Jeep has rolled out new details on it’s new all-new subcompact Renegade crossover. It’s an important model for Jeep as it looks for a hit in the growing small crossover segment. The Renegade shares a platform with the forthcoming Fiat 500xL subcompact. The Renegade’s release date is expected to be March 2015.
Despite it’s diminutive size, the Renegade seeks, in part, to display off-road characteristics. The model is fitted with a seven-slat grill, similar to it’s larger Jeep siblings and has tall windows. The model also has flared trapezoidal wheel arches and short overhangs hinting at its potential off-road capability.
Trim Lines & Pricing
The Renegade will be offered in Sport, Latitude, and Trailhawk trim lines. The Sport is the entry-level model with a starting MSRP of $17,995. The volume model is expected to be the Renegade Latitude, which will have a starting MSRP of $21,995. The Latitude adds standard 16-inch wheels, a five-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a leather wrapped steering wheel, a six-speaker stereo, and USB connectivity.
The standard features on the Renegade Sport include:
– 1.4 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
– 6-speed manual
– Heated power mirrors
– Cruise control
– 3.5-inch instrument cluster display
– 6-way manually operated seats
There are a wide variety of options available such as a telescopic steering wheel and powered 8-way adjustable seats. All-wheel drive is a $2,000 option on all trims except the Trailhawk. The upgraded 2.4-liter engine is a $1,200 option.
The Renegade Limited and Renegade Trailhawk
The ‘top-of-the-line’ Renegade Limited starts at $24,795 and includes standard heated, power leather seats, seven-inch display, auto dimming mirror, 18-inch wheels, and dual-zone climate control. The Renegade also features exterior enhancements such as roof rails, mirror caps, and brightwork around the grille.
There are still options available on the Renegade Limited such as all-wheel drive, the 2.4-liter engine, and a My Sky roof. Navigation is not available, which may be a drawback considering many of its competitors in this price range come with navigation.
The Renegade Trailhawk, has a starting MSRP of $25,995, which comes standard with all-wheel drive. This makes the Trailhawk less costly than the Renegade Limited with all-wheel drive but it does not offer the same features.
The Trailhawk is lifted 0.8 inches more compared to the other trims. This helps the Trailhawk to achieve a 19-inch fording capability and a 20:1 crawl ratio for steep climbs with Jeep’s new Active Drive Low. The Trailhawk also sports a specifically designed skid plate, a revised suspension, and 17-inch wheels. On the inside, the Trailhawk sports Ruby Red accents.
Engines and Power
Upgrading from base 160 horsepower turbo engine, the Renegade offers a 2.4-liter, 180 horsepower “Tigershark” engine, which features a nine-speed automatic transmission. While not as powerful as the Nissan JUKE or Mini John Cooper Works turbo crossovers, the 2.4-liter is the largest engine displacement in the subcompact crossover class.
The 2.4-liter engine is estimated to achieve 31-mpg highway, which is below average for its class. The base engine’s fuel economy is anticipated to be about 33-mpg highway. These engines and transmissions are found in other Fiat/Jeep products. Towing is limited to 2,000 pounds and is only recommended with the 2.4-liter engine.
With it’s tall windows, the Renegade’s cabin is spacious for its class. Leg room is ample as is shoulder and headroom front and in back. It’s cargo room is 50.8 cubic-feet with the rear seats folded, which is comparable to a compact hatchback. A prime competitor, the Chevrolet Trax, has 48.4 feet of cargo space.
Interior amenities include five-inch touchscreen audio display, six speaker stereo 3.5-inch instrument cluster display, and Jeep has a little fun adding a tiny topographical map of Moab, Utah, which is home of the Easter Jeep Safari.
Early Reviews & Takeaways
“… we’re quite confident (the Renegade) will appeal to both brand loyalists and the uninitiated, alike.” – Autoblog, 1/23/15
Early reviews of the model have been moderately favorable. Jeep has tried to strike a balance between it’s vocal minority of loyal Jeep off-roading fans and the preferences of the wider public. For example, the Renegade lacks a traditional hand emergency brake in favor of an electronic parking brake.
Autoblog was impressed with the Renegade’s power delivery and sound of the 2.4-liter engine. The nine-speed automatic transmission has been criticized for it’s inclination to hunt for gears when accelerating and decelerating. Autoblog noticed a very, small but noticeable shudder on some downshifts in testing.
While the Renegade’s styling is still somewhat polarizing, for a starting price of $17,995, it features an above average for it’s class 160 horsepower engine.