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I have had mine a year and still like it as much as the day I drove it off the lot. Maybe I'm one of the lucky ones, but my early build (Jan. 2015) didn't have any troubles at all.

But I didn't marry it.
 

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I wonder how many of newly weds, i.e, new Renegade owners, after a blissful honeymoon realized they've married the wrong gal or lad?
If I had your misfortune with the Renegade, I'd perhaps be feeling this way. This being my first Mopar product (Honda, GM, and Mazda have been my past) as well as being a car enthusiast who is aware of their less than stellar reliability reputation, I did procure an extended warranty. :) That multi-air system kinda scares the crap out of me lol.

That being said however, aside from what I assume are just weird FCA quirks, I'm loving my car.
  • The chassis is wildly composed for what it is; I drive it not too indifferently than I did my Miata through some winding back roads, quite honestly.
  • The controllable, proactive 4WD is a bit of a confidence booster. Still waiting to try it out in the sugar sand of the Pine Barrens though!
  • Its styling still charms me.
  • Manual transmission + all-wheel drive + turbocharged engine + hatched back body style* = the perfect combination for me. *(I fancy hatchbacks and wagons, too)

My perfect car wouldn't quite be the Renegade though. I only stand 5'6" tall and I use the roof rack religiously in the summer. I capitalize on that far more than extra ground clearance.

I most prefer the "wagon on stilts" kind of cars — low enough for me to access the roof rack with ease but enough ground clearance for soft roading down some trails in the woods to drop off the kayak without worry — like Crosstrek or Countryman, but the Subaru was wildly lackluster in many departments (interior quality, NVH, acceleration, etc.) and the Mini wasn't price competitive. The Outback dropped its manual with the 2015 redesign. 2014 leftovers or 2013 lightly used Outbacks hit the radar, but it was still a bit vanilla to me. I nonetheless may have gone this route if Renegade wasn't a thing.

Next, I would then have preferred a station wagon or maybe a hatchback over an SUV. The Golf SportWaggen 1.8T was pretty stripped in the only trim you can get a stick in, S trim, unless you went for the now-discontinued TDI. The diesel, however, added a premium on top of the already more expensive SE trim which brought a TDI SE wagon to ~$29.5k; FAR too expensive for a mid-trim, compact-based station wagon. The Mazda3 hatch didn't offer enough of a value proposition with it being ~$25k for the 2.5 in a stick as the 2.0 was just too **** slow. Golf also entered the possibility but the only trim I would have wanted, S w/ Sunroof, dropped its stick option for 2016 (now leaving the too-stripped S being the only stick Golf until GTI) but even if I found a leftover, I just couldn't do it with the larger SportWagen cargo area right there.

And as I live in the US, that pretty much exhausts my wagon and hatchback options.

If I had access to cars abroad, a Mazda6 wagon would have been a pretty strong contender:


If this was the future, I'd be heavily considering the new VW Golf SportWagen Alltrack:

A car I initially dismissed because all of the speculation around it practically guaranteed there would be no stick option for the States but that turned out to be not the case. Nonetheless, there's always a "sit up high tax" one pays for getting something like this (Crosstrek is $1500 more than Impreza wagon, Civic-based CR-V is priced like Accord, Fit-based HR-V is priced like Civic, etc.), and given that a regular Golf SportWagen S in a stick is a good value ($22,445 after destination), a higher trimmed version plus the "you pay more because it sits higher and that's it!" pricing strategy, it may not be price competitive to Renegade.

So, since no perfect Rick car exists, the Renegade is what fit me and my budget the best and did so head and shoulders above anything else I considered. Honestly though, had the 1.4T/manual 500X been offered in AWD (which it's not in the USA) and in a higher trim than Pop (which it's not in the USA), I probably would have went that route instead.
 
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