By on June 6, 2018

Yes, I know. You’re all yelling at me for displaying the machine shown above in that obnoxious shade of Nuclear Green (it’s actually Hypergreen, according to Jeep). However, the color’s very availability is what cemented today’s post after finding the bargain-basement Nissan Kicks is only available on the greyscale.

This irritates me to no end. I totally get why certain carmakers reserve eye-popping hues for higher-spec trims: transaction prices, profits, and the Ferengi Rule of Acquisition #10. That doesn’t mean I have to like it.

The base model Renegade is not perfect. Chiefly, it is offered without air conditioning, a sin for which any vehicle costing $18,445 should not escape unpunished. Plus, there remains the uncomfortable fact that one is piloting a front-wheel-drive Jeep — a wince-inducing revelation given the brand’s legendary off-road history and trail cred.

If you can live with that, a base Renegade begins to look more appealing. Its 1.4-liter inline-four is helped along by a turbocharger, putting out 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. Critically, and unlike most of its competition, a six-speed manual transmission is the other half of a Renegade Sport’s power team.

The little Jeepster has a couple of trick storage solutions inside, features that do not disappear on the el-cheapo trim. The rear cargo floor is height adjustable, multiplying the amount of space back there (assuming the items you want to store on the new lower level are not very tall). Tie downs abound for those practicing, or pretending to practice, an all-important ACTIVE LIFESTYLE.

Infotainment is definitely of the, erm, entry-level variety, but does include a 5.0-inch touchscreen running a version of FCA’s admittedly good Uconnect system — an interface that’s largely lag-free. This is more than can be said on some high-dollar offerings. There are USB and AUX ports, important since satellite radio is unavailable at this end of the spectrum. Air and cruise will dent your wallet to the tune of $1,495. I’m digging those base-spec black steel wheels, in case you’re wondering. You’re probably not.

Depending on the area of the country in which one lives, Jeep is currently willing to throw $3,000 on the hood of a base Renegade just for asking. Shrewd shoppers will surely bargain away a few more Simoleons. In those markets, a price of under $15,000 before destination and taxes is not out of the question.

The Jeep brand is red-hot these days, largely thanks to the Cherokee and Wrangler and Compass, so I wouldn’t be surprised to learn some of that shine is rubbing off on the Renegade in the form of slightly higher than expected resale prices – not Honda or Toyota levels, mind you, but perhaps better than even a couple of years ago.

I do think the Nissan represents a better overall value, as its true sticker price is well south of the Jeep’s, yet it’s pinned to a machine that includes air conditioning, cruise control, double the number of USB ports, yadda yadda yadda. Send a few of the base S models through a snazzily-equipped paint booth, Nissan, and you’ll find the Kicks in this series soon enough.

[Images: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Not every base model has aced it. The ones that have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments. Naturally, feel free to eviscerate our selections.

The model above is shown with American options and is priced in Freedom Dollars. As always, your dealer may sell for less.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

72 Comments on “Ace of Base: 2018 Jeep Renegade Sport 4×2...”


  • avatar
    gtem

    I didn’t used to be so coddled, but I don’t see how a car that stickers for $18k and not have A/C can at all be considered ‘Ace’ of anything. Without the AWD factor, a Kia Soul does everything this does, better, for less money, and with standard A/C.

    • 0 avatar
      vvk

      I agree. Kia Soul is a very competent car that represents outstanding value. Base stick shift Souls are often available for about $13k, including A/C. Soul EV, if you are lucky enough to live in the 5 or so states where it is sold, can be leased for incredibly low payments.

      • 0 avatar
        quickson

        With the Soul, though, I think I’d have to spring for the !(don’t get me started) model. All the bells and whistles for right around $20k, and 200HP (2017 and up).

        Adding that turbo 4 to the box took it from a non-starter to an intriguing option. Doing most of my driving on highways and tollways at 75+, you have to have more power than most econoboxes provide. Of course, travelling at these speeds and increasing economy is leading me slowly to bigger and bigger cars, since in Texas you’re competing with a legion of F-150s that can’t drive within 30mph of a speed limit (high and low).

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          Funny how Toyota and Nissan walked away from this “toaster car” space with the discontinued xB and Cube, leaving the Soul to really blossom into a very well done product. I test drove a base ’13 6spd car when I was car shopping back in 2013 and it had funny feeling steering and there was no way to package cruise control with a manual transmission in any trim level. I’d also rented an early gen 2 Soul and found the ride both bouncy and harsh. I suspect by now it is a more polished product all around.

