The tiny 2021 Jeep Renegade sees a host of changes for the new model year. A bunch of safety features, which were optional last year, are standard this year.
For 2021, the Renegade now comes with blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning.
When it comes to the Renegade’s standard infotainment system, Jeep has introduced a new 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility as standard. Two new editions – the 80th Anniversary Edition and Islander Edition – join the lineup.
The changes help the aging Renegade remain competitive in the hot subcompact segment.
Choosing Your Jeep Renegade
The Renegade is available in eight trims: Sport, Jeepster, Latitude, Upland, 80th Anniversary, Islander, Limited, and Trailhawk. Prices start at $24,345.
|Engine Type||Horsepower||Torque||Fuel Economy (Combined)|
|2.4L 4-Cylinder||180 hp||175 lb-ft||25 mpg (FWD), 24 mpg (AWD)|
|1.3L Turbo 4-Cylinder||177 hp||210 lb-ft||27 mpg (FWD), 26 mpg (AWD)|
While seeing the optional turbocharged engine make less horsepower than the standard four-cylinder may lead you to believe it's not worth the upgrade, torque is the more important figure here. The turbocharged engine makes an extra 35 pound-feet of torque more than the four-cylinder. That makes the Renegade far peppier on the road and gives it even more impressive performance when off-roading. The fact that the engine gets better fuel economy makes it the better option of the two.
Both engines are paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, except on the Upland, Limited, and Trailhawk, which come with four-wheel drive as standard. On the rest of the lineup, four-wheel drive is a $1,500 option.
Passenger and Cargo Capacity
While the Renegade has a boxy design, that doesn’t translate into a spacious cabin. The subcompact SUV may have seating for up to five, but things are a squeeze in the back. With 35.1 inches of rear legroom and 51.9 inches of rear hip room, the Renegade isn’t comfy for three passengers in the back.
Cargo capacity in the Renegade isn’t spectacular either. With the rear seats in place, the Renegade has 18.5 cubic feet of cargo space and a total of 50.8 cubic feet of cargo space in total. Those figures are better than average, but competitors like the Subaru Crosstrek, Honda HR-V, and Kia Soul offer more spacious cargo areas.
This is the key area where the 2021 Renegade has a major advantage over last year’s model. Standard safety features on the SUV include rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and lane-keeping assist.
Adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam assist, park assist, and parking sensors become available starting with the Latitude trim with the Luxury Group I package. It’s priced at $2,495.
The 2021 Renegade gets improved tech features for the new model year. A 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, six audio speakers, a USB port, satellite radio, and Bluetooth is standard on the Renegade.
The $2,495 Luxury Group I package is available on the Latitude trim and above. The package includes an 8.4-inch touchscreen, navigation, an HD radio, and Jeep’s Uconnect 4C infotainment system. The larger touchscreen is standard on the 80th Anniversary, Limited, and Trailhawk.
The standard Sport trim comes with 16-inch steel wheels, heated exterior mirrors, remote keyless entry, push-button start, and dual-zone automatic climate control as standard. The seats are manually adjustable and feature cloth upholstery.
Over the entry-level Sport, the Jeepster adds 19-inch alloy wheels, remote start, and proximity keyless entry.
Most likely the popular trim in the lineup, the Latitude trim adds an extra USB port and 17-inch alloy wheels. The main draw with the Latitude is that it opens the door to a few available packages.
The Convenience Package costs $1,195 and brings an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. The Luxury Group 1 brings a host of tech features and is priced at $2,495.
The Upland is the first Renegade trim to come with four-wheel drive as standard. It also adds remote start, a front skid plate, tow hooks, a unique front bumper, and 17-inch wheels to its list of standard equipment.
Beyond coming with 19-inch wheels, the 80th Anniversary edition comes with the larger infotainment system as standard.The Convenience Group, which costs $1,195, and the Luxury Group II package are available. The latter brings LED fog lights, LED taillights, and LED daytime running lights. It’s priced at $1,495.
Another special edition model, the Islander has special exterior colors and graphics. It’s mostly an appearance package, as it doesn’t add any more standard features.
The $1,195 Convenience Group package is optional on the trim.
The Limited trim is only available with four-wheel drive and the turbocharged engine. Standard features include heated front seats, leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, remote start, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and proximity keyless entry.
The Luxury Group II is available on the Limited trim for $1,495.
The Trailhawk is the off-roading-oriented trim in the Renegade family. To tackle rugged terrain, the trim comes with all-terrain tires, a lower gear ratio, bespoke suspension, extra skid plates, and tow hooks.
The Luxury Group III package is special to the Trailhawk, bringing LED headlights, LED fog lights, LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, and leather upholstery. The package costs $1,795.
There’s no denying that the Jeep Renegade is a capable off-roader, especially in the Trailhawk guise, but it’s not exactly as capable as Jeep’s larger SUVs. So, we’d stick to the mid-level Latitude with the Convenience Group package. That combination nets the most value-packed model and one that’s comfortable both on- and off-road.