2019 Jeep Renegade Review

Renegade

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2019 Jeep Renegade Overview

The Jeep Renegade, introduced in 2015, was a first for the brand. It distilled Jeep’s characteristic styling and versatility into a fun, bite-size package that has become a bestseller in the compact-crossover segment. But the automaker isn’t resting on its laurels, so 2019 delivers a facelift and a number of important improvements.

The new front and rear sections are subtly changed, but add up to a smarter, more modern look. The grille surround is chunkier than before, echoing the shapes seen on the new Wrangler. The front bumpers look more aggressive and move the fog lamps inboard on most models. At the back, Jeep reshaped the tailgate to include a dedicated handle for easier operation, and the redesigned rear bumper designs match the front. Jeep can now paint your Renegade in three more colors: Bikini, Slate Blue, and Sting Grey.

Last year’s 1.4-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine gives way to a new 1.3-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder unit, featuring standard stop-start and active grille shutters on most models. Horsepower increases from 160 to 177, while torque increases from 184 pound-feet to 200. Meanwhile, the 2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder engine carries over, with the same 184 hp and 171 lb-ft. The larger engine comes with a standard 6-speed manual or optional 9-speed automatic transmission. The premium turbocharged engine only sees the automatic unit. As of this writing, fuel-economy numbers aren’t available.

With most specifications of the Renegade, front-wheel drive (FWD) comes standard, while all-wheel drive (AWD), tuned for optimal on-road traction, is an extra-cost option. If you want a Renegade that you can take off-road, opt for the Trailhawk. You’ll get a true 4-wheel-drive (4WD) system with low and high modes and the Selec-Terrain traction management system. You’ll also get 0.8 inches of extra ride height that makes 8.7 inches of total ground clearance, along with front recovery hooks, skid plates, unique off-road bumpers, an off-road suspension, and hill-descent control.

The Renegade’s trim lineup was pared down to four variants for 2019: Sport, Lattitude, Limited, and Trailhawk. The standard infotainment systems are the same as before: a 5.0-inch unit comes standard and 7.0- and 8.4-inch units are available. All three feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Both cloth and leather upholstery options are offered. The My Sky system, consisting of removable roof panels that can be stored in the cargo area, also returns. New options include an LED Lighting group that bundles LED headlights, tail lights, and cornering fog lights.

As far as safety, a reversing camera and a full set of airbags are standard. Blind-spot monitoring, automatic high-beams, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, and rear parking sensors are optional. Jeep added adaptive cruise control, automated parallel and perpendicular parking, and front parking sensors to the options list. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rated the 2018 Renegade as Acceptable for small front-overlap crashworthiness and poor for headlights. It earned Good scores everywhere else.

Many small crossovers are about providing more ride height and cargo space than a similarly sized sedan. But the Renegade offers true SUV capabilities in a subcompact footprint. And with enhancements to styling, features, and performance, the 2019 model looks better than ever.

Updated

Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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