2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk: Trials on the Tarmac
by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on September 22, 2015
A test track is not the place to really put our 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk through the paces. What we really need is a nice off-road course where we can test the Renegade's four-wheel drive capabilities.
That time will come. For now, we put our Renegade through the same trials as every other Edmunds' long-term test vehicle. Read on to see how the stubby 4x4 measured up on the tarmac.
Vehicle: 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk
Driver: Carlos Lago
Drive Type: Four-Wheel Drive
Transmission Type: Nine-speed automatic
Engine Type: Inline four-cylinder
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 2,360/144
Redline (rpm): 6500
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 180 @ 6,400
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 175 @ 3,900
Brake Type (front): 1-piece vented disc with a single piston sliding caliper
Brake Type (rear): 1-piece solid disc with a single piston sliding caliper
Suspension Type (front): MacPherson strut, coil springs, flat front steel cross member, high-strength steel double shell lower control arms
Suspension Type (rear): Chapman strut, high-strength steel links, isolated steel rear cradle
Tire Size (front): P215/65R17 98S
Tire Size (rear): P215/65R17 98S
Tire Brand: Goodyear
Tire Model: Wrangler SR-A
Tire Type: All-season
As-tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,586
0-30 (sec): 3.4 (w/ TC on 3.7)
0-45 (sec): 6.1 (w/ TC on 6.4)
0-60 (sec): 9.9 (w/TC on 10.2)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 9.7 (w/TC on 9.8)
0-75 (sec): 15.6 (w/TC on 16.1)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 17.33 @ 78.1 (w/TC on 17.47 @ 78.1)
30-0 (ft): 32
60-0 (ft): 128
Slalom (mph): 56.4 (52.7 w/ESC on)
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.74 (0.68 w/ESC on)
RPM @ 70 mph: 1,750
Acceleration: A short first gear and final drive makes initial acceleration funny: There's a lot of noise but not a lot of movement. Beyond simply applying full throttle, there's little to gain by adjusting traction and stability control settings, holding the brake while applying throttle, or shifting manually. None of these affected acceleration in a significant way. This is not a fast car nor is it an exciting one. But it's difficult to make complaints about the acceleration of a vehicle intended for off-road use. The automatic transmission upshifts at around 6,000 rpm, though the tach may be slow. In manual mode, it holds gears at redline.
Braking: The Renegade exhibits some forward pitch during emergency stops, but it's to be expected with a taller vehicle. Otherwise it has good control and doesn't need steering correction to stay in its lane. Braking power feels consistent, though distances were longer than we'd like, worsening by one- to two-feet with each stop. There's minor ABS sensation, and we experienced no fade or odor after five stops.
Slalom: Low limits combined with a bit of roll and an over-aggressive stability control system makes the Renegade difficult to maneuver through the slalom. Doing a quick run is all about flying under the radar of the stability control system. This, again, is neither fast nor fun, but it's not what the Renegade's built to do either.
Skidpad: A super heavy-handed stability control system severely limits the Renegade's cornering abilities. While it doesn't hammer down the brakes, it nearly takes away all throttle control from the driver when it intervenes. When you turn the system off, the Renegade becomes surprisingly playful and easy to control. It pushes and has low limits, but still has some tire squirm that allows you to easily manage the balance with throttle and steering.
Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 1,461 miles