merrily on his way. It was then that I realized I had been averaging a whopping 20.4 miles per gallon the whole week, most of which was highway driving. No wonder I was surprised I had run out of gas.

As I dropped it off at the airport, I turned to look at it one more time before I headed back to the terminal. I had to admit that if I saw a young, blonde girl sporting Ray-Ban wayfarers, a ponytail, and a vacant expression behind the wheel, I’d think it was just about perfect.

But don’t call it a Jeep.

[Image: © 2016 Bark M./The Truth About Cars]

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145 Comments on “Rental Review: 2017 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk...”


  • avatar
    tinbad

    This thing looks like a dinky toy, will probably sell a ton in the first few years and then end up on scrape yards with discolored body panels, fallen of badges and peeling interior trim. Disposable era FTW!

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I get it, though — because you paid $27,240 for it (for which you could have purchased a real fucking Jeep Wrangler), you wanna feel like you have some sort of Jeepy crew.

    Ding ding ding. I’d rather pay full sticker for a Wrangler (the only option I need is the hardtop) than spend one min negotiating over a Renegade.

    The strategy appears to be working, too. Here’s a list of some of the vehicles that the Jeep Renegade outsells in America, according to our own Tim Cain’s statistics:

    Toyota Prius
    Lexus RX
    Chevrolet Impala
    Nissan Murano
    Honda Fit

    That’s kinda surprising.

    No my friend, that’s depressing…

    • 0 avatar
      klossfam

      No my friend, that’s depressing…

      That is a perfect point…There is very little that makes sense anymore in the world of auto sales and the what and why of the vehicles purchased…The Renegade is just another ‘accessory’ for young women…

      There are signs of hope, however. Honda is selling just about every new gen Ridgeline they make because it is the truck most people need (if they need a truck at all) and the small SUV/CUV craze makes sense if you look at it ‘BIG picture’…Most people need a small 4 door wagon that is economical and that is really what a Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4 is…with a little extra height…

      Doesn’t explain people like me that use a half ton pick up for commuting and road trips but North America is pick up truck nuts and that’ll never change…

  • avatar
    dwford

    If this one is for the ladies, who is the new Compass for?

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    If you darn ‘Muricans pronounced it properly as ‘Zed’ then you would have had less problems communicating.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    20 mpg?!?!

    A 4 cylinder anything should do better than 20mpg.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      That’s the Magic of Jeep! I seriously considered a few models till I saw the mpgs.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        If I bought a 4 cylinder vehicle and got 20mpg doing normal driving, I’d be demanding the dealer take it back. That’s unacceptable.

        • 0 avatar
          Adam Tonge

          My 5000 pound, 365 HP, twin-turbo V6, AWD Lincoln cetacean wagon gets 20 MPG.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Pssssssss… Moderator Adam, could you release my comment pretty please?

            All I did was quote the humble author who used a naughty word.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “My 5000 pound, 365 HP, twin-turbo V6, AWD Lincoln cetacean wagon gets 20 MPG.”

            In town?

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            @PrincipalDan, I ran into the same problem trying to quote General Patton awhile back. Don’t even THINK of quoting Harry Truman! Instead, think of how useful the asterisk can be as a letter substitute.

        • 0 avatar
          FOG

          20 mpg on a 4 cylinder is unacceptable. My Renegade gets 36 mpg on the highway and 30 in town. Maybe Bark’s tank wasn’t actually full at the rental car place. That gets you a double whammy. The only negative about the Renegade is that the back seat is not fun if you have a new driver, my 15 year old, behind the wheel. They correct too much and it is more like Cedar Point than I-75.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            If the Renegade Trailhawk is anything like the old Patriot with the optional Freedom Drive II package (the offroad one), then there are a number of things that conspire to really ding the fuel economy: shorter final drive gearing, less FE-focused tires, lack of the low hanging air dam, lifted suspension (worse aerodynamics). I thing the FDII Patriot was rated something like 20/23 IIRC. The Renegade is 300lb heavier, taller, but probably has much taller highway gearing than that Patriot

            Edmunds’ long term Renegade Trailhawk seems to be sitting at a lifetime average of 21-22mpg, right in line with what Bark saw.

            For $30k with options and that sort of fuel economy, I’d make a beeline for a several year old 4Runner and enjoy a vastly more capable, more useful, and more reliable vehicle that will still be running and still be worth a surprising amount in two decades.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            According to the EPA ratings, highway fuel mileage of the Trailhawk should only be 1-2mpg less than the otherwise similarly-equipped Limited or Latitude models that include the lower ride and air dam. The drivetrain is almost identical with, I believe, the exception of a lower first gear (yes, it could be final drive, but on reading the gear ratios when it was first released, the top-end ratios were nearly identical, revs to wheel rotation, meaning a change in transmission gearing rather than final drive.)

            I will admit to the possibility that I’m mis-remembering, if someone would care to look that up for me. I can’t find that data any more.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      people accustomed to driving cars hard tend to over-estimate how “gently” they drive on the road.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      The Edmunds long term Renegade Trailhawk averaged 22 mpg for a year. It’s a dog that lives up to everything Bark described, as did my own test drive:

      http://www.edmunds.com/jeep/renegade/2015/long-term-road-test/2015-jeep-renegade-trailhawk-fuel-economy-update-is-august-over-already.html

      I will say this, however: Other reviews indicate that the Renegade Trailhawk is a ‘real’ Jeep as far as off-roading goes.

      The best version of the Renegade is the one almost nobody tests – the Renegade Sport with the 1.4T/6M drivetrain. It’s substantially cheaper, and runs much better.

      • 0 avatar
        NoID

        Yes, the Renegade Sport with this powertrain is likely going to find its way into my driveway late this year or early next, courtesy of the employee lease deal. I’m chasing the lowest payment possible balanced by the best fuel economy possible, and this was in competition with the Dart 1.4L/6M before the Dart was axed.

