Caroline drives the Jeep Renegade.
The Jeep Renegade arrived in Ireland in 2015 as Jeep’s first entry into the small SUV segment. The Renegade fitted the brief perfectly for the smallest Jeep of all: it’s compact, boxy perfection bearing all the classic hallmarks of Jeep design. With pricing starting from €21,950, it’s positioned among an ever-growing list of similarly sized crossovers and SUVs.
But on looks alone, the Jeep Renegade sure brings kudos to this segment. It’s the boxy antithesis to all those curvy crossovers like the Renault Captur and Opel Mokka X. Jeep’s seven-bar grille is prominent at the front framed by two round headlamps, while the squared-off wheel arches and boxy rear pay homage to the classic Jeep Wrangler.
Thankfully the Renegade is a much more market-friendly product than the Wrangler. The Renegade is the first Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) car to be jointly developed by Italian and American engineers and the first Jeep to be built in Europe.
This means that inside, there is a distinct European flavour to the fit and finish of the car and it’s certainly a nice interior to interact with. The Renegade has seating for five but like a lot of its competitors, realistically four will be most comfortable and there is a 351 litre boot. Anyone looking for something larger, should consider the new Jeep Compass.
Equipment and engines for the Jeep Renegade
Jeep Ireland markets three trim levels: Sport, Longitude and Limited. Standard equipment on the entry Sport model includes the UconnectTM infotainment system with 5″ touchscreen, Bluetooth, 16-inch alloy wheels, multifunction steering wheel with audio controls and air conditioning.
Longitude models are available from €25,800 and add 17-inch alloy wheels, black roof rails, front fog lamps, dual zone air conditioning, rear park distance control, cruise control, and UconnectTM 8.4-inch infotainment/navigation system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Limited models start from €28,300 and add 18-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, heated front seats and steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, forward collision and lane departure warning, front and rear park distance control, chrome exterior pack featuring chrome front grille, exterior mirrors, exhaust tailpipes and roof rails, and a premium 7″ TFT colour cluster display.
The engine line-up for Ireland includes a 1.6-litre e-torQ petrol (110hp), 1.4-litre MultiAir Turbo petrol (140hp), 1.6-litre MultiJet diesel (95hp and 120hp) and 2.0-litre MultiJet (140hp). There are manual and automatic gearbox options. Renegade is front wheel drive as standard but 4×4 is also available.
On the road in the Jeep Renegade
My test car was a 1.4-litre turbo petrol with 140hp in Limited trim with a list price of €28,300. On the road the petrol Renegade is smooth and refined but feels a little bit gutless. The on the road driving manners are good, and though the steering is not the most communicative of units, the Renegade stays composed through corners and is fun to drive in its own way. The ride is a little on the firm side so the suspension picks up more of the changes in road surface.
The Jeep Renegade can get very expensive for what is still a relatively compact vehicle so be careful with your engine and trim choice. Along with the larger Jeep Compass however, the Renegade is a step in the right direction for Jeep if they are to conquer European hearts and minds with competitive compact SUVs. It’s impossible not to be enamoured by the Jeep Renegade’s rugged charms and character!
Model tested: Jeep Renegade 1.4 MultiAir Turbo 140hp FWD Limited
Price: €28,300 (Available from €21,950)
Engine: 1.4-litre turbo petrol
0-100km/h: 10.9 seconds
Top speed: 180km/h
Claimed Economy: 6.0l/100km
CO2 emissions: 140g/km
Motor tax: €280 per year