2020 Renegade New Car Test Drive
More than most compact crossover SUVs, the 2019 Jeep Renegade looks like it can hardly wait to hit the off-road trails. Chunky details, a friendly face, and an unrepentant boxy profile affirm the Jeep brand's woodsy, go-anywhere heritage.
Jeep offers the 2019 Renegade in Sport, Latitude, Limited, and Trailhawk trim levels. Upland and Altitude editions are its option packages.
A new 1.3-liter turbo-4 engine with stop/start technology is available for the 2019 model year. Mated to 9-speed automatic, it's standard on Limited and Trailhawk versions, optional on Sport and Latitude.
All Renegades except Trailhawk get new active grille shutters. The freshened exterior includes a new front-end look. The Advanced Tech Group adds adaptive cruise control, parallel/perpendicular parking assistance, and front parking sensors. Large round headlights now are available with LED illumination.
The carryover 2.4-liter engine is standard for Sport and Latitude models, rated at 180 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. The new 1.3-liter turbo 4-cylinder produces 177 horsepower and 200 pound-feet.
Jeep also has modified its 9-speed automatic transmission for smoother shifts. The 6-speed manual gearbox is gone.
Except for the AWD Trailhawk, Renegades come with either front- or all-wheel drive. At higher speeds, with AWD, rear wheels can disconnect to reduce fuel consumption. Trailhawks get a different AWD system with a simulated low gear. Both versions automatically engage the rear axle when slippage is detected.
Mechanical upgrades boost the Trailhawk's trail-conquering capabilities, including off-road terrain settings and a 20:1 crawl ratio. Higher ride height and reshaped bumpers increase its obstacle-clearing capabilities.
The Renegade has added some safety options, namely adaptive cruise control and self-parking capability. Those costly features are bundled with automatic emergency braking, and are options on Latitude and Limited models.
Crash-test ratings from the NHTSA are four stars overall. The IIHS gave the Renegade 'Good'? scores in moderate-overlap and side-impact tests, but an 'Acceptable'? rating for the stringent small-overlap test..
Prices do not include $1,495 destination charge.
Sport ($22,025 with front-drive, $23,525 with all-wheel drive) comes with the 2.4-liter inline-4 and 9-speed automatic, and includes cloth seat upholstery, steering-wheel audio controls, and a 5.0-inch touchscreen. Steel 16-inch wheels are standard.
Latitude ($23,875 with FWD, $25,375 with AWD) adds such features as tinted windows, 17-inch alloy wheels, a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, fog lights, roof rails, and dual-zone automatic climate control. Options include a panoramic sunroof and remove/stow panel roof.
Altitude ($24,870 with FWD, $26,370 with AWD), an upgrade of Latitude trim, gets black cloth seats, black exterior accents, body-color mirrors, and black 18-inch wheels.
Limited Turbo ($26,395 with FWD, $27,895 with AWD) is powered by the 1.3-liter turbocharged engine with 9-speed automatic. Included are heated black leather-trimmed seats, power driver's seat with lumbar, 18-inch wheels, and heated leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Trailhawk Turbo AWD ($27,545) adds such off-roading extras as reshaped bumpers, all-terrain tires on 17-inch wheels, slightly increased ride height, skid plates, red tow hooks, a full-size spare tire, and hill-descent control..