      • 0 avatar
        bill h.

        Based on our experience, the 4×4 Latitude version, also with the 1.4t/6M setup gets over 30mpg in mixed driving pretty easily if you don’t hoon it on a continual basis. 35mpg on the freeway is also quite doable.

        The gas pedal travel seems a bit longish to me, so you have to be willing to give it a push beyond what you might be used to doing in other vehicles. Also, the 1.4t seems to like revving above 3k before it really starts to get its power stride.

        • 0 avatar
          Laflamcs

          This is exactly the version my wife bought a few weeks ago. Yes, she is getting 30 mpg in mixed driving. We absolutely love this vehicle. So much character and priced right. The other competitors look so dull compared to it. She traded in a 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo, and since the Renegade’s engine is the version used in the 500 Abarth, she feels a welcome familiarity with this car. Ha, the engine even sounds like her 500! Fantastic job, Jeep. I see these things everywhere in Vermont!

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        You won’t get the manual version at the National counter, though…

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          I’m not aware of any of the 9-speed automatics NOT having the manual +/- selector available.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “I’m not aware of any of the 9-speed automatics NOT having the manual +/- selector available.”

            Let’s not be willfully obtuse here.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Why not? It seems everybody else is.

            Besides, when I read that in email and clicked the ‘reply’ button, it didn’t take me to where I could see any context and I had clearly mentioned using the automatic in ‘manual’ mode in my original comment to the forum. As far as I knew, the statement was in response to my own.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      20 mpg was about what my old Forester XT averaged, and it would probably hit 100 before this overweight thing got to 60.

    • 0 avatar
      philadlj

      In other words, it gets HALF the mpg of the upcoming Equinox Diesel…

  • avatar
    MLS

    Though I’ve not driven a Renegade, I imagine the electric parking brake can be programmed to activate automatically (or not) when the vehicle is shifted to park. The previous renter probably fiddled with the factory setting.

    This “review” lacks substance. The Renegade is slow, and the author dislikes its styling. Nothing more to say? Running out of gas is an amateur move.

    • 0 avatar
      StuckInWI

      Assuming it is like my ’16 200 w/the 2.4L/9-speed, the auto-parking brake behavior can be modified using one of the UConnect screens. IIRC, the default is for it to be on.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      I agree, and I was looking forward to this review because Bark had written it.

      I announced the other day that if I had a crossover from Jeep, it’d be the Renegade. It would be a manual 4wd. I don’t think its that obnoxious looking, better than the bland Chevy Trax and Aztec-worthy uglyness of the Nissan Juke.

      I’m not a woman, I’m not even feminine as far as being a gay man, and I never use the word “cute” unless talking about a little kid or something.

      If I had to apply it to vehicles, I guess the VW New Beetle, Fiat’s US line-up as well as Mini’s would qualify. This doesn’t look as “cute” as they do, yes it is more expensive than the Compass or HR-V, but I think it works. But, hey, I liked the Honda Element, so maybe it just works for a select few.

      I’m not saying that if I drove it, especially with the 9 speed, that I wouldn’t hate it as Bark does. But, I don’t fault its looks, nor its slowness. Yes, if the low fuel light was only there to tell me “head for the shoulder NOW”, that would annoy me. So would the parking brake if I didn’t normally use it (me having a manual trans would dissolve that issue anyway).

      I just wish Bark felt the need to tell us how it drives, how it rides, stuff like that, not just its slow and its too cute for any man to want one.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        I agree, the review is trite.

        How many variations are there of “it will never be driven off-road”? There’s one more now.

        Do you never, ever encounter snow, potholes, tropical storms, or even aging (all of which are good enough reasons to get a high-riding car)? If anything, the crossover form-factor is a direct descendant of the Model T, and that whole lower-wider-longer era was a fruitless affectation, long since marginalized, like tie-dye and Earth shoes.

        Glossing-over the poorly-repressed stuff. It’s just a rental review, not a novel. I do hope you are doing OK.

        • 0 avatar
          NoID

          I’ve been considering writing an article for submission regarding the dimensional / form parallels between the crossovers of today and the cars of the 20s through the 40s.

          But then I remember that I work for an OEM, and therefore I am not to be trusted.

          I personally don’t care for crossovers, but as a resident of Michigan I can appreciate the combination of additional ground clearance and AWD for winter commutes to and from work. I also appreciate the loads of cash they’re making for us, keeping me gainfully employed…

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        “not just its slow and its too cute for any man to want one..”

        I love it!

        You’re a gay guy who’s far, far more secure in your masculinity than Bark.

    • 0 avatar
      statikboy

      Agreed about the lack of substance, and the amateurish move. However, I am used to having 50 (’91 Acura Integra) to 60 (’87 Honda Accord) miles of fuel left after the low fuel light comes on, so I likely would have been caught out by it too. 2 miles is not enough warning. Or are long warnings just a Honda thing?

    • 0 avatar
      SSJeep

      @SCE to Aux – totally agreed, this one is a swing and a miss. The two paragraphs dedicated to the “paintball splatter” on the tachometer are unnecessary and pedantic. Styling is relative. I would much rather hear how the vehicle drives – and more important to me, how comfortable it is. The vehicle could be the best handling example on the track, but if my knees are smashed together by acres of plastic surrounding the console, it would be off the list.

      Truthfully, the Renegade is not a bad vehicle to drive, and it is more comfortable than many other similar priced CUVs.. The boxy design yields more headspace than a comparable CR-V or HR-V variant. The back seats are more spacious, and there was enough room behind them for a couple of suitcases. Acceleration wasnt fast, but when called on, it was brisk enough. I was not stuck counting Mississippis until the throttle responded.