    • 0 avatar
      syncro87

      Agreed. The only real reason to buy this over a Soul is availability of AWD. That being said, you get a better engine with the Jeep if you want a manual transmission. The manual Soul is, sadly, stuck with the base NA engine. It’s really unfortunate you can’t get the turbo Soul with a manual.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    I’m with gtem… no A/C or cruise in the base model of a car clearly designed for daily-driver duty, along with the fact it is likely near-impossible to actually buy one in that configuration, clearly puts it out of Ace of Base, IMHO.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    I agree with one point; I’m not a fan of a monochromatic lineup and nearly every brand is stuck on greyscale as their ENTIRE color palette, barring either red or blue (almost never both) as their sole true color. I’ve driven cars of nearly every color in the wheel, from bright yellow through chocolate metallic through blues, reds and yes, even black, white and grey. I prefer a real color to something that simply vanishes on the road at dusk, dawn and in the rain; something all these greys do very well. One of my favorites was an ’02 Saturn Vue which, like the Renegade above, was a front-wheel drive rig with a decent inline-four and five-speed stick, although in a bright orange (Renegade offers that color too).

    As for the vehicle itself, AC–or rather the lack of such–isn’t necessarily as important as some would have you believe. True, here in the US we’re all spoiled rich kids (Yeah. Right.) so we have to have it just because but when you can take a black car through Texas, New Mexico and Arizona in the middle of summer with only the vent fan blowing and the windows cracked about 1″ or so in 90°+ temperatures, then you don’t really need AC and can save some gas in the process. Coastal regions? Not so much. AC is good for cutting that humidity.

    The Renegade is a fun car to drive, even the Sport. It’s surprisingly agile and with that turbo (or the 2.5L Tigershark) surprisingly quick. No speed demon, mind you, but by no means a laggard, either, like so many other small-displacement cars. It’s worth a test drive at least.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      As someone who lives in New Mexico, trust me a vent fan and window cracked 1” in the summer does not cut it. Not everyone is driving 80+mph down the highway all commute. When you are getting in your 110+ degree car that has been parked in the sun all day and driving through stop and go traffic across town to get home you will be wishing you had AC.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        I was traveling from Las Vegas to the vicinity of the Smoky Mountains when the speed limits were 55mph on the freeways. Black Dodge Aspen SE with 318c.i.d. under the hood. Averaged 25mpg from Vegas to the Mississippi on I-40 and didn’t suffer one bit under 100°+ temperatures. Stopped for fuel in Flagstaff, Albequerque, Amarillo, Oklahoma City and Ft. Smith, right around 400 miles per tank, still with fuel remaining. Switching on the air killed 20% of my fuel mileage but the humidity was so bad by the time I hit Nashville that I couldn’t put it off any more. 2000 miles in 48 hours, including all stops.

        • 0 avatar
          whynot

          Yeah, you didn’t suffer because you were in a moving car on a freeway all day. Now go to the desert southwest, work ~8 hrs in your work clothes with your car parked in direct 100+ degree, get in the car (again in the same work clothes you have been in all day), and drive home in stop in go traffic (never going above ~30 mph) for approximately 20 minutes. You will be reconsidering your AC is not necessary in southwest comment. Leaving somewhere is completely different experience than driving through it. Just because it is a dry heat doesn’t mean it does not get uncomfortable. Before I lived in New Mexico I lived in the Florida panhandle…so i know what hot humid summers are like too.

          Also cars are much more efficient now…you will not be killing 20% of your fuel efficiency by turning on the AC in modern cars.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            You might be surprised. In the high-humidity East I would heartily agree with you. But I did live and work in Vegas where I had to wear “work clothes” in the sun all day. Even so, I didn’t necessarily run the AC in that black Dodge between work and home; the low humidity worked in my favor. Having lived almost my entire life in humid climates, the dry desert heat was a non-issue, as long as I didn’t have the sun bearing down directly on my head.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            “Also cars are much more efficient now…you will not be killing 20% of your fuel efficiency by turning on the AC in modern cars.”

            Depends on the car – I own a ’17 Jetta and the A/C will DEFINITELY put a dent in my MPG. I actually tested it last summer during a long trip on I-70 through Kansas. I set the cruise for 85, and turned the A/C on and off on a flat stretch of highway. You could definitely see it go up and down by as much as 4-5 mpg.

