Reviews

2018 Jeep Renegade Introduction


The Jeep Renegade is the smallest crossover you can buy. Less than 167 inches in overall length (13.9 feet), it’s shorter than a Range Rover Evoque or a Subaru Crosstrek. Being so efficiently small, it fills a need, easy to park, relatively rugged, and having fantastic off-road traction with its two-speed transfer case providing low-range gearing.

The Renegade is built by Fiat Chrysler in Italy, on the Fiat 500x chassis, the first Jeep product built completely outside North America. It’s very popular in countries where gas costs much more than here (mostly due to taxes).

Renegade was introduced as a 2015 model. For 2018, the interiors have been revised with new seat colors and fabrics and fresh bezel treatments. A new Selec-Terrain shifter dial allowed the creation of more storage space. 2018 Jeep Renegade models are available with the latest Uconnect system with larger displays and more features, including navigation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available. 2018 Renegade models come standard with a rearview camera, and sunroof options have been expanded.

Renegade is smaller than the all-new Jeep Compass, the next size up in Jeep’s crossover lineup. The Wrangler is shorter than the Renegade, but it’s a highly focused offroad vehicle, not a crossover.

There are no precise competitors for the Renegade. There are all-wheel-drive crossovers that might be considered, but they’re oranges to the apple. For example there is the Nissan Juke, the Honda HR-V, the new Toyota C-HR, Hyundai Kona, or even the Range Rover Evoque, which matches the Renegade’s traction, but it’s in another class altogether.

Renegade comes with two powertrains, with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The base engine is a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder making 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, mated to a 6-speed manual transmission.

The more powerful option is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder making 180 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque, mated to a 9-speed automatic. It comes standard on the Trailhawk and Desert Hawk models.

The 1.4-liter turbo gets an EPA-rated 27 miles per gallon Combined, while the 2.4-liter rates 25 mpg Combined city and highway.

The federal NHTSA gives the Renegade four stars for crash worthiness, while the insurance industry’s IIHS gives it top scores in all but the small-overlap front crash test on which few vehicles earn a Good rating. Optional active-safety features include forward-collision warnings and automatic braking, lane-departure warning, and blind-spot monitors.

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