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Almost Hitting Its MPG Numbers - 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited June 2016 in Jeep
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Almost Hitting Its MPG Numbers - 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk Long-Term Road Test

Our time with our 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk is winding down, but its lifetime average fuel economy of 22.1 mpg isn't as far off its EPA rating as it could have been.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • Disagree. I think that a car that almost hits its targets but is providing pleasing performance on balance, can be allowed a pass. This vehicle misses mpg targets but also the powertrain performance is substandard.

    Mpg vs performance is the big-picture target. Everything is a compromise of one of these parameters or the other. This vehicle compromises on both. Fail.
  • s197gts197gt Posts: 486
    how terrible can a car be, when you have so many to choose from, but keep choosing the car in question?

    over 22k miles and counting. they are driving this car a lot. some of their cars have a hard time getting to 20k miles.
  • aspadeaspade Posts: 42
    The mileage problem with this car isn't 2 mpg one way or the other. It's the absurdly small gas tank. You'd be stopping for gas twice a week at 24 mpg, too. The EPA's idiotic test is the manufacturer's problem, not yours.
  • daryleasondaryleason TexasPosts: 501
    Here's what I've noticed about Edmunds. If they like the vehicle, they'll make excuses for it. If they don't like it, they'll tear into it over not delivering. Apparently, they like this one.
  • tlangnesstlangness Posts: 123
    aspade said:

    The mileage problem with this car isn't 2 mpg one way or the other. It's the absurdly small gas tank. You'd be stopping for gas twice a week at 24 mpg, too. The EPA's idiotic test is the manufacturer's problem, not yours.

    If we hadn't driven it to Detroit and back, it'd be around 17k. Take that for what it's worth.
  • actualsizeactualsize Santa Ana, CaliforniaPosts: 451

    Here's what I've noticed about Edmunds. If they like the vehicle, they'll make excuses for it. If they don't like it, they'll tear into it over not delivering. Apparently, they like this one.

    That's not what I'm trying to do here. At the risk of restating my point, this vehicle is falling short of the rated fuel economy on its window sticker, but there's a loophole that explains why, a behind-the-scenes regulatory quirk that some people may not be aware of. This doesn't do Trailhawk buyers any favors--they get sold on what I would call a bogus MPG number. But if our Trailhawk is missing by a fairly narrow margin, I'm suggesting that Sport, Latitude and Limited 4x4 buyers may NOT undershoot as much as we have. I'd expect those cars to do better and maybe even achieve the MPG on the window sticker because our vehicle lives in a loophole.

    Now, is the window sticker rating incredible? Is this powertrain drool-worthy? Is the gas tank too small? No, no, maybe (but 369 miles is a decent max range), but I didn't factor that stuff in. Those things weren't relevant to my point.

    Twitter: @Edmunds_Test

  • 5vzfe5vzfe Posts: 161
    "The catch: Renegade Trailhawk sales cannot be allowed to represent more than 33 percent of all 2.4-liter nine-speed automatic Renegade 4x4 sales."
    This is interesting, is it a Fiat-Chrysler thing, or is it a governmental regulation law? If renegade sales were to go over this percentage, what happens? Is there a fine or a tax penalty or will the epa subject the renegade to individual testing?
  • tlangness said:

    aspade said:

    The mileage problem with this car isn't 2 mpg one way or the other. It's the absurdly small gas tank. You'd be stopping for gas twice a week at 24 mpg, too. The EPA's idiotic test is the manufacturer's problem, not yours.

    If we hadn't driven it to Detroit and back, it'd be around 17k. Take that for what it's worth.
    Message received.
  • actualsizeactualsize Santa Ana, CaliforniaPosts: 451
    5vzfe said:

    "The catch: Renegade Trailhawk sales cannot be allowed to represent more than 33 percent of all 2.4-liter nine-speed automatic Renegade 4x4 sales."
    This is interesting, is it a Fiat-Chrysler thing, or is it a governmental regulation law? If renegade sales were to go over this percentage, what happens? Is there a fine or a tax penalty or will the epa subject the renegade to individual testing?

    Law. Penalties. Fine. Everybody uses this loophole, and they have been for decades. Numerous performance models from every manufacturer exist because of this. Its one way optional pickup truck axle ratios exist for high tow ratings, for example. We KNOW fuel economy suffers when you buy the option 4:10s or whatever, but the sticker remains unaffected.

    I was an engineer at Toyota in the 90s, and my project was the original TRD Off-Road package - tires and suspension, specifically. The tire we developed was fatter, knobbier and generally had more rolling resistance than the standard one. As a result, TRD ORP sales were limited to 33% of total V6 4x4 sales because they didn't want to certify with that worst-case tire separately or do a sales-weighted average EPA sticker--another route manufacturers can choose when they have a special model or multiple axle ratios. The Japanese figured they'd only sell 10% of them that way, so the choice was easy. But sales quickly took off an it hit the 33% limit within that first year.

    It happened after I left, but I think that's why the TRD Sport exists today - to sell more popular TRD-branded trucks beyond 33% without running afoul of the law. That one uses a more normal tire and still has the air dam, so it probably matches the other trucks in the lineup as far as MPG goes. Meanwhile, today's TRD Off-Road has knobby tires and lacks that air dam, which puts it in the same category as the Renegade: destined to fall short a little compared to other 4x4 Tacoma trucks, but able to wear the same window sticker anyway.

    Other cars that benefit include things like the Mustang GT with the Performance Pack - has fat sticky tires, shorter final drive gearing for more punch out of corners and the same window sticker as a normal 5.0 manual without the performance pack.

    On the flip side, this policy is one reason why Toyota Tundra window sticker mpg is lower than everyone else (not the only reason, but at least half). Every 5.7 V8 tundra has the high-numeric towing axle ratio. They have decided to go beyond 33% to 100%, essentially, so that each and every truck on the lot can tow the advertised rating. This, of course results in lower fuel economy on the sticker, but it is for the truck that can tow the big number--because they all can. The Big 3, however, go a different way. They have three or four axle ratios. The sticker is based on a combination of axle-ratio sales weighting and the exclusion of those tow-package ratios that will exist on less than 33% of their trucks. So they advertise higher fuel economy while still boasting about those high tow ratings as if they existed on the same truck - even though they don't. The high-towing trucks end up being loophole specials that don't have to be mpg-certified separately.

    Twitter: @Edmunds_Test

  • s197gts197gt Posts: 486
    very well explained, thank you.
  • jakek66jakek66 Posts: 60
    '16 GTI PP w/18000 miles on it - lifetime MPG 32.1. Faster and gets a lot better mileage. Something seems off.
  • subytrojansubytrojan Monterey Park, CaliforniaPosts: 120
    Loved the explanation of these EPA fuel economy estimate "loophole" for this trim, Dan. Thank you!
  • gslippygslippy Posts: 514

    Here's what I've noticed about Edmunds. If they like the vehicle, they'll make excuses for it. If they don't like it, they'll tear into it over not delivering. Apparently, they like this one.

    Agreed. This dog drinks fuel like a V8, is underpowered by Edmunds' own admission, has quality issues, and a terrible transmission. But it'll get a pass just like the Dart did.

    http://www.edmunds.com/dodge/dart/2013/long-term-road-test/2013-dodge-dart-limping-to-the-bay.html
    http://www.edmunds.com/dodge/dart/2013/long-term-road-test/wrap-up.html

    "Bottom Line [on the Dart]: Simple controls, a spacious cabin and one of the best navigation systems in the segment make the Dart easy to like in day-to-day driving. A lazy transmission and a few minor maintenance issues were the only things that kept us from being more enthusiastic about the Dart overall."
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