What's the used Jeep Renegade 4x4 like?
Most used small SUV buyers aren't looking for a capable mud-plugger. However, the Jeep Renegade is from a brand well known for its off-road prowess, so despite being based on nothing more rugged than a Fiat 500X, the Renegade is far more capable than most, and can even be had with four-wheel drive, which is a rarity in this sector.
Initially, there was one petrol option in the shape of a 1.4-litre in either 138bhp or 168bhp four-wheel drive form. In 2017, a mild-hybrid 108bhp 1.6 joined the range, before being replaced shortly after by a 118bhp 1.0. In 2018, the 1.4 was replaced with a 1.3 in 148bhp front-wheel drive, or 178bhp four-wheel drive forms. From 2020 onwards, a 237bhp plug-in hybrid with around 30 miles of electric vehicle range became available.
There have been two diesels available throughout in either 118bhp 1.6-litre, or a 2.0-litre in either 138bhp front-wheel drive or 168bhp four-wheel drive. A six-speed manual was standard, with a six-speed dual-clutch auto option on front-wheel drive models, or a nine-speed auto for four-wheel drive.
Entry-level Sport has air-con, a 5.0in touchscreen infotainment system. Upgrade to Longitude for heated door mirrors, cruise control, and rear parking sensors. Limited models add, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats and steering wheel, front parking sensors, leather upholstery, sat-nav and a 6.5in touchscreen infotainment display. There is also the inclusion of forward collision warning mitigation and lane departure warning. A larger 8.4in infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity was added as part of the 2018 facelift.
Range-topping Trailhawk gets numerous off-road features, including hill descent control, reinforced underbody protection plates, and rear privacy glass.
On the road, the Renegade is a mixed bag. The petrol car feels a bit weedy, while the 2.0 diesel is unpleasantly noisy. The 1.6 is a little smoother and performance is adequate if not spectacular. Alas, the steering is a little vague and inconsistently weighted, while the body leans right over in bends. Grip levels are moderate but respectable, while the handling, if distinctly agricultural in feel, is at least safe and secure. The ride, too, is rather old-fashioned, although it never threatens to get too out of control, while refinement is definitely from the old school, with plenty of road and wind noise.
Inside, things start off well, with a good driving position and logically placed controls, but visibility to the rear is hampered by the large rear pillars and interior quality is noticeably inferior to its more mainstream rivals.
Things are better when it comes to space, with plenty of room up front, as well as good leg and head room for two rear passengers, although three abreast will be cramped, and the seats don't slide for either more knee room or luggage capacity as they do in the Renault Captur. The boot is usefully shaped and at least the same size of those in its competitors, although the plug-in hybrid model has a slightly smaller load area.
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