2015 Jeep Renegade Review

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2015 Jeep Renegade Overview

You know that tight little spot too small for a regular SUV but too far for the ATV? There's a Jeep for that now. The all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade doesn't just strive to be the best of "both" worlds, however—it aims to be the best of all.

In a nutshell, the Renegade is a subcompact mecha-child of the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler, claiming all the in-cabin luxuries and off-road prowess the pair provides in one tiny little package. Offering over 70 available features and a top-shelf trail-rated Trailhawk edition, the 2015 Renegade is set to blaze a totally new trail for its maker while holding true to its roots.

Touted by Jeep as a best-in-class 4x4 (4WD) with world-class on-road dynamics all wrapped up in this Renegade lineup, the company isn't otherwise talking much about what trims we might see other than the Trailhawk and a base trim also available with front-wheel drive (FWD). While we know the Trailhawk affords a 20:1 crawl ratio, an exclusive Rock setting for the Selec-Terrain system, skid plates, front and rear tow hooks, 30.5-degree approach, 25.7-degree breakover, 34.3-degree departure, hill-descent control and the ability to tackle as much as 19 inches of water, we don't know just how much of that will transfer over to the rest of the more road-oriented lineup.

We do know the Trailhawk will come with the larger of the 2 engines available in the States, a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine good for about 184 hp and 2,000 pounds of towing capacity that's paired with the company's latest 9-speed automatic transmission, also seen in the Cherokee. The smaller engine—a 1.4-liter turbo reportedly putting out 160 hp—is more efficiency focused, but offers only a 6-speed manual.

As of this writing, nobody knows exactly how either engine will perform on the 0-60-mph benchmark or range estimates, but Jeep is also offering Stop-Start technology, front-axle-only drive mode for 4WD and other fuel-conservation measures—some are options, others only come with specific engines. Whether the diesels will make it to this side of the pond and gift us with a 3,000-pound tow-rated Renegade plus all that efficiency is still very much up in the air, but I wouldn't hold your breath, especially not when the Renegade has every potential to take your breath away.

Beyond the off-road abilities Jeepers expect and efficiency measures anyone can appreciate, the Renegade also offers My Sky removable roof systems (manual or optionally powered), a 7-inch customizable gauge display, smartphone-integrated Uconnect infotainment system with 5- and 6.5-inch touchscreens, rear-view camera, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring and a full slew of electronic driver aids.

The Renegade may be the smallest Jeep, but don't expect it to take up the entry-level spot in terms of pricing.

Updated

Your prototypical "Tom Girl" Patricia got her start digging into Ford engines before she aged into double digits. Gifted with a mechanical mind, her favorite pass-time in the summer is picking up a fixer-up'r at the local public auction and massaging its every ailment until it's primed for a new lover. From dirt bikes to land yachts, every partner offers something truly special in her love affair with the road - just don't tell her husband.

What's your take on the 2015 Jeep Renegade?

Neil Civick
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