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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Waiting for delivery of a 2015 Renegade Trailhawk here in Oregon (Commando Green.) Never been so stoked about a new vehicle, but it seems like the more "research" I do, the more doubts I'm having about following through on the purchase. Test drove and loved it, but I just dunno anymore...

1) Brand new model. Concerned about engineering flaws that *might* only manifest over time, as the product has no history (good or bad.) I want a reliable vehicle and have nightmare scenarios racing through my head involving having to bring the thing back to the dealer for this or that.

2) Read some posts about the 9 speed auto transmission being unresponsive, bad at cruise control, and the engine being exceptionally noisy.

3) Poor fuel mileage. A thread had a comment that it was getting far below 20 mpg in the city. That sounds horrible.

4) Chrysler not having best reputation (I know this is FCA now, but Italians don't exactly have a reputation for making reliable cars either.)

5) Seems like every other day we're hearing about a big recall FCA is having to absorb for past mistakes.

I really, really want to feel good about this purchase. Please say something to make me feel better...
 

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Most of us here who have Renegades have not had them very long, so the long-term concerns (your numbers 1, 4, and 5) might be unknowns--and concerns--for some of us too. I would argue with 2 and 3, though. Number 2 seems to be varying from vehicle to vehicle. If you took a long test drive, you should have an idea of the engine noise and shifting of your particular vehicle. As for the gas mileage should be about 21 in the city, and you can see here and on Fuelly that it is measuring higher in some cases.
 

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. . . If you feel like you can afford to take the risks, it is a fun drive, but if the unknowns are going to cause you a lot of anxiety, there are certainly a lot of good vehicles out there that are going to be more predictable. You could also give it a year, if you don't need to buy right now. I had to buy a car right when I did, or I might have waited for year 2.
 

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I'm a little apprehensive but I ordered one. I also ordered a Liberty the first year it was released and the 4 years I owned it had 0 problems other than I didn't like the gas mileage because it didn't get near what was advertised but I got over that.

If you get one keep us informed with your thoughts and impressions of it.
 

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It's smart to do your research, but looking online can be misleading. The number of fake reviews promoting or trashing a product is astounding, and there are any number of companies that actually pay people to write them. The engine noise and the gas mileage testimonials may be prime examples of this--the engine isn't loud at all, and unless the person is flooring it at every stop light and driving it in manual in 3rd gear, it is difficult to believe that anyone could be averaging far below 20 mpg with this vehicle.

I can only speak to my 6 week experience with the Renegade, and you can (and should) take it for what it's worth, but I can honestly tell you that I love it. It's a vehicle that just begs you to drive it--it's as if it's made for road trips, and now I find myself searching for weekend trip ideas that I probably wouldn't have considered before. I've already put nearly 3500 miles on it and have averaged just over 30 miles per gallon on the highway. I took it through the Appalachians in Kentucky and to the Badlands in South Dakota--mostly pavement, but steep terrain throughout much of both trips. The Jeep handled the hills just fine on cruise control. When I grew tired and needed to pull over at a rest stop, there was just enough room to conk out comfortably in the back for a couple hours with the seats down (and I'm 6'1).

I could see where you might be nervous buying a used car with the reviews you've been reading, but the beauty of the new car purchase is the warranty. If anything goes wrong, you're covered. You ordered a Trailhawk, man--you're going to have fun with it, because the roadie and off-road possibilities are almost limitless (short of buying a Wrangler). Don't let some internet naysayers--who may or may not be legit--change your mind about what you really want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, Spiff. Those are encouraging words. I'm most likely going to tell the little doubting Thomas on my shoulder to take a nice long hike. Good point about on line research. Plus, some folks are just generally dissatisfied. My first impression of the Trailhawk was like "Gawd ****!" The design feels very well thought out. At 6'2" I also felt comfortable with the head room. My hope is it will do the same for me (in terms of motivating me to get off the beaten path.) We live in the Pacific Northwest and I have a five year old to teach how to ski and an aging Akita that loves the deep snow. Not gonna get that done in my FWD VW. We sat around all last winter, afraid to go up to the mountain. Tired of taking the conservative approach and the MPG seems decent.
 

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Thanks, Spiff. Those are encouraging words. I'm most likely going to tell the little doubting Thomas on my shoulder to take a nice long hike. Good point about on line research. Plus, some folks are just generally dissatisfied. My first impression of the Trailhawk was like "Gawd ****!" The design feels very well thought out. At 6'2" I also felt comfortable with the head room. My hope is it will do the same for me (in terms of motivating me to get off the beaten path.) We live in the Pacific Northwest and I have a five year old to teach how to ski and an aging Akita that loves the deep snow. Not gonna get that done in my FWD VW. We sat around all last winter, afraid to go up to the mountain. Tired of taking the conservative approach and the MPG seems decent.
I had put 2 deposits down on 2 different trailhawks. Last minute I test drove a Mercedes GLA250. I am so freaking glad I did. GLA250 had 9000mi on it and i negotiated it down to $32,300. Gets 32mpg highway, about 27mpg city. Panoramic sunroof, heated seats, 208hp, 250+ torque. 8" clearance, really capable.

The renegade - after I test drove it, I couldn't believe how weak the engine was. Thats what ruined it for me. Totally gutless. No torque. And no sunroof - every time I see one i look in the window and it's so dark in there, feels like you're in a box.

At 29k+ (what I was about to pay), with no sunroof, you can do a lot better. Better mileage, power...really guys. The renegade trailhawk isn't a 30k car, it just isn't. And except for the wrangler, jeep resale value is horrid.
 

