The Jeep Renegade is a compact crossover that sits in a segment with plenty of competition. It has to compete with the likes of the Nissan Juke, the Opel Mokka, its cousin the Fiat 500x and many other great cars. The newest Renegade was released in early 2015 and if you look closely you’ll find many nods of respect to the Jeep Willys.
This car is available with two diesel and two petrol engines. The diesel options are the 1.6 Multijet II with 120 bhp and the 2.0 Multijet II with 140 bhp (this is also available with 170 bhp). The petrol options are the 1.6 litre e-torQ with 110 bhp and the 1.4 litre Multiair with 140 bhp (this is also available with 170 bhp). The Jeep moves with conviction in both of the 1.6 and 2.0 litre diesel options. The petrol options are both responsive units but require more working low down the revs. Whichever model you choose and regardless of 5-10% improvements in economy across the engine range you will still have to put up with mediocre mpg around.
Being a compact crossover, the driving position feels more SUV-like than its competitors. The chassis is well balanced, stable and absorbs B road imperfections well. The Jeep does become more fidgety at motorway speeds. Off-road its ‘Terrain Control’ enables you to switch between surface requirements from auto, snow, sand and mud enabling the car to adapt accordingly. It’s relatively firm suspension makes for an abrupt off-road experience. The Renegade isn’t a particularly refined car but is much more composed than its larger Cherokee sibling making it a cheaper and better option compared to the spongey big brothers ride.
Both the 1.6 and 2.0 litre diesel options become quite raucous beyond 3500rpm. While the 1.6 never really leaves you wanting for more power, the 2.0 is the one to pick bringing with it more power and less work. Work it hard and your ears will pay the price however. At 3500rpm, the Multijet II diesel is all done but thanks to long gearing ratios on the 6-speed manual you never make it too far past the mark. The oversized door mirrors and upright A pillars make for plenty of wind noise at motorway speeds
The Renegade’s interior may not be the most exciting but parts of it look and feel really good. There is an obvious upmarket move toward quality judging by the use of materials. Switchgear is solid to the touch while many throwbacks to the original Jeep Willys are nostalgically scattered around the cabin. This has an interior and cabin that will stand the test of time.
The Renegade gets 6 airbags as standard with a host of additional safety features including Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, and Electronic Stability Control with Electronic Rollover Mitigation. Also available are Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Path Protection, Adaptive Cruise Control and Parkview Rear Reversing Camera with Dynamic Grid Lines. The Forward Collision Warning employs radars and cameras detect if a large vehicle is approaching or if an object is ahead. There are 60 further potential safety systems available on the Jeep Renegade from ABS to an auto dimming rear view mirror as standard to Trailer Sway Control depending on what options you specify.
Boot space comes to 351 litres with the rear seats offering a 60/40 split opening up the cabin to make 1,297 litres. The front passenger seat also folds forward enabling storage of long objects. The Renegade also features a removable, reversible and height-adjustable cargo floor panel as an option. The Jeep Renegade comes with a range of state-of-the-art and segment leading high-tech features. These are fully customisable to make life on-board as entertaining as possible. All models come with Air-Conditioning with “Limited” models and above while connectivity comes with Bluetooth, AUX input, USB and 12v power outlet.