2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk: Almost Hitting Its MPG Numbers
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on June 3, 2016
At this point it doesn't much matter how many additional miles we put on our 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk. Time expires in seven or eight weeks, and the 22,243 miles on its odometer means it has already achieved its 20,000-mile long-term test goal.
Over that distance its overall average fuel economy has settled at 22.1 mpg, a figure that's not liable to move much from here on out. It appears that it's going to pull up short of the 24-mpg EPA combined rating that applies to all 2015 Jeep Renegade 4x4s with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder and nine-speed automatic.
Of course we're happiest when our test cars nail their EPA Combined rating at the end of a long-term test — or at least round up to it. Failing that, we usually part on good terms if a car comes in within a single mpg of its combined rating.
But our Renegade Trailhawk stands 1.9 mpg shy of the mark. That feels like a miss.
Or does it?
EPA window sticker rules are many and convoluted. Special models like the Trailhawk with its jacked-up stance, knobby tires and Trail-Rated extras almost never undergo separate testing. So long as the engine and transmission are the same, such vehicles get to wear the volume model's window sticker without ever casting the merest shadow on the test dyno.
The catch: Renegade Trailhawk sales cannot be allowed to represent more than 33 percent of all 2.4-liter nine-speed automatic Renegade 4x4 sales. Jeep has many ways to ensure this is the case, but the Trailhawk gear represents extra cost that probably makes it occur naturally.
Our Renegade Trailhawk's window sticker mpg owes everything to the more street-oriented 2.4-liter 4x4 Sport, Latitude and Limited, the volume models that hunker down at a more aerodynamically advantageous height, cheat a little more wind thanks to smoother front and rear bumper contours, roll more easily on smooth-rolling crossover tires and weigh less because they don't have Trailhawk goodies like tow hooks, skid plates and a full-size matching spare tire.
Considering this, I think our Renegade Trailhawk is doing quite well to be coming up only 1.9 mpg shy of a window sticker it doesn't really deserve but can legally wear on a technicality. Frankly, I expected worse, especially since more than a few of us have taken the Renegade into the mountains and the local desert for some off-roading, high-consumption use cases that aren't included in the official mpg rating process one little bit.
The fact that it's not missing by a mile bodes well for those who bought a 2.4-liter Renegade Sport, Latitude and Limited 4x4, the vehicles that are more directly represented in the window sticker math. If we're missing by less than 2 mpg, those vehicles stand a good chance of nailing it.
Worst Fill MPG: 15.2
Best Fill MPG: 29.9
Average Lifetime MPG: 22.1 (4.5 gallons per 100 miles)
EPA MPG Rating: 24 Combined (21 City/29 Highway)
Best Range: 361.9 miles
Current Odometer: 22,243 miles
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 22,243 miles