Something to note: The vehicle tested here is a pre-production unit, and we had some issues with the MySky removable roof system. (Associate editor Brandon Turkus mentioned these problems in his Quick Spin.) FCA confirms that improvements were made for production-spec cars.
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[00:00:30] replacing the outgoing Patriot and Compass, it makes sense to drive this in the Sport trim. We do have it in 4x4, comes in at just around $23,000. It's powered by a turbocharged 1.4 liter inline 4 and we've got it, made it to the 6-speed manual transmission, which is pretty cool. Again you can see FCA's fingerprints on this car. If they wanted to do well in Europe, of course you've got to offer it with a manual and that's nice for consumers here to have that choice of having a stick shift in the Jeep again.
[00:01:00] That's kind of fun. It produces 160-horsepower, 184 pound-feet of torque. It's got a little pack to it. I wouldn't call it sporty but it's enough for a vehicle of this size. This is a pretty basic version of the renegade. The only options we have on it are the AC, the roof rails, 4-wheel drive, which is a must here in Michigan and then these MySky roof panels, which I'll get to in a minute, but that takes us from a base price of $18,000, the cheapest you'll be able to get into a Renegade for
[00:01:30] up to about $23,700, which is where we're at. Yes, these are MySky roof panels. It's a totally new feature on the Renegade that Jeep is trying out and I think it's pretty cool. It's like a tee top system, except the panels aren't side by side. You have one in the front and one in the back. The configuration we have is that they're removable panels so they're fixed in place when you've got them locked in and then you can remove them and stow them in the back. There's a handy bag
[00:02:00] that you can keep them in. However, something to be aware of if you are going to opt for the MySky removable roof panels. We had a little bit of a technical issue with one of them. There are these little plastic tabs, a yellow one up front, a blue one in the back, but they really should be built more robust. If you try to lock it down, it wasn't in place, you could snap it off, and in fact, that is what happened to our Associate Editor Brandon Turkus when he was testing this vehicle. However, the vehicle we're driving is a pre-production model
[00:02:30] and Jeep confirmed that the roof panels have been updated for the final production version of the Renegade. I think it's a really cool feature and it's something that if I was looking at this car, I would definitely try to fit it into my budget, but that was a little alarming and just something to be aware of. As far as styling goes, it is that lock your box or your Jeep style, which is cool. It's an alternative to the Cherokee, which is this vehicle's big brother
[00:03:00] I guess. It has a lot more of a streamlined look to it. This is more old school with the circular headlamps and the 7 slat grill. As far as the interior goes in this car, the designers have had some fun there as well. Now as to be expected, on an entry model, there is a cheap plastic throughout. There are some fit finish issues but overall, a big step up from where Jeep was at with Patriot and Compass. For instance, its dash is in a soft molded rubber rather than a hard plastic. That's nice
[00:03:30] and soft touch points, plastic here but kind of a padded mesh here. I think consumers are going to appreciate that that your elbows are on soft touch points in an entry-level vehicle. Overall, I think the Renegade marks a big step forward over the vehicles that you're placing like the Patriot. You can feel the positive influence of FCA on this car. It's more refined. The fit and finish is better, although not perfect, and with some of the cheap plastic and issues
[00:04:00] we have the MySky roof panels, I still give them credit for trying something new with these roof panels and you're not going to get a leather trimmed car for $20,000. If you're looking for an affordable 4x4, I would put the Renegade on your list. For Autoblog, I'm Adam Morath. [00:04:19]