Is The Jeep Renegade a proper Jeep?
I have spent the last month 'living' with a Jeep Renegade. I wanted to see if it was at all like a proper Jeep. By this, I was comparing it to the Wrangler, which is perhaps an unfair comparison but I think anything that carries the Jeep badge should have some elements from the Wrangler right?
At first, I thought this was a very good little car (which is based on the Fiat 500X). I thought it was a very good subcompact crossover SUV (the terms are getting very complicated nowadays). This particular Renegade has a Chrysler 2.4L gasoline engine producing around 180 bhp. I mean, this is fine but it is still very underpowered and you feel this when you are entering the big roads here in Dubai or attempting an overtake. There is the Trackhawk version of the Renegade which comes with the same engine as this. I would have thought they would have more power. Along with the lack of power is the way the Renegade guzzles fuel. I don't know if it is just this one but you're having to fill it up every few days. The engine has been run in now and it still drinks a lot. Maybe the Renegade just has a drinking problem?
The interior is very nice and has very comfortable two tone leather seats. There is a lot of cheap plastics in the car around the door cards and on the dashboard. This isn't the end of the world considering it only cost around AED 80,000 (£16,000). A great feature which Jeep have done very well are the speakers in the Renegade. These are the standard speakers but honestly sound very good with great bass. The only problem, is when you go to change the song as the screen is just so small. Now i'm just nitpicking but it is a little difficult to navigate with such a small screen. Despite that, the inside of the Renegade is a rather comfortable place to sit, and i'm just glad the A\C was working in this heat. I am over 6 foot and I fit in the back just fine.
In terms of its off road capability, let's just say that isn't it's strong point. I understand this is nothing like a Wrangler and sits in the compact SUV range in the car world but it cannot handle terrain that a Jeep should. This is FWD which is a starting point for its lack of capability off road and I think it is easier with a higher model of the Renegade which has a few more bells and whistles. This car is more suited to doing the shopping or taking the kids to football.
Another thing which is a little annoying in this Renegade is the tyre pressure monitor system is extremely sensitive and one PSI out and it will send you alarms and beeping which is very annoying. As well as this, after a few weeks of ownership the handle inside the boot came loose and Jeep attempted to fix it but it just broke again. But, I guess that's what you get when you buy a cheap compact SUV.
Below are a few subtle reminders that you are driving a Jeep:
Overall, I think that the Jeep Renegade is a great cheap subcompact crossover SUV with enough features in the mid-spec models for your everyday needs. I would urge anyone looking for a smaller SUV to consider a Renegade. Is it a 'proper' Jeep? No, I don't think so, but then again this car was a way for Jeep to branch out to appeal to more people by selling an affordable SUV that isn't off road focussed.