            As long as the A/C compressor runs off the engine’s accessory belt, I don’t see how it doesn’t impact mileage.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          … you must really like heat?

          Also, if AC is reducing your mileage by 20% I don’t even know what’s wrong with the car.

          Of course, it was an Aspen, so maybe that was the problem.

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            (Note ref. above that AC compressors are often *electric* these days, not belt-driven, as far as I’ve heard.

            But the real qualm was not about “will affect fuel economy”; it will even if electric.

            It was with the 20% number.

            A 2017 Jetta seems to get, notionally, something like 38mpg – 2.63g/100mi.

            33, 5 less than that, is 3.03g/100mi.

            That’s 14%, and I suspect that’s exaggerating the average difference, not that 85mph is the speed you should go if you care about fuel anyway…)

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Go back to 1980 and see what the average load was. Losing 5mpg from 25mpg is a full 20%.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Compressors still load down the engine, Sigivald, even if not as badly as they used to. Another has already pointed this fact out with a ’17 VW. An electric powered compressor would be more efficient but it would still transfer load to the alternator which still loads the engine somewhat. Modern AC system now use electric clutches to cycle the compressor, thereby unloading the engine during its off cycles. Older models didn’t cycle the compressor, which often caused it to ice up in humid climes, after which you needed to turn it off entirely until the ice melted before it would work again.

            And the Dodge Aspen was a decent little coupe… not the big SUV-styled thing that came out more recently.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          Vulpine,

          I regularly sit trough, for 6 hours. I get lunchbox with me and if I am hungry I eat at the wheel. I could do more, but road lasts only 6. I really don’t know, where did you get 400mi from? Tank is 12.7 of which you can use about 12. 12×30 = 360 – this is the problem. And as you pointed yourself – with turbo engine, if you want to pass someone hard, you pay fuel penalty. Your mileage may be even less then. In this sense, my mazda6 is rock solid. Last trip I clocked 36mpg. With 16+Gl tank, 15Gl get you 540 miles at that rate. Point is that I can get to some remote places without worries. I like to drive at night and some stations are closed. Or, recently, got into bad storm. Wanted to get cheap fuel in DE. But all stations around were out of power. No problem, can still get home.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            60mph x 6 hours is 360 miles. I’ve always made it a habit to refuel at 300 miles, or about 5 hours, no matter what the fuel gauge tells me unless it crying about low fuel. My typical trip from home to my mother’s house is 650 miles one way, meaning one stop in-route (assuming start with full tank) and top off on arrival. If I leave from in-Law’s house, then 750 miles one-way and two stops, arriving with about half a tank. That’s my routine and I tend to stick with it.

            If I were driving my old Camaro, then at 32mpg at 70mph I’d still be making the same stops, at about the same time periods… just different distances.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      “–isn’t necessarily as important as some would have you believe”

      When quite literally every other car on the market including the most basic $12k Nissan Versa has standard A/C, asking $18k and not having it as standard equipment is indeed rather absurd (insulting, actually). Just my opinion.

      “by no means a laggard, either, like so many other small-displacement cars.”

      By the numbers, it is indeed one of the slower cars in the segment. Not saying it is inadequate or not “peppy,” but that I’m not sure what “so many other small displacement cars” you might be talking about, aside from the Encore with its 10.0 second 0-60 time.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        You just made my point, gtem. At notably under 10 seconds, the Renegade, as heavy as it is, can move. I’ve got a pickup truck at almost the exact same weight and the same size (ok, slightly smaller) engine that IS a laggard by comparison. Cool air it can spin its one drive wheel but let it warm up outside and even in the slow lane, people are honking at me to speed up. And that’s with the AC compressor turned off (had a manual switch installed for that specific purpose.)

        Now, personally I’d love to put the Renegade’s automatic AWD drive train under that little truck, but that would cost me almost as much as a brand new pickup.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          And my point was, what other cars in this class (also equipped with a stick) are notably slower? I agree, 8.8 0-60 is just fine, especially considering the relatively high weight (for its footprint).

