Managing to be both rugged and adorable, the 2017 Jeep Renegade can pull double-duty as a capable off-road vehicle and a practical daily driver. Although standard features are few in the base model, there are plenty of optional extras. And with a very modest starting price, most buyers will be able to splurge on some add-ons.

Pricing and Equipment

Prices for the Renegade Sport start $18,990 (including a $995 destination charge), but the mid-range Latitude trim offers the best value, with its starting MSRP of $22,490. It includes the following features:

  • Audio streaming through a 5.0-inch touchscreen
  • AM/FM/XM audio with Bluetooth connectivity
  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • A leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Air-conditioning

Starting at $27,640, the Renegade Trailhawk is aimed at buyers that enjoy the occasional off-road adventure. It comes with all-wheel drive – a $2,000 option on all other Renegades – a simulated crawl ratio and a dedicated Rock mode on the SelecTerrain system for light rock crawling, a full-size spare tire, a range of underbody protection, and some sportier aesthetics. And, finally, for a starting price of $26,190, buyers can opt for the Limited model and its standard heated, powered leather seats, seven-inch instrument cluster display, push-button start, and flashy silver grille.

All Sport and Latitude models come standard with a turbocharged, 1.4-liter four-cylinder with 160 horsepower, 184 pound-feet of torque, a 29-mile-per-gallon freeway rating, and a six-speed manual transmission. If you want an automatic, prepare to pony up $1,330 a nine-speed automatic and the 2.4-liter four-cylinder that comes with it. As with other Fiat Chrysler products, the 2.4 produces 180 hp, 175 lb-ft of torque, and in the Renegade, returns up to 30 mpg on the freeway.

Performance Pros

Jeep Renegade
  • When compared to any other small SUV or crossover on the market, the 2017 Jeep Renegade has incredible off-road abilities.
  • The Trailhawk model handles dirt roads and 45-degree hills with ease. It can ford streams and climb over boulders that are roughly the same size as the vehicle’s wheels.

Performance Cons

  • Encumbered by the all-wheel drive, the stronger 2.4-liter engine is noticeably less perky than the turbocharged model. This is likely down to the smaller engine's more accessible torque.
  • With the nine-speed transmission, we experienced some jerky shifting and noticed an occasional hiccup when changing gears, both common problems with FCA's nine-speed automatics.
  • The ride tends to be on the bouncy side, especially with the Trailhawk.

Interior Pros

  • The cabin has an upscale feel, while still retaining its “Jeep-ness.” This means that there’s a good balance between soft-touch materials and military-looking features.
  • There’s plenty of practical storage space available.

Interior Cons

  • Under certain circumstances, the cabin can be noisy.
  • The backseat is small and cramped, making it uncomfortable for long-legged passengers.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

We love the fact that even this smallest Jeep can handle itself off-road. Yet, aside form some bumpiness at freeway speeds, it still manages to offer a fairly comfortable and refined ride about town.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

Despite its small size, the Renegade gets ho-hum EPA-estimated fuel economy. It's also subject to lackluster safety ratings, performing especially poorly in the rollover test.

The Bottom Line

Due to its shortcomings in the fuel economy department and disappointing safety ratings, the 2017 Jeep Renegade probably isn’t the greatest family vehicle. However, for single drivers who have even the slightest interest in off-road adventures, the Renegade would be a fun and budget-friendly option.