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What drivetrain-transmission combination does your Renegade have?

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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
According to this poll, Trailhawk owners lead the way but they do not make up a supermajority. We all know the THs are strictly 4x4/9spd automatics, but I wanted to know what everyone else chose rather than their trim.

After you answer the poll, perhaps you'll share with us why you chose what you did?
 

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I really wanted a manual transmission, but I wasn't impressed with the 1.4T engine that came with it (my motorcycle has a bigger engine).

When I saw the Trailhawk, I really liked the looks with its red bits (hooks, badges). The additional 4x4 modes were a plus as was the full sized spare with matching wheel. The Trailhawk was automatic only as we all know.

I asked the sales guy about classes so I could learn how to drive automatic, but he said there weren't any.


(I'm kidding about the classes)
 
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I don't know how to drive an automatic. I also don't know how to text, eat a big mac, talk on my phone or not use my turn signals while driving. I also have this annoying habit of staying in my own lane by myself and braking on my own when something is in front of me. I'm a little behind the times I guess...

-Jason
 

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I have driven manual transmissions for a long time and still enjoy it. However, we were impressed how well the autostick works and decided we could have the best of both worlds. We have had DCT transmissions before (Malibu w/paddles, VW) but the Renegade is by far the best I have used (my wife doesn't use it as much as I do). We did consider the manual but as we are both on the "old" side we decided that the auto with the autostick was the best choice for us. I do use the autostick a lot but when we encounter traffic I just slide it into auto and let the transmission do the thinking for me. However, I was impressed with the 1.4 manual we did test drive but it was just time for a change and we feel the right choice was made. Anyone looking at a Renegade should drive the manual if they can, it is very smooth and responsive. We traded a Ford Focus 5 speed, a fun little car to drive.
 

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After looking at the engine specs, I realized that the 1.4, even though smaller, made more torque at a lower rpm than the 2.4. I think most people just look at engine size and horsepower, dismissing the [email protected] value.

I feel like FCA could've offered the 1.4 in both manual and auto, but they have too much invested in the 2.4/auto which probably has a higher profit margin. Someday they'll get it to shift right, but they'll have lost most of their customers by then. What FCA should've done, is release the 9-speed auto as a "4-speed", continue beta-testing, and then give customers free software updates that add another gear each time. Five updates that give the customer better gas mileage for each new gear. A win/win!
 

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I called around and talked to madness and a couple others and asked opinions of those with the experience and bought a fully loaded TH. I just didn't want to buy one and wish it had an option it didn't have etc. so far so good. Will have it fully tricked out as parts come available!
 

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I have the 4wd MT. My previous cars (V8 Jeep and twin turbo BMW) had enough grunt that they didn't have to downshift going through the mountains. Every economy car I have rented would downshift non-stop and I hated that. I knew buying a low power CUV I would have to get a MT to keep myself sane. The Renegade was the only 4wd option that got good mpg.
 

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I liked some of the features of the Trailhawk (tow hooks & skid plates), but couldn't justify the added expense to get them and the manual transmission wasn't an option on the T-hawk. I've got those off-road features on my Patriot Limited, and have never had to use them. Before I even visited a Jeep dealer, I read lots of threads on this forum about issues with the automatic transmission, and that concerned me. I also started looking at the specs of both motors available in the Renegade. After lots of reading and research I decided that I wanted a 6-speed manual 4x4 with lots of "creature comforts" in the cabin. I didn't want every available option, but I wanted enough to really enjoy the time I would spend in the Jeep. I decided that the Latitude package would have everything I wanted, without breaking the bank in the process. I went to a dealer and drove a 1.4 turbo with the 6-speed. I was hooked. That little motor has a lot of torque, and the manual gear box makes for a really fun drive! The 1.4 gets great mileage, and with a few simple upgrades (that would cost much less than the upcharge for the 2.4 & automatic) it will easily out perform the 2.4. I like driving an automatic, but a manual is much more fun and keeps the driver engaged in the driving experience. The manual transmission in the Renegade is the smoothest and easiest "stick" I've ever driven. I own 6 cars, and 4 of them are manual gear boxes; the Renegade is far and away the smoothest & most forgiving of them all.

Jeep has done a great job with the Renegade. It'll handle all the off-roading needs I have, and it is still a blast to drive on the street. The "on demand" all wheel drive is amazing in the rain. You can take off from a standstill and scream through the gears on wet pavement without any wheel slippage. That is a really strange/incredible experience for someone that isn't used to all wheel drive. I just love my Renegade!
 

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I went with the 4x4 Latitude.

The only thing that sparked my interest on the TH was the skidplate and the towhooks - both of which I can eventually add to my own with either OEM parts or after-market, as I'm sure by Spring time there will be plenty of options.

The crawl-ratio is barely different.

And I certainly couldn't justify the cost-difference.
 

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I really wanted a manual transmission, but I wasn't impressed with the 1.4T engine that came with it (my motorcycle has a bigger engine).

When I saw the Trailhawk, I really liked the looks with its red bits (hooks, badges). The additional 4x4 modes were a plus as was the full sized spare with matching wheel. The Trailhawk was automatic only as we all know.

I asked the sales guy about classes so I could learn how to drive automatic, but he said there weren't any.


(I'm kidding about the classes)
After looking at the engine specs, I realized that the 1.4, even though smaller, made more torque at a lower rpm than the 2.4. I think most people just look at engine size and horsepower, dismissing the [email protected] value.

I feel like FCA could've offered the 1.4 in both manual and auto, but they have too much invested in the 2.4/auto which probably has a higher profit margin. Someday they'll get it to shift right, but they'll have lost most of their customers by then. What FCA should've done, is release the 9-speed auto as a "4-speed", continue beta-testing, and then give customers free software updates that add another gear each time. Five updates that give the customer better gas mileage for each new gear. A win/win!
Agreed, even though some motorcycles have bigger engines, a bigger engine does not guarantee better performance. The 1.4T has more torque than the 2.4L and the snarl of the exhaust note on the 1.4L makes it sound more like a rally car too. There's a few cost effective upgrades you can do to it to make it create more horsepower than the 2.4L as well. I wish they offered the trailhawk in a 1.4T manual...or better yet, the 237hp 1.7L Turbo engine from the alfa 4c...oh well.
 

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I went with with the 4x4 automatic Limited Renegade. I don't quite know how to drive a manual (although I want to learn). I live in WI and wanted a 4x4 to get through the snow, except it doesn't look like we'll be getting much snow this year... I chose the Limited over the Trailhawk that was on the lot because I liked the 18 inch wheels and I loved the ski gray leather seats. The Limited also came with the cold weather package which my girlfriend loves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I really wanted a manual transmission, but I wasn't impressed with the 1.4T engine that came with it (my motorcycle has a bigger engine).

When I saw the Trailhawk, I really liked the looks with its red bits (hooks, badges). The additional 4x4 modes were a plus as was the full sized spare with matching wheel. The Trailhawk was automatic only as we all know.

I asked the sales guy about classes so I could learn how to drive automatic, but he said there weren't any.

(I'm kidding about the classes)
I too was quite reserved about the engine at first. So much so, I dismissed the Renegade for quite sometime going back and forth between XV Crosstrek, Mini Countryman, etc. I even had the motorcycle engine displacement argument in my head, too, though my current one is 950 cc but I'd like an FJR1300 for the next. Nonetheless, I gave it a go and was impressed with it. I've had two 2.4 L I4 engines, 2004 Element and 2007 HHR, with just coming out of the latter and I didn't want another engine with a similar powerband.

I have driven manual transmissions for a long time and still enjoy it. However, we were impressed how well the autostick works and decided we could have the best of both worlds. We have had DCT transmissions before (Malibu w/paddles, VW) but the Renegade is by far the best I have used (my wife doesn't use it as much as I do). We did consider the manual but as we are both on the "old" side we decided that the auto with the autostick was the best choice for us. I do use the autostick a lot but when we encounter traffic I just slide it into auto and let the transmission do the thinking for me. However, I was impressed with the 1.4 manual we did test drive but it was just time for a change and we feel the right choice was made. Anyone looking at a Renegade should drive the manual if they can, it is very smooth and responsive. We traded a Ford Focus 5 speed, a fun little car to drive.
We don't have the DSG stateside. How are you finding its performance? Does it shift when you think it ought to? Does it shift too frequently or not enough? Is the time between shifting gears pretty quick or noticeably long?