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I had put 2 deposits down on 2 different trailhawks. Last minute I test drove a Mercedes GLA250. I am so freaking glad I did. GLA250 had 9000mi on it and i negotiated it down to $32,300. Gets 32mpg highway, about 27mpg city. Panoramic sunroof, heated seats, 208hp, 250+ torque. 8" clearance, really capable.

Somebody here at work has a white one and I drool every time I see it. Nice car!
 

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DDAY,

You need to go with your gut. I'm in the same boat but every day my interest goes down a little. My recommendation is to pick a few models that you are interested in then go test drive each. One of them will stand out more than the others. If it's the Renegade then go forward and don't look back or second guess your decision. If it's not the Renegade then you might have your answer.
 

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Honestly, you'd have to be a fool not to have doubts. Any first year model of anything is risky, especially a model being made in a foreign country, in a new factory, by probably new people. I would be the first to say that if you can wait a year, I would. Let the bugs get worked out in the car, the factory, the workers, etc.
But with that said, there are many of us experiencing ZERO trouble and very much enjoying our new Renegades.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I had put 2 deposits down on 2 different trailhawks. Last minute I test drove a Mercedes GLA250. I am so freaking glad I did. GLA250 had 9000mi on it and i negotiated it down to $32,300. Gets 32mpg highway, about 27mpg city. Panoramic sunroof, heated seats, 208hp, 250+ torque. 8" clearance, really capable.

The renegade - after I test drove it, I couldn't believe how weak the engine was. Thats what ruined it for me. Totally gutless. No torque. And no sunroof - every time I see one i look in the window and it's so dark in there, feels like you're in a box.

At 29k+ (what I was about to pay), with no sunroof, you can do a lot better. Better mileage, power...really guys. The renegade trailhawk isn't a 30k car, it just isn't. And except for the wrangler, jeep resale value is horrid.
Well if I wanted a Mercedes, I would be looking at one. I'm drawn to the Trailhawk. Plus, I'm paying just north of $25K, which is a lot of bang for the buck.
 

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Like others, I have been a little concerned with the long-term quality of the first year model, but ordered one anyway to replace a 2005 Ford Escape with 165k on it (talk about lousy gas mileage). In my case, I plan on leasing it with a 15k a year lease so if there are any problems, I can just walk away at the end of the lease. That said, I am hoping that is not the case :)
 

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Yeah the Mercedes looks nice, but is in a different segment than the Renegade, given that:
  • It's a sedan - not as tall as the Renegade
  • Backseat space is more limited (as well as headroom)
  • It's close to the same mpg as the Renegade 1.4T so that part is good given the greater power
  • Likely not to equal the Renegade in 4X4 capability
 

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I have had my Trailhawk since April and haven't had any problems. Although I always wish for more, the engine has enough power in my opinion (and that statement comes from somebody who's other car has nearly 500 hp).

Mine drives very smoothly and is quiet. I average around 28 mpg on the highway and about 25 around town. On a long trip (at 55 mph) I can easily achieve over 30 mpg.

I didn't want a big SUV and the Renegade is just the right size with all the right looks. No regrets for me with the Renegade purchase.
 

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Waiting for delivery of a 2015 Renegade Trailhawk here in Oregon (Commando Green.)... I want a reliable vehicle and have nightmare scenarios racing through my head involving having to bring the thing back to the dealer for this or that.
Hey, same rig as me! My Commando Green TH is waiting down in San Diego for transport up to Humboldt County. Did you order the power MySky and tow package as well?

Regarding reliable: this is a brand new model, there's gonna be flaws, errors, big'uns and small'uns. I'm reluctant to say this, because I really really like pumping the model & the brand, but if you absolutely must have reliability, this possibly isn't your best choice right now. New-new models are like that, especially cars made in Italy. Fiat & Chrysler haven't been together that long, and just announced their "new" version of the company in 2014. So there are many kinks to work out on many levels, from nuts to bolts to delivery systems to well... pretty much everything.

That said, many people are reporting zero problems with their new Renegades. A few are reporting problem after problem, one couple only got a mile or so down the road from the dealership. It's a gamble. So far, it looks like FCA is taking care of the folks with problems, even buying their vehicles back when they have to. Not every car maker in history has acted that responsibly. So you might consider how this company support may offset the risk of unreliability.

Good luck, with whatever you choose to do.
 

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And not to gloss over any of the problems and issues but a few of the problem thread titles are misleading in that what the original poster first thought was wrong with the vehicle turned out to not be quite as huge of a problem. And/or the thread was posted but then never updated to tell everyone what the actual outcome was.
Again, not to disregard any of the problems (because it sucks either way to have it in the shop) - but some of those threads turned out to be a smaller issue and was taken care of and was in no way the end of the Jeep's life.
 

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Obviously Renegade is too new for reliability pattern to emerge but I would say don't be too concerned about Fiat products made in Italy. I have owned Fiat Group cars for many years and have never experienced real problems, other than on an Alfa GT which was a bit of a dog. Of the twenty odd Fiat Auto products my wife and I have driven over 35 years, none has actually let us down and several have been almost entirely trouble free. True, build quality has not been great on some and most have suffered squeaks and rattles. Probably need a bit more TLC than some to keep them running well but quality has improved drastically in recent years. Most common let down is poor customer service by dealers and long waits for 'back order' parts.

In summary, ownership is sometimes frustrating but worth it for the fun factor, also style and quirkiness. Public perception is worse than reality, fuelled by often hostile media coverage.
 
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