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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First time potential Jeep buyer. I really like the look of the Renegade (especially the TH edition). I'm basically trying to decide between the Renegade TH vs. Renegade Latitude 4x4 in manual trans vs. a Subaru Crosstrek.

The thing I keep hearing that's not good on the Renegade is the 9 spd auto transmission. Also Jeep reliability seems not as good as Subaru.

Read an article that reviewed both vehicles. Still trying to decide and still liking the Renegade TH. Any thoughts?

http://expeditionportal.com/head-to-head-subaru-xv-crosstrek-2-0i-vs-jeep-renegade-trailhawk/
 

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My main reason for Renegade Sport was manual and AWD. I would've never considered auto gear box, not in a million years.
Subaru and their FB20 oil consumption issues turned me down.
Plus everyone is driving Subaru which isn't that exciting at all unless you up the ante with WRX or STI.
If you want to row-your-own, Lat or Sport will fit the bill.
C635 gearbox is surprisingly easy to manipulate. It isn't Honda SI sniper-rifle trigger gearbox, but for a little Jeep it works well.

Cheers...
 

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I like the Crosstrek especially in the Khaki color but IMO there's no comparison to the Renegade in any trim. I'm not saying one is better then the other but once you sit inside, the differences are very apparent...

The Renegade has a more higher and upright seating position, and the upright windshield give it a more trucky vibe. I feel this is what makes the Renegade special from all other SUVs and compact SUVs out there except for the Wrangler. Meanwhile...

The Crosstrek sits low and the raked windshield makes it more like a car.

It all depends on what you want.
 

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You absolutely have to go drive each car.

Some background - my wife has a '15 Forester. The car is a boss. We absolutely love it, and really enjoy its CVT. But, we both also love manuals. When it came time to replace my car (09' Jetta 5 speed manual) I narrowed my search to the Crosstrek and Renegade. I was looking for a manual, AWD/4WD, and highway mpg over 30. There wasn't much to consider- its hard to find an AWD/4WD manual. After driving both, it was a no-brainer for me.

I'd agree that the Crosstrek certainly has better reliability statistics/reputation, but darn it, if I didn't love the clutch on the Renegade and the whole package. But, to each his own. You may drive the Crosstrek and just love it. I'd go out and drive the cars back to back, and see what you like better. The good news - there's no wrong answer. Both are great IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the good feedback! Yes, I will most definitely test drive both vehicles. I recently went to the auto show where I spent almost the entire time at both the Jeep and Subaru areas (sat in Jeep Renegade - Limited, TH; Jeep Cherokee; Subaru Crosstrek; Subaru Forester). Here are my thoughts so far. I really love the look and feel of Renegade. From the "fun to drive/own" and style perspective... it's my favorite. But from a practicality standpoint... I'm not so sure. If I can spend the $26K-30K range for a TH Renegade, I can actually get a Subaru Forester, which has symmetrical AWD and is a much bigger, more refined car (not a subcompact suv)

I think the Renegade in a manual would be awesome! Wish they make the TH Renegade with a manual but they don't so if I go with the manual, I'll have to get either a sport or a latitude. In which case I lose the 8.7" of ground clearance and the great approach and departure angles which drew me to the TH in the first place. Comparing it to the Subaru crosstrek... and for that matter also the Forester... they all have 8.7" of ground clearance regardless of trim.

Also, you can get a Subaru Crosstrek in a manual transmission too with AWD (mechanical, 50/50 split). Although, I've heard the manual trans on the crosstrek is nothing great (5 speed). But yes I've heard about Subaru having a reputation where their boxer engine do burn oil over the long term (and I do plan on keeping the vehicle for 8-10 years).

The the other thing is rear passenger space and cargo space. Now I know one can't expect much with subcompact crossovers... and with the Renegade, if you were to have the seat comfortable for the driver, the space for the passenger behind is going to be just adequate but not comfortable for a long driving trip, but head room in the rear is good. For the crosstrek, rear passenger leg room and excellent but that's to be expect as the vehicle has a longer wheelbase. The forester goes without saying has ample room. The one thing the jeep has going for it is is the roof height and you can fit taller items in the cargo area (with rear seats folded) than you can with the crosstrek...

