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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been burned in the past by buying a new model car at the beginning of the production run (2013 Escape and 2003 Volvo XC90 both were riddled with problems). Thinking of trading my '14 Grand Cherokee for a Renegade as my kids are mostly driving the GC now and they don't need something so big (or fancy). Any concerns out there about a new model? Are both of these engines new?
 

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I may be able to help here.

I bought my 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth in February last year... it was a leftover model. A coworker bought his Abarth a few weeks before I did.

The amount of problems I have had, is atrocious. I may have just gotten a "lemon", because he hasn't had anywhere near the issues I have.

I have the 1.4L MultiAir engine that will be available in the Renegade. The only thing that has been an issue with it (in 23,000 miles) has been coolant leaking. At first it leaked from the after-run pump hose. Then it leaked from the lower overflow hose. Then it leaked from all the radiator hoses. Then they replaced everything and it ran low on coolant within a month. I just took it back and they "retorqued the clamps due to thermal expansion".

I've never had that issue on any other car. Who knows.

Sooooo.... hopefully they've worked out any bugs with the motors by now lol!
 

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I've been burned in the past by buying a new model car at the beginning of the production run (2013 Escape and 2003 Volvo XC90 both were riddled with problems). Thinking of trading my '14 Grand Cherokee for a Renegade as my kids are mostly driving the GC now and they don't need something so big (or fancy). Any concerns out there about a new model? Are both of these engines new?
I don't care what car manufacture it is, first run vehicles or complete refresh 99.9% of the time have issues. The question is how fast does the manufacture take care of issues and what you are willing to live with and deal with. My general rule is to wait a year.... That was until I bought my Abarth.

I currently have 50K miles on my 2013 Abarth. Although it is souped up, it is never raced. The first 25K miles were pure ****. Transmission leaks, coolant leaks, an audio system just as reliable as one out of a 1970 Pinto, window issues, mysterious engine codes that not even the factory could figure out, rubber door gaskets that wouldn't stay put, intercooler pipe leaks, side molding that keeps peeling away, A/C issues and permanent door rattle and a rear wheel out of alignment that can't be fixed. At first I wanted to can the car but the wife is due for the next new car so I am stuck with it. However, after that 25K mark the car has been performing well and has been reliable even though I wear through a right rear tire every 6K miles ( I have to keep rotating them through that corner), the permanent door rattle every time I turn left and a hopeless audio system. Oh, and the A/C is not working again but that will ( I hope) be getting fixed on Tuesday. So now I am going to wait at least two years and if I buy and I will have the alignment checked before I sign and defiantly get the extended warranty. I am willing to give Fiat one last shot due to the fact the last 25K miles have been great after getting over the fact that some crap just can't be fixed.

Fiat has had some bad press this past year when it comes to reliability and build quality and I hoping in a couple of years time they will get it together. Time will tell and I sincerely hope I am proven wrong.
 

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I currently have 50K miles on my 2013 Abarth. Although it is souped up, it is never raced. The first 25K miles were pure ****. Transmission leaks, coolant leaks, an audio system just as reliable as one out of a 1970 Pinto, window issues, mysterious engine codes that not even the factory could figure out, rubber door gaskets that wouldn't stay put, intercooler pipe leaks, side molding that keeps peeling away, A/C issues and permanent door rattle and a rear wheel out of alignment that can't be fixed. At first I wanted to can the car but the wife is due for the next new car so I am stuck with it. However, after that 25K mark the car has been performing well and has been reliable even though I wear through a right rear tire every 6K miles ( I have to keep rotating them through that corner), the permanent door rattle every time I turn left and a hopeless audio system. Oh, and the A/C is not working again but that will ( I hope) be getting fixed on Tuesday. So now I am going to wait at least two years and if I buy and I will have the alignment checked before I sign and defiantly get the extended warranty. I am willing to give Fiat one last shot due to the fact the last 25K miles have been great after getting over the fact that some crap just can't be fixed.

Fiat has had some bad press this past year when it comes to reliability and build quality and I hoping in a couple of years time they will get it together. Time will tell and I sincerely hope I am proven wrong.
My girlfriend is in the same boat, she recently purchased a 2012 Fiat 500 with 25K on it. And it now has 32,000 miles on it (I'm actually doing the 32K service tomorrow), during her ownership it developed a rattle in the door panel, has had 2 sets of axles, 2 new control arms, and new bump stops installed under warranty. While it is a relatively good car in the respect that it gets great gas mileage, and starts up fine every morning, it should not be having these issues at such low mileage. I currently drive a 2006 Acura TL with 95,000 miles on it and have not had any issue with it whatsoever aside from a couple rattles which ANY car with high miles will have. Granted it's a Honda product that was built by Japanese samurai (from Ohio lol) fluent in the language of reliability, but still!