      I could have done without the removable roof panels, though. A proper sunroof would be appreciated in the Renegade. It is not a Wrangler and shouldn’t try to be one. Reliability is TBD, but based on previous implementations of the ZF clone 9 speed, reliability probably wont be the Renegade’s strong suit.

    • 0 avatar
      bill h.

      Exactly. The automatic engagement of the P brake can be disabled by the driver via the Settings.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      I *wish* the P-brake on my Volvo would engage automatically when put in Park.

      (Of course, admittedly, it also does automatically disengage if you hit the gas in reverse…)

  • avatar

    I have to show this to my DIL. We just got her 20-year-old Civic new tires and a few other repairs and it now runs like a top.

    Only she told my son she wants a Jeep. Which they can ill afford, on top of all the other issues for which so many FCA rides are infamous. At least that Civic is from the years when Hondas didn’t break as long as you maintained them.

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    When you need that many reminders to tell you that it’s a Jeep…it’s probably a Fiat 500x. :)

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      It’s amazing how many models they’re getting out of that 500X platform. It’s downright Iacocca-like.

      • 0 avatar
        npaladin2000

        It really is amazing isn’t it? I wouldn’t mind seeing a Dodge or Chrysler version too, without the extra weight from the Jeep-ness. A Dodge in particular might be a fun little car to hoon, and would be a MUCH better choice for Global Rallycross then that Dart they tried a while back.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          What’s really funny is that a Dart is almost exactly what you were asking for. Oh, and it’s not a “500x” platform, it’s the Fiat Panda platform that the 500L, X and Renegade currently ride. Even the Cherokee is on a slightly stretched version of the platform. And so will the new Compass when it gets here.

          The only reason the Dart failed is that the company was required by the Federal government to produce an American 40mpg car within 18 months to finalize Fiat’s purchase of The Chrysler Group and as such pushed more for mileage than capability. People I know who actually own Darts purchased since then truly like them.

          • 0 avatar
            npaladin2000

            The Dart is actually a different platform, larger and heavier, it’s based off of the Giulietta (The Compact US Wide platform, also used by the Chrysler 200 and Jeep Cherokee). The 500x and Renegade are based off of the “GM/Fiat Small” platforms, specifically the Small Wide 4×4 version of it that is exclusive to those two right now (The 500L uses the Small Wide LWB version of the platform, as does the RAM ProMaster City, but they are related loosely).

            The Panda is completely unrelated to the others, it’s on the same platform as the regular 500. It’s pretty easy to confuse all of these given the naming. I’d like to see more of the Small Wide 4×4 platform in the US, it should in particular be much peppier as a Dodge than the Dart was.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Very interesting. I looked up references and discovered something rather unexpected for me that explains why Marccione was so interested in entering into a closer partnership with General Motors since so many of their cars ride the same platform as many GM-build Opels (which also happen to be used as the basis of several American models as well.) This changes what I had remembered from earlier articles in that I didn’t know they were sharing platforms with GM even that long ago.

            And looking at the different Fiat models, ( http://www.fiat.com (if you get redirected to Fiatusa dot com you’ll need to manually delete the usa out of the URL)) it seems hard to believe the Panda rides the same platform as the base 500 itself since it is physically so much bigger (same size as 500x and almost the exact same body.)

          • 0 avatar
            npaladin2000

            Yeah, it’s pretty interesting. GM and Fiat used to be pretty tight until Fiat bought Chrysler. That obviously put a damper on things.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_Fiat_Small_platform

            Actually, the Pacifica also makes use of the platform underpinning the Dart and Cherokee:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat_Compact_platform

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Fiat and GM were already adversarial before the bailout. It cost GM billions in a European court to end its relationship with Fiat, probably because GM was hiding how bad its fortunes were while trying to escape pathetic Fiat’s insistence that GM buy them.

          • 0 avatar
            npaladin2000

            Well, I think we’re better off that things happened that way. I’d hate to see a GM-ified Fiat GM-ify Chrysler…and more importantly, Jeep. Can you imagine what GM would do to Jeep? If you hate The CHerokee and Renegade, imagine the Jeep Equinox and Jeep Trax.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Are you sure about that timing, Todd? Any references?

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            GM Fiat court order billion settlement – these are search terms that will give you the sources you will ignore.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB110829456239553274

            European Business News

            GM Agrees to Pay Fiat $1.99 Billion To Settle Dispute
            Accord Leaves Each Side Counting Up Gains, Losses; Long Legal Battle Avoided
            By Gabriel Kahn in Rome and
            Lee Hawkins Jr. in Detroit Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
            Updated Feb. 14, 2005 12:01 a.m. ET

            General Motors Corp. agreed to pay $1.99 billion to Fiat SpA to bring their alliance to a costly end, giving some breathing room to two companies that still face losses in Europe and a tough environment for selling cars around the globe.

            Under the deal reached yesterday, Fiat is giving up its right to force GM to buy the 90% of the Italian company’s ailing auto unit that it doesn’t already own. The prospect of absorbing Fiat Auto and its heavy debt load contributed to fears that GM’s credit rating would be downgraded. The agreement also preserves GM’s access to Fiat technology it needs to bolster its unprofitable European operations.

            For Fiat, the agreement gives the Italian industrial conglomerate a much-needed cash infusion and marks a triumph for its new chief executive, Sergio Marchionne. GM had maintained that Fiat had breached their original agreement and that GM thus was no longer obligated to acquire Fiat Auto, raising the specter of a long legal battle as Fiat sought ways to prop up the loss-plagued unit.

            But yesterday’s deal also brings the total amount GM spent on its ill-starred consolidation play in Europe to more than $4 billion — more than the auto giant earned from continuing operations for all of 2004. Meanwhile, industry observers say the deal won’t be enough by itself to ensure the long-term survival of Fiat’s auto unit. Both companies face rising market-share gains from more-efficient Asian-based car makers and a global auto industry burdened by overcapacity.

