An American icon made in Italy
Date Posted: July 4, 2016
By Zack Spencer
The Renegade is the latest compact crossover from Jeep. This small SUV is based on the Fiat 500 X platform but is full of Jeep touches. The Jeep Renegade might be considered a subcompact SUV or crossover but it has a big Jeep personalty including off-road capability thanks to several AWD or 4X4 systems. All wheel drive is prefect for Canadian winter driving.
The Jeep Renegade name is back but this time on a subcompact crossover that shares the same platform, and many components, with the Fiat 500X and is made in Italy; so this American Icon has Italian roots. The Renegade is helping to usher in a new crop of smaller crossover vehicles that appeal to people who want a rugged utility, a higher seating position, useful backseat and cargo area but also like the maneuverability of a smaller vehicle. The other compelling factor is the AWD capability and Jeep, as a brand, knows how to do AWD.
Powering the Renegade are two engines, one a turbocharged 4-cylinder and the other a large non-turbo 4-cylinder. The first is a 1.4L turbo engine, directly from Fiat. This is a great little engine and it pumps out a solid 160hp and even more useful torque. This engine is matched to either a 6-speed manual or a 9-speed automatic. If the buyer wants an automatic a whole separate, larger and less efficient engine needs to be chosen. While this engine isn’t as thrifty, it is a lot of fun to use, and the 9-speed automatic is advanced technology. This 2.4L engine has 175 and makes the Renegade rather quick off the line, plus this engine can tow up to 2000lbs. The Renegade comes standard with FWD but the lower trims can be selected with AWD. Higher trim levels get the larger engine and, automatic and the AWD system as standard equipment. There is one special trim, called Trailhawk that gets a locking AWD system for better low-speed off-road adventures plus a unique front and rear bumper design for better ground clearance.
It is rated at 9.8L/100km (22 MPG) in the city and 7.6L/100km (31 MPG) on the HWY.
FCA, the parent company that makes Jeep, has been winning awards for its interiors and this small Jeep is another reason why. The layout is simple and easy to use but it has a fun factor that reflects the youthfulness of the Renegade and the market it is trying to touch. There is an available 5 or 6.5-inch uConnect screens in the centre of the dash and an additional screen in the instrument cluster for quick reference. It should be noted that the uConnect system is one of the industries best, offering a simple and easy experience. Because this Renegade has tall, flat roof, the side windows are large, providing an open cabin feel. This helps compensate for the compact nature of the Renegade. The back seats is not large, either is the cargo area but this is perfect for a single person or couple, or as a second car.
Safety comes from standard front, side and curtain airbags and standard stability and traction control. Jeep offers advanced safety features like lane departure warning and forward collision warning with auto braking but these features are kept for the top Limited model
The Renegade has a wide range of pricing starting at roughly $20,000 (US $18,000) and the most expensive AWD model is just under $32,000. (US $28,000)
The Jeep Renegade is a new smaller utility that is packed with fun. a and the interior is functional and stylish. There are several AWD versions to choose and the Trailhawk is very capable off-road.
Unfortunately the turbocharged engine is only available in select trims; mostly lower grades. The larger 2.4L engine is fun but can use extra fuel. Overall, this new Italian made American icon will attract a whole new generation to the brand.
The design is a twist on Jeep tradition