2017 Jeep Renegade Review

Renegade

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2017 Jeep Renegade Overview

The Jeep Renegade is a popular compact crossover from a brand best known for go-anywhere vehicles. While it’s unlikely that buyers will take their Renegades out to Moab, the plucky crossover certainly has the chops to handle rough weather and dirt roads with ease.

For 2017, the Renegade remains largely unchanged. In fact, the only difference is improved feature availability. For instance, Keyless Go—a combination of keyless entry and push-button ignition—will be available to all trims. New options include HID headlamps and automatic high beams.

Otherwise, buyers will get exactly what they did for the 2015 and 2016 model years: a compact, Italian-made Jeep with lots of flair and the potential for a little off-road fun.

Six trims are confirmed for 2017: Sport, Latitude, Altitude, Limited, Trailhawk, and Deserthawk. With the exception of the FWD-only Limited and off-road specific Trailhawk and Deserthawk, all Renegade trims are available with either front-wheel drive (FWD) or 4-wheel drive (4WD). 4WD versions come with Selec-Terrain, a variable traction-control system with four modes: Auto, Snow, Sand, and Mud.

The Sport trim starts at $17,995, though the price starts climbing with options and changes to the powertrain. At its most basic level, the Sport features a 160-hp 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo 4-cylinder engine that is mated only to a 6-speed manual transmission. Move up to the 2.4-liter 180-hp MultiAir and you have to get a 9-speed automatic. The final drive ratio drops from 4.438 to 3.734.

To get air conditioning, you have to step up to the $1,495 Power and Air Group, which also adds heated mirrors and cruise control. Various appearance packages—including floor mats, tinted windows, and roof rails—cost extra, as does a basic version of the Uconnect infotainment system with a 5-inch touchscreen and backup camera.

All Renegades offer the MySky roof—a sort of targa top made up of two removable panels for open-air motoring.

The Renegade Latitude (starting at $21,395) adds additional badges and brightwork and unlocks new option packages. For example, you can get a 6.5-inch touchscreen with navigation, heated seats, a heated steering wheel, rain-sensitive wipers, and an active safety package including forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, and parking sensors.

Blind-spot monitoring comes as part of a separate package, which also includes an alarm. Appearance and trim options—like 18-inch wheels—are available. The MySky roof adds the option for a two-panel sliding sunroof in addition to retractable panels.

If you want unique 18-inch gloss black wheels and an upgraded black cloth interior, choose the Altitude. It’s basically a Latitude with a special appearance package.

The $24,995 Renegade Limited is available only with an automatic transmission, the 2.4-liter engine, and FWD. It comes with leather seats and a 7-inch infotainment screen, plus dual-zone automatic climate control. Aside from some Limited-specific wheels and a gray interior, its options are otherwise identical to those for the Altitude.

The $26,645 Trailhawk comes with an automatic, 2.4-liter engine, 4WD, and a bunch of off-road-specific upgrades. Those include a 20:1 crawl ratio on an Active Drive Low setting, a Rock option in the Selec-Terrain system, a higher ride height, skid plates, and painted red tow hooks. Leather seats are optional, and the Premium Trailhawk Group adds popular comfort features.

Finally, the Deserthawk keeps all the off-road benefits of the Trailhawk, but adds standard leather seating and four unique exterior paint choices. Neither the Deserthawk nor Trailhawk offers forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, or parking sensors—which makes sense when you consider that they’re both designed for odd approach angles and getting close to rocks.

Both FWD and 4WD Renegades with the 1.4-liter engine are EPA rated at 24 mpg city, 31 highway, 26 combined. With FWD the 2.4-liter engine is rated at 22/30/25, while 4WD brings those numbers down to 21/29/24.

Updated
by

A member of the New England Motor Press Association who has owned everything from a Town Car to a Prius, Keith has contributed automotive coverage to outlets including Wired, Car & Driver, and USA Today.

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