New 2018 Jeep Renegade SUV New 2018
Jeep Renegade SUV

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

The 2018 Jeep Renegade doesn’t just look more rugged and off-road capable than its rivals in the compact SUV class, it actually is. Jeep’s smallest and least expensive SUV is equipped with ample ground clearance and an advanced 4-wheel-drive (4WD) system that give the Renegade impressive performance in all types of weather and over all terrains. Four trim levels are available with prices starting around $20,000 for a 2-wheel-drive (2WD) Sport model and max out well past $30,000 for a loaded Renegade Trailhawk model with best-in-class off-road ability and a 180-horsepower Tigershark engine. Although the new Jeep Renegade rides on the same platform as the Fiat 500X, little else is shared between the two, which compete in a crowded field that includes the Honda HR-V, Toyota C-HR, Mazda CX-3 and Nissan Rogue Sport.

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You'll Like This SUV If...

If you’re looking for an affordable compact SUV that doesn’t just look rugged and ready for action but actually is, you’ll like the 2018 Jeep Renegade. Unlike many in this class, the Jeep Renegade seeks adventure. It’s up for more than a run to Costco and the mall; it likes to get dirty and it doesn’t want to stay inside when it’s snowing.

You May Not Like This SUV If...

If your dreams of fording streams and fantasies of rock crawling are unlikely to come true, you may be happier in the sportier and better-handling Mazda CX-3 or the larger Honda HR-V. Although the Subaru Crosstrek offers less power than the Jeep Renegade, it gets better fuel mileage and all-wheel drive is standard.

What's New for 2018

A rearview camera is now standard on all 2018 Jeep Renegades. Jeep’s Uconnect 4 infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is now standard on Latitude, Limited and Trailhawk models. Latitude, Trailhawk and Limited models are available with an optional 8.4-inch touch screen with navigation. A redesigned center console has increased front-seat storage.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

Although two engines and transmissions are available, the base 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder is uninspired and it’s only available with a 6-speed manual transmission. No automatic is available, which means few people choose this engine anyway. Most will buy a 2018 Renegade with Jeep’s 2.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, which makes 180 horsepower, and works exclusively with a 9-speed automatic transmission. It’s a likable combination with plenty of performance, but the 9-speed automatic isn’t as well tuned as it could be, and the engine can feel a bit crude if you rev it out. Acceleration is strong enough for most buyers and the Renegade’s maneuverability and handling are on its list of positives. Compared to the rugged Jeep Wrangler, the 2018 Jeep Renegade is much more civilized, more comfortable and it handles better, but compared to others in the Renegade’s class, like the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, Nissan Rogue Sport and Toyota C-HR, its on-road dynamics are not class-leading.

Favorite Features

SELEC-TERRAIN
Like a much more expensive Range Rover, Jeep Renegades with 4-wheel drive give the driver the ability to choose among four settings; Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud. Each customizes the SUV’s 4WD system to optimize performance for the conditions. The system in the even more capable Trailhawk trim level also gets a Rock mode and Hill Descent Control.

MY SKY OPEN AIR SUNROOF
Optional on all trim levels, the My Sky open-air sunroof goes well beyond the dual-pane power glass sunroof, which is also available. The My Sky sunroof offers a power vent-and-slide front panel along with two large manually removable panels, which can be stored inside the vehicle and brought along for the ride.

Vehicle Details

Interior

You and the new Renegade may be in rush-hour gridlock, but the mud splatter printed on the face of the Jeep’s tachometer will remind you that the weekend is getting closer by the second. It’s as if the SUV is telling you, “Hang in there. You can make it.” The new Jeep Renegade is comfortable for five, with good legroom. There’s also 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.

Exterior

Round headlights? Check. Seven-slotted vertical grille? Check. Rugged attitude? Check. Short overhangs for rock climbing? Check. One of the best things about the 2018 Jeep Renegade is that it looks like a Jeep. A real Jeep. It’s as if the Renegade is a greatest-hits mix tape engineered from the DNA of the iconic Wrangler and the luxurious Grand Cherokee. Its angles and upright greenhouse even sample from the Willys MB of the 1940s. Still, the Renegade manages to be more modern than retro, with plenty of black trim and curvaceous surfacing. Although the X featured in its unique taillights is derived from army jerrycans. And that’s just cool.

Notable Standard Equipment

Jeep’s Renegade for 2018 comes in four trims: Sport, Latitude, Limited and Trailhawk. The base model's roughly $20,000 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, rearview camera, 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 7-inch Uconnect touch-screen infotainment system, and fog lights.

Notable Optional Equipment

Four-wheel drive is optional on all new Jeep Renegade models except Trailhawk, where it's standard. 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 all others. Other options that vary by trim include blind-spot monitoring and lane-departure warning, leather seats, navigation, heated seats and steering wheel, 506-watt Beats audio with nine speakers, the My Sky removable-roof system, rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone climate control and rear park-assist. Four-wheel-drive models have a 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 2018 Jeep Renegade. Sport and Latitude models come with a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine, 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, and fuel economy is very similar between the two. Both can be had with 4WD instead of the standard 2WD (front-wheel drive). The 6-speed manual transmission is easy to use, and the 9-speed models we tested were more refined than those used in earlier Chrysler vehicles. 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 (6-speed manual)
160 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
184 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/31 mpg (2WD), 24/31 mpg (4WD)

2.4-liter inline-4 (9-speed automatic)
180 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
175 lb-ft of torque @ 3,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/31 mpg (2WD), 21/29 mpg (4WD)

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Pricing Notes

The 2018 Jeep Renegade has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting around $20,000 for a base, 2WD model. That’s an attractive price but offers few frills. With popular features such as an automatic transmission, air conditioning and a touch-screen infotainment system, expect costs to rise to the low- to mid-$20,000 range. At the upper end, loaded Trailhawk and Limited models can reach well past $30,000. At these prices, the Renegade is in line with its close competitor, the Chevy Trax, above that of the more hard-to-define Kia Soul and but below the Subaru Crosstrek, Mazda CX-3 and Honda HR-V. Before buying, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others are paying for their new Jeep Renegade. As for the Renegade's resale, it seems to hold about average values, well below the Honda HR-V and Subaru Crosstrek, but on par with the Chevrolet Trax.

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