I'm in love with the Renegade and while I think it's overpriced by about $1,500, it's still high on my list of potential future vehicles. My concern is the level of quality coming out of FCA right now, I have a friend that owns a Dart that has gone through 4 transmissions during his 1.5 years of ownership (all replaced under warranty, it'll most likely end up being considered a lemon).

I'll be checking this forum throughout 2015 to see how owners are doing and if things look promising then maybe I'll trade in my Acura, and if not then I'll look elsewhere. The Renegade looks like it'll be a great car, I'd be very disappointed to see it turn out to be garbage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've owned two Jeeps in the past 10 years, an '09JK Wrangler and the '14 Grand Cherokee that I'm currently driving. Both have been bulletproof. However, I am most certainly aware that the Renegade is being built in Italy by Fiat, and judging by what you guys have said, and what I've read elsewhere, that's not exactly instilling confidence in me. Maybe I'll wait a couple of months and see what folks here are finding with their early-run vehicles. Another option is to trade my GC for a Cherokee....

Thanks to all for their input.
 

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Manual vs Automatic Transmission Reliability

It is very helpful to hear everyone's stories about first year runs. Especially with FCA. I know the Abarth is manual, but with the 500, 500L, and Cherokee, most of the big problems seem to be with the automatic transmissions. I know it's not the same transmission in each car. But still. This seems to be a pattern.

For Abarth owners or owners of a vehicle with the 1.4L Multiair paired with a manual transmission, have any of you read about or heard about widespread problems with the manual transmission itself?

I know someone earlier in this thread mentioned some issues. But just wondering if the manual transmission problems are as pervasive as the automatic transmission (paired with the Tigershark or 3.2L in the Cherokee).

Also, I thought the 500 was built in Mexico and the 500L in Serbia? Is that right? I thought I read that the Italian factory in Melfi is better at producing vehicles that are more reliable (at least relative to the Mexican and Serbian factories). Then again, I may be basing this question on entirely false assumptions about where the 500 and 500L are built.
 

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It is very helpful to hear everyone's stories about first year runs. Especially with FCA. I know the Abarth is manual, but with the 500, 500L, and Cherokee, most of the big problems seem to be with the automatic transmissions. I know it's not the same transmission in each car. But still. This seems to be a pattern.

For Abarth owners or owners of a vehicle with the 1.4L Multiair paired with a manual transmission, have any of you read about or heard about widespread problems with the manual transmission itself?

I know someone earlier in this thread mentioned some issues. But just wondering if the manual transmission problems are as pervasive as the automatic transmission (paired with the Tigershark or 3.2L in the Cherokee).

Also, I thought the 500 was built in Mexico and the 500L in Serbia? Is that right? I thought I read that the Italian factory in Melfi is better at producing vehicles that are more reliable (at least relative to the Mexican and Serbian factories). Then again, I may be basing this question on entirely false assumptions about where the 500 and 500L are built.
Fiat had an issue with the rear main seal leaking on the engine block. Turned out it was a casting flaw where the groove for the seal was not deep enough. Mine was an oil leak at the filth gear housing. Another characteristic of the Abarth transmission is you have to give it few seconds after pressing the clutch in before shifting into reverse or it will grind. There is even a tag that is around the shifter that tells you so when you buy the car.
 

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Fiat had an issue with the rear main seal leaking on the engine block. Turned out it was a casting flaw where the groove for the seal was not deep enough. Mine was an oil leak at the filth gear housing. Another characteristic of the Abarth transmission is you have to give it few seconds after pressing the clutch in before shifting into reverse or it will grind. There is even a tag that is around the shifter that tells you so when you buy the car.
This is most helpful. Thank you. Overall, based on what you have read and experienced personally, which engine/transmission would you choose on a Renegade if you decided to purchase one (factoring in reliability heavily into your decision)? The 1.4L/manual or the 2.4L/automatic?
 

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This is most helpful. Thank you. Overall, based on what you have read and experienced personally, which engine/transmission would you choose on a Renegade if you decided to purchase one (factoring in reliability heavily into your decision)? The 1.4L/manual or the 2.4L/automatic?
I'm not sure and I'm not positive but I think the manual is different in the Renegade than it is in the Abarth. The Abarth uses a 5 speed where the Renegade is a 6, but I did get a good look at my transmission when they had it out and it is modular so it could be just a matter of changing out the 5th gear housing and putting one in that has 6. As far as engine and transmission combo I would not want the 1.4 where as the transmission, once fixed of it's oil leak is not bad really. The 1.4 is what I have issues with. It has a hesitation when accelerating from a stop unless you slip the clutch a little. You just can't drop the clutch and go. All so power delivery is ok but there is a hesitation at 3K RPM under medium hard to hard acceleration. It doesn't like heat either. There is a lot of redundancy built into this engine. If it starts to get hot it cuts back power drastically. With constant moving like going down the freeway, you are ok until about 80F- 85F degrees ambient temperature before losing power. If you are in stop and go you are looking at upper 70's ambient temperature. The engine really comes alive in temps 50F-68F degrees ambient and it is a hoot to drive! If the temperature hits above 100F night as well just cruse because you will get nowhere fast. This concerns me because if you are driving slow and straining the engine doing some 4X4' n you are going to build up heat and lose the power you need from already a weak engine for the Renegades size. Maybe that's why it is not available in the Trailhawk?

