While the Jeep Renegade may not look like one of the automaker’s off-roading-oriented SUVs, the subcompact crossover is a lot more capable than it lets on. The brand’s entry-level model has a good amount of tech features, a large cargo area, and has a sense of humor that’s missing from the crowded segment. The Renegade hits a lot of the right notes for consumers looking to get into a small vehicle that has a lot of capability.
What's New for 2018
New tech features have been added to the list of features for the Renegade for the new year. A rearview camera is finally standard on all trims. Latitude, Limited, and Trailhawk trims get the automaker’s Uconnect 4 infotainment system, which adds a 7-inch touchscreen, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The aforementioned trims are also available with an optional 8.4-inch touchscreen with navigation for 2018. Lastly, a redesigned center console with more front-seat storage has been added to the crossover.
Choosing Your Jeep Renegade
The Renegade is available with two powertrains. The standard one is a 1.4-liter turbocharged inline-four that generates 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The 1.4-liter engine is paired to a six-speed manual transmission. A 2.4-liter inline-four is an option and generates 180 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. The larger four-cylinder engine is matched to a nine-speed automatic gearbox.
Front-wheel drive is standard for both engines, but can (and should – this is a Jeep, after all) be replaced with an all-wheel-drive system. Opting for power to all four wheels costs an additional $1,500 on all trims, except the Trailhawk, which has all-wheel drive as standard.
Jeep only places its Trail Rated badge on the most off-roading-focused model, which happens to be the Trailhawk for the Renegade lineup. In order to earn the badge, the subcompact crossover has to pass traction, maneuverability, ground clearance, water fording, and articulation tests. The crossover also has features to help it traverse terrain, like a SelecTerrain traction control system, Jeep Active Drive Low, which adds a 20:1 crawl ratio, hill descent control, and hill start assist
As a subcompact crossover, the Renegade can hold a decent amount of cargo – up to 18.5 cubic feet of cargo with the second row in place and 50.8 cubes with them folded flat.
The Renegade is available in five different trims:
For consumers that aren’t interested in going off-roading, the Trailhawk trim might prove to be a little too rough for daily use. The Latitude trim is well priced and comes with a lot of options, allowing owners to outfit their Renegade as they see fit without breaking the bank. Getting all-wheel drive is a must, while choosing an engine boils down to what kind of transmission you want. The Advanced Technology Group, Cold Weather Group, and the Popular Equipment Group are packages that are worth looking into.