The Renegade is a direct response to consumer trends. Buyers who want to sit higher but don’t want to commit to driving a large SUV have turned to smaller and smaller crossovers that aim to blend carlike driving characteristics with SUV-like approaches to utility and packaging. Jeep has crafted an option for customers who like the idea of a Wrangler but don’t want to dive so deeply into Jeep territory. The Renegade brings some Jeep attributes to the subcompact-crossover segment: it has a distinctly rugged air about it and a fair amount of off-road capability to back it up but with more refinement and comfort than you can get in a Wrangler.
What’s New for 2017?
Little changed on the Renegade from the 2016 to 2017 model years. Keyless Go, Jeep’s name for push-button start, is now standard on all trims. The Limited trim adds passive entry with remote start as a standard feature, and HID headlights and automatic high-beam headlights were added to the list of available options.
Trims and Options We’d Choose
As much as we like the purposeful looks and rough-road capabilities of the Renegade Trailhawk and Deserthawk models, a lower trim with a few options would cover the needs of most buyers—and ride better on-road while doing it. We’d start with the base $19,090 Sport model and equip it with Jeep’s Active Drive 4×4 system for $2000. A stick shift always adds an element of interactivity, but for this type of ride, the nine-speed automatic transmission seems more appropriate. It pairs only with the more powerful 180-hp 2.4-liter inline-four engine and also requires the Power and Air Group with it—both options we would have selected anyway. The last upgrade that would improve the ownership experience is the 5.0-inch touchscreen Uconnect infotainment system ($845). Thus equipped, our Renegade includes:
• 16-inch steel wheels
• Adjustable-height rear cargo floor
• Steering-wheel-mounted audio controls
Because Jeeps invite you to get them dirty, the $250 Interior Protection package and $295 full-size spare tire seem like no-brainers. For full adventure spec, buyers might want the $1720 front and rear My Sky removable roof panels, but we’d hold off. With $4215 worth of changes, the total lands at $23,305.