2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk: Scores High Among Crossovers on Ramp Travel Index
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on September 15, 2015
The 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk is the Trail-Rated version of this new sub-compact crossover. Among all of them, it's the model that someone who might actually travel off-road is likely to buy.
The Renegade Trailhawk has an Active Drive Low system that holds the lowest gear and a Selec-Terrain dial that allows the driver to adjust the traction control to suit conditions. It's fitted with knobbier all-terrain tires, and its 8.7 inches of ground clearance, 30.5 degrees of approach angle, and 34.3 degrees of departure angle are significantly more aggressive than what you'll find on any non-Trailhawk Renegade 4x4.
Ramp Travel Index (RTI) isn't typically found on a specification sheet, but this measure of maximum suspension articulation is nice to know, too. So we pointed our new Renegade Trailhawk up our home-made RTI ramp to see what's up.
It doesn't look terribly impressive on the ramp, but the Renegade is, after all, a compact crossover with strut-based suspension at all four corners. Compared to the segment, its 330-point performance is pretty strong.
The 2014 Cherokee Trailhawk scored 324 points and the new Land Rover Discovery Sport managed 323 points. The only crossover that's done better is the slightly larger Mazda CX-5, which registered 334 points. But the CX-5 lacks the tires, clearance and traction-control upgrades to maximize that slight advantage.
All three of the above have independent rear suspension, which should stand them in good stead. But they also ride on wheelbases that are five to six inches longer than a Renegade, which cancels that out. The Range Rover Evoque has struts all around like a Renegade, but it scored just 300 points.
Considering its car-based underpinnings, the 330-point RTI score of the Renegade Trailhawk is not too shabby.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing