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2015 Jeep Renegade

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2015 Jeep Renegade Review


KBB Expert Rating: 8.5

The 2015 Jeep Renegade is an all-new model from the iconic off-road brand. That alone would make the Renegade a big deal, but its importance goes beyond just being The Next New Thing. This baby Jeep is the brand's Next Big Thing. The Renegade marks Jeep's foray into the emerging subcompact crossover- SUV segment, where it competes with the also-new Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3 and Chevrolet Trax. Like those vehicles, the Renegade is practical, efficient and offers surprising safety and tech features. Its small size makes it at home in crowded cities, and its sub-$19,000 starting price is highly attractive. Where it stands apart is in the wild. With optional 4-wheel drive and the ability to tame terrain, the Renegade earns its Jeep badge.

You'll Like This Car If...

Been yearning for a Wrangler to tool around town or the college campus? Say hello to the Renegade. It has better road manners, fuel efficiency and safety features yet still boasts a rugged SUV design. Not merely a paper tiger, in Trailhawk form the Renegade has considerable off-road chops.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The requirement of stepping up to the larger – and pricier – engine if you want an automatic transmission may turn off some buyers, while the Renegade's small size could prove too small for others. If you're among the select few requiring Rubicon-worthy off-road ability, the Wrangler's still the one.

What's New for 2015

The 2015 Jeep Renegade is a brand-new SUV. Designed in America and built in Italy alongside its also-new Fiat 500X cousin, the Renegade is ready to widen the Jeep brand's appeal to a variety of buyers in more than 100 countries worldwide.

Driving the Renegade
Driving Impressions

It may look like a miniature Wrangler, but the new Renegade on road is a totally different vehicle. And that's a good thing. Whereas the Wrangler's rugged off-road hardware makes...

... for a rough highway ride, the Renegade feels thoroughly comfortable and modern. It uses a unibody platform vs. the truck-like frame of the Wrangler, which makes the baby Jeep feel like a small and nimble sedan. The Renegade is surprisingly dynamic on twisty roads. Neither of its 4-cylinder engines is all that potent, but the 2.4-liter is the better choice. In addition to having more horsepower, it's mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission. The 1.4-liter turbo, only available with a manual transmission, is adequate but must be revved high for best performance. In Trailhawk form, the Renegade is capable off-road. With higher ground clearance, a bevy of electronic aids and a 20:1 crawl ratio, it can tackle challenging hills and step over rocks.

No other vehicle in its class has the off-road chops of a Jeep Renegade Trailhawk. This trail-rated Renegade boasts additional hardware and software that make it surprisingly capable in the wild. And even if you never exploit its full potential, you can appreciate the Renegade Trailhawk's tougher looks.

The Renegade is available with safety technology that until recently was reserved for luxury cars. Among them are blind-spot monitoring, Lane Departure Warning-Plus and Forward Collision Warning-Plus, which can automatically apply the brakes in the event of a collision.

2015 Jeep Renegade Details
2015 Jeep Renegade photo Interior

The 2015 Renegade's 5-passenger interior is more spacious than you might think. The secret is the Renegade's shape. Its blocky design yields good legroom in both rows, plus 18.5 cubic feet of storage capacity behind the rear seats. That expands to over 50 cubic feet with the rear seats folded, and in all but base models the front passenger seat folds to accommodate longer items like surfboards or lumber. The driver's position is high and comfortable, with a good view out. Sprinkled throughout are details like a map inlay in the front storage bin and the impression of mud splatter on the tachometer.

2015 Jeep Renegade photo

One of the best things about the Renegade is that it looks the part of a Jeep. There are, of course, the traditional 7-slotted vertical grille and prominent round headlights, but it’s the Renegade's angles that tie its design with that of the iconic Wrangler and, long before that, the Willys MB. At the same time, the Renegade is its own modern take on what a Jeep can be. Optional and recommendable are the My Sky removable roof panels, which truly bring the outside in. Trailhawk models are beefed up with 8.7 inches of ground clearance, skidplates and red tow hooks front and rear.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2015 Renegade comes in four trims: Sport, Latitude, Limited and Trailhawk. The base model's roughly $19,000 starting price is tempting and grants immediate access to the Jeep brand, but is rather light on content with simpler features like an AM/FM radio with USB input, 6-way adjustable driver's seat, power windows and door locks, and 16-inch wheels. Most glaring is its lack of standard air conditioning and Bluetooth connectivity. We recommend stepping up even one trim level to Latitude, which brings those two basic features along with a 5-inch Uconnect touch-screen infotainment system, rearview camera and fog lights.

Optional Equipment

Four-wheel drive is optional on all models except Trailhawk, in which it's standard. And remember, if you want an automatic transmission, you'll have to opt for the larger, 2.4-liter engine. It's standard on Limited and Trailhawk models, optional on Sport and Latitude trims. Other options that vary by trim include blind-spot monitoring and lane-departure warning, leather seats, navigation, 506-watt premium audio system with nine speakers, the My Sky removable roof system, dual-zone climate control and rear park-assist system. Four-wheel-drive models have a nifty terrain-select system that optimizes the Jeep's traction for settings like snow, sand, mud and – on Trailhawk models – rocks.

Under the Hood

Two 4-cylinder engines are available for the 2015 Jeep Renegade. Sport and Latitude models come with the base turbocharged 1.4-liter, while the larger 2.4-liter is optional on those models and standard on Limited and Trailhawk variants. Which engine you choose may rest on the transmission you want. The 1.4-liter is available only with a 6-speed manual, while the 2.4-liter only comes with a 9-speed automatic. Both can be had with 4-wheel drive (4WD) instead of the standard front-wheel drive (FWD). The 6-speed manual transmission is easy to use, and the 9-speed models we tested were more refined than those of earlier Chrysler vehicles using it. The Jeep Renegade can tow up to 2,000 pounds with the 2.4-liter engine and 4WD. Towing is not recommended for 1.4-liter models.

1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4
160 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
184 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: NA

2.4-liter inline-4
180 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
175 lb-ft of torque @ 3,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: NA

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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