            GM Chairman and Chief Executive Rick Wagoner said yesterday that GM has still benefited from the Fiat alliance. GM will continue to get half of $2 billion in projected annual savings from joint product development and purchasing operations with Fiat for several more years.

            “To be honest, when you do deals, you don’t do the deal you want to, you do the deal you can do,” Mr. Wagoner said. He added that GM still considers its Fiat relationship “a high return deal. With the benefit of hindsight, if we could have done this in the beginning and they would have agreed, sure we would have wanted to do it this way.”

            Standard & Poor’s Corp., the big debt-rating firm that has cited the Fiat situation as a potential risk to GM’s credit rating and has rated GM’s debt just one notch above “junk” status, yesterday made positive comments about the deal. Scott Sprinzen, managing director of corporate ratings at S&P, said the agreement would eliminate the uncertainty that the Fiat agreement had put on GM’s credit rating, and said GM “has ample cash to accommodate the payment that’s been agreed to.”

            GM said it will take an after-tax charge of about $840 million, or $1.49 a share, to reflect the cost of the Fiat settlement. GM Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer John Devine said the charge could be reflected in earnings for the fourth quarter of 2004 or the first quarter of 2005.

            GM will return its remaining 10% stake in the auto unit to Fiat. GM had previously written off its $2.4 billion initial investment in Fiat Auto.

            For more than a year, GM had repeatedly insisted that several financial maneuvers by Fiat, including an emergency 2003 recapitalization and the sale of its auto-financing arm, had made the agreement between the two companies invalid. Even though Fiat was strapped for cash and its auto unit continued to falter, Mr. Marchionne, a lawyer by training, didn’t flinch and held out for a high payout. Messrs. Wagoner and Marchionne held a secret face-to-face meeting in Canada at the end of last month, according to people familiar with the negotiations, but no resolution was reached. The matter appeared destined for a messy court battle.

            Yesterday, Mr. Wagoner and Mr. Devine said they still believe that GM could have prevailed in court. But they said litigation offered no guarantee of victory and could have put in jeopardy the cost savings from the various ventures between Fiat and GM Europe. Those savings, which Mr. Wagoner valued at $1 billion a year, are critical to GM’s broader plans for fixing its European operations, which lost $742 million last year. For GM, the long-term risk of taking on Fiat Auto, and its estimated $10 billion in debt, and the short-term risk of losing the benefit of the Fiat joint ventures, outweighed the cost of a quick payout.

            For Fiat, the deal provides much of what it had been demanding from GM. The payout itself is toward the upper range of what many industry analysts had been expecting. That is crucial for Fiat, which desperately needs the cash in the short term to keep its operations running. Mr. Marchionne said the cash “gives us a lot more breathing room.” In addition, GM is ceding its 10% ownership of the Italian auto unit back to Fiat.

            The agreement ends a turbulent relationship that began five years ago in the heat of the auto industry’s last major round of deal-making.

            At the time, both sides billed the alliance as a crucial way of sharing costs and accessing each other’s technology. GM would benefit from being able to use Fiat’s advanced small diesel engines, which are essential for competing in the European market. GM’s size, in turn, would provide a shield for the smaller Fiat in the global auto industry.

            GM invested $2.4 billion for a 20% stake in Fiat Auto. In turn, Fiat took a 5.1% stake in GM. The two sides also agreed to the so-called put option, considered an option of last resort at the time, that called for GM to buy the rest of the auto unit in order to protect the smaller Fiat should their alliance go sour.

            But within two years, Fiat Auto had fallen apart. Its operating losses in 2002 totaled about $1.7 billion and it was sucking the financial lifeblood from the company’s healthier truck and tractor divisions. GM decided not to participate in a recapitalization of the auto unit, and its stake was diluted by half to 10%. Fiat, meanwhile, sold its GM shares to raise cash, booking a pretax profit of $380 million on the deal.

            Under the deal struck yesterday, most of the joint operations they had built up in Europe and Latin America since they first linked up in March 2000 will be wound down. Their engine joint venture, Fiat-GM Powertrain, will be dissolved, though during a transition period it will continue to supply both companies. GM and Fiat will co-own the intellectual property for the engine they developed together, including the important small diesel engines that power both companies’ top-selling cars. GM will also get 50% ownership of a factory in Poland that produces the diesel engines. Another joint venture the companies had to pool their purchasing will also be scrapped, though they will continue to cooperate on several projects.

            Both companies are still grappling with major problems. GM is in the middle of a painful restructuring of its European operations involving thousands of job cuts. In North America, GM’s biggest market, the No. 1 U.S. auto maker is fighting to stop a long slide in market share. GM has forecast a sharp slump in profit this year based in part on declining sales of its high-profit large sport-utility vehicles and pickups, which are in their last year before a major model change.

            Fiat must now scramble to find other ways of reducing its costs. The auto unit is expected to report operating losses of about $1.3 billion in 2004, and its long-term survival is in doubt. Mr. Marchionne said yesterday that with the GM alliance now defunct, Fiat Auto was free to strike alliances with other car makers, such as jointly developing new models. Those types of alliances can result in substantial cost savings for car makers. However, they often take years to show significant results.

            The company has so far avoided painful restructuring moves, such as closing its most inefficient factories, a politically sensitive issue in Italy. Last week, Mr. Marchionne met with several Italian government ministers to brief them on the situation at Fiat Auto. Any reduction of Fiat Auto’s 30,000 jobs in Italy would require government support.

            GM will attribute about one-third of the payment — specified as €1.55 billion under the agreement — as going toward the acquisitions of various assets, such as a half interest in a Polish engine plant. Most of the remainder will go toward the termination of the master agreement between GM and Fiat, including the put option.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            annnnd…. That would explain why GM hates Fiat so much.

