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Greetings Fellow Jeep Renegade Forum Members,

I'm Tombinator, a fellow forum member in Northern Virginia. I'm looking at the Renegade to potentially be the third Jeep I've owned and the fourth one in the family. Here's our Jeep family tree; they were all our daily drivers when owned:

Jeep#1 - 2000 Wrangler SE (4-cyl/5 speed) - Solar Yellow - owned about 6 years / sold for Jeep#3

Jeep#2 - 2002 Grand Cherokee - Garnet Red - owned for 10 years / 120 k miles and sold for 2013 BMW X3 (wife's car)

Jeep#3 - 2007 Wrangler Unlimited Sahara (6cyl/6 speed)- Red Rocks Pearl - Potentially being traded/sold for a 2015 Renegade (would be Jeep#4)

The reason I'm looking at the Renegade is because my 8 year old Wrangler Unlimited just isn't well suited for my needs anymore. I bought it when we lived in a more rural area where the 6 speed and top down driving was easy to do. Now living outside Washington DC and needing to commute into DC this fall (I currently run the streets of the suburbs) I'm in a place where I'd like something with an automatic that gets better gas mileage.

Also, I've gotten to a place in life where I want more creature comforts. My Wrangler, at the time I bought it was great with power windows and door locks. Since then with my wife buying the BMW X3 that I'm (sometimes) allowed to drive, I've gotten to wanting some of the creature comforts that she has such as heated seats, a sunroof, rear camera, parking sensors, and navigation. I love the Wrangler's soft top and can take it down and up by myself; but it's a 5-6 minute ordeal going down and less than five minutes going up... whereas the button on the wife's BMW (or the Power MySky) is a WHOLE lot easier. I find myself putting down the top on my Wrangler only when I can keep it down for a couple of days at a time... which is way less than I really want to.

Additionally, my Wrangler gets pretty horrible mileage; about 19 MPG on a good day, the last time I checked. And it's a bear on windy days... or when raining with no drip channels and not being completely water tight after nearly 8 years of daily driving.

I've been considering moving away from the Wrangler for a while, but honestly nothing has sparked my interest from an "it" factor (insert any other small(ish) SUV here... Mazda CX5, Jeep Cherokee/Patriot/Compass, Honda CRV, Hyundai Tuscon etc). I could buy a number of smaller, fuel efficient SUVs, but I don't want to drive a rolling lump... I want something that also feeds my soul, which is the feeling I got when I went to the car show and saw the Renegade. I went to the car show wanting to hate it (it's made in ITALY!) and I so want to preserve American jobs... but after looking at it, I know I'm going to go look at one, and maybe more... even though I thought I never would.

As I have relatives in Europe, I've always been amazed when travelling there that their small cars are so nice. They're not just the mode of transport for high school kids/college students and commuters. European small cars have a lot of the features of larger cars, especially the ones we're now seeing in the Renegade with the blind spot monitoring/parking assist/lane keeping/automatic braking assist to keep you from having an accident. I always was interested in those type items, but I didn't want to buy a $50k+ vehicle to get that stuff. I think that's one of the benefits we're getting in the USA with a vehicle sold in Europe, some of their cool tech features in a smaller package. I'd rather it be made in the USA, but according to allpar.com, FCA has insourced much of their engine/transmission/parts business from Mexico/China since their bailout, so maybe that helps me make this decision (or at least feel better about it). Trust me, I went to the Washington DC auto show wanting to hate the Renegade, but in the end it was the vehicle I came back to look at (only on display) the most.

I know there's a lot of Jeep purists who think the Renegade is the beginning of the end for Jeep... but I beg to differ. It's vehicles like the Renegade, the Cherokee (I don't care for the styling tho) and the Grand Cherokee that are going to keep Jeep in business to have the financial position to keep a niche vehicle such as the Wrangler in production. Trust me, I love my Wrangler, and if I had space to house a third vehicle I'd keep it; but maybe moving it along to become someone else's toy is a fitting next chapter for it.

Overall on the surface at least, the Renegade has all that I'm looking for; Wrangler styling at 3/4ths size, with more creature comforts/technology and better gas mileage.

I can't wait until the Jeep dealership I pass daily (less than a mile away) gets some in stock so I can actually get up close with a Renegade. I'm a bit disappointed with some of the decisions Jeep made on the configurator (why no yellow in a limited... for example) so once I figure out if I can fit in it, it'll be a lot of decisions to make on models and colors.

When I first got my Wrangler Unlimited and I read and contributed a lot to a Wrangler forum; and hope to have the same experience here getting to know my fellow forum members.

Here's to seeing everyone on the forum!

~ Tombinator
 

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Welcome, glad to see some Wrangler owners join the Renegade revolution!
 
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