What is it? This is Jeep’s first attempt at a compact crossover. Well known for the rugged and brutish off road vehicles, this is some-what of a change for Jeep. Based on the same chassis as the Fiat 500X and with distinctive styling the Jeep Renegade has plenty going for it.
Who is it aimed at? The Jeep Renegade is a funky little package, it has the off road ability but a slightly cuter exterior to its siblings. This car would appeal to people who like the raised height and extra space but who also want to stand out on the road. The Renegade has plenty of vintage touches that will appeal to Jeep fans.
And the Styling? The iconic 7-bar grille remains at the forefront of every Jeep and the Renegade is no different. The rather awkward boxy shape sets it apart from rivals and the distinctive taillights are a homage to the old fuel tanks carried on the first ever Jeeps. The top of the range Trailhawk benefits from chunky coloured tow hooks and bigger 17” wheels, the whole look of this spec is more rough and ready which Jeep are well known for. The exterior styling does cause a few raised eyebrows and its not to everyones taste.
Under the bonnet? With the amalgamation of Fiat and Chrysler, this Jeep Renegade comes with plenty of Fiat engines to choose from. There is a 1.4 litre and 1.6 litre petrol and 1.6 litre diesel and two 2.0 litre diesel engines. The test car came with the 2.0 litre 170 bhp diesel engine which has a top speed of 122mph and a 0-62mph time of 8.9 seconds. The 2.0 litre diesel is a good choice if you are intending to do a lot of off roading, this paired with the 9 speed automatic makes the Renegade feel unbeatable.
What about inside? Again plenty of evidence of Fiat interior parts being used, but the Renegade does feel well put together inside and the controls are reassuringly chunky. As with the exterior there are splatterings of vintage Jeep every where. There is a mud splat in place of a red line on the rev counter and on the storage rubber matting is a map of Moab, a famous off roading area well known to Jeep enthusiasts. The dash also features a nice touchscreen infotainment system that is easy to use. Inside theres plenty of room for a family and the Trailhawk edition gets heated seats and steering wheel as standard.
On the road? The Jeep Renegade handles well on the road and body roll is kept under wraps, the steering doesn’t give much feedback but the larger wheels available on the Trailhawk do help to make the ride smoother by ironing out the bumps. The Renegade, as with any Jeep really excels off road though and there is function where you can toggle through mud, snow, sand or whatever terrain you want to tackle. The Jeep Renegade does come with the option of two wheel drive as well, definitely an option to consider if you want better economy.
What about Safety? The Renegade claimed a 5 star Euro NCap rating and Jeep have worked hard on creating a safe vehicle. The body is made from strong steel and there are plenty of airbags should an accident occur. The top of the range feature Hill descent control and cruise control Available on the option list is Active city breaking and a lane departure warning system.
What are my Options? Should you require extra light then the panoramic sunroof will be an extra £1200, Electric front seats are £800 and an Infotainment pack that includes 9 speakers by Beats Dr Dre will set you back an added £600.
Will it break the bank? Not usually known for their economy Jeep have managed to sort out some more frugal engines from Fiat. The most economical is the 1.6 litre Multijet diesel which emits just 120 g/km of CO2 and can do around 61.4mpg. The 2.0 litre diesel 170bhp 9 speed automatic has a CO2 output of 155 g/km which equals £185 per year road tax and does 47.9 mpg.
So the Verdict? From the same stable as the Fiat 500X, the Jeep Renegade is a completely different beast. The looks may not be to everyones taste but I personally really like them, Jeep have made a fun looking crossover with the aerodynamics of a breeze block but with all the charm and vintage appeal that makes the Renegade stand out from the crowd. Enough room inside for a family and the impressive capability off road make the Renegade a highly attractive alternative to the other crossovers available. Be aware though that prices do get very expensive at the top of the range.
Why you’ll buy one? Rugged Looks; Vintage Appeal; Spacious
Why you won’t? Prices; Looks wont appeal to all
Jeep Renegade Trailhawk 170hp
Max speed: 122 mph
0-62 mph: 8.9 seconds
Emissions: 155 g/km
Model price range: from £29,000
No of Doors: 5
Euro NCAP : 5
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 47.9 mpg
Boot Capacity Seats up: 351 litres
Length: 4236 mm
Width: 1805 mm
Height: 1697 mm
Wheelbase: 2570 mm
25th May, 2016