          FWIW I have no issues keeping up with traffic in my current ’94 Ranger, and it all too easily does a one-wheel-peel turning onto a road (blame the one fairly bald rear tire). I can accelerate onto a highway onramp with a load of soil in the back and be going 55-60 by the end of the ramp, just need to rev the little Lima a bit. A/C certainly dampens things.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Exactly which engine do you have in your ’94 Ranger? How many horses. I can tell you, 112 horses is not enough to do what you claim you’re doing with yours, which suggests you’ve got a V6, NOT a 2.3L I-4. I’m trying to figure out how to add about 20-30 horses to my little beastie.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Vulpine I assure you I have the 8 plug 2.3L SOHC Lima motor, just like my ’97 before it. With 1/2 yard of gardening soil or 20 2-cu ft bags of mulch in the bed, I can get up to speed safely in the allotted space of an on-ramp, and then sit at 65 or 70mph if needed on the drive back to the house. Granted, it is quite flat in my part of Indiana, but the on ramp I take from the landscaping place is infact at a decent incline. I just let her rev a bit (3500-4000rpm) and it’s a piece of cake.

            Perhaps your 20k mile example needs a bit of an “italian tuneup” to blow the cob webs out?

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          Vulpine, seriously, Renegade is not peppy or quick. I had long test drive with 1.4T/MT. I like the car but It is just slow. And that engine needs a lot of spinning. Later, I learned that Tigershark is not making it much faster.
          But I definitely take it over Kicks without even driving the kicks. I don’t believe Nissan will make interior as nice as Renegade. And Renegade has such discounts that you can load it and still be under $20K. When I was looking, I was about to get $25K machine for $18.5. But what stopped me – combination of bad real world MPG, Premium fuel and small fuel tank – combination that would make my long trips a little painful and more expensive.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @slavuta: I agree that mpg could be better; that’s a matter of aerodynamics more than anything for the Renegade because the in-town mileage isn’t too bad. I can crack 30mpg but it’s not easy unless you stay on the flat full time and cruise at 65mph.

            On the other hand, the 9-speed tranny, once it learns your shifting habits, will hold your set speed, even on long grades. Even downhill, if you can pull the revs below about 2K, holds fairly well without having to ride the brakes. Compared to other cars I test drove before the wife bought the Renegade (its her car, after all) it moves out smartly and CAN get out of its own way. I wish I could say the same for my Ranger.

            Oh, and the Tigershark doesn’t demand Premium the way the 1.4T does. I haven’t tried it on mid-grade but I’m wondering if that wouldn’t improve its economy a bit, plus I still want to drop a high-flow air filter into the box (adds a couple horses and improves economy about 5% or so, based on prior experience in other vehicles.) The 13-gallon tank isn’t as much of an issue as you would think, having taken several trips exceeding 1500 miles in mine. But then, it’s all in how you drive it. Right?

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            Vulpine,

            I was only interested in Renegade with manual. Hence 1.4L only. Tigershark indeed doesn’t require Premium. Now, see what car and driver says about it:
            “However, those figures and its abysmal highway range continue to dwell in the basement. ”

            They call range in this car “Abysmal”. I simply calculated and decided – hell no. I now can drive for 9 hours in my Mazda6 manual before refueling. And auto can do even better. I understand, small footprint, 4wd components, there is simply little space for fuel tank. Did I mention timing belt in 1.4L? It is cute little machine to go to work and take to some off road on weekend but making trips with it… and I have many.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @slavuta: Question: Can you sit still behind the wheel of your Mazda 6 for 9 hours, non-stop? If not, the absolute range of the vehicle means nothing; your personal endurance is the limiting factor. Every car I’ve owned from the beginning has had a 400-mile range on the installed gas tank, and that includes the Renegade if you don’t drive it stupidly. I put six hours behind the wheel and stop for fuel, food and restroom, then get back behind the wheel. I like the ‘enforced’ stop at six hours because it means I’m not going to fall asleep behind the wheel under most conditions.

            400 miles of range may be “abysmal” to some but it really doesn’t matter what the range is if you have to stop more often to take care of personal needs.

        • 0 avatar
          Nick_515

          Vulpine, I may agree with you on acceleration, but I think your argument about A/C does not hold water. Of course it’s all relative – if others have it, so should this – but I can tell you in absolute terms as well, I couldn’t possibly handle upstate NY without A/C. If my summers were spent driving from the lakes to the vineyards, sure, I’ll open a window and chill. But as a professional, imagine putting on a button down shirt and then showing up to work with sweaty armpits. Yeah no. I’ll take the Soul, thanks.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I got out of that ‘button down shirt/sweaty armpits’ lifestyle long ago. For the summer, lightweight polos with a tank under it is much more comfortable and honestly, the ‘suit and tie’ look is grossly out-dated. I’d rather wear Arabian-style robes than a suit and tie in hot weather; the science proves you’re much cooler as a result. I don’t, mind you, but I get away with shorts and polo or at most summer-weight slacks with polo. Dark suit and tie? Forget it. Never again!

