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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings to all. My wife and I are located at 7,000 feet in northern New Mexico where owning a reliable 4wheel drive vehicle is important. We currently own a 2007 Jeep Liberty, 2000 Jeep Cherokee, and a 2006 Ram Cummins. The Ram is our tow rig and highway warrior and nothing more. It gets fired up a few times per month and is strictly a long distance machine. The 2000 Jeep Cherokee is our utilitarian vehicle that we use to haul firewood, haul brush, and do light duty work around the ranch. The 2007 Jeep Liberty is what we use for recreational driving, reliability, and running errands in town (town is 60 miles away). Due to distance from civilization, we are considering purchasing a new fuel efficient vehicle that still has the capability to get us in and out of the property during the winter months. The Renegade might be the perfect vehicle that would meet our needs. I would prefer a diesel application, but it doesn't appear that a diesel Renegade is going to make it into the U.S. market anytime soon; however, we would be interested in the 2.4L Tiger Shark Trailhawk. Even though the Renegade would be our fourth vehicle, we believe it would round off our transportation/work needs. The main objective is fuel efficiency. If the Renegade could pull 38 mpg, the fuel savings alone would pay for the monthly payments. I'm following this forum closely to see if the Renegade will meet our expectations and needs.
 

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Welcome to the forum! You live in a beautiful area - I spent a few years in NM and I have driven some of the mountain/canyon areas, as well as taken a few wrong turns onto roads that you needed a vehicle with 4x4 and ground clearance:eek:. I think the Renegade will suit your needs most of the time. How long is your winter and how much snow do you get, on average? This winter was abnormal for the whole country. For really dicey weather, take the Liberty. Otherwise, I think a Renegade TH will get you around just fine. I do think you'll want the actual 4 low gear and ability to lock the driveshafts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Welcome to the forum! .
Thanks!
You live in a beautiful area - I spent a few years in NM and I have driven some of the mountain/canyon areas, as well as taken a few wrong turns onto roads that you needed a vehicle with 4x4 and ground clearance:eek:. .
My wife and I spent several years trying to find a place that we wanted to call home. After living in 5 states and doing a lot of traveling, we both agreed that New Mexico was the best place for us.
I think the Renegade will suit your needs most of the time. How long is your winter and how much snow do you get, on average?
Due to elevation, our winters are fairly long but not severe. I've seen temperatures drop down to -30*. There are times that we can have several feet of snow on the ground, but that doesn't happen very often nor does large amounts of snow stay around for too long. We are building a home 10 miles from a paved road, so those roads will be snow packed. At times, it will be fairly common to drive through deep snow until a plow can get to us.


This winter was abnormal for the whole country. For really dicey weather, take the Liberty. Otherwise, I think a Renegade TH will get you around just fine. I do think you'll want the actual 4 low gear and ability to lock the driveshafts.

Our Liberty has a 3" lift, 30.5" tires, and a winch. It will soon have front and rear ARB lockers. So yes, it will be our more modified vehicle for when we need it. But since it's modified with skids, front/rear bumpers, winch, rock rails, roof rack, etc., it's not a good commuting vehicle. Based on what I have read, I would agree with you in that the Renegade Trailhawk should get us around 99% of the time.
 

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Thanks!
Our Liberty has a 3" lift, 30.5" tires, and a winch. It will soon have front and rear ARB lockers. So yes, it will be our more modified vehicle for when we need it. But since it's modified with skids, front/rear bumpers, winch, rock rails, roof rack, etc., it's not a good commuting vehicle. Based on what I have read, I would agree with you in that the Renegade Trailhawk should get us around 99% of the time.
My Liberty is just stock with skid plates, but I only get 20 mpg tops, so I fully understand what you're saying :). I am keeping my Liberty as my second vehicle. The Renegade will be the daily runabout!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My Liberty is just stock with skid plates, but I only get 20 mpg tops, so I fully understand what you're saying :).

When we add front/rear lockers to the Liberty, we will also regear to 4:10s. 4:10s will help put the shifting points back near OE specifications and gain some mileage back while running 30.5" tires. I haven't taken any real-world (hand calculated) fuel numbers on the Liberty, but I'm guessing 17 mpg is about what I'm averaging, especially since I can't keep it in overdrive in our mountainous terrain.