After looking at the engine specs, I realized that the 1.4, even though smaller, made more torque at a lower rpm than the 2.4. I think most people just look at engine size and horsepower, dismissing the [email protected] value.

I feel like FCA could've offered the 1.4 in both manual and auto, but they have too much invested in the 2.4/auto which probably has a higher profit margin. Someday they'll get it to shift right, but they'll have lost most of their customers by then. What FCA should've done, is release the 9-speed auto as a "4-speed", continue beta-testing, and then give customers free software updates that add another gear each time. Five updates that give the customer better gas mileage for each new gear. A win/win!
The Dart GT comes in 2.4 with a manual; that's a combination I would've greatly considered. Although I really like the low-end torque of the 1.4 Turbo, I've reservations about the reliability of the Multiair system. I know some 2.4's have the Multiair 2, but... I'd probably not want that if I'm honest.

I have the 4wd MT. My previous cars (V8 Jeep and twin turbo BMW) had enough grunt that they didn't have to downshift going through the mountains. Every economy car I have rented would downshift non-stop and I hated that. I knew buying a low power CUV I would have to get a MT to keep myself sane. The Renegade was the only 4wd option that got good mpg.
The Forester and XV Crosstrek is pretty good too, but I feel they're pretty unrefined. It's too bad the HR-V and CX-5 doesn't couple the manual transmission they offer with the all-wheel drive system the offer; the CX-3 oddly doesn't offer a manual at all. I would've considered a Honda or Mazda if they had offered it in the "right" combination, all-wheel drive and a manual.

Speaking of fuel economy, what have you been getting? When my cruising speed is around 50 mph, it's fantastic. I was doing about 80 mph from New Hampshire to New Jersey and was around a very sad 26 mpg.

I liked some of the features of the Trailhawk (tow hooks & skid plates), but couldn't justify the added expense to get them and the manual transmission wasn't an option on the T-hawk. I've got those off-road features on my Patriot Limited, and have never had to use them. Before I even visited a Jeep dealer, I read lots of threads on this forum about issues with the automatic transmission, and that concerned me. I also started looking at the specs of both motors available in the Renegade. After lots of reading and research I decided that I wanted a 6-speed manual 4x4 with lots of "creature comforts" in the cabin. I didn't want every available option, but I wanted enough to really enjoy the time I would spend in the Jeep. I decided that the Latitude package would have everything I wanted, without breaking the bank in the process. I went to a dealer and drove a 1.4 turbo with the 6-speed. I was hooked. That little motor has a lot of torque, and the manual gear box makes for a really fun drive! The 1.4 gets great mileage, and with a few simple upgrades (that would cost much less than the upcharge for the 2.4 & automatic) it will easily out perform the 2.4. I like driving an automatic, but a manual is much more fun and keeps the driver engaged in the driving experience. The manual transmission in the Renegade is the smoothest and easiest "stick" I've ever driven. I own 6 cars, and 4 of them are manual gear boxes; the Renegade is far and away the smoothest & most forgiving of them all.

Jeep has done a great job with the Renegade. It'll handle all the off-roading needs I have, and it is still a blast to drive on the street. The "on demand" all wheel drive is amazing in the rain. You can take off from a standstill and scream through the gears on wet pavement without any wheel slippage. That is a really strange/incredible experience for someone that isn't used to all wheel drive. I just love my Renegade!
I agree with just about everything you said. I too have a 1.4T/6spd Latitude with Cold Weather pkg. I feel it's a fun car with enough creature comforts that doesn't break the bank -- it's fantastic. When Trailhawks start making their way to scrapyards, I full on intend to scavenge their bumpers, tow hooks, and skid plates.
 

