Talking Cars with Consumer Reports #68: A Tale of Two Jeeps | Consumer Reports

Jeep sales are setting new records, driven by models like the new Renegade. These models might help Fiat-Chrysler Group’s balance sheet, but do they risk alienating traditionalists? To find out, we invited George to bring in his off-road-ready 1999 Jeep Cherokee. Other than mercilessly mocking his project Jeep’s various shortcomings, we talk about how the Renegade fits with the brand, how it matches customer expectations, and if it’s a good value or not. Next we answer some reader complaints about reliability and recommendations, particularly comparing the Jeep Cherokee and Volkswagen Golf. Finally, we look at the VW Golf R, the top-trim model of the legendary GTI hot hatch. As expected, the gang is split on the car’s appeal and value.


herrgolf says:

The Renegade is fine, as long as cars like the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee can keep delivering.  If they’re worried, they can make a cheaper version of the Grand Cherokee to keep traditionalists.

Theo D says:

My mom is buying a new car and I am helping her out. She currently owns a 2008 Nissan Versa sedan and she feels that it is getting long in the tooth and it is not as fuel efficient as it used to be. She has a budget of under 25-26k and she wants something that is safe, reliable, has good cargo space, has nice amenities (specifically a rear view camera and push button start), and is fuel efficient too. We have already ruled out the Jeep Renegade/Fiat 500x because they will probably be unreliable, and we are now struggling to decide on one of the following: VW Golf, Kia Soul, Mazda3 hatchback or the Honda Fit. We would really appreciate it if you guys could help us out. Great show by the way.

Bobby Mounts says:

I thought was about “Two Jeeps” I learned more about VW Golf R and BMW

Bryan Smith says:

What’s up with talking about the Golf for five minutes on a video about two Jeeps? Come on…

roguedogx says:

I know it’s probably not a good car, but I still like it. I wish it were better in all the ways you describe, but I do love the character of the car.

Johnlim Male says:

This is not even jeep same platform with 500X and Fist platform. such as 124 spider and mx5. This car is pretty much a joke.

mattheviewer says:

Wrt Golf R, pity VW saddled it with coal bin interior (who the heck decided that “sport” interiors must be all black ??  Hot, hard to clean, shows wear quickly) and rubber band tires (latter’s fine for autobahn but potholes will eat them and their wheels alive).

Piotr Czechowski says:

I just sold ’92 XJ with 3” lift, 31” tires etc. … and switched it for Renegade 2WD. Loved the old one, love new one .. and I even didn’t pick it up from dealer .. 2 days left 😉

lcar4000 says:

yes it may have charachter, but it drives poorly with the automatic and already there are problems with the car’s reliability

sargemanaustin says:

I have the latitude and I think the only reason the purists hate on it is because I get better MPG

Lois Lane says:

All the women I know with Wrangles off road so fu.

Zachary Mellott says:

I have a 2001 Jeep Cherokee I’d have to disagree with you on the reliability part its just gone over 179,000 miles hasn’t ever left me stranded still runs like a clock its probably got another 179,000 left in it I’ve replaced a set of shocks and a radiator hose other than that its just been routine maintenance they are wonderful cars if you maintain them they run forever

Dcc357 says:

Our 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee with a 5.7 HEMI and the Trailhawk package has never had any problems other than annoying recall service, and especially the TIPM recall that scared me because it can stall the car while driving. Luckily we never had that issue and had it serviced for the recall right away when the new part came in at the dealer. If Consumer Reports were to give me a Consumer survey on it right now, I wouldn’t have a bad thing to say about concerning repairs because all it really has needed is maintenance. No, it possibly might not be as reliable as my Toyota Tacoma that has been running for 15 years, but it is 100% sure as hell a pleasure to drive with the big ass 5.7 HEMI V8, the comfortable air suspension, nice handling for a 5000+ pound off-roader, and a very good interior that doesn’t feel cheap at all for the price.

Dwight Bauer says:

why are showing his personal license plate number?