          • 0 avatar
            whynot

            Unfortunately Vulpine not all spoiled rich kids are able decide their work’s dress code. Something to consider when speaking for all and dictating where AC is necessary and where it is not.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I am no ‘spoiled rich kid’, my friend. I worked for a living and put myself into a position where I could work for myself. “Knowledge is power” and knowing things my clients didn’t is what allowed me to retire early.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            There is a bizarre streak of blissfully self-unaware narcissism in most of Vulpine’s responses, truly fascinating stuff.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Keep dreaming, gtem. I have more than 40 years of experience behind my statements. Can you make the same claim?

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Dreaming of making strange narcissistic statements on a car website ad-nauseum and crusading for small pickup trucks and serving as a one-man Jeep Renegade Internet-Defense-League?

            Nah, I’m good.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Maybe you should pay more attention to what I say in those arguments, rather than just blowing them off as “narcissism.” If you did, maybe then you would understand WHY I argue the way I do. I am by no means alone in what I say about the automotive markets. Fiat products are nowhere as bad as people want to believe and a true SMALL pickup would be far more popular than the current round of mid-sized trucks, even though they’d never approach the popularity of full-sized trucks. The only reason truck sizes are so large today is because the automakers are using every loophole in the book to avoid paying fines on fleet fuel economy.

          • 0 avatar
            whynot

            You have a tendency to believe that only your experiences are the correct and “right” ones and anyone doing anything different is “wrong” without realizing that is exactly what you are doing. Just because someone does things differently, which may require different needs and comfort out of a vehicle, than you doesn’t make them a “spoiled rich kid.” That attitude actually is very “grumpy old baby boomer” though, which is just as bad as spoiled rich kid.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            LOL, gtem…but he kind of has a point. If you live in an area that has low humidity (like here in Denver), you can actually live without A/C pretty easily. I don’t run the A/C in my car most of the time, actually.

            (But there’s still no way I’d buy a car without it.)

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            FreedMike believe me I’m very much in the same boat of sparing A/C usage, even in spite of our Midwestern humidity. Drove all of last summer in my ’97 Ranger with the A/C compressor unplugged, only to realize I was simply a recharge away from functioning A/C when I went to sell it towards the fall. With my ’94 I’ve charged the system up and it’s holding. I don’t use it around town and at lower speeds (unless my wife is riding along) as it just saps too much power. I generally turn it on once I get up to speed on the highway and don’t want to deal with the noise and buffeting of open windows. If I’m in the 4Runner I do the open rear tailgate glass + cracked windows and/or moon roof as much as possible. In my 2012 Civic the A/C compressor being on messed with the throttle response even more than on the Ranger, it was really annoying to have to adjust my throttle/clutch footwork to compensate for the A/C being on.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      A/C is an utterly non-negotiable requirement for me – even in Maine, never mind the desert southwest (you are frankly insane). I literally don’t care how much it costs.

  • avatar
    deanst

    Nissan Kicks base model in Canada actually gives you blue paint for $300.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    >>only available on the greyscale

    My last two cars have been white. And I’m getting sick, sick of that color, even with the black roofs and wheel arches. But when you buy used the choice of color often takes a backseat of model.

    Looking at used (I know, I know) BMW 228i cars right now. So many are white or black. With a rare BMW blue (Kona?) standing out like.

    re The Renegade

    In my search of manual cars, the Renegade frequently pops up in my searches. And it is very, very tempting given the low entry price and the actual colors available.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Matthew,

    you’re stealing my ideas. Just yesterday I left this comment in Kicks article:

    “I was thinking, thinking, thinking…
    And I realized. That for this money (with discounts), you can get Renegade 1.4L turbo manual, 4WD, with few packages – Altitude, winter, blacked out wheels/grill/labels.
    Yea, MPGs will not be the same on premium fuel, but much better machine.”

    And Renegade is actually has some quality to its interior unlike most Nissans. For example, all switch-gear in Renegade is top-notch. Upholstery pretty good and seats are comfortable. And did I mentioned 4WD… yea!

