The 2016 Jeep Renegade Review: Jeep is an iconic American brand that requires no introduction or explanation. Now at 75, Jeep is selling a small Jeep that’s in a real sweet spot with the subcompact crossover Renegade. The Renegade has big shoes to fill, and customers have expectations. Does it look and drive like a Jeep? Can I take it off-road? The Renegade does the job, bringing Jeep qualities to this growing market segment.
Jeep designers employed the Tek-Tonic theme inside, where smooth surfaces meet chunkier sections, emphasizing the ruggedness. For example, the dash has a prominent grip on the passenger side, and the doors handles are beefy.
Jeep has had fun adding “Easter Eggs” around the cabin. Look close, and you’ll see a tiny Wrangler climbing up the windshield trim. There’s “Since 1941” on the dash, and Jeep grille designs on the door speaker grilles.
Realistically, most Renegade buyers won’t take their cars off road into rocks and rough dirt trails. For them, there are three ascending levels, Sport, Latitude, and Limited. You can order Jeep Active Drive, and get full-time 4x4 all-wheel drive or even opt for two-wheel drive. The latter is a fine option for increasing efficiency if you’re just driving on highways and around town.
However, if you’re serious about offroading, grab the Trail Rated Trailhawk. It’s got Jeep Active Drive Low, which features a 20:1 crawl gear perfect for picking your way over boulders. The ride height is increased 0.8 inches, and skid plates protect the underbody. The special 17-inch wheels flaunt off road suitable rubber. There’s Hill-descent control and up to 19 inches of water fording. Plus you get up to 2,000 pounds of towing capability.
The Jeep Selec-Terrain System makes it easy to adjust the four-wheel-drive system for different conditions. There are five modes: Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud, with Rock available only with the Trailhawk, the only Renegade likely to need it.
Renegades come with one of two inline four-cylinder engines, chose either a 1.4-liter turbo or the 2.4-liter. The 1.4 L is standard on the Sport and Latitude, puts out 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque, and comes with a manual six-speed for maximum efficiency, and fun.
The 2.4-liter MultiAir engine, standard on the Limited and Trailhawk, boosts output to 180 horsepower and 175 lb.-ft. of torque. The bigger engine is optional on the Sport and latitude, and I’m guessing it will be on many of them.
The 2.4-liter engine comes with a class-exclusive nine-speed automatic, designed to get the best of both worlds, with quick starts and high efficiency cruising.
My tester was a Limited 4x4 in Black (no fancy naming here). It had leather on the seats, steering wheel, and shifter and valuable features like automatic climate control, power seats, and more.
It also came with the Advanced Technology Group ($995), which provided safety features like Lane Departure Warning Plus and Full Speed Forward Collision Warning Plus. The Safety and Security Group ($645) added a tonneau cover and security alarm and blind spot and cross path detection.
I also got the Navigation Group ( $1,245) and the Beats Premium Audio system ($695), with nine speakers, a 6.5-inch subwoofer and 506 watts of power.
One amusing option was the My Sky roof system ($1,470). Its honeycomb fiberglass pop-out roof panels are light and you can store in the back for that open-air fun-seeking experience. I never popped them out, but in my tester, the front ones slid open when I pushed a button and I had an open sunroof.
The EPA gave my car, with the larger engine and automatic, ratings of 21 mpg City, 29 Highway, and 24 Combined. I averaged 19.8 mpg in what I thought was reasonable driving. The Green scores are 6 for Smog and 5 for Greenhouse Gas.
Pricing starts at $18,990 for the Sport with two-wheel drive, and moves up. My Limited 4x4 starter came with a base price of $26,995, and by the time it got its options and $995 destination charge, the MSRP price hit $33,165.
In the growing small crossover segment, the Jeep Renegade dusts cars off like the Mazda CX-3, Honda HR-V and the Chevrolet Trax with its full capability and unique personality. By Steve Schaefer © AutoWire.Net
The 2016 Jeep Renegade Bottom Line Review provided by:
Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
The Bottom Line: The new 2016 Jeep Renegade Jeep is part of FCA - Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and the Renegade shares its platform with the Fiat 500X. You’d never know it from looking at it, or driving it. Assembled in Melfi, Italy, it uses an engine and transmission built in the good old USA. The Renegade wears Jeep body styling, like the flowing lines on the Jeep Cherokee, from its big brother. The Renegade blends upright angles with sculpted forms, with the unmistakable Jeep fender lines and grille. The Renegade is very comfortable for daily commuting and everyday errands. The basic Sport model, with its manual transmission, is a fine first car, the Limited is a great choice for a small family, while the Trailhawk takes you on all your offroad adventures. And maybe, just for those reasons alone, you should “Drive one, Buy one, Today ©”.
Bottom Line Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
“Tony the Car Guy” is an automotive writer, editor and publisher in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you have a question or comment for Tony send it to TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit AutoWire.Net at www.autowire.net - And remember: “You Are What You Drive ©”
Column Name: Jeep is an iconic American brand
Topic: The 2016 Jeep Renegade
Word Count: 968
Photo Caption: The 2016 Jeep Renegade
Photo Credits: Jeep Internet Media
Series #: 2016- 33
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2016 Jeep Renegade
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2016 Jeep Renegade