Renegade, is Jeep’s first entry into compact SUV segment

Having attracted much attention at Motor Shows across the World, the new Renegade, Jeep’s first entry into the compact SUV segment is now on sale in Ireland  It is also the first FIAT Chrysler Automobiles vehicle to be jointly developed by Italian and American engineers and the first Jeep to be built in Europe but sold in the USA.

Those aren’t the Jeep Renegade’s only firsts. It becomes the first small SUV to feature a nine-speed transmission. It is the first in its segment to have rear axle disconnect and the first to offer the My Sky sunroof that gives occupants a true open-air driving experience. It is also the first in its segment to have a seven-inch, full-colour, multi-view display in its instrument binnacle.

Built in Italy at the rejuvenated SATA plant in Melfi, the Renegade will be sold in 100 markets globally and designers were challenged to come up with a look that would symbolise Jeep’s American heritage while appealing to youthful and adventurous car buyers. What they come up with was a look that is both rugged and tough, thanks to the brand’s classic seven slot grille, round headlamps and trapezoidal wheel arches styling cues, but also fresh, unaggressive and utterly distinctive.

It wasn’t enough that the Renegade looked like a Jeep, however, it also had to be a proper Jeep which means combining best-in-class off-road ability and fabled ‘Trail Rated’ status with world-class on-road driving dynamics and a quiet, comfortable ride. Inside, functional details crafted from high quality materials in innovative colours provide the surprise-and-delight for customers, while best-in-class interior space and clever, functional storage areas ensure the Renegade is practical too.

Equipment has been designed to boost on-board comfort. Advanced technology includes the intuitive Uconnect touchscreen for infotainment with a choice between 5 and 6.5-inch screens. A wide range of options includes the kind of open-air freedom that until now has been unavailable in the small SUV class: My Sky has two lightweight panels that can be easily removed and stowed in the boot for a truly panoramic open-air experience.

The Jeep Renegade is available with two MultiAir II petrol engines, a pair of MultiJet II turbo diesels and the 1.6-litre eTorque petrol. There are also five and six-speed manual gearboxes, the Dual Dry Clutch Transmission and the first-in-class nine-speed automatic gearbox. Available with two or four-wheel drive the Renegade boasts two new, advanced 4×4 systems: Jeep Active Drive and Jeep Active Drive Low.

The Jeep Renegade range has four trim levels in Ireland: Sport, Longitude, Limited and Trailhawk, with the Sport offering an exceptionally high level of specification for an entry-level model. Standard equipment includes a five-inch Uconnect touchscreen with a DAB radio and Bluetooth plus auxiliary and USB connectors, a 3.5-inch Electronic Vehicle Information Centre, air-conditioning, electric parking brake and 16-inch aluminium wheels.

The Longitude version builds on the Sport specification by offering integrated Satellite Navigation, cruise control, ambient LED lighting, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and satellite and 17-inch alloy wheels as standard, while also offering four-wheel as an option. The Limited tops the range in terms of technological equipment and has 18-inch aluminium wheels, dual-zone climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats and steering wheel, the segment-leading seven-inch colour instrument cluster, the 6.5-inch UconnectTM touchscreen with voice-operated satellite navigation and 3D mapping, Bluetooth, rear privacy glass, rear parking sensors and a silver finish on the roof rails, door mirrors and front grille.

The Trailhawk is the model with the most ability off-road thanks to the Jeep Active Drive Low and Selec-Terrain system with Hill Descent Control and Rock Mode. It has all the key equipment from the Limited model but stands out as being the most capable Renegade thanks to a ride height that’s raised by 30mm compared to the 4×2 model, chunky mud and snow tyres, unique front and rear facias to improve approach and departure angles along with front suspension and transmission skid plates plus transfer case and fuel tank skid plate shields and a tow hook. The Trailhawk is the only Renegade to come with the 170hp version of the 2.0-litre MultiJet II turbo diesel combined with the nine-speed automatic transmission. And like every other model in the range it oozes the same sense of adventure and individuality that Jeeps are famous for.