    The only downside is real-world MPG and need for Premium fuel for 1.4L

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    Maybe not having the AWD is for the best. There’s a guy on YouTube who bought a poverty-spec Renge, but AWD, and created a whole channel in anticipation of becoming a star, Rick Hutton of cute Jeeps. He was absolutely plagued by the issues in the AWD system, which is annoyingly complicated in Renegade — even has an electric motor instead of just a solenoid! The rest of the car was basically fine for him.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I can’t imagine what kind of problems this guy is claiming, Pete. I’ve run the AWD on mine and literally not had a moment’s problem with the drivetrain.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        So if you personally have not had an issue with a particular car that automatically makes it impossible for another owner of the same make and model to have issues? Did I understand that correctly?

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          No. I said I can’t imagine what kind of problems he’s having. Any car, no matter the brand, can have its lemons and maybe he just (un-)lucked out and got one of those. But I’ve not heard of ANYONE else having problems such as you described.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Renegade has 2 different 4WD systems. So, which are we talking about? Now, another point – on Jeep site it is says 4×4. Car and driver calls it AWD. So, what is it?

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        It’s all semantics, I’ve never heard a definitive distinction between the two names. I’ve always thought of AWD as having the capability of being driven on paved roads without binding, and not having to be engaged, and generally not having a selectable low range. But there are plenty of “full-time 4wd” systems on SUVs that have the “always on, no binding” capability but the addition of a low range. OR something like an old Explorer/Mountaineer V8 AWD that didn’t have a low range. Further muddying the waters is what is the method by which the binding is mitigated? A center differential (open or Torsen with/without locking function)? A viscous coupling? Electromechanical clutch?

        In the Renegade’s case it is very much a familiar crossover/light-duty AWD system based around a electromechanical clutch. No dedicated low range gear set, just a locked in 1st gear on the 9 speed. The electromechanical clutch can be commanded to lock in certain driving modes, but even then it is at the vehicle’s discretion and not the driver requesting and getting a hard mechanical lock. The Jeep crossovers’ strength lies in the BLD traction control system that is quite effective at braking free-spinning wheels, simulating some of the functionality of a locking axle differential. Where things fall apart is gearing: the torque converter’s stall speed and engine management just doesn’t transfer enough torque to the wheels to keep the little Jeep moving up steep obstacles and hills.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Both, slavuta, though they’re very similar. The difference is that for the Trailhawk, the center and rear differentials supposedly lock, though independent wheel braking may be a factor on the rear axle, rather than a true locker.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          Jeep’s BLD traction aid works on both the front and rear axles, but yes mechanically both front and rear differentials are of the regular “open” sort. Center coupling “PTU” has a clutch that can be commanded to be fully locked. I’d be curious to see if doing full-lock turns on pavement causes the car to crab-walk or if the clutch will let some slip through at that point.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Can’t say I would argue that statement, gtem, though I thought the clutch for the center diff was dog-tooth, not a slip clutch. Still, it might pull it to allow slip on a tight turn and then re-lock once the axles are back to a common speed. I simply don’t know for certain, considering all the published data came out about four years ago when they were trying to get the tranny and diff timing down for those clutches.

    • 0 avatar
      syncro87

      There was a guy over on the VW Vortex forums who bought a Renegade and had a bunch of issues with it. In addition to the problems was the fact that the dealers in his area showed zero interest in getting the thing fixed. He eventually got it bought back, if I recall, but not after a bunch of BS. There was a pretty significant thread on the whole affair over there, and it probably cost Jeep a few sales as people crossed the Ren off their lists.

      I’m thinking his might have even been a manual transmission version, 2wd, like this AOB unit.

  • avatar
    pwrwrench

    I drove a Renegade for about a week as a rent-a-car.
    Probably a 2017. I don’t recall which motor. It was auto, FWD, had AC.
    It had some very annoying characteristics. There was a lag and surge at throttle just above idle. Made driving difficult in traffic. The passenger kept asking, “Why are you making it jerk?”. I told her it was the engine/throttle response not me.
    The windshield pillars are larger than anything I can recall and obstructed the view particularly when making turns at intersections.
    The ride was harsh over typical road irregularities, cracks, seams, and dips. Also the suspension felt mushy when cornering. Some of the harsh ride was the typical rent-a-car practice of inflating the tires to the max pressure on the tire sidewall. I let out about 12 PSI to the door jam sticker spec and there was some improvement. Another 2 PSI was better still, but not good enough for me.
    The steering reacted too quickly when turning the wheel from straight ahead. Then there was some wallowing when turning the wheel farther. This happened at all the tire pressure settings, so it was not from low pressure.
    There were more things like that. I kept thinking to myself, Why would a auto company (in 2017) sell something like this? It was like going back in time 20 or 30 years.
    I can see people buying them because of the big discounts.
    And about the color. The one we got was white and later the S O asked me, “I notice those Jeeps on the road now. Do they come in anything except white?”. So I looked around. 90% of the ones I see are white. A very few brown and gray.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Where are you? My experience on color is almost the exact opposite; white is just about the least common color while there’s a surprising number of orange and yellow ones around with almost all the rest being grey or black.

