2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk: Auto Parking Brake Works Perfectly — Sometimes
by Jonathan Elfalan, Road Test Editor on December 21, 2015
As Southern California morning temps plummet into the low 50s, seat heater utilization in the Edmunds editorial office skyrockets about 650 percent. Executive Editor Ed Hellwig was first to call out our 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk's generous offerings in heat conduction. Toasty palms on a brisk morning drive are one of life's underrated luxuries.
Ed was keen to point out another neat feature in our Renegade, but one that has so far received mixed reviews. I was initially not a fan of this particular feature until stumbling upon some info in the owner's manual.
The Renegade's electronically-activated parking brake offers the option to have it automatically engage when you put the transmission in Park. A few editors, myself included, encountered some frustration with this because we'd have to manually disengage the parking brake every time we shifted to Park, even if just for a moment.
"Shouldn't the brake automatically disengage when you press the throttle?" we'd contend. Logic would think so.
Then one night as I was thumbing through the owner's manual for a direct path to shut the feature off, I found a section explaining how the parking brake function would automatically disengage with the driver going from the brake pedal to accelerator. So I tried it. And it worked. I tried it a second time. It worked again!
I felt ashamed for writing off the Renegade's parking brake feature so quickly, when it was I who wasn't pressing the brake pedal hard enough to trigger the throttle release sequence.
Later that day, leaving a grocery store parking lot with the evening's groceries, the auto disengage feature was nowhere to be found. I shifted from Reverse to Park multiple times and with deliberate pressure on the brake pedal. Nothing. I gave this up after about 15 seconds, then tried it again when I arrived at home. It worked. Of course it did.
The next morning my parking brake luck ran out again, but after the first failed attempt I went straight for the manual release. I'm not sure if it's machine or operator error at this point, but at least I know the struggle isn't entirely my own.
Jonathan Elfalan, Road Test Editor