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. . . I was doing about 80 mph from New Hampshire to New Jersey and was around a very sad 26 mpg. . .
Well, that sounds about right for that speed. The Renegade isn't a very "wind slippery" shape. At 65, I can get around 28-30 on the highway. At 55, I can get 30-32 if the highway is mostly flat.
 

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Rick, when I am using the autostick I do all of the shifting and have not let the transmission decide when it is time to upshift or downshift. In manual mode I have just coasted to a stop a few times and it will downshift very smoothly but I prefer to downshift manually. If the engine is over revved either up or down the transmission will upshift or downshift as needed to avoid damage. I try not to let it get that far. The manual shifting is very smooth and very responsive probably faster than when using a clutch at least for me anyway, old knees and legs. There are definite speed ranges as to when you can shift. My observations for example if you try to shift into 6th at about 37 mph it won't let you do it but will at 38 mph. 7th is about 48 mph, 8th mid 60's and 9th 73 mph or better. Those are about the minimum speeds and I usually go above before shifting. One feature that I have noticed (I hope it is a feature) is when going downhill and apply the brake to slow to a certain speed when the brake is released the Renegade will stay at that speed and not pick up anymore. That is how the automatic works, maybe it carries over to the manual side, not sure. I will have to try the manual side to see the maximum speed shift ranges. There is one weird shift range - that is downshifting from 5th to 4th. It feels like there is a slight increase in speed for a split second before it completes the shift. I have been told that the transmission is doing rev matching and it is normal in 4th gear. Now that I am use to it I know it will happen and I allow for it. I have talked to other Renegade owners and they have noticed the same thing. I can still feel when it is time to shift just like a regular manual transmission. I like that. The biggest difference is the motion of the gearshift lever, either forward or back, not a normal shift pattern. I have downshifted a few times when I didn't intend to though but haven't done it in quite a while.

If I am on the interstate in automatic and I want to pass someone I just slide the shift lever to manual drop down a gear or 2 and go from there. Going from manual to automatic or automatic to manual is seamless and very fast. The indicator on the dash will change from "D" to whatever gear you are in at the time.

The shift lever operation is very smooth and the engine response has been great. It is not the fastest car I have driven but it is fun to drive and we have averaged 29.6 mpg for 5000 miles. I'll take that.

I am not an expert but have been driving a long, long time, mostly manuals. Hope this answers some of your questions. Enjoy your manual and have fun.
 

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I love my Latitude 4x4 with the 2.4 and 9 speed auto. I was worried about its ability to get up in the mountains without losing speed but it does just great.

I wanted the Trailhawk but the additions aren't worth the extra $2,000, IMO. I wanted the skid plate and approach and departure angles but I might actually need those 2-3 times over the life of the Jeep.
 

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According to this poll, Trailhawk owners lead the way but they do not make up a supermajority. We all know the THs are strictly 4x4/9spd automatics, but I wanted to know what everyone else chose rather than their trim.

After you answer the poll, perhaps you'll share with us why you chose what you did?
TH owners are also disproportionately likely to be on a forum for enthusiasts of the Renegade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
TH owners are also disproportionately likely to be on a forum for enthusiasts of the Renegade.
That's the way it always goes with forums. Back in 2004 when I had a fully-loaded Element in AWD with a manual, it was exceedingly rare to see another one like it on the road. However, I feel like that's what everyone had on the forum. The objective wasn't to get an idea of Jeep's sale figures though. I was interested only in knowing what this lot has. I feel this pole is serving its purpose.

Almost 57% are automatic.
It's up to 70% now, but only 51% of those people have a good excuse :D
 
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Voted.

And I got a Manual 4x4 (Latitude). I will never buy an automatic. I hate them. They are SO boring to drive. I would've gotten a TH if it came in manual. I would've considered the bigger engine if a manual transmission was offered with it.

But I am really happy with the smaller engine and I was pleased to see it had more torque than the bigger engine (and more than my Ford Ranger pickup that I was driving). I love my Renegade!
 
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