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2020 Jeep Renegade Overview
For shoppers who demand their sport utility vehicles actually have some utility, the 2020 Jeep Renegade packs a ton of versatility and capability for a subcompact SUV. For 2020, just one year removed from a 2019 exterior update, it gets a few modest updates.
This subcompact SUV has a boxy, upright layout, which provides easy access to the rear cargo area. With the rear seats up, the Renegade has 18.5 cubic feet of cargo space. With the rear seats folded, cargo space grows to 50.8 cubic feet. The boxy layout provides ample room for all five passengers, including plenty of head- and legroom for both rows of seating.
Renegade shoppers can select one of two engines. The Sport and Latitude come standard with a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, making 180 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. The uprated engine is a 1.3-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, which is optional on the Sport and Latitude and standard on the Trailhawk and Limited. This engine makes 177 hp and 200 lb-ft.
Both engines pair to a 9-speed automatic transmission, sending power to the front wheels or available 4-wheel drive (4WD). There are multiple levels of 4WD for drivers to select. The Sport, Latitude, and Limited trims are available with Jeep Active Drive II 4x4 system, which is more like an all-wheel-drive (AWD) setup you’d find in other crossovers. It features a drive mode toggle with Auto, Snow, Sand, and Mud drive modes. But if you select the Trailhawk trim, it comes standard with Jeep Active Drive Low. It’s a full-time 4WD setup with low-range gearing, which can yield an impressive 21:1 off-road crawl ratio. The Trailhawk has the same drive mode settings with the addition of the Rock mode and hill-descent control.
There are four trims for the Renegade, including Sport, Latitude, Limited, and the off-road-ready Trailhawk. All trims have Jeep’s excellent Uconnect infotainment system, though equipment varies based on trim. The base Sport has a 5-inch touchscreen with voice control and Bluetooth connectivity. Moving up to the Latitude or any other trim swaps it out for a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Latitude, Limited, and Trailhawk trims are all available with the range-topping Uconnect 4C NAV system. It consists of an 8.4-inch touchscreen, HD radio, GPS navigation, and real-time traffic and weather updates.
Aside from tech features, the base Sport comes standard with push-button start, black steel wheels, power windows, integrated rear cargo tie-downs, a 6-speaker audio system, and an innovative full-length center console with a helpful sliding tray.
Moving up to the Latitude adds 17-inch alloy wheels, body-color door handles, ambient LED cabin lighting, and additional USB ports located behind the center console.
The Limited has 18-inch wheels, a chrome-accented grille, and power-adjustable heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals. Inside, the Limited has leather-trimmed seats, power-adjustable front seats, a leather-wrapped heated steering wheel, and keyless entry.
The Trailhawk trim has unique visual touches, along with the 4x4 gear to back it up. It has much of the same content as the Limited trim. It adds underbody skid plates, 17-inch wheels with all-terrain tires, and unique front and rear fascias for better approach and departure angles.
The most efficient version of the Renegade is the 1.3-liter turbocharged engine with front-wheel drive (FWD). It returns fuel economy of 24 mpg city, 32 highway, and 27 combined. Both the base engine with 4WD and the Trailhawk 4x4 are the least-efficient versions of the Renegade. The 2.4-liter engine with 4WD returns 21/29/24 while the Trailhawk returns 22/27/24.
Standard safety features include a full array of front- and side-impact airbags, traction control, and a reversing camera. The Sport, Latitude, and Limited are available with the Advanced Technology Group. This package adds forward-collision avoidance, lane-departure warning, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams. Other safety tech includes blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-path detection.
With a utilitarian layout and a choice of capable 4WD systems, the 2020 Jeep Renegade packs the ability to go places and do things that other subcompact SUVs simply can't.
From open-wheel racecars to specialty off-road vehicles, George Kennedy has driven it all. A career automotive journalist, George has been a contributor, editor, and/or producer at some of the most respected publications and outlets, including Consumer Reports, the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Autoblog.com, Hemmings Classic Wheels, BoldRide.com, the Providence Journal, and WheelsTV.
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