Announcing the new Jeep Renegade

 

Traditionalists certainly raised an eyebrow when Jeep made a change to its time-honored Renegade label, placing it on a cute crossover vehicle that was going to be built in Italy instead of in the United States of America. However, this little square wagon has shown itself to be just the correct size for these times. It is charismatic and very popular with today's buyers. And, in the Trailhawk model, it actually does very well in off-road driving since it has four-wheel drive, a low range/crawl ratio, tow hooks, and skid plates under its chassis.

Just as in its previous incarnation, the Renegade comes with a 1.4-liter inline-four engine that has 160 horsepower and is turbocharged. It comes with a manual transmission with six speeds. You can opt for the 2.4-liter engine on the Sport, Latitude, and Altitude trims and it comes standard on Trailhawk and Limited versions. You can get a four-wheel drive for $1,500 extra on both powertrains. The basic combination of manual transmission and turbo-four works well. It is good for such a vehicle to be able to opt for manual transmission because of its precision and the character it lends to the drive.

The interior cabin has been redesigned to provide more storage space for 2018. You get a backup camera on all versions of this Jeep now.

Infotainment systems have been updated, too. You get a 5.0-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth and voice control on the basic Sport model. However, this can be upgraded to a touchscreen of 7.0 inches that includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and this is standard on the Latitude, Limited, and Trailhawk. Also, on everything but the basic Sport level, you can choose an 8.4-inch screen with navigation and Uconnect availability. You can also opt for a power sunroof with dual panes. There is also the My Sky roofing system that allows you to remove panels fairly easily for a better connection with the elements.

We like this little vehicle with its updated fabrics, colors, and trims. It is among the most spacious in its market segment. In addition, it has responsive steering and many little features that you can only appreciate once you are the owner and driver of Renegade. There is a whimsy as well as functionality, which is a rare combination for this type of vehicle.

Trims

The 2018 Jeep Renegade has four trims; Sport, Latitude, Limited, and Trailhawk.

Coming standard with a turbo-four 1.4-liter engine, the Sport trim is also fitted with 16" steel wheels. The Sport trim also includes a 5" touchscreen featuring the Uconnect 3 infotainment system, a 3.5" instrument panel display, Bluetooth calling, push-button ignition, rearview camera, and remote keyless entry.

There's a limited edition FWD of the Sport trim at around $18,000. The 4x4 edition of the Sport trim starts at around $19,000.

The Latitude trim ups the game with a 2.4-liter I-4 engine with 17" aluminum wheels. The Latitude trim also has a 7" touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Customers can also expect dual-zone climate control, SiriusXM satellite radio, fog lights, and automatic headlights.

The FWD and 4x4 Latitudes will set you back around $21,000 and $23,000, respectively.

The I-4 2.4-liter engine is also offered in the Limited trim with 18" aluminum wheels. A 7.0-inch instrument panel driver's display, heated front seats, remote vehicle start, and a quick entry system is offered. The seating is draped in leather as well as the heated steering wheel.

The FWD edition starts at around $25,000 while the 4X4 version is $2,000 more.

The Trailhawk has 17" off-road wheels plus off-road tires. The crawl ratio on its Active Drive Low FWD system is 20:1. The Trailhawk also features hill descent control, a Selec-Terrain Traction Management System, a 0.8" off-road suspension lift, off-road fascia, and skid plates.

The Trailhawk trim will set you back just over $28,000.

What's New on the 2018 Jeep Renegade?

The Selec-Terrain on the all-new Jeep Renegade gives you many options to choose from. This is a four-wheel drive that lets you choose between Auto, Snow, Sand, and Mud giving you a lot more control of your vehicle no matter what environment you will be driving in. If you are in the Trailhawk trim level you will get to go even further and choose between Rock mode and Hill Descent Control.

The My Sky Open Air Sunroof is another amazing feature of the new Jeep Renegade. This feature is an option that is available on any trim level you choose. It offers a powered vent/slide front panel and has two manually removable panels that you would be able to store in the vehicle itself.

The interior of the Jeep has a bit of room. There is 18.5 cubic feet behind the back seats when they are up and you can increase that to over 50 cubic feet when you lay the seats down. Another great feature is the ability to lay down the front seat (in all but the base models) so that you can store longer items.

The exterior has upgrades as well. The headlights are rounded and there is a sleek seven-slotted vertical grille on the front. The overhangs are short for rock climbing and of course, the greatest thing about the outside is that it definitely looks like a Jeep. It looks like a great mix of the Wrangler and the Grand Cherokee. You will not be disappointed.

Under the hood, you will find that there are two different 4-cylinder engines available for the 2018 Jeep Renegade. The Sport and Latitude models have a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine available and the 2.4-liter is optional. The Limited and Trailhawk trims get the 2.4-liter engine as standard. You can choose between the two engines by deciding what type of transmission you want. This is because the 1.4-liter is only available with a 6-speed manual and the 2.4-liter only comes with a 9-speed automatic. The fuel economy between the two is actually quite similar and both can be had with 4WD. Lastly, you can tow up to 2,000 pounds with the larger 2.4-liter engine but it is not recommended for you to tow with the smaller 1.4-liter engine.


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