Home Opinion Jeep Renegade – Does It Make The Grade?

Jeep Renegade – Does It Make The Grade?

by Rae Castillon

Jeep last used the Renegade name from 1991 to 1994 on the rough and ready Wrangler. The Renegade spec added in lots of niceties for those who wanted a more civilised Wrangler experience. And now the Renegade is back in a rather different form as a compact SUV. The Renegade is the cheapest new Jeep you can buy. Rivals include the Renault Captur, Skoda Yeti, Nissan Juke and Citroen Cactus to name but a few.

Jeep Renegade – Outside

One thing you could not accuse the Renegade of is looking mainstream. Personally, it looks rather gawky and odd, but then again it didn’t harm the Nissan Juke. The Renegade isn’t as wacky as the Juke, but it is an acquired taste. Up front is that big trademark chrome grille. It has a bolt upright stance with windows kicked up and lines arched down. Overall it reminds me of a shortened Chevrolet Orlando or a Nissan Cube. Interesting to note, the sister car Fiat 500x takes a curvier approach, whereas the Renegade seems deliberately square by comparison.

Funky Orange Interior

As with most cars the large LCD screen dominates. It’s a pretty conventional interior, although the centre console looks stacked in layers of three. The highlight is the unusual bar that runs across with passenger air vent.

Tech Details

The Renegade has been designed and developed in the USA, it is based on a heavily adapted Fiat supermini platform, and is being built in Italy alongside the forthcoming Fiat 500X. It is the first Jeep to be built outside the USA.

The Renegade is powered by a choice of six petrol and Multijet diesel engines.

Petrol units start with the 108bhp 1.6-litre normally aspirated E-torQ and two versions of the 1.4-litre MultiAir turbo in 138bhp and 168bhp outputs. Diesels offered are the 118bhp 1.6-litre turbodiesel and a 2.0-litre turbodiesel in 138bhp and 168bhp forms. The 1.6 MultiJet II 120hp Sport being the greenest and the  1.4 TMair 2 170hp 4WD Auto Low Limited, the fastest.

If you want to know more about the reliability of Jeeps read this detailed report.

Jeep Renegade Summary

Four trim levels are available – Sport, Longitude, Limited and Trailhawk. Standard equipment on the entry-level Sport trim includes a 5.0 inch touchscreen with DAB radio and Bluetooth, air conditioning and 16 inch alloy wheels. Longitude adds cruise control, a leather wrapped steering wheel, sat-nav, optional four-wheel drive and 17 inch alloy wheels. Price range is £16,995 (1.6 E-Torq Sport 110)  to – £27,995 (2.0 MJet 170hp 4WD Trailhawk Low Range Auto). So even the top spec is cheaper than entry level Wrangler (although the comparison is, I admit, disingenuous). However, one feels Renegade buyers would be best served by sticking to cheaper versions.

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