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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today while getting multiple things fixed on my Abarth ( thank God for the extended warranty), I test drove a Renegade Trailhawk fully loaded including Mysky roof. It felt big to me and it was weird being able to see the hood in front of me. I guess that's normal after driving the Fiat. I liked how the Mysky panels where lined. I drove both in the city and highway. I found the ride nice and comfortable and I was surprised how quiet it was especially considering the Mysky. It is quieter than the Abarth as far as engine noise and road noise. I was pleasantly surprised.

The only flaw I found was the transmission.

On forward acceleration in the city it felt responsive and had a good pick up from a stop. However, when lifting off the throttle it felt like it was hunting for what gear it wanted to be in. Then if you hit the throttle before it found the gear it wanted, it would jerk a little like it would slip then catch all of a sudden. If it found its gear that it wanted and you hit the accelerator,then everything would operate just fine.

For those that have had the joy of driving the L.A. Freeway system, when getting on and off you have to be in and out of the throttle constantly. This is where I didn't like the transmission at all... I got into the throttle to get on the 101 at freeway speed then had to do a quick lift to merge then back in to keep from getting ran over and it sounded like the transmission was slipping big time then it caught with a solid "clunk".

All around the Renegade TH was very impressive and more than I expected with the exception of the transmission. I got to looking at the Wrangler Unlimiteds and you can get a new with less options to a used with less than 20K with the same options for the same price as a loaded Renegade. So now I got something new to think out
 

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The only flaw I found was the transmission.

On forward acceleration in the city it felt responsive and had a good pick up from a stop. However, when lifting off the throttle it felt like it was hunting for what gear it wanted to be in. Then if you hit the throttle before it found the gear it wanted, it would jerk a little like it would slip then catch all of a sudden. If it found its gear that it wanted and you hit the accelerator,then everything would operate just fine.

For those that have had the joy of driving the L.A. Freeway system, when getting on and off you have to be in and out of the throttle constantly. This is where I didn't like the transmission at all... I got into the throttle to get on the 101 at freeway speed then had to do a quick lift to merge then back in to keep from getting ran over and it sounded like the transmission was slipping big time then it caught with a solid "clunk".
The convenience of an automatic transmission is very welcome for CA freeways. I live in San Diego and drove a stick shift for 20 years. One always has to pop it in and out of gear. These past 20 years I have only driven automatics but with all this banter about this tranny (some like it and have no issues vs. it being totally broken) I understand that the computer system learns driving habits. However, I am hoping the next year model will have the manual gearbox mated to the 2.4 liter engine.
 

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The way my car drives now at almost 1,000 miles is completely different than how it felt in the first few weeks of ownership. Did the car learn my driving habits or did I adjust to the car and the automatic transition? I don't know but, I love driving this car around town and sometimes feel like this Jeep can just drive itself. Maybe all this 9 speed transmission talk and research has buyers "over-thinking" what this car is all about and how it is supposed to feel when you are behind the wheel. Granted, I don't do a lot of highway/freeway driving so acceleration is not a key issue for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The convenience of an automatic transmission is very welcome for CA freeways. I live in San Diego and drove a stick shift for 20 years. One always has to pop it in and out of gear. These past 20 years I have only driven automatics but with all this banter about this tranny (some like it and have no issues vs. it being totally broken) I understand that the computer system learns driving habits. However, I am hoping the next year model will have the manual gearbox mated to the 2.4 liter engine.
I couldn't agree more the advantage to having an automatic for areas like L.A., S.D., and San Fran. Not only am I watching reliability right now but waiting to see of they can improve the transmission or come out with a manual. Next gen Wrangler is going to have a diesel option and I'm hoping for that too.
 