I am keeping my Liberty as my second vehicle. The Renegade will be the daily runabout!
Same here. The Cherokee is what we call our ranch vehicle and the Liberty is our recreational vehicle and what we are currently using to get us to the grocery store, parts store, etc. The Cherokee has 190,000 miles, the Liberty has 50,000 miles, and the Ram has 110,000 miles. We bought the '07 Liberty and '06 Ram new. It's nice not having a vehicle payment, but since our commuting might be dramatically increasing, we figured the fuel savings on the Renegade would make the payments. Financially speaking, I believe it's cheaper for me to keep our vehicles than it is to trade or sell them. And in our situation, if we have a vehicle down, the downtime will not hinder our ability to transport ourselves. There will always be a backup vehicle to a backup. It may sound a little extreme, but reliability is important to us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
but couldnt you eliminate the cherokee by using the libby as the ranch vehicle?

The Cherokee gets abused, and I wouldn't want the Liberty with only 50,000 miles on the odometer to turn into a ranch vehicle. The Cherokee spends most of it's time at speeds below 25 mph hauling loads and loads of stumps, limbs, duff, firewood, etc. Plus it's used to haul parts, tools, and materials around the ranch and takes our trash to the dump 40 miles away. We really need to keep the Liberty as a reliable Jeep that gets us to and from the ranch all times of the year. The Liberty looks brand new inside and out, the wife isn't going to allow it to become the ranch vehicle! Here's what the Cherokee does:
















Here's what the Liberty looks like:


 

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Very nice! You are rural, that's for sure. The last place I lived in NM had 7 miles of dirt road before you hit pavement - I was east of ABQ and had to drive through a canyon to get to work. This was 20 years ago. My car was a 1976 Plymouth Fury that I got for $500. During the winters I really wished I had 4WD. That was a dicey ride in snowy conditions!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Very nice! You are rural, that's for sure.

It's hard for people to imagine how rural we are until they come to visit, LOL. The nearest town with groceries/fuel is 60 miles from the ranch.


The last place I lived in NM had 7 miles of dirt road before you hit pavement - I was east of ABQ and had to drive through a canyon to get to work. This was 20 years ago. My car was a 1976 Plymouth Fury that I got for $500. During the winters I really wished I had 4WD. That was a dicey ride in snowy conditions!

Yes, and you were at a much lower elevation than I am, so you can understand my situation. Currently, my wife and I work approximately 10 miles from the ranch. I have the opportunity to increase my yearly salary by $15,000 if I take a job transfer 60 miles away. The transfer would only be worth it if I could save on fuel. The job is contracted 10 months annually and would require 120 miles of daily driving, and 5 days a week during those 10 months. This is why I'm interested in the Renegade.
 

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I never knew what agoraphobia really was until I lived in NM. You must be very self-reliant folks. That sounds like a great job opportunity - good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I never knew what agoraphobia really was until I lived in NM. You must be very self-reliant folks. That sounds like a great job opportunity - good luck!

The isolation can be hard on folks. Some people try it and last a few years before feeling the need to get back to civilization. The winter months are especially hard for people when they are snowed in for a few days at a time. We had 4' feet of snow on the ground 4 years ago, and that's when people really started to panic. Self-sufficiency is what we are striving for. We go to Albuquerque (2 hours away) once very two months and load up on groceries. We just finished drilling a well, in which we installed an electric submersible pump and a hand pump. Even though our house will be tied to the grid, we will be very much off-grid capable.
 

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Well first of all, the Renegade will get no where remotely close to 38 miles per gallon. I will be shocked if it can average 28 miles per gallon in the real world. Second, all of your current vehicles are built rugged. Even that Liberty has a solid rear axle, real transfer case, cast iron front A-arms, etc. It was built with offroad in mind. The Renegade is a totally different animal. It's built like a car. Cheesy independent suspension front and rear, no ground clearance, no articulation, no real transfer case, and hard to service due to being front wheel drive. Plugs, oil changes, etc. will all be much more difficult.

As long as you go into the purchase with these things in mind, you'll be OK.
 

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well that car like construction I think is what's going to make it worth it for DE. I too doubt the Renegade will consistently achieve its 32 MPG target (Chrysler said that) however even at 28 its still significantly better than an older liberty. Not to mention the longer highway miles will be more beneficial towards MPG...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well first of all, the Renegade will get no where remotely close to 38 miles per gallon. I will be shocked if it can average 28 miles per gallon in the real world.

Without the diesel option, you are probably correct.


Second, all of your current vehicles are built rugged. Even that Liberty has a solid rear axle, real transfer case, cast iron front A-arms, etc. It was built with offroad in mind. The Renegade is a totally different animal. It's built like a car. Cheesy independent suspension front and rear, no ground clearance, no articulation, no real transfer case

There's some truth into what you're saying. With that being said, I'm hoping that the Trailhawk would meet my commuting needs. The Cherokee and Patriot aren't any better. If I wanted the ground clearance and solid transfer case, then I would have to move to the Wrangler. I like the Wrangler, especially the wider footprint, but the fuel mileage would cost me a few extra dollars per year. Let's do some math:


Wrangler - 20 mpg @ $3.50 per gallon for 15,000 miles = $2,625 annual cost
Renegade - 30 mpg @ $3.50 per gallon for 15,000 miles = $1,750 annual cost
Annual fuel savings with the Renegade: $875 dollars


Plus, the Wrangler would cost me 8 - 10K more out of pocket.


and hard to service due to being front wheel drive. Plugs, oil changes, etc. will all be much more difficult.

Until I see it, the verdict is still out on maintenance intervals and the ease of service. 15,000 mile diesel oil changes sure sound nice, though!

As long as you go into the purchase with these things in mind, you'll be OK.
That's why I'm on the forum asking all these questions!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
well that car like construction I think is what's going to make it worth it for DE. I too doubt the Renegade will consistently achieve its 32 MPG target (Chrysler said that) however even at 28 its still significantly better than an older liberty. Not to mention the longer highway miles will be more beneficial towards MPG...

Three months ago and hoping for the diesel option, I was 90% interested. A few weeks ago I learned that a diesel engine was no longer going to be on the table for immediate discussion, so I became 70% interested. Now, knowing that 28 mpg is about the best that the Renegade will do, I'm 50% interested. The trend isn't looking good.
 

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do you guys think there might be a chance of them making the diesel engine an option for a future year model or could we not end up getting it at all?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
do you guys think there might be a chance of them making the diesel engine an option for a future year model or could we not end up getting it at all?


As mentioned in other threads, if the competition is getting a diesel, then Jeep wont be far behind. Typically Jeep has been in the forefront with diesel options, especially bringing them into the United States. I believe Jeep's 75th anniversary is coming up in 2016, so that would be a good time to introduce one in the Renegade. Jeep has already said that they will be offering the diesel in the new Wrangler. I just don't know how long I want to wait.
 

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It is very difficult to sell diesels in the U.S. because of the cost of certification and other EPA rules. Jeep has been known to do diesels in the Liberty (I owned two of those) with HUGE success and the Grand Cherokee with lesser success due to extreme cost of those vehicles. But the Liberty experiment in '05-'06 should have been proof enough to them that if you offer a diesel Jeep for under $30K people will buy them like hotcakes.

Still...it's not looking good. Marchionne is giving no indication that any diesels will be coming to the U.S. that are not already here. They are relying on advanced transmissions and weight savings to try and bridge the gap...and I don't think that's wise.

If you're waiting to see if the Renegade will be launched with a diesel...stop waiting. It's not going to happen. And as has already been said, mileage in the 30s isn't going to happen either. I look for the "combined" number on the window sticker to fall in the mid-20s. The TrailHawk will get significantly less MPGs due to it's higher ride height, heavier weight, and heavier tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Currently, my wife and I work approximately 10 miles from the ranch. I have the opportunity to increase my yearly salary by $15,000 if I take a job transfer 60 miles away. The transfer would only be worth it if I could save on fuel. The job is contracted 10 months annually and would require 120 miles of daily driving, and 5 days a week during those 10 months. This is why I'm interested in the Renegade.

I decided not to pursue the job transfer. The mileage in the Renegade isn't going to be enough to really justify the cost, or to spend two more hours on the road each day.
 
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