There have been some major shake ups in the automotive industry since the recession that crippled GM and Chrysler. Many people know that Chrysler (and its associated brands Jeep, Dodge, and Ram) are now completely intertwined with Fiat, under the name: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). This Italian-American love affair has brought about some significant changes and additions to the storied American brands. Today’s Virtual Walk-around is about the controversial all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade.
In this article I’m making car shopping easy by putting all the info you need in one convenient place.
The first thing you notice when you approach the new Renegade is the bold styling. This is unlike any other Jeep, and for good reason. This is the first Jeep that is build outside of the United States, being built alongside of its sister car, the Fiat 500x in Melfi, Italy. The model photographed throughout this article is a 2015 Renegade Latitude, a midrange trim. The full lineup includes a more basic Sport trim, the Trail-Rated and very capable Trailhawk, and the high end Limited. Notice the cornering front fog lamps, roof rails, and traditional Jeep touches on this particular model.
This Latitude model has the upgraded 18×7 inch aluminum black wheels, along with 225/55R18 All-season tires. All Renegades have seven standard airbags, electronic stability control, traction control, abs, and all are available with a true 4-wheel drive system. Together these safety features provide a confident ride with reassuring handling. More to come on the 4wd system later!
The side view gives you a better picture of the Renegade’s new, bold styling. It looks small, but it is extremely spacious. Offering seating for five plus 19 cubic feet of cargo space (51 cu.ft with the seats folded flat). The front passenger seat can even be folded flat to accommodate large items like surfboards or skis.
Jeep styling icons continue on the rear end. The taillights are a reference to old school army gas cans. A backup camera is found under the jeep logo, and the Renegade also offers a best in-class max towing capacity of 2000lbs when properly equipped.
The interior of this Renegade Latitude is very well equipped. It has a leather wrapped stearing wheel with multiple controls, a 5 inch Uconnect system, tan and black two-tone seating, full power accessories, and an electronic parking brake.
The one feature that sets the Renegade apart from the many other “cute utes,” is the knob found on the console that control the 4wd modes. Even in this Latitude model the Renegade has a very capable 4wd system. In this guise it has 4 selectable modes (5 on the Trailhawk), that let you optimize traction for various surfaces including snow, sand, and mud. In auto mode, the Renegade launches in 4wd, which the rear axle connected. Once it gets to about 20mph the rear axle disconnects from the powertrain in order to save fuel. The computer is constantly monitoring conditions and if slip is detected, power can be instantly rerouted to the rear wheels with no input from the driver. On the Trailhawk, a 4wd low setting is added and a rock mode with a 20 to 1 crawl ratio is added to the selector knob.
Under the hood the Renegade has two engine, two transmission options, and two driveline options. You can either have a 2.4 Multiair four cylinder engine making 180hp and 177 lb-ft., or a 1.4 liter turbo four cylinder with 160 hp and 184 lb-ft. The 2.4 is only available with a 9-speed automatic transmission, while the 1.4 can be had with either a 6-speed manual or the 9-speed auto box. FWD is standard on all models but the Trailhawk and 4wd is an option. This particular car is rated at an impressive 21mpg city and 29 highway, making this Jeep an excellent choice, even if you never take it to the trails.
Anyone considering a small SUV should have a look at the 2015 Jeep Renegade. Its quirky styling, excellent features, and surprising capabilities make it a truly interesting car to look at, drive, and own. Think of the Renegade as the Taco Bell of cars. Sure, it doesn’t offer the same things as everyone else, and it has plenty of detractors, but it once you have a taste, it will keep you coming back again and again, even if you have no idea why.
Think outside the bland and come drive one with me at Bill Marsh Ford Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram.