2020 Renegade New Car Test Drive
The 2020 Jeep Renegade is a compact crossover SUV with particular off-road flair–hardly surprising for a Jeep. It's undeniably charming, with a family resemblance to the iconic Wrangler.
The 2020 Renegade is front-wheel drive, but naturally for a Jeep all-wheel drive is available.
Its styling was refreshed last year, so for 2020 the changes are small. There are some new packages, including one with automatic emergency braking, and the off-road Trailhawk gets a 9-speaker Kenwood audio system, so you can blast your music as you bound over the boonies.
The Trailhawk is as capable off-road as small crossovers come, with its high suspension, low range transfer case, hill descent control, and 50/50 front-to-rear torque split.
The base Renegade engine is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder making a decent-on-paper 180 horsepower, but its power delivery is sluggish through a 9-speed automatic transmission.
An available 177-hp 1.3-liter turbo-4 (optional on the Sport and Latitude, standard on the Limited and Trailhawk) helps with acceleration, as it has more torque. It's somewhat quieter too.
Base models with front-wheel drive and the 2.4-liter engine earn EPA ratings of 22 mpg city, 30 highway, 25 combined, while all-wheel drive drops those numbers to 21/29/24 mpg. The optional 1.3-liter turbo-4 brings a slight boost with 24/32/27 mpg for front-wheel drive and 23/29/26 mpg for all-wheel drive, while the Trailhawk sees a slight hit at 22/27/24 mpg.
The NHTSA gives it four stars for frontal crash and three stars for rollover protection. Optional equipment includes automatic emergency braking with forward-collision warnings, active lane control, front and rear parking sensors, and blind-spot monitors.
For about $24,000 the Renegade Sport lacks air conditioning and cruise control.
For about $25,500 the Latitude features alloy wheels, a 7.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and dual-zone climate control. Optional equipment includes a panoramic sunroof, removable roof, LED headlights, 19-inch wheels, and active safety equipment.
Trailhawks add ride height and ground clearance, a low-range gearbox, hill-descent control, bigger tires, and red accents inside and out.
Top-tier models can cost more than $30,000 and include leather upholstery, 18-inch wheels, and keyless ignition.