Monday, February 20, 2017

Jeep Renegade

Looking at buying a 2016 for my wife.  Any experience?


  1. Based upon previous research, Jeep (in any model) has a very poor rate of repair.

  2. We got my wife one at the end of 2015. VERY pleased with it. It's built at the Fiat plant in Italy but apparently it's done by German and Japanese robots. $3K gets you a 1,000,000 mile bumper-bumper warranty. We drive hers mostly on the weekends so it's low mileage but ZERO problems.

    Like many new high-tech cars oil changes are sensor controlled. Minimum (hard off-road use) is 3,500 miles. We go by the line "Do not exceed one year or 10,000 miles." We haven't had a real winter for the last two years in Kansas City but the bit of snow and slush we had it *totally* ignored. For your driveway you'll probably have to turn the knob to engage Snow mode (full time 4x4 that knows what kind of terrain you're on).

    Get the Trailhawk. You don't need the extreme off-road modes but some of the features are worth having. Never know when you might like having a 1/2" steel skidplate under your vehicle.

    Four small items:
    1) No garage door buttons. The target market is 20 somethings who mostly don't have garages so no HomeLink buttons.
    2) There is no apparent way to open the rear hatch (unless they've added it recently). There is no button inside and no apparent button outside. Go to the very bottom of the hatch on the left side, under the 3rd character of the license plate. You'll feel a fat, smooth button. That unlocks the hatch. The smaller, rough button to the right of it locks the car.
    3) From reviews and our experience: Not the best car for 0-60. Some gears were moved low for off-road. It's great on the streets, great on the highway, but you feel it strain on the on-ramp. Not a real problem for us.
    4) Also from the reviews: your car can be called cute. My wife is ok with that.

    Since they are made in Italy you pretty much have to go with what you find in town. Due to our 14" height difference we would have preferred a manual seat but didn't want to wait six months.

    You'll be amazed at the room inside. It's built on the 4-door Fiat frame. I squeezed into one of those at a car show. The Renegade somehow has more head and leg room than my SUV (3rd Gen Honda Pilot Elite).

    Try one - I think you'll like it.

  3. FWIW, since their vehicle usage differs from most of us, I hang with a group of overlanding enthusiasts called Northwest Overland. They prefer Toyotas, Nissans, Land Rovers, etc., but almost no one has a Jeep; and those who do have aspirations of getting something else as soon as they can. That said, my one friend who owns a Jeep loves his more than anything, though I'll mention that he is a skilled auto mechanic.

  4. Unless she *wants* a Jeep, and has driven one, I would suggest a Toyota 4-Runner instead.

    Or the other Japanese brand equivalents. Also the Lexus GX, but a used version.

  5. I've owned Jeep Wrangler variants for the past two decades almost. Never had a problem with them until I bought one in 2012 after the Fiat purchase. This latest one has been fraught with problems from off the lot. I've vowed never again, at least while they're owned by Fiat. I guess if there's good news, they honored their warranty, but repeated issues (e.g., bad O2 sensor, bad cylinder head) still present daily problems with transportation that a good warranty doesn't address - not to mention the worry that something will always go wrong when I'm driving. I'm done with them.

  6. There are a lot of competition in that segment that have better value and are much more reliable. Chevy, ford, Toyota even Subaru. I think that the Hyundai is more reliable than Jeep.


  7. B: Chevy left that CUV marketplace some years ago. Their cheapest 4x4 SUV is >$30,000. Subarus have developed a bad reliability reputation the last few years.