The mini ‘4×4’ is ever growing, and when we say mini, we really do mean it. Currently bossed by the Nissan Juke, MINI Countryman and Skoda Yeti, the sector is one of the fast growing in motoring with young professionals and families with a penchant for the outdoors jump in feet first. Jeep, one of the very originals in 4×4 and spotted the trend and want to get in on the action with their new Renegade. So we headed to a surprisingly sunny Scotland to give it a test, read on for our Jeep Renegade Review.
First things first. The likes of the Juke and the Countryman are curvy little creatures and somewhat mystical. The Jeep Renegade very much isn’t, but that’s a good thing. Whilst small (in-fact not much bigger than a MINI Countryman at xxx bigger) it has the presence of something much larger. On the road (and off it) the Renegade has a masculine look, a real Jeep Jeep. Looking like a compact and fun lovechild of a Wrangler and the Cherokee.
Jeep Renegade On The Road
Everything is as you would expect for a small 4×4 with a little bit of height. Whilst it is good fun for driving there ride is a little soft and spongy which means leaning into those corners shouldn’t be attempted at break neck speeds. It’s not as bad as some though, but if you are look for a speedster then you are very much in the wrong place. The turning circle is very good, though the steering does feel slightly laggy and perhaps not quite as direct as you would like it.
Overall though the drive is good and with such a compact chassis and floorplan this is a great urban runner for those which need a little more space above and beyond the average city car. The slight lag in the steering does make it very light and great for in town use. The auto box has 9 speed as standard which will always help on your economy but this was not available for testing.
Jeep Renegade Off Road Review
Whilst many people expect these types of cars to be 4×4 for show only, the Jeep Renegade really does hold it’s own. The 4WD version has a full lock and is quite capable, not just on wet grass at the summer fete. The ground clearance is good and the short wheel base helps get the Renegade over nearly any terrain.
We tested it down on the beach just outside Edinburgh as well as more forest like tracks with very good results. As long as you have basic off-roading knowledge (and a little common sense) you should be able to tackle a fair bit. If you are worried the TrailHawk edition will be available later in the year with even more ground clearance, low range as well as the Selec-Terrain system with Hill Descent Control and Rock Mode for a little more selection when off roading.
Jeep Renegade On the Inside
If there is anywhere where the Renegade is let down, it has to be the interior. Whilst it is very functional it is very plastic. And I guess you could look at that as either rugged or unfortunately a little cheap. Obviously this comes down to personal preference, but a little more thought on the finish and we could have been onto a real winner here.
The technology and standard equipment is however very impressive. A good touchscreen sits at the heart with TomTom navigation as standard along with Bluetooth, DAB and other key information and media options as standard. The dials house an LCD screen which displays all of your car information in an easy to use manner.
The space is and sheer room in the new Renegade is going to win a lot of people over, including the larger of us at 6 feet, 4 inches tall. There is plenty of room with a really great upright seating position with plenty of leg room front and back. You also have the additional headroom, which when added with the My Sky panoramic sunroof really does open things out and make you feel like you are driving with the roof down Wrangler style.
Jeep Renegade Review Conclusion
Overall Jeep seem to be on a winner with the new Renegade. It’s a small 4×4 with balls and it is much needed and very welcome in a segment which is perhaps at times a little wishy washy. There are colour and tailoring options aplenty with 11 different body colours, 6 trim choices and the same number of powertrain options to find your perfect fit.
The brilliant off-road performance really give this an edge for anyone who may be looking to head onto the beach for their watersports or off-road anywhere for the likes of biking. A big thumbs up from us and the continued good stuff from Jeep.