First Drive: Jeep Renegade SUV 1.6L E-TorQ EVO 110hp

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Embrace the Renegade life with Jeep’s new baby crossover writes Geraldine Herbert

What is it? This is the smallest SUV Jeep has ever built and is designed to compete with the likes of Suzuki’s Vitara, Peugeot’s 2008, Renault’s Captur and Ford’s EcoSport.

First impressions of the new Jeep Renegade? There are plenty of iconic Jeep styling touches from the round headlights to the seven-slot grille and  the Renegade is a pretty cool looking car.

What about the interior?  The chunky box shape means there is plenty of space and parents in particular will love the wide opening doors which makes fitting car seats a doddle. Once inside there is plenty of head and leg room front and back.

And on the road? At the launch we had an opportunity to drive the four wheel drive 2.0 MultiJet diesel with 140bhp. There are also two petrol engines and a 1.6 diesel to choose from. The Renegade is also available in four wheel-drive or front-wheel-drive versions.

Jeep Renegade off road ? The four-wheel-drive system sends more power to the rear wheels when you need extra grip and as a result the Renegade has genuine off-road credentials. Added to that the 198mm of ground clearance makes this baby Jeep an impressive off-roader and around an off road course, the four-wheel drive system dealt effortlessly through the rough terrain.

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Jeep Renegade on road ? But off-road ability isn’t a real strength among this band of crossovers and on road the Renegade is equally as impressive and feels surprisingly like a small car. The suspension is a little on the firm side and it could be a tad more refined but it is smooth with good steering and the diesel is punchy with good low down pulling power.

How much?  The entry level Renegade Sport front-driver sells for £16,995, climbing to £27,995 for the top-spec 2.0-litre MJet 170hp 4WD Auto Low Trailhawk version that features 17-inch aluminium wheels, dual zone climate control, transfer case, front suspension and fuel tank skid plates, heated front seats and steering wheel, leather upholstery and rear parking sensors.

Running costs on the two-wheel drive models are very impressive and the 1.6 diesel promises 4.6 litres per 100km or 61.4mpg with emissions of just 120g/km.

How safe? Plenty of safety kit means you’re in very safe hands plus the Renegade earned a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating. It comes with a host of features including seven airbags, electronic stability control with electronic roll mitigation. Options include blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, rear cross-path detection and a reversing camera.

What about my options? There are four different trim levels  to choose from Sport, Longitude, Limited and Trailhawk each equipped with a choice of diesel or petrol engines and the choice of four-wheel drive or front-wheel drive. All Renegades come loaded with goodies from  air-con, alloy wheels, electric windows and a tyre pressure monitoring system. There are extras galore, for a price and if you opt for the Trailhawk you get even more off road ability, a more powerful 2.0 litre engine plus all of the range topping extras. There are also some great colours to choose from, we are particularly partial to Commando Green!

 

3 words to describe the Jeep Renegade; Distinctive; Capable; Authentic

For more information check out Jeep.co. uk or the Jeep UK  facebook page

 

Geraldine Herbert

30th April, 2015

 

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Motoring journalist Geraldine Herbert is the founder of wheelsforwomen. A jury member for the International Women’s World Car of the Year, she has been a motoring journalist for over ten years and is the motoring expert for Good Housekeeping Magazine and their “Women at the Wheel” section of goodhousekeeing.co.uk. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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