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2018 Jeep Renegade KBB Expert Review

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KBB Expert Rating 8.2 / 10
This Car - 2018 Jeep Renegade
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Consumer Rating 7.5 / 10

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KBB Expert Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By Scott Oldham -- Contributing Editor

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.

You'll Like This Car 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 Car 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

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.

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.

For vehicle details and pricing notes… Read More
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