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I couldn't agree more the advantage to having an automatic for areas like L.A., S.D., and San Fran. Not only am I watching reliability right now but waiting to see of they can improve the transmission or come out with a manual. Next gen Wrangler is going to have a diesel option and I'm hoping for that too.
I live near St. Louis, which does not have the nightmare traffic situations that an LA has, but I have found that a manual trans is much more difficult to work with in high traffic areas, where you are on and off the gas all the time, always having to use the clutch. My commute was through one of the worst bottlenecks that can be found. I found that a manual is just much more cumbersome in that environment. I have had many cars in my lifetime, more manuals than automatics too. For city driving, I prefer an automatic because I don't constantly have to clutch and change gears.

Now the diesel option, I have never had and it intrigues me a lot. I like the idea of more torque etc without compromising fuel mileage a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I live near St. Louis, which does not have the nightmare traffic situations that an LA has, but I have found that a manual trans is much more difficult to work with in high traffic areas, where you are on and off the gas all the time, always having to use the clutch. My commute was through one of the worst bottlenecks that can be found. I found that a manual is just much more cumbersome in that environment. I have had many cars in my lifetime, more manuals than automatics too. For city driving, I prefer an automatic because I don't constantly have to clutch and change gears.

Now the diesel option, I have never had and it intrigues me a lot. I like the idea of more torque etc without compromising fuel mileage a lot.
I was in St Louis last January for work. Your freeways are better than ours the only thing was it was a bit confusing where the highways merge in the southwest area of St Louis. I don't remember the freeway numbers, but it was like the signs didn't tell you where to go until you were right there where the freeways intersected. With the CA freeways they give you plenty of warning but even with that, the doh- doh heads still wait for the last minute. I also went downtown so I could go to the arch. A lot of lights and narrow streets. Definitely automatic territory.

When I was there, they had a lot of construction going in and around downtown on the roads and highways. Even with that it wasn't like L.A. Traffic. I did like how the freeway system is like a giant circle the goes around St.Louis. Very efficient.

Diesel is better for going off road where torque is a better ally than HP. With more torque, you could go further off road than with a gas motor and have better MPG. To me it's a win, win.
 

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I bought my Wife a commando Latitude and we almost traded it for a Trailhawk however, it has been absolutely perfect. We really like the way it drives, feels and best of all that the 9spd functions great for us. Almost 4k miles in and good to go. Have not experienced any of the bucking, clunking, etc.. with the transmission.
 

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I was in St Louis last January for work. Your freeways are better than ours the only thing was it was a bit confusing where the highways merge in the southwest area of St Louis. I don't remember the freeway numbers, but it was like the signs didn't tell you where to go until you were right there where the freeways intersected. With the CA freeways they give you plenty of warning but even with that, the doh- doh heads still wait for the last minute. I also went downtown so I could go to the arch. A lot of lights and narrow streets. Definitely automatic territory.

When I was there, they had a lot of construction going in and around downtown on the roads and highways. Even with that it wasn't like L.A. Traffic. I did like how the freeway system is like a giant circle the goes around St.Louis. Very efficient.

Diesel is better for going off road where torque is a better ally than HP. With more torque, you could go further off road than with a gas motor and have better MPG. To me it's a win, win.
Yep, the roads are confusing here, mostly because the major interstate that is used is a circle around the city, so one interstate goes N, S, E, and W at some point. It is confusing at first, for sure. I drove in LA many years ago and it was 2 speeds, really fast or nearly stopped (with motorcycles speeding thru cars lol).

Glad you liked the Renegade for the most part. There is a lot of truth about this car driving different after 1000 miles. I don't have any of those quirks (they were very minimal to begin with too). I think a lot of these reviewers are driving vehicles with very few miles when they are making their opinions.
 

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There is a lot of truth about this car driving different after 1000 miles. I don't have any of those quirks (they were very minimal to begin with too). I think a lot of these reviewers are driving vehicles with very few miles when they are making their opinions.
I really agree with this. On the one I test drove I remember the "jerkiness" feeling it had. It wasn't extreme but did feel weird from what I was used to driving.
The one I bought had to come to me from north Jersey and it didn't act like the test driven one. I guess its low mileage quirks were worked out on the trip...and that was less than 100 miles.
 
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