Surprisingly Rugged. Because of the 2022 Jeep Renegade’s size, it’s easy to brush off the vehicle as not being enough of a Jeep. That’s hardly the case. The subcompact SUV has one of the more rugged designs in the class, featuring Jeep’s iconic seven-slot grille, flared fenders, a boxy silhouette, and chunky body cladding. From the outside, the Renegade looks like a pint-sized version of Jeep’s larger SUVs. The Renegade’s design is one of its best qualities.

Jeeps are known for their off-roading capability and the Renegade doesn’t disappoint on that front as long as you go with the Trailhawk. It’s one of the more capable vehicles in the class thanks to 8.7 inches of ground clearance, low-range gearing, skid plates, recovery tow hooks, off-road tires, hill descent control, and a Rock traction control mode. If you’re looking to go off-roading in a subcompact SUV, the Renegade is one of the better options in the segment.

Well-Equipped Trims. Compared to last year, Jeep has reduced the number of the Renegade’s trims. Instead of eight trims, the 2022 Renegade is now available in just four. We appreciate the streamlined lineup, as it makes it easier to find a Renegade.

In addition to fewer trims, Jeep has updated the Renegade’s list of standard features. The SUV now comes with an 8.4-inch touchscreen, voice recognition, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, navigation, and a USB port. It’s an impressive infotainment system with one of the larger screens for the class and an easy-to-use interface. With features like a seven-inch digital instrument cluster, keyless entry, remote start, alloy wheels, a rear USB port, and alloy wheels, we think the Latitude is the best trim in the lineup.

Jeep also offers the Renegade with a competitive list of standard safety features that includes automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-keeping assist.

Goodbye Base Engine. The 2022 Renegade is only available with a turbocharged 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine. Last year’s 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine has been dropped, which is good news because the 2.4-liter engine was awful.

The turbocharged engine is a good fit for the Renegade, being rated at 177 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque. The Renegade delivers peppy acceleration off the line but can feel a little slow to pass on the highway. While the turbo engine is a fine engine for the subcompact SUV, the nine-speed automatic transmission lets it down by struggling to find the right gear at lower speeds.

Unfortunately, the Renegade has poor fuel economy figures for the segment. Front-wheel-drive models are rated at up to 27 mpg combined, while all-wheel-drive models get up to 26 mpg combined. The rugged Trailhawk trim has a combined fuel economy rating of up to 24 mpg. These are well behind rivals like the Nissan Kicks (33 mpg combined), Honda HR-V (30 mpg combined), and Hyundai Venue (31 mpg combined).

Small Interior. Subcompact SUVs aren’t meant to be spacious vehicles for the entire family, but even by other subcompact standards, the Renegade is down on space. The rear seats offer just 35.1 inches of rear legroom, which is roughly down four inches compared to the HR-V. The good news is that the Renegade’s boxy design results in a spacious 40.5 inches of second-row headroom.

The Renegade also falls behind competitors in the class when it comes to cargo capacity. The SUV has 18.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and a total of 50.8 cubic feet of cargo space. These figures fall behind the HR-V, Subaru Crosstrek, and Rogue Sport.

Final Thoughts. While the changes for the 2022 Jeep Renegade seem small, they actually make the subcompact SUV feel like an entirely different vehicle than before. The standard turbocharged engine, standard 8.4-inch touchscreen, and smaller lineup result in an SUV that will appeal to more people. Of course, the Renegade still attracts consumers looking for a rugged option first and foremost.

For a more upscale SUV that has a more powerful engine, premium materials, and sporty handling, the Mazda CX-30 is a top choice. While not as rugged or as well equipped, the Honda HR-V is a family-friendly subcompact SUV with a spacious interior and a large cargo area.

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