It was about this time last year when we got our first look at the newest nameplate in the Jeep family (via Italy) in the form of the Renegade Trailhawk. This time around, we spent a week with the Renegade Limited.
I gave the Renegade Trailhawk a fairly complimentary review last year as I remember enjoying most every aspect of Jeep’s cute little urban ute. This time around I guess my “spidey senses” are cranked up a bit higher as I found a few little things that kept me from enjoying my time as much as last year’s model. Specifically, the powertrain seemed to exhibit a bit more vibration and harshness this time around even though both models were outfitted with the 2.4-liter Tigershark engine. Aside from that, the Renegade Limited receives better than passing grades.
Renegade features modern, urban, boxy styling but offers all of the latest amenities in the Jeep war chest. Our tester arrived in 4×4 running gear with the ultra-convenient Selec-Terrain system allowing drivers to match vehicle operations to the type terrain under the wheels. This can alter throttle response, transmission shifting, steering and brake action, and more. The vehicle basically takes the guesswork away from the driver and senses what is the optimum action of these electronically-controlled systems for best traction and performance, all the while bathing occupants in a cocoon of safety.
Speaking of safety, our Renegade tester arrived loaded with latest Jeep offers including automatic high beam headlamp control, full-speed forward collision warning plus, lane departure warning plus, parksense rear park assist, blind spot and cross path detection, and the likes of electronic stability control, electronic roll mitigation, and all-speed traction control.
Jeep offers a duo of engines in the Renegade model. Owners can choose from a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder mated to a six-speed manual gearbox or the 180hp Tigershark inline four with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Renegade arrives in 4×2 and 4×4 configurations. It was the first FCA US vehicle to utilize the new corporate small-wide 4×4 architecture that is now also used on the Fiat 500x crossover. The fully independent suspension offers wheel articulation up to 8.1 inches and ground clearance up to 8.7 inches. Renegade is the first Jeep to integrate Koni’s frequency selective damping front and rear strut system that leads to the very good on-road driving characteristics. For those taking your Renegade off of pavement, you will be taken care of by Jeep’s Active Drive or Active Drive Low 4×4 systems.
Inside the Renegade, we enjoyed all the latest Jeep amenities and technology including Uconnect 5.0 infotainment system with touchscreen display, integrated voice command, and Bluetooth connectivity, 6.5-inch color cluster display, leather-wrapped steering wheel with redundant system controls, leather-trimmed seating with heated power front seats, heated steering wheel, and remote start system. Other features included GPS navigation system, HD and Satellite radio, remote USB port, and auxiliary input. Overhead is the cool My Sky roof system with power retractable/removable panels.
Pricing for the 2017 Jeep Renegade begins at $19,325 for the base Sport model. Our loaded Limited 4×4 tester arrived with a final window sticker of $32,670. Fuel economy for the 2.4-liter Tigershark equipped 4×4 Renegade is 21 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.
On the road, the Jeep Renegade rides and drives fairly well. As I mentioned, the four-cylinder engine is a bit rougher than some of the competition in this segment, and being an upright, boxy vehicle it is not going to win any autocross competitions. In 4×4 trim, it will do a wonderful job of getting you and your passengers around in all types of weather and to remote locations, some of those other urban cute utes do not dare go.