Rod Earl says:

When I first saw the Renegade, I Screamed that’s not a Jeep! At fourth glance it’s cute, but for me it’s not a Jeep. A Jeep is the boxy Cherokee with the straight six or the Jeep Grand Cherokee. It is one of the few cars I would buy regardless of its repair record. Strike that. Only car I would buy. Because ,unlike the Range Rover, I could afford to repair it. There is something about a Jeep. But I don’t consider the Renegade and the Cherokee a real Jeep.

Paul says:

I just sold my 1999 2WD Jeep Cherokee sport that I drove for 18 years. It was time for a new car and I bought a 2017 Renegade FWD Limited and couldn’t be happier. Not everyone who wants a Jeep wants to off-road. From videos and reviews that I’ve seen it appears that the 4×4 renegade has moderate off-road capability. It will never measure up to a Wrangler’s capabilities and I think that’s okay. I’m glad I can support Jeep products so they can continue their traditions.

juan tafoya says:

I rather get the BMW 3 series over the Golf R too.

Eric H says:

Love the latest episode.  How about a show including the update on the 2016 Mazda 6?  Such a beautiful car.  George is great on this show too…more George!

93455Driver says:

Looking forward to the comparison of the Focus RS vs the Golf R…..should be interesting.

thwipp89 says:

too much jeep talk made this one a snoozer for me.

95thRiflesOCI says:

Hopefully the 9 speed is fixed now.

Joe Tralongo says:

I agree quality is always going to be a big issue with the Renegade, but I think the guys miss one important point, that being the features you can get vs. the competition. The Renegade offers a better off-road system than all but the Forester. And, while you can get a manual transmission with the Forester, the Renegade also offers things like a heated steering wheel, navigation, Beats by Dr. Dre audio and the sky panels that you can’t get on the Forester manual (or even the automatic). The other downfall no one talks about is that you have to deal with Chrysler/Jeep dealerships, which are a far cry from dealing with Subaru, Honda or even Ford establishments. If you book out a 4×4 Latitude with the 1.4-liter engine, navigation, Beats audio and cold weather package, you get a really nice little SUV with good off-road ability for around $27,000 MSRP, $25,500 if you’re a good negotiator. That’s a good deal for those who don’t mind rowing their own gears, which most off-road oriented SUV owners probably don’t.

Jamie K says:

I just got the Renegade Latitude 4×4, and I love it! I think the problem with “puriests” is the idea that no one can possibly use a car unless it’s exactly how they see it should be. I love Wranglers but that’s just not a feasible car for me both in price and for the large (over 1 hr one way) commute I do. The Renegade is a great little package and if you are looking for a 4×4 for a decent price, not too huge, with actual character that isn’t ridiculously boring then the Renegade is perfect. I’m about halfway into this video, and what I don’t get is saying that the Trailhawk isn’t an off-road vehicle…go look on YouTube and many forums and you’ll see there are plenty of people using it for just that, regardless of what cars could be better for the price you pay or not.

desiv1 says:

Daystar sells a lift kit for the Renegade btw… Not interested myself, but nice to know they sell it. Love the 16 we just got. Went with the manual 4×4… Not going to be crawling over rocks 🙂 , but so far this handles Oregon logging roads great…

Vegas Yo says:

Feliz Cinco de Mayo CR!

victreebel says:

What the heck is with everyone staring at George like he said he clubs baby seals towards the end? How awkward. Anyway, good show. George is interesting and brings a youthful vibe to the show. I do wish you guys ignored all the idiots that leave comments here, though. What a sad group of fanboys.

Romain Sandt says:

…So you do not have the S3 Sportback?

J Segal says:

So Jeep has a vested interest in “real” off-road vehicles. But they cleverly offer a Trail-Rated version that most buyers can totally avoid and just have a style statement. Hell, I’d get it in FWD.

spade118 says:

I really like the design elements in the Jeep. Its unique, I can understand it can be a tad overdone with the easter eggs. Oh btw its an orange paintball splash… There’s a story behind the redline of the tach being a splash. Google autolinedaily interview with FCA head designer

Dylan Craver says:

9:26 My 03 Liberty is actually pretty quick and fun to drive so i don’t know what he is talking about.

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