2020 Jeep Renegade Reviews

2020 Renegade New Car Test Drive

The following review is for a 2019 Model Year. There may be minor changes to current model you are looking at.

Introduction

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.

Lineup

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.

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