Iconic Jeep styling. The 2019 Jeep Renegade may be the smallest vehicle in the automaker's lineup, but the model fits in with a boxy design. New headlights, a revised seven-slot grille, new fog lights, and an X-shaped taillight design help keep the subcompact crossover's look fresh for 2019. Short overhangs at the front and the back, as well as good ground clearance, hint at the Renegade's off-roading prowess.
Genuine off-roading capability. If you're in need of a serious off-roader, the Renegade fits the bill. Its 8.7 inches of ground clearance allow the vehicle to travel over large rocks and ruts. More specifically, the Renegade has an approach angle of 30.5 degrees, a breakover angle of 25.7 degrees, and a departure angle of 34.3 degrees.
The Renegade can be fitted with one of two four-wheel-drive systems. The Jeep Active Drive 4x4 System is constantly shuffling power from the front wheels to all four for improved performance. The available Jeep Active Drive Low 4x4 System is standard on the Trailhawk trim and features a 20:1 crawl ratio for enhanced off-roading.
An available Selec-Terrain Traction Management System allows you to select from Automatic, Snow, Sand, and Mud modes to help get you through specific terrain. Opting for the Trailhawk trim brings a unique Rock mode for enhanced capability.
Punchy powertrain options. There are two engines to choose from with the Renegade. The base engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that makes 180 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. The next step up is a new turbocharged 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that generates 177 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque.
Below average fuel economy, safety. Despite having two four-cylinder engines, fuel economy isn't stellar for the Renegade. The crossover with the 2.4-liter engine is the most efficient, achieving an EPA-estimated 22 miles per gallon city, 30 mpg highway, and 25 combined.
These figures fall short of many of the Renegade's chief competitors. The Honda HR-V can get up to 30 mpg combined, the Nissan Rogue Sport is rated at up to 28 mpg combined, and the Mazda CX-3 has a combined rating of 31 mpg.
The Renegade's subpar safety scores are also below competitors. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found the headlights to be "Poor" (the worst score) and the driver-side small overlap front crash test to be "Acceptable" (the second to worst score). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the Renegade four out of five stars.
Final thoughts. The 2019 Jeep Renegade uses its subcompact size and off-roading prowess to the fullest. With similar styling to Jeep's iconic off-roaders from yesteryear, a unique design, and off-roading features that resemble ones found on some of the brand's other options, the subcompact is great for adventure seekers.
If going off of smooth pavement is something you don't do often, then you may be better off with another option. While the ride isn't harsh on pavement, competitors are smoother, quieter, and more comfortable. The Renegade's nine-speed automatic is a source of frustration, as it's slow to respond. Still, few can travel where the Renegade can on rough terrain.
The Honda HR-V is cheaper, more fuel efficient, and more spacious. The Mazda CX-3 is prettier, cheaper, better at sipping fuel, and more athletic to drive. The Nissan Rogue Sport costs less, has a larger cargo area, and has a strong list of high-tech safety features.