Introduction to the Jeep Renegade
Jeep, as a brand, has become synonymous with off-road capability and award-winning performance over 75 years of auto-making excellence. They made the first-ever sport-utility vehicles back in the 1940s and an entire industry segment was born. The Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Wrangler are already well-recognized, but in 2015 they made room for a new addition to the Jeep family. The Jeep Renegade is a subcompact SUV crossover aimed at bringing the Jeep brand to an entirely new fanbase of auto enthusiasts and savvy car buyers.
History of the Renegade
The Jeep Renegade made its first debut at the Geneva Motor Show in 2014. Production began in August of 2014 for the 2015 Jeep Renegade. Jeep Renegade, owned by Fiat, is built in Italy alongside the Fiat 500X subcompact crossover. Sales for the Jeep Renegade were immediately robust. Sales for the first year were 60,946 units in the United States alone, which helped Jeep break its sales record for the fourth straight year.
There are five model trims available for the Jeep Renegade with front-wheel or 4×4 configurations.
The Jeep Renegade Sport model trim is the base model and has an opening MSRP of $17,995. It comes with a 1.4 Liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine under the hood and is paired with a six-speed manual transmission. Notably, you can opt for the same non-turbo version of the 2.4 Liter, four-cylinder engine, and the first-ever nine-speed automatic transmission for a sub-compact crossover that is featured on the Limited. Other standard amenities include a UConnect infotainment system and push-button ignition.
The Latitude model trim differs from the Sport model mostly in cosmetic ways. The Latitude upgrades the platform with 17-inch wheels, a variation on the steering wheel, roof rails, fog lights, a larger, 7-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto capabilities. Dual climate zone controls are standard as well as automatic headlights.
The Altitude model trim is almost mechanically identical to the Latitude model trim with a slight increase in MSRP. This model features 18-inch gloss black wheels, black accent trims both inside and out, and black cloth seating.
The Limited model trim brings out the leather. There are leather seats and a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel. The exterior is noticeably upgraded with 18-inch premium wheels and silver roof rails. In addition to the 7-inch touchscreen in the center console, you also get a 7-inch driver display in the instrument cluster. A five-year SiriusXM Travel Link membership is optional. The 2.4 Liter, four-cylinder engine, and nine-speed automatic transmission are standard.
The Trailhawk model will feel familiar to anyone who has seen the off-road capabilities of any other Jeep vehicle. For the Renegade, you’ll find all-season tires, Active Drive Low 4×4 drive system with Selec-Terrain traction management system, and hill descent control. The vehicle also sports an 0.8-inch suspension lift. The exterior features red tow hooks, off-road fascia, and badges with skid plates and a blacktop.
Inside and Out
The interior of the Renegade is less spacious than some of its competitors, but that doesn’t detract much from the vehicle’s appeal. It has a My Sky rooftop that can be configured as a dual-panel open top that lets in the whole sky. The cargo floor is height-adjustable and the rear seats fold down to add more utility space. An available nine-speaker Beats audio system provides 506-watts of sonic excellence. At first glance, the Jeep Renegade might be mistaken for a new Wrangler model trim. It has the same seven-slot front grille, round headlamps, and high-backed stance. That’s where the similarities end. Paying homage to their military history, the Jeep Renegade was designed with an X-pattern on the rear tail lights as a throwback to the X-pattern on WWII Jeep gas cans. Also, the roof panels can be painted black to give the illusion of a wrap-around roofline.
As mentioned earlier, a rearview camera is standard on all but the base model trims, although you might not require much help in maneuvering a sub-compact. Most of the most sought-after safety features are standard across the line. You’ve got a full complement of airbags, electronic roll mitigation, and a tire pressure monitoring system. On the higher model trims, you can bundle safety features into groups. The Advanced Technology Group provides access to lane departure warnings and lane-keeping assist, forward collision warning, and rear parking sensors. The Safety and Security Group adds blind spot warnings and rear cross-traffic alerts.
On the surface, the Renegade is a capable and attractive Jeep; Not a powerhouse like some of its larger cousins, but with the right model trim, it can still perform quite well in off-road 4×4 scenarios. The Altitude and Latitude model trims are almost identical, but the Limited and Trailhawk models are worth taking a second look at. If you’re looking for style during the workweek and the option of a zesty weekend, then the Jeep Renegade is an obvious choice for you.