This Jeep Renegade video review includes information about its various trim levels, including the Sport, Latitude, Limited and the Trail Rated Trailhawk. We discuss fuel economy, performance, interior controls and quality, cargo space and its subcompact SUV competitors. For more information, read the 2015 Jeep Renegade review.
Arguably the most appealing Renegade model is the Trailhawk, a special trim that includes a more serious of two available four-wheel-drive systems, plus a raised suspension, skid plates, tow hooks, all-terrain tires and a full-size spare. It isn't as capable as a Wrangler or even a Cherokee Trailhawk, but it can do some rock crawling and go places that none of its competitors would dare to go.
On the other hand, there are downsides with opting for the Trailhawk. It dulls the Renegade's surprisingly nimble on-road handling and makes the ride a bit of an adventure on even mildly rough pavement.
Then there's performance. The 2.4-liter 180-horsepower four-cylinder and nine-speed automatic offer merely acceptable acceleration with front-wheel drive. However, load it up with four-wheel drive and all that off-road equipment and it can only be described as one thing: slow.
There's also a small turbocharged engine standard on the Sport and Latitude trims. It's only available with a six-speed manual, but it does get better fuel economy.
Inside, every Renegade benefits from impressive interior materials that look and feel good for the $20,000-$32,000 price range. A UConnect touchscreen is available on most trims and is one of the easiest interfaces to use. We also found it's a little easier to reach than the same system in the Fiat 500X.
And speaking of the mechanically related Fiat, the Renegade offers the same sort of generous feature content and interior space. There's plenty of driver seat adjustment, especially if you opt for the eight-way power seats, and the backseat can comfortably accommodate two adults — as long as those up front aren't tall. Unfortunately, there's no center armrest or recline function.
Cargo room is another story. It has less maximum cargo space than some compact hatchbacks, but at least it's boxy and reasonably useful. With the seats up, though, the trunk is narrow and not that deep. Plus, the Trailhawk's full-size spare eats up the handy under-floor storage found in some of the other trims.
So in terms of functionality, comfort and performance, the Jeep Renegade (especially the Trailhawk) leaves a lot to be desired when you compare it to the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3 and even the Subaru XV Crosstrek. However, besides off-roading ability, there's something else the Renegade provides that the others can't touch: personality. It has it in abundance and it definitely sets it apart from the crowd.