            Personally, I still believe a partnership could be useful but it does raise the question eventually of which car is on which platform; which one is Fiat-based and which is GM-based?

            Ah well. As far as I’m concerned, Fiat has ended up offering the better products overall. GM went out of its way to destroy many of the brands that made it what it was.

    • 0 avatar
      Frylock350

      @npaladin2000,

      When I think of a GM-ified jeep I just picture a 6.2L GM V8 under a Wrangler’s hood; a thought that makes me happy.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    If it’s good enough for Batman, it should be fine for you.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    Considering the decrepit condition of the downtown Miami streets, this is a good choice for your trip.

  • avatar
    MrIcky

    Bark needs to untwist a little. This was not a review, it was a tirade that says more about the writer than the car. Getting “offended” about off-road packages that are unlikely to be used makes me laugh, author states off-road package works and he tested it. So what if people who don’t need it buy it.

    And a wrangler isn’t much faster or much more likely to be used off road. Feels like you already knew you hated it before this op-ed screed began.

  • avatar
    CoastieLenn

    Bark- it appears that you’ve left out one key component in your comparison of the C7 track days to the Renegade’s off-road days. That is the famed Wranglers off-road days. I’m sure statistically speaking based off sales numbers and actual off roading occurances, the Renegade has the same chance of seeing dirt as the Wrangler does. The difference and nod goes to the Renegade though since nobody will turn them into pretentious smug mobiles with huge lifts and huger tires… only to never go offroad. THAT’s a bigger lie than the “TRAIL RATED” badges on the Renegade.

    • 0 avatar
      statikboy

      Like this?:
      https://www.google.ca/search?q=jeep+renegade+lift&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwinhdr4v63PAhUP0IMKHSzbAKEQ_AUICCgB&biw=1093&bih=545#imgrc=w8SsdeLS6-NngM%3A

      Or more, and less, specifically this?:

      http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-fvY_bk5uNjE/U7MM42rqSjI/AAAAAAAAHGI/oNRHZX9GN4k/s1600/Panda+4×4+spot.jpg

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    No a 500X makes people feel like a DB. You have to keep in mind that DBs don’t think of themselves as DBs they think of themselves as envied by everyone.

  • avatar
    scott25

    “Jeeps are supposed to be masculine”? I can’t think of another brand more likely to be driven by (mostly white) women, usually the ones with no knowledge of cars or how to drive. The male equivalent of this has no specific brand loyalty it seems, except the ones with money.

    • 0 avatar
      formula m

      white women are exactly the demographic I’m interested in. Under 30yrs of age and in good shape so they can climb up behind the wheel of a wrangler is a healthy sign for hotness. Even met a couple that drive manuals.
      Young nurses tend to like them up here in Canada for being 4wd so that they can get to work at weird hours in snow storms. Also Jeeps being some what affordable and every girl loved their pink Barbie Jeep YJ growing up as a child(one girls actual explanation)

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      That formerly British, formerly off-road centric, brand has around 100% female drivership. And the Japanese soft road brand, is, with a fair amount of success, aiming for 200…..

      I know you can’t get them at rental counters, but Jeep has a manual version of this. And, the “trail rated” runs, even according to the author, more than badge deep. Compared to what else is on offer out there, I’d say that makes the Renegade a fairly laudable offering. The Wrangler is a pile and a nuisance on road. And worse than that on snowy roads. This thing actually sounds like a pretty rational offering for those who may actually “need” the capabilities of a crossover or SUV. But testing a slushbox version of an NA 4cylinder powered, fairly heavy, crossover, will never impress an “enthusiast.”

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        The stick version will almost certainly feel livelier, but the automatic has the more powerful engine in both horses and torque along with a much broader range of gears giving it surprising ‘soft road’ capability and yet decent mileage on the highway.

        BUT… As we read when the Cherokee itself came out 8 years ago, the transmission needs time to learn the driving habits of the driver in order to set shift points and other factors to meet that driving style. It’s very probably that a rental, because it never gets time to learn a driver, will need the transmission software ‘flashed’ to default once sold to a long-term driver. That’s when its performance is more likely to impress.

    • 0 avatar
      Varezhka

      The majority of Wranglers I see are driven by a young women on a phone, going 5 mph below the speed limit on the left-most lane. It would be preferable if some of these drivers swapped their vehicles for something that’s less likely to tip over when they (inevitably) swerve off.

  • avatar
    slance66

    Are we supposed to be surprised by this conclusion? I mean, I pegged this as a car targeted at women, young women at that, the moment I saw it. Wasn’t that obvious? Good grief, most Grand Cherokees I see are piloted by women.

    I’d have considered a used one for my daughter when she turns 16 in three years, but it costs too much, has crappy gas mileage and the legendary FCA reliability. As for the 500x, I suspect that the fact that most people don’t have a dealer nearby isn’t helping sales.

    No, it looks like a Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3 or Subaru Crosstrek will likely fill the need for a teenage girl car. Maybe a normal Civic.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      slance I highly recommend the final few years of the Scion xB for its rock solid and simple drivetrain, although Toyota Tax might kick in full force once they’re discontinued. If I had to warrant a guess I’d say they will be cheap to insure. Or else maybe a Kia Soul. Cheap and cheerful, although I don’t care for their suspension tuning.

  • avatar
    kefkafloyd

    ““NO, IT’S Z AS IN ‘ZOO!” Z! AS IN ‘ZOO!’ NOT G! NOPE, NOT D! ZEEEEEEE!””

    Sorry, Bark, but you gotta learn the NATO Phonetic alphabet when speaking on the phone or radio. D as in Delta, Z as in Zulu. No one will be confused.

  • avatar
    theoldguard

    Schools ought to teach the NATO phonetic alphabet, which anyone who has been in the military knows. It works well. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO_phonetic_alphabet

  • avatar
    B_C_R

    It’s a perfect lifestyle CUV though. Looks cute, gets around in inclement weather with aplomb and is easy to park around town — where it will spend all of its time on this earth.

