2015 Jeep Renegade front 3/4
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jeep renegade rear quarter 2015
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2015 Jeep Renegade My Sky Roof Panels | Autoblog Short Cuts

  • The 2015 Jeep Renegade offers unique, removable 'My Sky' roof panels that provide a convertible-like experience. They can be had as either fixed, removable panels or retractable, removable panels that operate like a sunroof while attached to the vehicle. Just be sure to align them properly when re-installing them atop your Renegade!
  • Video Credit: AOL On

2015 Jeep Renegade Ignition Switch Easter Egg | Autoblog Short Cuts

  • Jeep designers have hidden so-called 'easter eggs' all over new vehicles like the 2015 Jeep Renegade. These hidden graphics nod to Jeep's brand heritage and identity, while offering owners a fun way to get to know their knew car. Spoiler alert: in this video we discover a hidden message under the ignition switch.
  • Video Credit: AOL On

2015 Jeep Renegade Yeti Easter Egg | Autoblog Short Cuts

  • Jeep designers have hidden so-called 'easter eggs' all over new vehicles like the 2015 Jeep Renegade. These hidden graphics nod to Jeep's brand heritage and identity, while offering owners a fun way to get to know their knew car. Spoiler alert: in this video we discover a hidden Yeti graphic on the all-new Jeep Renegade.
  • Video Credit: AOL On

2015 Jeep Renegade Tachometer Red Line Splatter | Autoblog Short Cuts

  • The designers of the 2015 Jeep Renegade had a little fun with the vehicle's tachometer, opting for a splatter graphic instead of a traditional redline.
  • Video Credit: AOL On
  •   Engine
    Turbo 1.4L I4
  •   Power
    160 HP / 184 LB-FT
  •   Transmission
    6-Speed Manual
  •   Drivetrain
    All-Wheel Drive
  •   Engine Placement
    Front
  •   Curb Weight
    3,183 LBS
  •   Seating
    2+3
  •   Cargo
    50.8 CU-FT (max)
  •   MPG
    24 City / 31 HWY
  •   Base Price
    $20,990
  •   As Tested Price
    $23,775
  •  
Which is the most entertaining Jeep Renegade you can get? While one might make an argument for the Trailhawk model and its accompanying off-road hardware and consequential go-anywhere ability, that car comes with one glaring flaw – its 2.4-liter engine and nine-speed automatic transmission just aren't very entertaining.

Instead, I submit the turbocharged, 1.4-liter base engine and its accompanying six-speed manual, a position that was reinforced after a recent stint behind the wheel of a very basic Sport 4x4. Not only do you get a fair amount of the Trailhawk's off-road ability – the Selec-Terrain system and a 4WD Lock mode are standard, but you'll be without the 20:1 crawl ratio and Rock off-road mode – you'll also enjoy a more dynamically interesting powertrain. Read on to see why the force-induced Renegade might just be the way to go.


Driving Notes

  • My first date with the Renegade was on the mostly empty, winding roads of northern California. There, the 1.4-liter turbocharged inline-four with 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque felt fine – with no traffic and few stoplights along the drive route, it was easy to keep the engine on boil. But this engine isn't as enjoyable in day-to-day suburban traffic. Power arrives suddenly – peak torque comes between 2,500 and 4,000 rpm – and if you don't use it, you lose it. There's not much oomph in the higher end of the rev range.
  • With such a peaky powerband, it's easy to get caught flat-footed if you're not paying attention. Thankfully the manual transmission makes it simple to stay engaged and in the correct gear. The stick-shift is enjoyable to use, with a firm clutch that's easy to modulate and shift action that isn't sloppy or vague.
  • The 1.4-liter engine sounds good. Turn down the stereo, stomp on the throttle, and you'll be treated to a delicious turbo whistle and a smooth exhaust note. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I want Mopar to offer the Fiat 500 Abarth's exhaust on the Renegade. It'd be fun.
  • If you do prefer the stereo, know that the Renegade's standard four-speaker unit is weak. Base models don't offer Bluetooth or satellite radio, but you can add both of those luxuries, two extra speakers, and a five-inch touchscreen for just $695. Not a bad bargain.
  • The Koni frequency selective dampers do an excellent job of managing both small, frequent imperfections (like freeway expansion joints), and the bigger potholes that still haven't been fixed after the havoc of Detroit's winter. It's not all good, though. The Renegade has a lot of roll. Place the blame on the standard 16-inch wheels and the thick sidewalls of the 215/65-series tires. Larger 17- and 18-inch rolling stock is available on more premium trim levels.
  • The MySky removable roof panels are cool. But in the interest of full disclosure, I did encounter a pretty serious problem while attempting to take the front section of the roof off. After using the accompanying key to unlock the panel, I pulled down on the release lever only to have a small, yellow piece fall off – the handle that releases a covering for the keyhole. That made putting the panel back on a challenge, and removing it again didn't seem possible. I'd like to stress this happened in very basic operation – I wasn't forcing anything. According to Jeep spokesperson Angela Bianchi, other pre-production Renegades have exhibited a similar issue, but the design of the roof panels has since been updated for full-scale production models. In other words, don't expect to encounter this problem if you add the baby Jeep to your driveway. Executive producer Adam Morath explains more about the MySky system in the attached video (which was recorded before this was written, hence the comments about the tab breaking).
  • The Renegade Sport starts at $18,990 with front-wheel drive. If you want the all-wheel-drive variant (you do), that's an extra $2,000. From there, this tester adds the $1,495 Power and Air Group (air conditioning, powered/heated mirrors, and cruise control), the $1,095 MySky system, and black roof rails, for an extra $195. That brings the total price to $23,775. For comparison, you can get a similarly equipped Kia Soul for $24,215, a mid-level Honda HR-V EX AWD for $24,095, or a Chevrolet Trax LT AWD for $24,820, all of which offer significantly more standard equipment. They can't match that Jeep on ruggedly cute style, though.

The Jeep Renegade is more refined with its larger, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. But this 1.4-liter/manual setup is far more entertaining. It keeps the driver engaged and focused, and it can still be had with all-wheel drive. In short, the Renegade Sport is a whole lot of fun this way, and is a great package that undercuts the competition. No, it doesn't come packed with as much equipment as its classmates. But what it lacks in standard features, it makes up for in behind-the-wheel joy. Now, if Jeep would just build a turbocharged Trailhawk...

2015 Jeep Renegade My Sky Roof Panels | Autoblog Short Cuts

Autoblog accepts vehicle loans from auto manufacturers with a tank of gas and sometimes insurance for the purpose of evaluation and editorial content. Like most of the auto news industry, we also sometimes accept travel, lodging and event access for vehicle drive and news coverage opportunities. Our opinions and criticism remain our own — we do not accept sponsored editorial.

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