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Test Drove A Renegade Trail Hawk Today

32493 Views 40 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  wghummel

Just got home from spending a few hours at Yark in Toledo, Ohio test driving a Renegade Trailhawk.

I will have a truckload of photo and video along with some detailed thoughts tomorrow, but I wanted to get this thread rolling to let people know the car is out there.

To give you a basic taste, it's summed up in one word: lovely.

Extremely easy to see out of, plenty of room for myself at 6' 2" (1.87 metres for Canucks here) and passengers in the rear. Acceleration from the 2.4 is VERY good and I am happy to report NO KINKS with the 9-Speed that have plagued our Cherokee (KL) brothers.

This thing is zippy. Toledo is a freaking nightmare to drive around with construction and more traffic than the roads can handle, but the Renegade made it such a freaking blast to zip around. I've never had this much fun driving a vehicle.

Gas mileage is okay. The sample vehicle I used had a mere 13 miles on the clock, and I averaged about 23 MPG zooming up and down with mixed city/fwy driving, although keep in mind this engine is literally new out of the factory.

The cars were... dirty, to say the least. Not as bad as I thought, but still dirty. According to window stickers, they're entering the United States via Los Angeles.

I found the headrest to be hard as a rock, my sample vehicle had cloth seats. Not sure if this is because the foam is new, or the cloth seats are different, or what. But this is IMO.

Bootup animation:

More soon! :D


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Hi guys, back home for a lunch break. I'll be back around 3 PM EST to post all the details. :)

Thanks for the mini review and the pictures.
Not a problem. Be sure to check back soon for more details.

What did you think of the red bezels inside but the anvil color outside? I was sort of hoping the bezels would match the body color.
I thought they were alright. I don't really care for the red accenting that you are forced to have with the TH, I would like to have it be either body color or have a section pallette.

Those metallic orange bezels are horrible with the Anvil color. it should be an option..
They're not metallic orange. They're red. Again, they look "okay" but I would prefer some options from Fiat Chrysler.

you mentioned the 9speed feeling great, did it ever shift into 9th? i remember reading several reviews on the Cherokee that it never shifted into 9th. and im pretty sure that was after the software flash. from what i remember the software flash fixed the gear hunting problem but they still never got it to shift into 9th.
Yes, I do believe I saw it shift into 9th gear for me near 70mph. I will also mention that it is quick to downshift when you put your foot down for passing power.
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My Review: 2015 Renegade Trailhawk

I am very sorry for being late! I had some unexpected family matter today.

What did you think of the red bezels inside but the anvil color outside? I was sort of hoping the bezels would match the body color.
So why didn't you buy it??
Well, you see, I have openly "committed" to a TH with my sales guy/friend (my friend just so happens to work at Yark LOL).

However, I want a Sierra Blue model with every option, and they cannot custom order Renegades as of now.

Plus I need to save up some money. I'll have mine in September, maybe it'll even be a MY16 with CarPlay. ;)

How's the ride quality and road noise?
Firm but comfortable, if that makes sense. Soaks up road imperfections great and it's smooth as butter, but with just an ever so slight *touch* of firmness to remind you you're in a 4x4 that is capable.

At 70mph I was able to have a conversation with my mother in the passenger seat while whispering like a mouse. :)

Hows the seating width? Touching shoulders tight?
At 6' 2" (1.87 metres) and 175 pounds (79 kilograms), I had plenty of space. They're really comfy seats, the cloth ones are at least. No clue about the leather seats.

is there a toggle/manual gear select that you could force it into 9th if need be? I know some of the guys with 8 speed RAMs have to do that on the highway as they can be a bit reluctant to settle in???
It does have AutoStick capability. See the attached photo :)

Hmm your pics make the anvil look nicer than about 95% of the auto news pics and official ones.

One question, how were the fat a-pillars in actual use?
The A-pillars are somewhat fat (thanks to NHTSA rollover standards), but I didn't have any issues. But they aren't the issue, it's the door panels. I was freaking out the whole two hour drive about how thick the freaking door cards are! It was kinda weird!

...and now...

wghummel: My Review of the 2015 Jeep Renegade

I test drove a MY2015 Renegade Trailhawk 4x4 with Anvil exterior and Black cloth interior.
This particular Rengade was a base model Trailhawk with Passive Entry and Keyless Go (US$295), Hood Decal (US$150) and Remote Start (US$200) being the only options.

Fit and finish is great. Panels were solid, not a single squeak or rattle. Everything sounded solid. No loose bits or any business like that.
As far as exterior goes, the car at first hits you with how massive it is... for a compact. This thing is technically a compact, but it pushes that border. However, it still has all the perks of a compact. I was able to park this baby using only the backup camera (DO NOT DO THIS! You could damage your Renegade or another vehicle, this is why we have mirrors!) because of its petite size.

Interior is nice. I didn't care for the rock hard head restraints, but that may be because they are newly manufactured. Leather seats may be different, I don't know, I tested cloth. The actual supportiveness of the seat was excellent. I didn't feel a lack of support anywhere, but my lower lumbar didn't care for the seat cushion, it felt a bit hard too. I do believe there is a lumbar dial, but I couldn't be bothered to find it. YMMV. At 6' 2" (1.87 metres), I was able to sit behind myself with at least four inches of leg room. Very comfy in the back too.