      I’ve not noticed the issues you complain about with steering, but then, mine’s also not a rental fleet model, either. I also haven’t noticed any surging except at really, REALLY low speeds where you only need barely enough throttle to keep moving; it was far worse in my old Saturn Vue trying to idle along at 15mph in second gear (on a stick.) Try force-feeding it another gear (like first or third, that’s why you have the M-mode available.)

      Steering has always been tight, something I happen to like about the electric power, though if you’re used to the older hydraulic booster it does feel a bit too sensitive. I found the Kia steering (not the Jeep’s) tended to pulse under my hand when maneuvering, no matter how fast I was driving or how tight I was turning.

      Clearly different people drive different ways. What some here complain about, I see as an advantage–especially when you understand the purpose of a given function.

      But then, some people like to complain about all Fiat or Chrysler products, no matter what vehicle they’re talking about.

      • 0 avatar
        SSJeep

        Vulpine, my limited driving of the Renegade matches your experience. I had no surging problems, no wallowing problems, and no steering problems. Visibility was iffy though. I thought the Renegade was fun to drive and handled well overall.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          I agree about the A-pillar, by the way; I have to move back and forth a bit to see around it at intersections. Visibility the rest of the way around is pretty good.

      • 0 avatar
        pwrwrench

        I know friends and neighbors with Ram/Dodge trucks and they seem fine. Since I raced cars and motorcycles and got paid to fix them for 30 years I might have a different idea on steering and throttle response. I don’t like any control that feels vague or inconsistent.
        And I’m in SoCal where some days it appears that every other car is a Prius, Mustang, Challenger, or Camaro.
        The other half are SUVs of course.
        Over the last 5-6 years we have rented a few things;
        Ford Edge, was very nice. Thinking of buying one, but S O says too big for her and there are reports now of mechanical failures.
        Mazda CX-7, Awful. Harsh ride and noisy. Correcting tire pressure helped, but not enough. Maybe different tires would be better. That might be one of the reasons that Mazda no longer sells the CX-7 here.

    • 0 avatar
      Advance_92

      “There was a lag and surge at throttle just above idle. Made driving difficult in traffic. The passenger kept asking, “Why are you making it jerk?”. I told her it was the engine/throttle response not me.”
      I used to catch rides with someone owning a Jeep Liberty that did that, too. Maybe the guy that programmed the throttle for Jeep wasn’t allowed to make it good.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    A/C wouldn’t be as much of a necessity if they hadn’t done away with vent windows. Those stupid B-Pillars don’t help either. People just can’t leave well enough alone.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @sub-600: I’ll agree that losing the vent windows is an issue, though it may be possible that losing the kick-panel vents was a bigger one. Losing both is one reason why car interiors get so hot today when at one time you could allow at least some level of airflow without sacrificing security in your car.

      As for the B-pillars; I understand the need for those, even if I don’t like them. I, personally, loved the idea of a true ‘hard-top’ car with a clean side opening for running windows-down. Of course, that also made the cabin one heck of a parachute, too. But at lower speeds, that didn’t really matter. Even now, I believe cars look a lot better without the B (and sometimes C-)pillars and apparently so do the automakers as they try so hard to make them ‘invisible’ from outside on some CUV/SUVs.

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    1) Shoulda called it “Supergreen”.

    2) “Chiefly, it is offered without air conditioning, a sin for which any vehicle costing $18,445 should not escape unpunished”

    The JL Wrangler starts at $28.9K (net, and who discounts Wranglers?) and doesn’t come with standard AC.

    And yet nobody complains about this, and people get oddly snobby about the very idea of putting AC in one*.

    (* I would never even consider one without AC.)

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      There are a non-zero number of people who actually buy wranglers primarily for off-road fun duty (with the top off/down.) It’s realistic that somebody might truly have no need to use the A/C in their chariot.

      The Renegade? It’s a daily-driver, through and through. And there are few parts of the US where A/C is never needed.

