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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Although the payments were higher than we wanted, we really liked the lightly-used Audi Q3 we purchased last December. Our mistake was not purchasing a service package in advance, as I was shocked to find out that the regular 15K service from the Audi dealer was almost $400! The service manager tried to console me by informing me that the 25K service was only $180 (or $220 with tire rotation). One week later, after discovering a nail in one tire, we were informed that resulting low inflation damaged the low-profile sidewalls which would require a new tire. With an AWD vehicle, we were advised to replace it with the same tire model which, of course, was rare enough for Discount Tire to complete a special order for a replacement $309 tire! After spending $709 in one week, and seeing future maintenance bills adding up, we decided to downsize the payment and maintenance.

So, after looking at some used alternatives, we happened upon a beautiful and new Renegade Latitude 4x4 in Mojave Sand with a 75th Edition package. The big-city dealer had very aggressive pricing at $4000 below the sticker price, so the new Renegade turned out to be only $1,500 more than a two year old Tiguan or Tucson. We did sacrifice heated seats and blind-spot monitoring, but the deal worked out well for us.

As might be expected, there are quite a few large differences when comparing the Audi to the Renegade, but some of the charms of the Renegade help to make up for aura of the German Q3. Here are some thoughts:

• Engine and transmission: The 2.4L in the Renegade comes close to matching the Q3 in terms of horsepower (180 vs 200), but that is where the similarity ends. The 2.4L is much less composed and somewhat less responsive, and the transmission gearing requires more driver involvement in the pedal for responsive acceleration. At first, the experience leaves one feeling that the Renegade is underpowered, but additional driving leads one to believe that much of responsibility is the result of transmission response.
• Handling: Steering feels very similar to the Audi. Expecting more of a truck-like feel, I was actually surprised by the responsive and composed handling of the Renegade. Although not as crisp as the Audi, I think most drivers would be satisfied with the Jeep.
• Interior: Although the Audi interior is handsome and well designed, it could be described as a bit Spartan or conservative. I actually prefer the cool Renegade design, and it has a high quality look and feel. The bezel treatments in the instrument cluster provide some character and look great, in my opinion, as do the colored accents around the cabin. The A/C controls have a high quality look and feel that exceed my expectations (better quality than some of the knobs found on the Audi).
• Exterior: The Jeep is a real beauty in my eyes. I absolutely love the Mojave Sand color, as well as several other available colors. For my tastes, some of the brighter options might make the overall design a bit “toy” like, so I appreciate how the slightly more subtle Mojave color balances the overall aggressive design to create the perfect aesthetic package for me. Others might appreciate something a bit brighter, but to each their own. Paint quality looks superb, and the 75th Anniversary treatments add just enough bling round out the package. I prefer the exterior and interior design of the Jeep when compared to the Audi.
• Economy: I expect MPG to be slightly higher in the Jeep, and with regular unleaded, we’ll save at the pump when compared to the Q3.

Knowing the reliability reputation of Jeep, we sprung for top level extended warranty. With free maintenance for several years (offered for free in the Southeast Jeep region), we hope to be saddled only with our greatly reduced car payment, and maybe tires/brakes/batteries in the coming years. We’ll see how that work out!

My other vehicle? I also drive a 2015 Volvo V60. I absolutely love that car; try prying that one away from me!
 

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Interesting switch you made- and glad you are happy with it. I've been a big fan of Audi's since the 70's when Audi's were much less lovable, but the cost of regular maintenance is on the level of a Porsche or Mercedes. Considering how many of the under-bits are VW, I can't see the justification for those service prices. I started out looking at the Orange and Red, but came to the same conclusion- might look toy like. I'm really happy with my Mojave Sand Latti. The color makes it look more upscale.(the brighter colors still look great). I have the M6, so I don't have to wrestle with the automatic. Enjoy your Renegade!
 

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We have a tiguan and be it a good cuv i much prefer the Jeep. Just has more character. I also have a thing for Chrysler split shared vehicles. I also have a Chrysler Crossfire roadster.
 

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As an owner of an Audi I really wanted to Q3. I drove and liked it much more the the BU. However I had to buy and FCA vehicle as a buyback term of my KL However I am satisfied with my KL TH.
 
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