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Discussion Starter #1
My regular car is a 500 Abarth, and my wife drives a Fiesta ST, so we've been thinking about a family vehicle for a while now. I've only had the Abarth for a year, bought used with 4000mi on it, but I really like the engine. While we wanted something larger it had to have a stick and be fun to drive, and since we live on a gravel lane 4WD would be useful. I've had several 4WD vehicles in the past, including several full-sized Jeeps, but I'm not interested in off-roading - just good traction in snow and dirt roads. All of that lead me to look at the Renegade, with the Abarth engine, 4WD and a 6spd, which is an unusual combination. I've been researching them and looking at used ones for quite a while. I was very close to getting one last spring, but some tax issues killed that for a while.

The first one I looked at seriously was a green 2016 75th Anniversary model with the sunroofs, but after that fell through I started to see some with the Cold Weather Group, which then became a must-have but I saw few with the 21L package. We test drove one in NJ but they wanted too much for that. Then I saw the 2017 we bought in NY, with the 21L, Cold Weather Group, Safety & Security Group and Beats Audio. And in Anvil which looked really good. Mileage was a little high at almost 50k, but it was in nice shape and a certified pre-owned car at a Jeep dealer with new brakes and tires.

So far at 500mi I really like it. The cold weather package is great, given it's December, and so are the HID lights since it's dark all the time. I love the ride, handling and steering, and the seats and control layout as well. The steering wheel is fat and comfortable. The 1.4 turbo pulls it just fine - not a rocket off the line, but once underway the fat power curve really helps a lot. You can feel the wide tires, and it's a great highway cruiser too. I have not found anything wrong with it, other than it had a bit of surface corrosion in the engine bay from 3 years of NY winters. The worst was the turbo heat shield where the front two mounting holes had rusted out. I fixed those with some washers. It was also overdue for spark plugs, which I did.

Overall it's just the right companion vehicle for our more performance oriented cars. The only mods it may get are an exhaust and a boost gauge.

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2017 Latitude 4x4 1.4 Alpine White, 2018 Latitude 4x4 1.4 Omaha Orange
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I had my 2011 f150 ecoboost and a 2013 malibu eco, I had saw an alpine white 17 on the lot with 16k and a manual transmission at a chevy dealer and it had been there for 8 months or so. I decided it was time for the malibu to go with 40k on it because it just had trim that kept falling off(many with same issue). They offered me 8k on trade, they were asking 17995 for the Jeep , I offered them 15500 and after a little back and forth, I got it for 15795. Its a fun little vehicle as you have found out ,cold weather package, bark brown with white seats...a great color combo....I haven't had it in snow yet. Fast forward 6 months later, my wife liked mine enough and was in the market for a new vehicle at least on standby for once her 09 saturn aura xr with 180k is retired. We found a 2018 omaha orange with manual transmission as well with 9k on it...took that home for 18k...they really are fun little vehicles.

I do like the anvil color you have though......that was one of my choices as well. I also like the HID's ...I was contemplating a swap on mine at some point...should be a swap and use alfaobd to change the light type...maybe
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I had my 2011 f150 ecoboost and a 2013 malibu eco, I had saw an alpine white 17 on the lot with 16k and a manual transmission at a chevy dealer and it had been there for 8 months or so. I decided it was time for the malibu to go with 40k on it because it just had trim that kept falling off(many with same issue). They offered me 8k on trade, they were asking 17995 for the Jeep , I offered them 15500 and after a little back and forth, I got it for 15795. Its a fun little vehicle as you have found out ,cold weather package, bark brown with white seats...a great color combo....I haven't had it in snow yet. Fast forward 6 months later, my wife liked mine enough and was in the market for a new vehicle at least on standby for once her 09 saturn aura xr with 180k is retired. We found a 2018 omaha orange with manual transmission as well with 9k on it...took that home for 18k...they really are fun little vehicles.

I do like the anvil color you have though......that was one of my choices as well. I also like the HID's ...I was contemplating a swap on mine at some point...should be a swap and use alfaobd to change the light type...maybe
It really is quite fun to drive, even given how much I like the Abarth. Of course it's not as fast, but sometimes it's nice to get up higher and not be bounced around so much - and the damned thing handles remarkably well given the higher weight. My wife and I think they nailed the ride and handling compromise. Of course a fully independent rear suspension helps a lot.

That cold weather package is awesome this time of year too. The extra electric heater starts putting out modest heat right away, which is a real benefit for rear seat passengers without heated seats. I'm generally not a real fan of excessive tech and too much automatic stuff (my Abarth has very little of that), but a lot of what's on the Renegade works very well. Even the rain sensing wipers, which I scoffed at!
 