Hitting the start button (with a cute "Off to New Adventures!" stamped below it) shows a cool little splash screen on the TFT display along with a gauge sweep as the smooth 2.4 Multiair four-banger purrs to a start. The engine is smooth and quiet. You cannot hear it at idle, and it doesn't rock the car. Most four bangers sound like a coffee bean grinder trying to grind a brick of limestone when you give it the beans to merge (no pun intended). This 2.4 exhibited a tiny bit of grind-y-ness, but it wasn't that bad. Plus, this engine has yet to be broken in entirely and I don't think you're supposed to hit 4800k on the tach during this period (oops).

As you throw it in drive, you notice the electric power steering. This was my first encounter with EPS. It was... different. The steering is INCREDIBLY light at stand-still to low speed. Like 1990s GM over-assisted Buick steering (I can drive my grandmother's 1996 Riviera with my pinky) light. This makes it feel like you're tossing a frisbee around the Costco parking lot, but it makes parking a cinch. However, as you press down on the throttle the electric steering loads up with weight like magic. At 70mph it was still just a *tad* touchy for my tastes, but I'm coming from a BMW M3 that requires some muscle to turn with it's under-assisted power steering. ;)

The main thing you notice as you drive the Renegade is the city car DNA in it from its Italian brother - the Fiat 500X. This thing is ridiculously fun to toss around town! I was giggling like I just won the lottery. It has quick turn in, U-turns are a breeze. The Renegade was built for city driving and it does it dang good.
Onto I-75 then... and it wasn't much different. I was able to feel the Active Drive Low system shifting weight around a looped on ramp to keep me planted. The Renegade was easy to control and most important of all, very comfortable. I was easily able to drive a loop around all of Toledo with excellent comfort. I was never repetedly bouncing up and down like a jackhammer (as I do in our WJ Grand Cherokee) nor jarred in any fashion.

Entertainment for the trip was provided via the base system, Uconnect 5.0 and the base audio system. It sounded pretty good for a stock system, better than the base system in my 2010 Challenger. Bass was a bit lacking, you have to get it to about +4 to get a minimal amount of bass. I was able to pair my iPhone 6 Plus running iOS 8.3 beta with no issues and immediately used Spotify via Bluetooth. I saw metatag info on display, could control the music and voice commands fully functioned. I made two test phone calls on AT&T's network and was plesantly surprised by the good audio quality delivered by the Renegade. I didn't receive any complaints about microphone quality.

Some nice things I found on the Renegade was an easter egg in the fuel cap I don't think anybody noticed, a spider saying "Ciao, baby!" - likely making reference to the Renegade's connection to assembly in Italy. You also receive a FULL-SIZE spare tire and a nice kit of goodies under the carpeting, in addition to a flashlight that charges via a special dock.

The Renegade handles its own nicely. It delivered better-than-expected build quality, a very comfortable and pleasing ride, offered plenty of amenities and just screams compact versatility.

I love this car, and I am very excited to take delivery of my very own Trailhawk in Sierra Blue with every single option this autumn. I have tried to not let that skew this review, but this is my disclaimer. The only thing's I didn't care for were the wide door sills that made getting in a big step, and the capless fuel filler that makes you have to SHOVE the nozzle into the fuel filler because it's so tightly pressurized.
But this is my point-of-view, not your point-of-view.

All I have to say in short is this:
This vehicle is great. As soon as your dealer gets one, go test drive it. Spend the $10 to put a few gallons of fuel in the tank and take it for more than an around-the-block drive. Take it down some various quality roads and the freeway. Try to get a basic sense of the driving dynamics, I think you'll love it.

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What was the price?

Did you buy it?

If not why?

I (Cherie) will be test driving a Black TH tomorrow in Monroe, MI at Monroe Jeep Superstore my salesman is Chad Reigel. They have a couple red, black and sand 2wd Lats and Limited and on of the Red limited is 4wd. I will post pics tomorrow.

Did you read the review I posted just minutes ago?! ;)

I want a Sierra Blue one... :)

Price on this one was $27,635.

If you come to Yark, talk to Steve Porter. Tell him William sent you. ;)
Thanks for the in depth review. I cannot wait to see one in person.

Were there any issues seeing out of the thing? Bad blind spots or anything?
The rear headrests are a bit large and do obscure the rear view mirror's vision area a bit, but the windows in the rear are huge. Quite easy to see out of.

Also, the "proper" way to set your mirrors is to lean against the driver's window and adjust the side mirror until you barely see the side of the car. Then lean as far over towards the passenger mirror as possible and adjust that mirror.

While adjusting the driver side mirror, I ran out of space. I had it moved all the over to the left and it was showing a bit too much of the car because the mirror doesn't tilt left/right enough. Normally when I drive I less frequently have to look over my shoulder because I can see my entire blind spot. I can still see most of my blind spot with the mirror all the way to the left, but I still have to do a head check for the sake of safety.
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Always, ALWAYS do the head check. I have a habit of doing it and it's saved my butt a few times. As much as you want to think you know the position of everyone around you, fact is you don't.
I still do a head check, I would be crazy if I never did. :)

PS: ...did the mods edit my post?! The title and my original post have been tweaked. :O
How's the driving position? I haven't seen any reviews yet that talk about how high/low you feel in the Trailhawk.
It's got that Jeep DNA. By that, I mean you feel high up. Not GC high up, but pretty high.

The cabin is massively airy. I had myself and my mother in the passenger seat and some test cargo bags in the back seat to simulate a "loaded up trip" and I felt nowhere near cramped.
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