And just some follow up questions for the manual 1.4L turbo engine for the renegade owners. How is the performance of that engine from your experience? Enough power and torque for general driving, highway merging? Fuel economy? Shift feel (clutch travel, long throws, sloppy or semi precise)?

So the reason I'm considering a vehicle with higher ground clearance is because I do a good amount of outdoor things (hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, etc.) I know I don't need a Wrangler JK as I'm not planning on doing the Rublicon Trail, but something that will get me to that trailhead where it's impossible to do on a Honda civic. I may go over some rocks, mud, some streams and paths were other 4x4 have driven by and created two semi deep tire ruts... (another reason to consider the TH with its skid plates to protect the engine/differentials)

decisions decisions decisions... sigh...
 

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I purchased a smurf blue 1.4t manual Latitude back in July. I have almost 8k miles on it and love it. I've had zero issues other than a HVAC fan motor that makes a slight noise when cold.

I also really prefer the look of the TrailHawk but not the one available drive line selection for it. I really wish they offered the 1.4t/manual driveline in the Trailhawk.

That said, I think the 1.4t/manual driveline is actually more suited to off road, 4x4 driving than the one they do offer in the Trailhawk. While horsepower figures are used to sell cars its torque that you feel and use while driving. The 1.4 actually has more torque than the bigger engine and it comes on a lot sooner. The 1.4 hits its torque peak around 2000 - 3000 rpms (where you spend 99% of your driving) while the bigger engine reaches it up around 5000 - 6000 rpms like most other naturally aspirated four cylinders. This is why the automatics have been said to be somewhat underpowered while most 1.4 people, including me, are more than happy with the Renegade's power. We can take advantage of highest available torque while still in the most fuel efficient part of the engine's rev range while the automatic would need to be screaming at 6000 rpms to do so.

I've had mine off roading several times already and had no issues powering up hills in first gear at 1500 rpms.

Also, the published ground clearance difference between the Trailhawk and Latitude 4x4 is a bit deceptive. The Trailhawk is equipped with relativly poor tires that are 1" larger in diameter than a Lattitude which gives it half an inch of the .81" difference. The actual mechanical difference is only 0.31". I put tires on mine that were 1.75" greater in diameter than the stock ones and now have slightly more ground clearance than a Trailhawk. Later I plan to add the fuel tank skid plates from a Trailhawk to it ($400 or so) and the front bumper cover ($200 or so) and end up with the manual trailhawk I wanted in the first place.

When I was getting ready to start the buying process for the Renegade I looked into the Subaru options as well as they were the only truely comperable alternatives. I felt that while the Subaru was a better "car" (more refined, better reputation, not a Chysler mixed with a Fiat) it lacked the Renegade's character and true "off road" as opposed to "off tarmac" capabilities. I regularly will turn off the road and drive the Renegade across a field where there is no road. While I would not hesitate to take a Subaru on a dirt or gravel road I don't think I'd feel too safe crossing a stream or driving across a field with it.

-Jason
 

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Totally agree with the previous post regarding 1.4 manual engine - has been absolutely great so far and delivers plenty of pep. At first, I was also lamenting the lack of a manual with the Trailhawk.... I absolutely love the Latitude and its capabilities.

You really need to decide what are the most important factors for you... rear cargo room? Forester wins. More legroom in the back, Forester and Crosstrek win. Better clutch (IMO) Renegade. Better offroading, Renegade again. But, it sounds like your offroading needs could also be met by a Subaru.

Like you, I went to last years auto show when we were looking for a new car for my wife. We also sat in everything... driving is much more important. If we could only pick one vehicle, I'd go with the Forester. Better for a family of 4 IMHO. I can't imagine a road trip with four people and all luggage in the Renegade. As a second car for me to get to and from work, etc., it was a no-brainer - Renegade all the way.

If you will really be going over rocks and mud and through ruts, and don't need the backseat and trunk space of a Forester, the Renegade should take care of your needs perfectly.

I'm interested to hear about your opinions and experiences driving each - please let us know.
 