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2017 Latitude 4x4 1.4 Alpine White, 2018 Latitude 4x4 1.4 Omaha Orange
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The auto wipers...once you have them its hard to go back lol...I love the fact that they just go on and adjust speed /timing. I was surprised how well these things corner, I can get pretty spirited with it on the backroads here. My wife isn't as brave yet with hers as she feels its like a truck. I did put an aftermarket head unit into my 17 as I wanted carplay capability..so that's about as high tech as I nee.

The aux heat...what a difference it makes..gone are the days of idling for 15 min. It also helps the little 1.4 get up to temp I found ,I had a 2012 Cruze Eco that the temp gauge would go backwards in cold weather until it was driven for 10 min or so..although I do miss the 40+MPG. The Renegade doesn't do so bad though..I average about 27-28 ...If I take a trip to the work office in Rhode Island..I can get somewhere around 32-35 depending on speeds etc. which is impressive for a square box on wheels.

It's funny what a bad reputation some of the Fiat vehicles get , yet the tech on the engine isn't sophisticated other than the multiair...standard fuel injection(noGDI). I have been eyeing the 124 as a summer toy.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My connections to Chrysler were always weak, only because I was once into Grand Wagoneers which were AMC designs before Chrysler bought AMC to get Jeep. But long before that I was a Fiat fan, and Fiat makes some very good engines. Back in college in the '80s I drove a lowered Fiat 128, and many of us were gear head nerds. We used to read SAE journals and talk about engine tech (I'm an engineer), and one of the ideas was to have some sort of solenoid activated valve system with "virtual" cam profiles determined by a microcontroller. MultiAir is darn close to that, at least on the intakes, and the rest of the engine is a tough Fiat design with an iron block, forged crank and rods, and full cradle under the mains. It's one hell of an engine. It's why I bought the Abarth and the Renegade, whereas the TigerShark 2.4 did not impress me.

I think Fiat has been very good for Chrysler, but Chrysler's design work turns out to be pretty good too. They completely overhauled the 500 design before it was brought over, and the Renegade is a US design other than the engine. I'm impressed by the design, and by the results.
 

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My regular car is a 500 Abarth, and my wife drives a Fiesta ST, so we've been thinking about a family vehicle for a while now. I've only had the Abarth for a year, bought used with 4000mi on it, but I really like the engine. While we wanted something larger it had to have a stick and be fun to drive, and since we live on a gravel lane 4WD would be useful. I've had several 4WD vehicles in the past, including several full-sized Jeeps, but I'm not interested in off-roading - just good traction in snow and dirt roads. All of that lead me to look at the Renegade, with the Abarth engine, 4WD and a 6spd, which is an unusual combination. I've been researching them and looking at used ones for quite a while. I was very close to getting one last spring, but some tax issues killed that for a while.

The first one I looked at seriously was a green 2016 75th Anniversary model with the sunroofs, but after that fell through I started to see some with the Cold Weather Group, which then became a must-have but I saw few with the 21L package. We test drove one in NJ but they wanted too much for that. Then I saw the 2017 we bought in NY, with the 21L, Cold Weather Group, Safety & Security Group and Beats Audio. And in Anvil which looked really good. Mileage was a little high at almost 50k, but it was in nice shape and a certified pre-owned car at a Jeep dealer with new brakes and tires.

So far at 500mi I really like it. The cold weather package is great, given it's December, and so are the HID lights since it's dark all the time. I love the ride, handling and steering, and the seats and control layout as well. The steering wheel is fat and comfortable. The 1.4 turbo pulls it just fine - not a rocket off the line, but once underway the fat power curve really helps a lot. You can feel the wide tires, and it's a great highway cruiser too. I have not found anything wrong with it, other than it had a bit of surface corrosion in the engine bay from 3 years of NY winters. The worst was the turbo heat shield where the front two mounting holes had rusted out. I fixed those with some washers. It was also overdue for spark plugs, which I did.

Overall it's just the right companion vehicle for our more performance oriented cars. The only mods it may get are an exhaust and a boost gauge.

View attachment 2396349688
I like this color.
 

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happy that youre happy so far OP. glad that your only issues so far have been small corrosion and rusted holes. seems like you have found a definite keeper. maybe you can report back to us every X amount of miles and keep us up to date with the going on's and pros/cons so far. otherwise, congrats.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
We've got about 2k miles on it so far, and we both still like it a lot. My wife has driven it the most recently and she's become a big fan - this is a lady who once drove a BMW in SCCA ITC class.

The only things I've noticed are very minor: the top center dash vents are near useless (I'd read about that), and it makes a very coarse engine sound when very cold. My Abarth doesn't do that, and I suspect it's alternator load from the very high electrical load of the Cold Weather package. Neither bothers me though.
 
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