2016 Jeep Renegade Latitude Long-Term Update: Hiding in plain sight
As time grows short with our 2016 Jeep Renegade long-termer, we decided to take a slight detour from the normal update path and examine some of the lesser known, and wholly unpublicized design touches found in the vehicle. Officially known as Easter eggs, Jeep design boss Mark Allen says the Renegade has more of these little surprise and delight elements than any other model in the lineup to date. Although he contends he doesn’t really know the exact count.
“We were kind of feeling fun and funky while developing this vehicle, which I think also shows in the sheetmetal and interior,” Allen noted. “Designers like to add these kinds of unique elements because it shows attention to detail. The eggs were never meant to be advertised, just to be there for the customer to delight in when they find them. Although it might not be appropriate to go to this level on a Grand Cherokee, the Renegade is was different matter.” While we’ve chosen to highlight a fair number of our favorite eggs, the accompanying gallery by no means represents a comprehensive presentation, merely a good cross section of what’s lurking about for those with sharp eyes.
Looking back to look ahead
The Easter egg tradition began with the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee which had the signature 7-slot grille and headlamp design etched into its headlight bulb support. Dubbed a “Sarge” by many Jeep fans, this subtle salute to the face of the original military Jeep also is a staple of the Renegade. In addition to appearing in the headlamps, you’ll find it in the taillamps, inside mirror housing, door speaker bezels and the key for its removable roof panels as well as on the liftgate’s inner trim panel. Almost as prevalent is the “X” motif that recalls a styling flourish found on WWII-era 5-gallon military gas cans. Integrated into the taillamp lens, it also turns up in the liner of the console cupholders and on the My Sky power retractable/lift-out roof panels.
All this and Sasquatch too
Beyond a stylized mud-splotch that serves as the de facto redline on its tachometer, restrained “Jeep” logo text residing in the underlayment beneath its mesh-style seat cloth insert and a “Since 1941” heritage legend debossed in the center of the dash, the Renegade harbors a selection of more subtle find-me-if-you-can elements. Climbing up the right-side windshield frit–that black band that encircles the glass–at the base of the A-pillar is a classic military-spec Jeep while a mini Sasquatch can be seen boldly striding across the frit of the liftgate glass just above the base of the rear wiper. For the record, Allen says that happens to be his favorite Renegade Easter egg, an opinion with which we concur.
Those familiar with the annual Jeep Jamboree USA in Moab, Utah, should recognize two low-tech but quite functional topographical maps of some of their favorite trails that do double duty as pull-out liners in the Renegade’s forward stow tray and center covered bin. Our egg-istential mini tour ends with a stop inside the fuel-filler door. There, a rotund spider offering a cheery “Ciao Baby!” is a shout-out to the FCA production facility in Melfi, Italy, that cranks out this jaunty Jeep as well its Fiat 500X corporate cousin. While there definitely are at least several more Easter eggs tucked away in the Renegade, we’ll leave the fun of discovering those to you.
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