Average. A great mix of modernity and heritage for the one that started it all – but it gets too expensive to recommend it over rivals.
It’s clear what Jeep is trying to do with the Renegade – appeal to the younger crowd.
We’re talking the ones with a bit of a passion for adventure – surfers, rock climbers and such.
Or, if that’s stretching it, at least those who like to have a suitably funky ‘lifestyle’ vehicle for their weekend endeavours.
Yet the Renegade is probably the closest in the range to the original Willy’s Jeep that started it all 75 years ago.
In looks that old Jeep upright feel is certainly there and there are lots of little nods to the heritage, not least the ‘since 1941’ slogan on the dashboard.
Yet the fact that sits above a modern touch screen says that this is the trendiest offering in the collection.
It’s up against some tough competition, with rivals including the Nissan Qashqai as well as cars like the Vauxhall Mokka.
And, given it can get pricey, we’d even include the Range Rover Evoque in there.
Jeep is trying to counter that by offering, it says, more for your money as standard.
That seems to stack up, with base cars getting tech like forward collision warning and lane departure warning, along with sat nav, a 6.5in screen, heated steering wheel and front seats, dual-zone climate control and rear parking sensors.
That’s alongside leather and 18in alloys as well.
So that’s encouraging and it means, on the inside, that the Renegade, while reminding you of where it all started, is certainly well-equipped with plenty of gadgets.
The interior is comfortable, with good legroom in the back and a decent boot as well.
The drive doesn’t disappoint – there’s genuine off-road ability with settings for varying terrain – we certainly negotiated some flood water that we wouldn’t have attempted in a car.
And on the road it’s a neat, confident drive, with the manual gearbox especially sweet to operate, finished with a nice old-fashioned metallic gear knob.
Engine-wise the 2.0 diesel is the pick, with the right balance of pull and economy, with 134g/km of CO2 and 55mpg.
For those looking to be lighter on the pocket, the smaller 1.6 oil burner gets down to 115g/km.
Petrol options are there, including a base 1.6, 110hp, puffer that’s probably best left alone, but torquey diesels suit the Renegade down to the ground.
So it’s a cool, quirky, fun car – it’s a Jeep.
But the problem is that, for decent versions that don’t lack majorly in any area, it gets expensive, so as to make rivals prevail if head rules heart.
If heart rules head, mind you, the Renegade is a good way to stand out.
1. A nice mix of modern and retro.
2. Stands out from the crowd.
3. Very good standard kit.
We don't like:
1. It gets too expensive.
2. Diesel is noisy at tick over.
3. Nothing else.
Most fun: The 2.0 diesel offers a satisfying drive.
Most sensible: The 1.6 diesel is the cleanest and most efficient.
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