  • avatar
    freekcj

    It makes me want to stand in front of the Renegades at Jeep dealerships with a sign that says, “Do you want a better version of this car for less money that will make you look like less of a douche? Follow me to the Fiat store!”

    um….nope, still a douche

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    Waiting for Pch101 to pipe in with a “solid” on this turd of wiffle.

  • avatar
    Chan

    I’m OK with this.

    Because I’m OK with any car that results in one less Camry, Highlander or Lexus RX on the road.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      One less Rogue! One less Rogue!

      I can’t tell the difference between a Rogue and the Hyundai equivalent from 100 feet away. I’m sure someone here has discovered a tell. If so, speak up.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Actually, that one’s easy. Yes, they’re a similar silhouette, but the same can be said of almost any two cars in any segment in any era. From the rear, the Hyundai Tucson and Nissan Rogue have completely differently-shaped taillights, and the Rogue has more silver. The Tucson also has lights/reflectors way down in the bumper. From the side, they do have similar window cutouts, but the Nissan always has chrome, which isn’t always the case with the Hyundai. The Nissan is also more likely to have untinted windows. The Hyundai has a deep swage line over the door handles. The front is the easiest of all, since both CUVs have their respective company’s corporate front end.

      • 0 avatar
        NoID

        Speaking of Nissan, am I the only one who sees a certain about of Saab-iffication of the front end on Nissan’s fleet of crossovers and SUVs?

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      I humbly agree with you.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Two things:

    1. The word “inglorious” would have had a better impact if spelled “inglourious” as in that awful movie.

    2. Jeep is getting really close to jumping the shark, courtesy of Fiat.

    Funny that the ladies like it – anything that is regarded as “cute”. However, our neighbor’s wife just bought a Patriot…

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      I remember reading an article about some time ago about music sales. OK, it was about album sales, but I didn’t want to date myself. It said that record execs target young males, because if young men are buying, young women will also buy. But if guys get a whiff of a song being female-oriented, they stay away.

      Long way of saying that I wonder if Jeep is starting to turn off young men from the brand by so obviously courting women. All it would take is for a carmaker to bring out a “real off road” vehicle that out-Jeeps Jeep, and the brand is toast.

      Bronco time?

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        What if young men deserve to be turned off because young women are more studious, diligent and hence successful on their way to becoming better customers?

        I think all car companies see this and as practiced seekers of cha-ching act accordingly.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        People seem to forget that Jeep advertised this as, “Designed by Jeep people FOR Jeep people.” The design is supposedly 100% American, albeit made to fit a 100% Italian platform.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        I doubt “Renegades are a girl car”, if it became established, could turn young men off the *Wrangler*.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        I gotta disagree with a new brand knocking Jeep to the side. Hummer tried and got it’s ass kicked after initial swooning. Jeep has been iconic as long as I’ve been alive, and they’ve been “cool” for the last 40 years. That they’ve expanded to crossovers and mini-utes well, it’s the same thought I have for Porsche and their Cayenne, Macan and Panamera – if those models help to keep cranking out 911s and Boxsters, so be it.

        The only Jeeps I’ve been disappointed to see released are this monstrosity and the Compass. Not because they’re feminized Jeeps, but because they’re hideous to look at. The Patriot seems ok though….

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Are there…more buttons on the steering wheel than on the central console?
    That’s just weird.

    Oh, and a couple of choice Easter eggs are fine, but this car has ALL the Easter eggs. It IS one big Easter egg.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    • That “paintball splatter” also happens to be an effective way of telling you where the engine’s redline lies. Personally, I like it.

    • You might be happy to have that off-road cred when you go to an air show, county fair or other muddy field where everybody is getting stuck while you simply drive right out. Sure, other AWD models may be able to do it as well, but then, they might not either if there’s a bit of a hill climb before you reach the paved road (as there are in both parking areas for my county fair.)

    • The one I drove seemed to be a little more lively off the mark than the one you drove. I’m betting the tranny itself (or rather the tranny’s control software) hadn’t had time to adjust to your more aggressive driving style. After all, it’s only got 9,000 miles on it in the hands of probably no less than 50 different drivers. FCA has made it quite clear that the car tries to learn and adapt to your driving style and rental cars simply never get the chance to learn any of the drivers.

    • That “P” button? On that I might agree. Then again, “the people” have demanded it because some few don’t know how to shift into park and set their parking brake on their own. Some states now make setting that parking brake a mandatory thing, no matter what transmission is in the car. But FCA is now facing at least one lawsuit BECAUSE the parking brake didn’t set itself on one model.

    • “And while no self-respecting dude would spend his hard-earned cash on a Renegade when there are actual Jeeps to be had for the same money,…”
    — I would and specifically because the full-sized Wrangler is big and clunky and offers poor economy when the Renegade better meets my needs while still being distinctively a Jeep. The Renegade is really no less capable than the old Willys military jeep, albeit maybe not as tough due to weighing nearly 4x as much and working on a ‘space frame’ construction rather than the old tub on open frame of the originals. Yes, I’ll agree the engine seems a little weak, but then, so do a lot of cars when you first buy them. As you break them in to your own driving habits, they tend to loosen up significantly.

    • If I had to have a real complaint about the Renegade, your last point hit the nail on the head. A bloomin’ 10-gallon tank is not big enough for that car. Then again, I’d probably be watching the fuel gauge a little more closely and probably NOT be driving it quite as aggressively. Of course, you probably never considered using the select-shift side of your gear selector to improve the beastie’s performance either, did you? I’ve found that can make a noticeable difference in your economy rather than waiting for the automatics to do all the work for themselves. A higher grade of gas might have helped, too.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      ” but then, they might not either if there’s a bit of a hill climb before you reach the paved road ”

      To be fair, the Renegade may not either. I’ve yet to see one of these electronic traction control-based viscous coupling driven systems do well in a low-traction climbing scenario, the electronic systems always seem to kill momentum.