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I faced the exact same dilemma before I got the Renegade. It's very hard to beat the interior and the upright sitting position. In the end I'm just not a car guy. I can't really speak for off roading prowess, however, I've seen subarus in places where most stock Jeeps don't even belong. Sometimes a skilled driver and the right setup is what you need.
 

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Unless you want a basic latitude when you load it up it gets almost as costly as a TH
 

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As a previous owner of an Abarth, I can say the 1.4 engine holds up very well. 50k miles with absolutely no issues mechanically in the Abarth. That's part of the reason I took the opportunity to own a Renegade with the same engine. It's definitely not as quick as an Abarth and the 6 speeds gearing is noticeably taller but I'm happy with how well the combo moves the extra weight around. The clutch is surprisingly easy to work and does not require the full lenght of travel it's set up with (something I'm still somewhat struggling with due to the Abarths sporty clutch feel). CVT just doesn't do it for me in any of its versions. I drove a Chevy Equinox, a Subaru Impreza and a Suzuki SX4 equipped with it and I was not impressed. To me, it's mostly a gimmick for higher mpg ratings. Is it worth it in the long run compared to a "row your own"? Nope. Not at all. I would take advantage of a manual transmission with a 4x4 option in a vehicle of this class. It's a rare and dying breed.
 

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I love my Lat Manual Trans 4x4. I haven't driven a Crosstrek, but my wife did have a Manual Forester which drove really well as well. But I much prefer my Renegade. Also, the Renegade looks like an SUV while the Crosstrek looks like car that's been slightly lifted. Like others, suggested, drive both and pick what's right for you.
 

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Having the same issue of choosing between a renegade or crosstreck/forester. All my offloading is going to be on beaches, and success there is the biggest concern. Advice?
 

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...this was a promising read while trying to decide between a cross trek and a renegade!

Its like my Suzuki TL1000S, few will appreciate it, most that own one will customize it and everyone will love the finished product and say "that's what Jeep (or Suzuki) should have done with it all along"!
 

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I owned a 2014 Crosstrek

I never had any issues with it, just didn't like it, gutless motor, really cheap feeling interior and so on.


My Jeep Renegade Latitude has just over 6000 miles on it and is 7 months old with Auto and zero issues.


My auto shifts fine, as long as your not a jumpy driver, off and on gas non stop kinda driver.


Flaps
 

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I never had any issues with it, just didn't like it, gutless motor, really cheap feeling interior and so on.


My Jeep Renegade Latitude has just over 6000 miles on it and is 7 months old with Auto and zero issues.


My auto shifts fine, as long as your not a jumpy driver, off and on gas non stop kinda driver.


Flaps
I was thinking the Cross Trek would have issues with the motor dept....never driven either yet as I've been outside of the USA for a very long time.

Heading back in a few weeks to finish the decision shopping!
 

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Renegade Latitude, 15k miles, shifts for gears 1-3 are rough, especially when cold. Audible clunk and shutter when shifting into fifth. Fluid leak between engine and transmission. Uses one quart of oil every 5000 miles. Random traction control activation.
 

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Get a Subaru if you want to marry it. Get a Renegade 1.4 manual if you want to date the hell out of it.
 

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My wife has a '17 Renegade Latitude, 2.4L auto.
No issues whatsoever after about 24K miles.
I have an '18 Renegade TH, 2.4L auto.
About 24K miles, no issues.


As far as back seat legroom, the reason we looked at the Renegade for my wife in the first place was because we had one as a rental for a week.
I'm 6'1", wife is 5'8", son is 6'3", daughter is 5'10".
With me driving, either of the kids could sit behind me comfortably. Obviously, sitting behind my wife was no kind of problem.
I've set the front seats of both Renegades to be comfy for me, and I'm just fine in the back seat.


I have no use for manual transmission.

How am I supposed to drink coffee, talk on the phone, text, change the radio, smoke cigarettes, shave and send email on my laptop if I also have to shift?
Something had to give.


Cars are personal choices.
This is our sixth Jeep.

I'd just as soon have a Prius as a Subaroo.
 
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