A key part of any vehicle’s overall appeal lies in the design of its passenger compartment. In the case of Jeep’s popular Renegade, it’s a roomy realm that matches practical form with a distinctive sense of style. While the cabin of our particular Latitude-spec long-termer is further enhanced by several notable options/packages, every member of this junior Jeep’s lineup boasts plenty of built-in appeal.

Designed with the user in mind

Despite its bounty of hard plastic, there’s a substantial look and feel to the overall design of the Renegade which is complemented by the tasteful use of color accents. Even the base Sport comes with a multifunction steering wheel atop a tilt/telescoping column teamed with a height-adjustable driver’s seat that makes it easy to dial in a comfortable command position. Kudos also are due for this subcompact SUV’s highly legible instrumentation, well-placed controls and decently scaled covered/open storage areas as well as thoughtful detail touches like night-friendly full illumination of all switchgear, dual 12V power points and sun visors that both tilt and extend.

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Trimmed in two-tone cloth, the Renegade’s well-contoured front buckets provide a solid combination of comfort and support. Opting for the Popular Equipment Group as we did adds more long-distance appeal in the form of an 8-way power driver’s seat plus 4-way power-adjustable lumbar. The package also brings welcome touches like dual-zone auto climate control in place of the basic air conditioning, a 115-volt rear A/C outlet and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. While UConnect 5.0 with 1-year subscription to SiriusXM radio is standard issue in Latitude trim, our Renegade features the top-line UConnect 6.5-inch Navigation Group that nets a bigger touchscreen, GPS Navigation, Sirius XM Travel/Traffic features and HD Radio. And yes, we couldn’t resist adding the 506-watt Beats premium sound system for a bit more aural excitement.

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The Renegade earns equally solid marks when it comes to rear-seat accommodations, which are on the high side of class average. While legroom, headroom and comfort levels in the outboard spots are sufficient to please average-size adults, the center slot is more of a kid-scaled proposition and the seatback angle is fixed. The Popular Equipment Group also upgraded our Renegade’s standard 60/40 split bench to a 40/20/40 alternative. But beyond a pull-down armrest/pass-through that doesn’t extend all the way to the lower cushion, it flat-folds the same way any other 60/40 seat would.

Keeping pace in the space race

Save for the Honda HR-V, cargo capacity in the Renegade tops most of its main rivals. The basic 18.5 cu-ft rear bay expands to 50.0 cu ft with the rear-seat dropped, although both stats include space in an underfloor bin. Those numbers are effectively a bit lower in the case of our admittedly well-optioned long-termer which has both the MySky Power retractable/removable roof panels and a full-size spare. Those trick Wrangler-style lift-out elements that give any Renegade true open-air charm normally can be parked in the hidden stow area. But opting for the conventional spare nixes that choice and means either leaving them at home or taking them along for the ride.

With just over 7,200 miles on the odo, our Renegade has required one quart of oil but otherwise continues to roll along trouble free. The most encouraging news here is that average fuel economy has improved from the earlier 19.5 mpg to between 22 and 23 mpg versus its 24-mpg combined EPA rating.

See Past Reports for our long-term 2016 Jeep Renegade Latitude…


Update: The Long Haul

Update: Powertrain

Update: Exterior

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