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Detroit to L.A. — Day 2 - 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,126
edited February 2016 in Jeep
imageDetroit to L.A. — Day 2 - 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk Long-Term Road Test

How does a 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk handle the mountains of Colorado? Let's just say manual mode is a lifesaver here.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • opfreakopfreak Posts: 106
    so fiat hasnt figured out cruise control yet, years ago had a rented some 4 door dodge and drove from l.v. to zion. any hill the car would slow way down in cruise control before dropping 2 gears, racing up to the set speed, and repeat the same thing over and over again. I just gave up on cruise control.

    The car also had the loudest power door locks I've heard, its like the actuators were full on hammering the doors to lock.
  • Everyone is hammering on this transmission, but it's trying to make the best of an engine that is simply not making enough power for this vehicle. Note to turbo-haters: this engine has "character'" it just doesn't have any balls. Slap a snail onto it and stand back.
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Posts: 1,021
    It seems to me the issue is not that the engine doesn't have enough power for the vehicle, its a combination of the vehicle and the 9-speed.

    I really don't understand why it is so hard to get the programming right. Italy has mountains and hills. The transmission is computer controlled, in theory it could have an infinite number of programs or even give the owner the option to map his own preferred program.

    I am not a fan of CVT's, but at some point you just have to stop adding gears and go to the infinite gearing of the CVT and it seems to me that Chrysler has reached that point with this transmission.
  • longtimelurkerlongtimelurker Posts: 455
    edited February 2016
    OK, I admit it should not be trying to get back into top gear under those conditions. And it's easy to say that if the tranny programming were not off, it would just downshift to go up the hill, stay downshifted and that's how an automatic tranny is supposed to work - match the gear to the engine's power curve. But you factor in enough miles of 4,000 rpm, sucking gas, with the transmission manually set to sixth gear because that's the only way to make it up the hill, and it becomes obvious that there is not enough engine power. Yes, that's the right gear for those conditions...but it doesn't come without a cost. The higher the engine speed, the greater the frictional and pumping losses...it takes a larger percentage of the available power just to keep it turning at that speed.

    Added to that, 2.4 liters is a fairly large swept volume to fill with mixture at that high an engine speed, and with the throttle that far open, it's running in a somewhat enriched mode. And it's apparent that even on the flat, with it staying in ninth gear, that throttle is pretty far open to get the mpg it's getting. Again - the larger, heavier Cherokee, with the same transmission but the 3.2L Pentastar V6, was doing 28-30 mpg in this same kind of driving.

    And you can say, well, ninth gear is just too long, and that's why there's hunting on upgrades, but he says that 80 mph was 3k rpm in top gear...that's like 26.6 mph/1000 rpm, or just over 2250 rpm at 60 mph. That's NOT really long gearing by any stretch.
  • gslippygslippy Posts: 514
    My understanding is that 9th gear doesn't engage until 80 mph. The transmission is awful, the engine is awful, and both are a poor fit to the Renegade, or any other vehicle.
  • The RAV4 and CR-V make similar HP with similar displacement. The CR-V, at least, has been reviewed as "can't get out of its own way", but that's typical Honda (and it's never hurt their sales any). There are no barnstormers in the compact CUV segment, and Jeep's position seems to be, "If you want more, here's the Cherokee."
  • gslippygslippy Posts: 514

    There are no barnstormers in the compact CUV segment...

    I don't need a barnstormer; I just want a drivetrain whose shifts are predictable, and a 4-cylinder that doesn't eat gas like a V8. During my test drive of a Renegade, the upshifts and downshifts were abrupt and unevenly spaced, and the engine was raucous. I'd be fine with a weak but smooth drivetrain.

    With highway mpg in the low 20s, this thing actually should be a barnstormer.
  • nagantnagant Posts: 176
    This is where the guys that hate Turbos (like was said above) need to get real. If you live at sea level NA engines are fine. Clime I80 to Reno or I50 to Tahoe and you will beg for a Turbo. My in laws 2015 Escape 1.6T 4WD got 27 MPG with five people (4 adults and one skinny teen) with the AC on from Galesburg IL to LeClaire IA last August running 65 in the rolling hills in IL. When they drove out here and we took it up 50 to Tahoe it is amazing that a small T engine is out and passing people at Echo Summit. Try living in Denver or SLC with a Turbo then go back to an NA and see the difference.

    The Tigershark 2.4 is a TURD that is keeping the Renegade from being a compelling small CUV.
  • nagantnagant Posts: 176
    gslippy said:

    There are no barnstormers in the compact CUV segment...

    I don't need a barnstormer; I just want a drivetrain whose shifts are predictable, and a 4-cylinder that doesn't eat gas like a V8. During my test drive of a Renegade, the upshifts and downshifts were abrupt and unevenly spaced, and the engine was raucous. I'd be fine with a weak but smooth drivetrain.

    With highway mpg in the low 20s, this thing actually should be a barnstormer.


    Exactly the same experience when my wife and I drove one. Its just a mess....you need to rev it to merge but you never want to again if it means you have to listen to the Tigershark moan and buzz.. Our PT Turbo is a gas hog but at least it can scoot when needs be. I dont mind slow if the car is quiet and gets good MPGs but slow, gutless AND crappy MPGs is not a good combo.
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