I am happy that the Trailhawk gets the 2.4. Even if the 1.4 was available, I would still choose the 2.4. I just wish it came with a manual.
 

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I'm not sure and I'm not positive but I think the manual is different in the Renegade than it is in the Abarth. The Abarth uses a 5 speed where the Renegade is a 6, but I did get a good look at my transmission when they had it out and it is modular so it could be just a matter of changing out the 5th gear housing and putting one in that has 6. As far as engine and transmission combo I would not want the 1.4 where as the transmission, once fixed of it's oil leak is not bad really. The 1.4 is what I have issues with. It has a hesitation when accelerating from a stop unless you slip the clutch a little. You just can't drop the clutch and go. All so power delivery is ok but there is a hesitation at 3K RPM under medium hard to hard acceleration. It doesn't like heat either. There is a lot of redundancy built into this engine. If it starts to get hot it cuts back power drastically. With constant moving like going down the freeway, you are ok until about 80F- 85F degrees ambient temperature before losing power. If you are in stop and go you are looking at upper 70's ambient temperature. The engine really comes alive in temps 50F-68F degrees ambient and it is a hoot to drive! If the temperature hits above 100F night as well just cruse because you will get nowhere fast. This concerns me because if you are driving slow and straining the engine doing some 4X4' n you are going to build up heat and lose the power you need from already a weak engine for the Renegades size. Maybe that's why it is not available in the Trailhawk?

I am happy that the Trailhawk gets the 2.4. Even if the 1.4 was available, I would still choose the 2.4. I just wish it came with a manual.
****, I feel like I learned more in your post than in dozens of Google searches. That is extremely helpful.

I do remember reading something about the 1.4L not liking heat. But I had not read anyone's actual experience with it.

It is too bad that the 2.4L doesn't come with a manual. I am somewhat terrified to get the automatic based on the horror stories from Cherokee owners. Sure, I've read in some reviews that the transmission seems better "tuned" with the Renegade. But that's only with a couple hours with the vehicle. Now maybe the Cherokee's problems are not that widespread (after all, they have sold 10s of thousands of them), but the owners of the faulty ones sure are vocal on forums and with the NHTSA.
 

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I am somewhat terrified to get the automatic based on the horror stories from Cherokee owners. Sure, I've read in some reviews that the transmission seems better "tuned" with the Renegade. But that's only with a couple hours with the vehicle. Now maybe the Cherokee's problems are not that widespread (after all, they have sold 10s of thousands of them), but the owners of the faulty ones sure are vocal on forums and with the NHTSA.
Some, not all of the Cherokee horror transmission stories are actually from the different drive train the Cherokee uses:

Understand, partially valid point, but...

The steep learning curve of the 9 speed programming has been learned by Jeep engineers and they better understood it going into the Renegade.

The Cherokee transfer case has "dog clutches" and the Renegade transfer case has a "wet clutch" system. Many of the reported issues with the Cherokee are with the "dog clutches" and have even been rumored to be designed out on the Cherokee refresh.

Read more here (and at a number of other threads):
http://www.jeeprenegadeforum.com/fo...rior/3921-new-model-concerns-3.html#post36009
 

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****, I feel like I learned more in your post than in dozens of Google searches. That is extremely helpful.

I do remember reading something about the 1.4L not liking heat. But I had not read anyone's actual experience with it.

It is too bad that the 2.4L doesn't come with a manual. I am somewhat terrified to get the automatic based on the horror stories from Cherokee owners. Sure, I've read in some reviews that the transmission seems better "tuned" with the Renegade. But that's only with a couple hours with the vehicle. Now maybe the Cherokee's problems are not that widespread (after all, they have sold 10s of thousands of them), but the owners of the faulty ones sure are vocal on forums and with the NHTSA.
You are welcome.
 

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I'm sort of relieved to hear of the other Abarths having the same issues as me, lol! Now I don't feel too bad.

As far as 1.4 vs 2.4, I just had a 200 loaner with the 2.4 while the fiat was at the dealer. It was quick, but didn't feel as quick as the abarth. Different power delivery for sure.

TBH, I'll get the 1.4 no matter, I don't drive autos and the 1.4 uncorked sounds heavenly! Snap crackle pops in between shifts, very deep sound... I love it.
 
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