“Though the Renegade will share its platform and assembly line with the Fiat 500X, Jeep engineers are keen to point out that they're the ones who did all the heavy lifting on the Renegade here in the U.S. With Jeep's legendary off-road abilities in mind, Jeep engineers spent as much time developing the Renegade on the trails in Moab, Utah, as it did on suburban roads outside its Chelsea Proving Grounds. With the competing demands of both hardcore off-roading and urban commuting in mind, the Renegade's unibody platform is made up of more high-strength steel than any other Jeep in the lineup. According to Jeep, this not only reduces chassis flex on the trail but also makes the Renegade a better drive out on the roads.” -- Motor Trend
Renegade: Jeep's Italian makeover
“The most responsive and entertaining Renegades use the turbocharged 1.4-liter paired to the manual transmission. This engine might be smaller and less powerful, but it actually builds more torque than the 2.4-liter, so it's a blast to drive it hard. We were able to maintain 70 mph up a steep highway grade without downshifting from 6th gear.
The 2.4-liter might be slightly less spunky, but there's never really a time when the driver longs for more power. The drawbacks? The engine does sound a little coarse at higher engine speeds. However, the nine-speed automatic is smart and knows how to keep the engine at its most potent. And thanks to all those gears, the automatic can maintain a low engine speed on the freeway, which not only helps fuel economy but also keeps the cabin quiet. Those who want a livelier experience can shift the automatic manually, too.” -- Edmunds.com
“Surprised we were by the little box’s neutral handling characteristics on the skidpad. With a center of gravity 27.0 inches off the ground (same as a minivan), the Renegade has some body roll. And, riding on 225/55R-18 Goodyear Eagle Sport All Season tires, it can only manage a measly 0.78 g of grip (about the same as a minivan). Yet the chassis feels confident, even playful. The relatively quick steering is a big part of the equation here. Our only dynamic complaint is the positively retro-style brake dive. Hit the brakes for the first time and watch the nose sniff for pavement, yet the Renegade delivers decent braking performance with a 70-to-zero-mph stop of 166 feet (better than your average minivan). -- Car and Driver
“Climb up into the Renegade and it feels huge. The roof is far enough overhead that you could drive in a stove-pipe hat, and you sit so low that the height-adjustable driver’s seat that's fitted to all but the base model is essential.
The dashboard is of reasonably high quality, with soft feeling surfaces, which are well matched and meet with consistent gaps -- though it’s no Audi. Meanwhile, the instrument binnacle is hooded under a cowl and the speedometer and rev counter are held apart with a digital information display featuring well drawn graphics.”-- The Telegraph
“Our previous experiences with the Renegade were in sunny Malibu, Calif., but like ourselves, Jeep suspected that the Renegade was more likely to be pushed to the limit in the parts of North America that tend to be frozen solid during the winter months.
And the Renegade doesn't mind the sort of weather when everything is frozen solid. Even before we got going on the course itself, complete with a skid pad, slalom course and a circuit with a variety of sharp corners, the Renegade negotiated winter rush-hour traffic with ease. The steering is responsive without being overly light, and the chassis still has that nimble feel that we remember from our first meeting with the Renegade last November. In Trailhawk trim, the pint-sized SUV still feels comfortable enough to be a long-distance highway cruiser, with very little road noise intruding into the cabin even with winter tires on. Wind noise is minimal as well, and there is no grinding or whirring sound from the 4x4 chassis even north of 65 mph. For a four-wheel-drive system, this one is pretty low-key, almost to the point of us forgetting it's there on normal roads.” -- Autoweek
We were able to spend just a few hours with various Renegade versions at our Connecticut test track and came away more impressed than not. Though few people will buy it this way, we found the six-speed stick and 1.4-liter turbo a fairly potent combination. The more mainstream Latitude model, with all-wheel drive and the 2.4-liter, made a good first impression. Power delivery was ample, and the nine-speed seems to have been improved. The ride was tolerably absorbent, which can’t be said for most vehicles of this size. Noise, too, was fairy well repressed for a small vehicle. The up-level Trailhawk, which has tons of electronics to govern its various rough-country driving modes, was a bit noisier than the others on pavement, thanks to its 17-inch all-terrain tires. Its enhanced all-wheel drive system, called Active Drive Low, can simulate low-range gearing to crawl up and down hills. It scaled our steep rock hill without much difficulty, aided by its standard skid plates and 8.7-inch ground clearance. Steering in all versions responded promptly to the helm in our short drives. While it didn’t wow us with its responsiveness, it still felt confident. -- Consumer Reports
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