      In any case, it’s almost certainly just a “From $XX,YYY!” attention-getter; few dealerships are actually likely to stock many, if any, of these A/C (and cruise!)-less models.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        Maybe they do the same thing my old Toyota dealer used to do. Advertise at $X,XXX as loss leaders, but if you wanted anything beyond seats and a steering wheel, it went up quickly from there.

        25+ years ago, dealer installed A/C was $1K at our Toyota store. I wonder what Jeep wants for this?

  • avatar
    DweezilSFV

    Does no one ever use just the fan for ventilation ? It’s pretty effective without turning on the AC. Or opening the windows.

    But then, I’m having the compressor and drier replaced today on my 70s era knee knocker aftermarket AC equipped 63 Valiant.

    In the 100s all this week in AZ. I can live without cruise, but it would be difficult to be without AC in Tucson.

    Little bro and his wife just bought a Renegade in the same color as pictured above. 2.4 and auto and they’re pretty pleased with it. They had considered the Soul a couple of times.

  • avatar
    pdog_phatpat

    Gross.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    I’d like the Renegade a lot more if there was a two-door version. Same with the Soul. I know… not bloody likely.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    You could always cross shop the Renegades platform mate the Fiat 500X. You see them at around $20k and I think AC is standard.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    And people called the Aztek ugly.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    The Jeep must be pretty bad if a Nissan has better value or Nissan has gotten significantly better the last couple years.

  • avatar
    MoparDave

    2017-version owner of Ace of Base Renegade Sport 4×2 (and, yes, Hyper Green)posting here….
    Yes, I’ll admit I bought the basic, no-options-having version. I can live without a/c myself (I can get away with this living in western Washington state), Maybe it is from years of owning cars without/not having functioning a/c,it not having air conditioning isn’t a deal breaker for me. My Renegade has been reliable, useful, versatile,roomy,has more than adequate passenger space,gets decent mileage, and is fun-to drive. (I kinda like the 1.4 turbo/6-speed manual combo, thank you). Not all of us absolutely HAS to have all-wheel-drive version just because the name badge says ‘Jeep’. I get along fine with front wheel drive and traction control. If I want to go do some serious off-roading, there is a 2016 Wrangler in my driveway (also non a/c equipped..)that works rather well.
    I’m not the type of buyer who peruses Consumer Reports, prints out a gazillion spreadsheets,and comparison shops every single car in the class (good for buying a new refrigerator or toaster, kinda buzzkill & not fun if you are looking for something that is fun and has a personality). I got mine, I like it, and recommend it for anyone looking for something fun to drive and having a personality.

    • 0 avatar
      bill h.

      Ours is a 2015 Latitude 4×4, but with the 1.4 turbo/6 speed manual. Hitting 40k miles now, and we still like it quite a lot. It’s not as quick as a lot of cars, but the throttle travel seems a bit longer than my other cars too, so maybe that’s part of it. But it’ll move when it has to, and pulls more strongly above 3000 rpms. The Latitude is maybe a decent option for the 4×4, but still having the manual and also the a/c. We don’t try to take it on trails, but we do drive on occasion on unpaved back roads, where it does fine.

      I like the handling (short wheelbase is part of it, of course) and it has adequate space. It works well in cities too, where the suspension holds up against potholed streets and doesn’t take up a lot of parking space. I actually don’t use premium fuel in it all the time; in any case 30 mpg or better is pretty routine for my driving style, in mixed conditions. Oh, and ours is the bright Smurf (Sierra) Blue, which sadly they only had on the ’15s.

      Maybe it’s not a “real” Jeep, but then I tend to drive mine more like the Italian sourced car that it is, with a little gusto and around the HR-Vs and Encores who tend to be a little more sedately driven. I’ve no experience with the 2.4/auto models, but I can’t imagine them being as fun.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • el scotto: @Dartdude Our Federal Government, thankfully, is not like Apple computer corporation. I have an iPhone 3...
  • el scotto: @SCE to Aux; I can think of three stand-alone Cadillac dealers. Lockhart Cadillac in Greenwood and Fishers...
  • Ol Shel: You should choose a car from a company that’s never had a recall, like: Nash, Duesenberg, Datsun,...
  • RHD: That’s a lot of money to put on the line for such a silly bet. Truth be told, ICE vehicles will be slowly...
  • DenverMike: The old fogeys say that. It assumes the grade coming up the mountain is the same one going down. Or...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber