Jeep Renegade Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
604 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been driving a FWD 1.4 six-speed Latitude for the past couple days on an extended weekend test drive. I like the way it drives, but part of me thinks I should hold out for a 4x4, just because I like the idea of having AWD. The problem is, I know I'll never go off-road, and I live in North Carolina where it rarely snows, and when it does nobody goes anywhere until it all melts the next day.

The FWD Latitude seems to be easily breaking 30+ mpg on the highway, and one of my favorite things about it is that it handles better and feels lighter than I expected. I fear all of these characteristics could be compromised by the higher ride and extra weight of the 4x4 system. This car will be a daily highway commuter.

From what I can see, the Jeep 4x4 system seems to be geared toward off-road and poor condition traction, rather than driving dynamics. Some AWD systems distribute the torque around even when no slippage occurs, to improve handling dynamics in dry conditions. Does Active Drive do this at all?

So basically, is there a driving reason for me to get the 4x4?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
302 Posts
4wd

In a nutshell, no. I live on a gravel road in Michigan where we get real winters. Each year there are a few days (emphasis on few) where 4WD makes the difference between getting out safely and staying at home. The biggest difference I've found between FWD and 4WD is that with the latter when you get stuck, you are really stuck! I would think in your situation the FWD would be a good fit.

I do enjoy driving trails and two-tracks but to date, I've only done that with my 1952 Willys, not my "good" 4WD vehicle. What I'll do with the Renegade remains to be seen but my plan is to do some off-road with it.... nothing extreme mind you, my wife would kill me if I beat up such a nice looking new car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
It sounds like you'd be better off with the FWD for all the reasons you cited. Better fuel economy, less parts to break, cheaper sticker price etc.

The AWD Renegade is supposed to power only the front wheels during normal dry pavement driving. It only engages the rear axle when needed. As such, it should be pretty close to the FWD in fuel economy, however I think the real world tests show otherwise.

I would ask this: have you ever owned a 4x4 or AWD vehicle in the past? If not, have you ever said to yourself, "I wish I had 4 wheel drive" if not, you're probably good with the FWD. Just my $.02
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
Yes, get the 4wd. There is no mpg penalty since the car essentially drives in 2wd until you need it.

Funny coincidence, I live in Greensboro but grew up in Michigan. In Michigan there were several instances where my Grand Cherokee 4wd meant the difference between getting home or being stuck all night. In North Carolina I thought I would be fine with a 2wd car so I bought one to replace the Jeep. We only get maybe a weeks worth of snow down here but twice I have had to get a ride home from work because my car wouldn't make it. My wife came to save me in her 4wd Mazda CX5. I am in the process of ordering a 4wd Renegade Limited.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
604 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would ask this: have you ever owned a 4x4 or AWD vehicle in the past? If not, have you ever said to yourself, "I wish I had 4 wheel drive" if not, you're probably good with the FWD. Just my $.02
I have not, although I did put in a bit of winter wheel-time on the 97 Grand Cherokee Limited by Dad had when I was in college. That was an awesome vehicle.

I grew up in Buffalo, NY. My first car was a 1982 Datsun 200SX, RWD with used studded winter tires missing most of the studs. I also commuted to college for 4 years in a 1988 Accord. The best winter vehicle I've personally owned was a 94 Dodge Dakota Sport 2WD with 200 lbs of sandbags over the rear axle. I once crab-walked a 1988 Nissan 200SX V6 up an icy hill in Raleigh, NC, zigzagging diagonally with the rear tires spinning the whole time.

I don't necessarily need 4WD to drive in snow, is the point I'm trying to make here. ;) All of these cars were manuals, which I consider to be the best tool for maintaining control in slick conditions.

If I was going to get into off-roading I'd probably get a lifted old beater HiLux or Nissan Harbody that could get banged up without me caring. I wouldn't mind some beach driving, I once had a blast on the Outer Banks in a friend's 4x4 Ford Ranger, but it's not something I can see happening often enough to justify getting the 4x4 just for that.

Thanks for the replies, guys, they're very helpful in sorting this out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
I got the front wheel drive... I couldnt justify the price increase to go 4x4 even being in Ontario Canada. Just like CLShifter, Ive adapted to driving in front wheel drive vehicles... The last few years Ive been driving a Chevy Aveo in the winter through crazy snow storms not getting stuck... The tires make all the difference...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
I read one review of the Renegade where the reviewer basically said it would be a mistake not to get the 4WD model (I can't find the review right now but will post it later if I come across it). You are getting the same mpg whether it's the 2WD manual or 4WD. You also get a higher ground clearance. There are very few good 4WD vehicles out there that come with a manual transmission and are also affordable with decent fuel efficiency. So this will also make resale value higher if you plan to sell it in the future.
 

·
Registered
2015 Trailhawk
Joined
·
404 Posts
I've been driving a FWD 1.4 six-speed Latitude for the past couple days on an extended weekend test drive. I like the way it drives, but part of me thinks I should hold out for a 4x4, just because I like the idea of having AWD. The problem is, I know I'll never go off-road, and I live in North Carolina where it rarely snows, and when it does nobody goes anywhere until it all melts the next day.

The FWD Latitude seems to be easily breaking 30+ mpg on the highway, and one of my favorite things about it is that it handles better and feels lighter than I expected. I fear all of these characteristics could be compromised by the higher ride and extra weight of the 4x4 system. This car will be a daily highway commuter.


From what I can see, the Jeep 4x4 system seems to be geared toward off-road and poor condition traction, rather than driving dynamics. Some AWD systems distribute the torque around even when no slippage occurs, to improve handling dynamics in dry conditions. Does Active Drive do this at all?

So basically, is there a driving reason for me to get the 4x4?
Doesn't sound like you need a 4X4.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
604 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I read one review of the Renegade where the reviewer basically said it would be a mistake not to get the 4WD model (I can't find the review right now but will post it later if I come across it). You are getting the same mpg whether it's the 2WD manual or 4WD. You also get a higher ground clearance. There are very few good 4WD vehicles out there that come with a manual transmission and are also affordable with decent fuel efficiency. So this will also make resale value higher if you plan to sell it in the future.
Those are all very good points. Although I'm not sold on the higher clearance, it may mean more body roll.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
I hate to put it like this, but only you can make that decision. I've never owned a 4x4 until last year when we bought our Grand Cherokee.
We're now "empty-nesters" and have many plans to start traveling. Before we had kids we routinely traveled "off season" to beat the crowds.
We intend to start doing this again which in why I decided to go with a 4x4. We also have plans for a small folding travel trailer so 4x4 just all made sense on the GC.
I also have been stuck right in the city twice in the last few years in my old vehicles. I'm a sports photographer and routinely attend crowded events where you must park in fields. Our last trip with our trusty Astro had us staying at a cabin at the bottom of steep hill. We couldn't drive the van down so we had to wagon everything down, and then back up the hill. That was the last straw and I decided I wanted a 4x4. So while we have ZERO chance of snow here, the need for 4x4 still comes in handy.
When it came down to the Renegade, I too couldn't justify having both vehicles 4x4, but since the Reney is DW's car she made the decision to go with 4x4.
She had grown to like the feel of the GC and put her foot down that she too wanted the 4x4 on the Reney. We routinely take trips (even some local trips) to cabins in the woods and she wanted both vehicles to be capable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
we have a 4x4 Limited, we got back in the beginning of July, about 1500 miles on it, and it is running great. my wife loves it, and she is coming from a AWD Journey R/T V6. We live in CO, and need the 4x4, and so far, we are loving the Renegade.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
I see you already purchased. Congratulations. We went FWD with our Patriot. Didn't need 4x4. Fast forward 8 years. Were now selling the Patriot. It's in beautiful shape. Looks brand new. Any interested parties I've discussed it with have had conversations that ended with: "It's two wheel drive? Oh...". It's making it tough to sell as there's so many out there with 4x4. That was the only downfall.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top