Is the new Jeep Renegade a real Jeep?

    Latest 'Talking Cars' podcast discusses Jeeps and looks at the Volkswagen Golf R

    Published: May 05, 2015 01:30 PM

    Jake, Tom, and George

    Most car companies would love to have a brand like Jeep. Rooted in wartime history and celebrating the pastime of off-roading, the brand's appeal spans all incomes and ages. Need more evidence? Look at Jeep's record-setting sales. Driving those numbers are models, such as the new Renegade, that lack the rugged cred of "true" Jeeps like the Wrangler. These models might benefit Fiat-Chrysler Group's balance sheet, but do they risk alienating traditionalists?

    To find out, for this episode of "Talking Cars" we've invited one of our Jeep-owning staff members, George Kennedy, to bring in his off-road-ready 1999 Jeep Cherokee. (Several other staffers own older Wranglers in various states of repair.) Other than mercilessly mocking George for his project Jeep's various shortcomings, we talk about how the Renegade fits with the brand and how it matches customer expectations and discuss whether it's a good value or not. (Read our Jeep Renegade first drive.)

    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 that car's appeal and value.

    As with the other shows, this episode is also available free through the iTunes Store. Subscribe to the video or audio. You'll also find the video on YouTube.

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    Tom Mutchler

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