      ” ‘space frame’ construction ”
      it’s a regular unibody.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “To be fair, the Renegade may not either. I’ve yet to see one of these electronic traction control-based viscous coupling driven systems do well in a low-traction climbing scenario, the electronic systems always seem to kill momentum.”

        The Renegade Trailhawk has clearly demonstrated the ability due to having automatic ‘lockers’ on both front and rear as well as the center differential and it IS capable, up to a point. I would suggest checking out some of the videos on “ToasterJeep dot com”.

        “it’s a regular unibody.
        As I understand it, the structure is significantly more rigid than the original unibody designs. They’re better designed to handle stresses under normal use while still offering proper crumple zones in the event of collision. Each brand now has their own name for the system that goes beyond what “unibody” used to mean. In part, it’s because unlike those older styles, the body itself does NOT make up part of that framework. The body parts are separately attached, though admittedly welded in place for roof and rear quarters. Not too different from the older body-on-frame cars where the body was welded together and then bolted to the frame (excepting the front quarters, hood and deck which were bolt-on.)

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WzOWH8TNFo

          Can’t say I’m terribly impressed. The biggest win with the Renegade are the favorable approach/departure angles and short wheelbase, clearance is passable (excellent for the class I should say) I mean it’s about as good as a vehicle of this variety gets, but without the KL Cherokee’s mechanical locking rear, it’s plain out of luck with how poor the articulation is. On climbs where it needs to just allow some wheelspin, the nannies always seem to kick in at the worst time regardless of TC settings, most likely to save the viscous coupling from damage (my guess).

          It doesn’t have “automatic lockers” front and rear or in the middle, it’s a low speed traction control algorithm that uses the ABS controller to individually clamp down on spinning wheels to try and transfer torque across the open differential to the other side. I’m not as privy to the inner workings of the “active drive low” power transfer unit on the Renegades, somehow I doubt it has a mechanical locking feature but I could be wrong.

          Underside looks about the same as most standard unibody cars, with the square profile longerons and everything. http://www.allpar.com/SUVs/jeep/specifications/under-renegade.html

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Christamighty… all I wanted was enough ground clearance from the cheapo model + Blizzaks to handle an occasional unplowed but otherwise normal road.

            You off-road guys should work with NASA’s rovers. Probably some of you do.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Kenmore, “where we’re going, we don’t need ROADS” :)

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Or we could stay right here ’cause ours are going away!

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I never said it was perfect, gtemnykh, but according to ToasterJeep, even the owners of that Renegade were surprised at how well it did despite that issue.

            And I’ve heard even full-sized 4×4 pickup owners complain about how those nannies strand them in open fields where old-school versions just keep on rolling. There needs to be a way to turn off those nannies at least enough to get real slip when you need it. As I understand it, the Cherokee and the Renegade currently come the closest but still use the brake itself too much.

          • 0 avatar
            stevelovescars

            I don’t really care about the ability to climb over boulders and I suspect less than 1% of the people who look at these do, either. The “Trailhawk” equipment is more about looks and the portrayal of some lifestyle than need for the VAST majority of buyers.

            If, however, you do plan to tackle the Rubicon Trail every weekend, then buy a Wrangler. Not every vehicle needs to do that. How many Range Rovers have ever been used for anything more than tackling the off-road demonstration course in front of the dealership? Well, maybe the times the owner accidentally parked on the curb the extra ground clearance was nice, but I hope those alloy wheels with rubber-band low-profile tires weren’t damaged.

            The base and mid-level Renegades seem more than capable of tackling the dirt and snowy roads I drive every winter in my beater Ford Taurus wagon with winter tires. They are also faster, safer, get better fuel economy, and offer a manual transmission… but I have more cargo space and a rear-facing third row seat.

            More importantly, the whole car is worth just a few months of payments on a new Renegade so I don’t care about it getting salty or dinged. That makes it a better off-road and winter vehicle in my eyes. ;-)

  • avatar
    legacygt

    I guess Jeep says that the majority (60%) of Wranglers are driven off-road but across the brand, the Renegade is not alone if it spends most of its time on pavement. Still, I agree that the splatter on the tach is absolutely ridiculous. Gage clusters should be reserved for data. Facts only please. Let the rest of the car do the editorializing.

    As for finding this car on the rental car lot. That’s another issue. If I were a marketing exec at an automaker, I’d view the fleet sales to rental companies as a marketing effort. They should sell rental companies models that may pleasantly surprise renters. Something that will make them consider a brand or model they otherwise wouldn’t have considered. So that means optioning them decently but not ridiculously. With that in mind, I would have the Renegade optioned with the larger Uconnect system (which is really an industry leader) and not bother with the Trailhawk package (which will either go unnoticed or unappreciated by every single renter.) Put the best Uconnect system in every FCA rental and you’ll have renters saying, ‘this is much more intuitive than what I have in my car.’

  • avatar
    RHD

    So that does TRAIL RATED actually mean, in real life?
    When I see it, I think “Yeah, it was rated, but what was the rating?”
    I could “trail rate” my Miata, but it certainly wouldn’t be as capable off-road as a Wrangler.

    2017 Trailhawk Trail Rating: “We drove a yellow ‘Renegade Trailhawk’ on a logging road. It got stuck in a muddy rut. We walked down a picturesque TRAIL to get some help.”

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but Trailhawks are the only Renegades without the cheap plastic cow-catcher front end and with enough chassis lift to look like something more than a poorly built Kia Soul competitor.

