Pricing and Which One to Buy
- Sport: $23,770
- Latitude: $25,620
- Upland: $26,565
- Altitude: $26,615
- Limited: $28,140
- Trailhawk: $29,290
- High Altitude: $31,635
While it’s possible to buy a loaded Jeep Renegade priced in the mid $30,000s, even the most expensive version still feels like a cheap vehicle. For that reason, the best Renegade is a low-priced Renegade. We recommend the Latitude trim, just one step up from the base Sport model. Spending the extra cash nets 17-inch aluminum wheels (rather than 16-inch steel wheels with covers), a larger touchscreen that adds Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, dual-zone automatic climate control, and upgraded interior materials. Save some money by sticking with the standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder. The turbocharged 1.3-liter four-cylinder is neither quick enough nor fuel-efficient enough to justify the extra $1495.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
As with the exterior design, the Renegade’s interior is made to appeal to the part of our brains that once created full-length dialogues between two dinosaur-shaped erasers. It’s filled with odd shapes, toyish trimmings, and small design surprises—such as maps imprinted into cupholders and the phrase «Since 1941» stamped into the dash plastic. Consider us amused. Too bad its chunky roof pillars make for significant blind spots, by far the most egregious in this class of vehicles.
The Renegade’s seats have clearly been doing their yoga stretching exercises, as they have no problem folding flat to create a level load floor. But even then, the space is average at best. Limited storage pockets and the lack of a full-length door cubby up front make storage opportunities scarce compared with other vehicles in the segment.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
It’s a good thing that Jeep owners enjoy raw experiences, because there is no polish to the Renegade’s standard four-cylinder engine. With a zero-to-60-mph time of 9.0 seconds, the optional turbocharged 1.3-liter four-cylinder isn’t much of improvement in either refinement or performance. It makes a few less horsepower than the base 2.4-liter engine, but the turbo engine’s redeeming trait is the extra 25 lb-ft of torque (200 total) it develops low in the rev range to help the Renegade accelerate away from stops. Both engines pair with a nine-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive. While all-wheel-drive models can tow up to 2000 pounds, Jeep doesn’t recommend towing with front-drive versions.
The Renegade is not intended to hustle hard, but it holds its own better than one might think. While it can feel stiffly sprung in its most off-road-oriented Trailhawk version, the ride in other versions is generally composed and comfortable. Steering is quick to respond to driver inputs, and there’s less body roll around corners than you might expect from a vehicle shaped like a Christmas ornament. If an engaging driving experience is an important factor, the turbocharged Kia Soul and the Mazda CX-3 both offer better performance and much more fun.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The most fuel-efficient Renegade, a front-wheel-drive model with the optional turbocharged 1.3-liter engine, earns 24 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway by the EPA’s methodology. With all-wheel drive, those figures fall to 23 and 29 mpg, respectively. We matched the EPA’s 29 mpg in our 75-mph highway test, but that still falls short of our findings with competitors such as the Kia Soul, the Mazda CX-3, and the parsimonious Nissan Kicks that eked out 37 mpg. The Renegade’s 2.4-liter four-cylinder with front-wheel drive is rated at 22 mpg city and 30 highway; paired with all-wheel drive, it earns 1 mpg less in both metrics. We tested an all-wheel-drive model on our 200-mile highway route and saw 26 mpg.