Everything You Need to Know About the Jeep Renegade

The Jeep Renegade, the famed off-road company’s smallest crossover, is back for its third model year. It appeals to both off-roaders and everyday commuters with features that cater to both. It is ideal for consumers who love off-roading but need a vehicle that’s easy to maneuver through cities on long work days. The base model comes with a slew of features, but if you’re not satisfied with those, there are many options for upgrades on features and trim levels.

The newest model of the Renegade, the 2017 model, will come with several adjustments, both visually and technically. Its competitors like the Kia Soul, Chevrolet Trax and Honda HR-V will have a hard time convincing potential buyers when Jeep’s Renegade offers owners the best of both worlds: a Monday through Friday work vehicle, with all the capabilities of fun on the weekends. Not only is Jeep offering a vehicle to suit every adventurer’s dream and realistic lifestyle, but they are offering at an affordable price, making the competitors’ vehicles seem to disappear.

Here’s what you need to know about the 2017 Jeep Renegade:

The Trims

Jeep is offering three models in the 4×2 category and four models in the 4×4 category. The base price for the most basic model, the 4×2 Sport, begins at around $18,000 and the prices increase all the way up to the most luxurious model, the 4×4 Limited, starting out at around $28,000. The most basic model, the 4×2 Sport, doesn’t offer air-conditioning or cruise control, while the greatest model, the Trailhawk is a fully-loaded off-road specific model. Size and trim models are as follows:

  • The Sport: available in both 4×2 and 4×4
  • The Latitude: available in both 4×2 and 4×4
  • The Limited: available in both 4×2 and 4×4
  • The Trailhawk: an off-road version, only available in 4×4

The Basics

The basic specifications include:

  • 24/31 mpg (city/highway) fuel economy
  • Manual/automatic transmission options
  • Seating for 5
  • Front wheel/four-wheel drive
  • 3-year/36,000-mile warranty
  • 4-cylinders

Each model offers its own options to upgrade, especially in the interior. The base features however, include:

  • Bucket front seats
  • Split-folding rear seat
  • Power windows/locks
  • Electric power steering
  • All-season tires
  • Traction/stability control
  • An array of airbags
  • AM/FM stereo with USB/AUX capabilities

Luxury options can include:

  • Trailer tow package
  • Navigation group package with Uconnect
  • Brown or black MOPAR interior premium package
  • Interior protection package
  • Sky power/removable sunroof
  • Full size spare tire with matching wheel
  • Beats audio system
  • Rear-view camera
  • Cross-traffic alert

Down to the Nuts and Bolts

The Jeep Renegade, like other Jeep models, has been awarded the Trail Rated badge, which is rightfully earned. Long suspension travel, low-ratio gearing and great ground clearance are all off-roading attributes that have earned the Renegade its respect among Jeep fans and car enthusiasts alike.

Off-Roading

Small but mighty, Jeep’s smallest vehicle is extremely capable off-road. It can traverse rocky, steep terrain as well as muddy, wet off-road conditions just like Jeeps are expected to. There are drive settings for harsh conditions. Mud, sand or snow settings adjust the vehicle per the condition it is intended for, as well as a hill-descent braking mode for steep terrain.

Engine

The engine is available in two variants, a 2.4 liter, 4-cylinder engine, putting out 184 horsepower and 175 pounds-feet of torque, and the 1.4 liter, 4-cylinder MultiAir Turbo engine with 160 horsepower and 184 pounds-feet of torque. The first comes only with a 9-speed automatic, while the second comes with a 6-speed manual transmission with an automatic option. Both powertrains are offered in front or all-wheel drive models, giving customers plenty of powerful options.

A new generation of off-roading powerhouses like the legendary Jeep Wrangler, the Renegade is capable in both worlds. Aside from being an off-road king, the Renegade is also capable of ruling the everyday road. The base powertrain that is paired with front-wheel drive is ideal for city or suburban use. It drives lightly and efficiently, making it an easy drive and an enjoyable ride for passengers. Not too big or bulky, it will maneuver easily through cramped or crowded streets.

Safety

Typically being hard to accomplish in other small SUVs, Jeep has safety completely covered. There are front side airbags, side curtain airbags and a driver side knee airbag. There are also other options for added safety such as a rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist and rear cross-traffic alert. The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) rated the Renegade four stars overall for safety, only lacking a star for an “Acceptable” rating in side-impact and small-overlap safety.

Aesthetic

The aesthetic of the Renegade will remain virtually untouched for yet another year. The ‘boxy’ look still remains, carrying the Jeep tradition with it. The cabin features a very roomy front, which is well supported and comfortable. The width of the vehicle assists in providing a spacious feel throughout, especially to front passengers. The rear however, can feel a tad cramped, as it doesn’t offer as much leg room as the front. Considering the back seats can be laid flat, there is a lot of variations available for cargo and ultimately, significant cargo room available.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Loaded with Jeep’s legendary character
  • Agile handling
  • Easy-to-use technology
  • Off-road ability
  • Great design

Cons:

  • Middling fuel economy
  • Tight rear seat
  • High cabin noise due to boxy shape

Conclusion

Compared to its competitors, the Jeep Renegade may be lacking in the size department but makes up for it in its off-roading capabilities. The price isn’t too bad either, especially in comparison to competitors.

True to the Jeep name, this vehicle can traverse almost anything in almost any condition. It’s aesthetically pleasing and easy to drive. Jeep gives customers plenty of options in trim and additional add-on features. They’ve truly taken the DNA of the Jeep Wrangler and turned it into a new group of off-roading giants that are also practical in cities and suburbs.

Whether you’re driving to and from work or playing in the mud on the weekends, the 2017 Jeep Renegade will get the job done, and get it done with a touch Jeep’s typical class.

Darren Brode / Shutterstock.com

Darren Brode / Shutterstock.com

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