      I don’t know what else they do over the cheaper builds but Jeep sure knows how to sell them by uglifying all less expensive versions.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Here’s how Jeep defines “Trail Rated”: http://www.mideast.jeep.com/capability/trail-rated.html

  • avatar
    Maymar

    I drove the Trailhawk a month or so back, and subsequently rode shotgun in a Limited. In theory, I like it (I’m a sucker for stupid easter eggs), it’s a decent size, and at least it’s not an anodyne blob that’ll get lost in the Starbucks parking lot. But, there’s a handful of little things (and also the specter of long-term ownership prospects if you can get over the little things). Up here, the absolute cheapest 4×4 model (which, why else would you buy one?) is just shy of $30k Cdn (at which point I’m headed straight to Subaru), and you’re up past $33k when you get the Trailhawk (which is getting close to Wrangler pricing). It’s got a needlessly stiff ride, probably because “it’s a Jeep thing” and they want to make it seem like a proper Jeep (thankfully, the non-Trailhawk is decent). Rear seat space is decent, but it felt like an awkward climb into the back. Inexplicably, the tailgate release is hidden in a crevice between the tailgate and bumper rather than just above the license plate. Also, it was a little loud on the highway (like, I thought a window was open), and my standard is set by a cheap Mazda.

    On the other hand, Uconnect tends to be decent, I had no complaints about power (nothing spectacular, but nothing spectacular expected), and it looks right. Or, well, it looks right with the Trailhawk bumpers.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    Something seems off with that car, especially that mpg. I had a Cherokee with the same powertrain a couple weeks ago for a rental and we averaged over 30 mpg for the weekend which involved lots of mountain driving in North Carolina. At steady highway cruising at around 70 mph, it averaged an impressive 34-35 mpg. Also impressive was the transmissions operations with pretty flawless and intelligent shifting despite swapping between two drivrs. Amazingly, that Cherokee Latitude (2wd) is less $ than this despite being larger and apparently somehow more fuel efficient.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @tjh8402: “… Also impressive was the transmissions operations with pretty flawless and intelligent shifting despite swapping between two drivrs. Amazingly, that Cherokee Latitude (2wd) is less $ than this despite being larger and apparently somehow more fuel efficient.”

      The shape of the Cherokee is a big part of that one’s economy. The nose is more rounded than any of the other Jeep models with the possible exception of the Grand Cherokee. The 9-speed transmission–after having learned its primary driver–also chooses shift points better suited to that driving style while still having a high enough range available to go into second, third and maybe even fourth overdrive modes. You didn’t say which engine was in it, but if it’s the V6 it was probably managing to ride those higher gears longer due to the higher torque as compared to a 4-cyl version at the same speed–another advantage of the aerodynamics.

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        I said our Cherokee rental had the same powertrain, so 2.4 9A. We only had the Cherokee for about 600-1000 miles and swapped it between two drivers several times, so it didn’t have much time to learn driving styles, and both I and my friend were impressed with the gearbox’s operation right off the bat. He was so impressed with the car overrall that its a top choice for his next vehicle. The aero would explain the highway mpg being better but not around town. I also had a 500x as a loaner with this powertrain and my city mpg was in the mid to upper 20s.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “I said our Cherokee rental had the same powertrain, so 2.4 9A.”

          Sorry. Missed that on first reading. Definitely give the Cherokee kudos for aerodynamics and maybe that one was a little better broken in than the Renegade reviewed above. Still, at 9k miles, I would have expected better, too.

          Again, my biggest complaint is the tiny tank. That’s the same size fuel tank as in my wife’s Fiat 500.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    tl;dr:

    “It’s a Chrysler so I automatically hate it.”

    And yes, who does Jeep think they are making one of their vehicles capable off road? What kind of world are we living in where Jeep thinks they have any right to make a vehicle capable off road.

    Yet, I’m sure you would gush over the silly Raptor. The biggest mall crawler ever made. Nothing says “great off road” like shiny shocks and a cheap body kit…

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Say what you will as far as how many of them actually get used to anywhere close to full capacity, but the Raptor is a very serious and very capable piece of offroad hardware indeed.

      Let me just direct you to this:

      https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/capsule-review-ford-svt-raptor-united-states-border-patrol-edition/

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        Very serious and very capable. Right.

        That’s why when owners use them in the same manner as Ford does in their ads for the POS, the frame breaks.

        The Raptor is the most overrated and disappointing truck on the market. It’s about as capable as a lump of cheese.

  • avatar
    PushrodPat

    Lol….blames chrysler for people not taking the time to actual put their Jeeps in Park and getting injured or killed…..then lambasts the autmatic parking brake that everyone says it should have had from the start.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      A hypocrite through and through.

      His bias against Chrysler is so obvious. If the Renegade had a Ford sticker on the front he would be all for it. It wouldn’t run and be far less reliable, capable, and very low quality, but he’d love it.

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    I think Mr. Bark is suffering from some pent up issues that resulted in his vomiting of this incredible compilation of manly-men cliches, and gender-based suppositions and prejudices? Is it because his brother Jack’s wife drives the same car as his, but more souped up? Maybe Mr. Bark needs his 302 back to get his manliness back after so much FiSTing? Jeez this review sucked.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    Edmunds hates theirs…and with 25,000 miles on it, they are in a position to know.

    Sorority girl vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I would happily take that Renegade off of Edmunds’ hands. Just ship it to my address along with all the paperwork for getting it registered. Oh, and don’t forget to include the funds to take it through my state inspection.

      Then again, maybe I should just go ahead and trade in my Wrangler and buy one new. Why put up with somebody else’s problems?

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    The Renegade 1.4 has 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. The 2.4 jumps to 180hp but drops to 175 lb ft. The smaller turbo has more torque at lower RPM than the NA engine.


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  • thegamper: Pure speculation on my part, but I would think as more luxury automakers get EV’s to market with...
  • Rocket: I don’t see it. For one, it’s a lot of money to spend. But more important, Toyota is all about...
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