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Jeep Renegade: Jeep’s first small SUV

22nd March 2015 Print
Jeep Renegade

The new Jeep Renegade marks a series of firsts in the company’s history. On sale in the UK from February 2015, the Renegade is Jeep’s first entry into the small SUV segment. It is also the first Fiat Chrysler Automobiles car 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 gearbox. It is the first in its segment to have rear axle disconnect and it is unique in class thanks to 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.

Although it’s built in Italy, at the rejuvenated SATA plant in Melfi, the Renegade had to be instantly recognisable as a Jeep. It 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. The result is rugged yet chic thanks to a combination of the brand’s classic styling cues such as the seven slot grille, round headlamps and trapezoidal wheel arches that blend with the fresh, modern look.

A new architecture beneath enables the Renegade to achieve Jeep’s fabled ‘Trail Rated’ status. This means the new model will be able to combine best-in-class off-road ability with world-class on-road driving dynamics. Inside, functional details crafted from high quality materials and using innovative colours ensure the Renegade will become a polished addition to its owners’ lives. It’ll be a practical one too, courtesy of best-in-class interior space and clever, functional storage areas.

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. The unique-to-segment My Sky has two lightweight panels that can be easily removed and stowed in the boot for a truly panoramic open-air experience.

There is also an array of advanced safety features including Forward Collision Warning Plus with Crash Mitigation which automatically prevents or reduces the impact in low-speed shunts; ParkSense Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist that automatically parks the car; LaneSenseTM Lane Departure Warning Plus; and Adaptive Cruise Control.

The Jeep Renegade is available in 11 colours with six wheel designs and there are six powertrain combinations, each of which offers a combination of efficiency and performance. There are 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 nine-speed automatic gearbox. Available with two or four-wheel drive the Renegade boasts two new, advanced 4x4 systems: Jeep Active Drive and Jeep Active Drive Low.

The new 4x4 systems supply the proper amount of torque for any driving situation ensuring enhanced safety even in the slipperiest conditions. The rear axle disconnect system seamlessly switches between two and four-wheel-drive to guarantee traction but reduce the energy required and therefore fuel consumption when 4x4 capability isn’t needed. Jeep Active Drive and Active Drive Low are combined with Jeep Selec-Terrain which gives the driver four settings (five on the Trailhawk version) for optimum performance on any surface. Combined with independent suspension that will give a maximum wheel articulation of up to 205mm with ground clearance of up to 210mm on the Trailhawk model, the Jeep Renegade sets new standards of 4x4 capability in the small SUV segment. 

The Jeep Renegade range has four trim levels: Sport, Longitude, Limited and Trailhawk. Early Renegade customers will have the choice of a fifth model, the Opening Edition. Although the Sport is the entry to the range, it still features a high level of specification. Standard equipment on this 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 offers high levels of functionality and comfort. It does so by augmenting the Sport model’s features with optional four-wheel drive plus large car equipment such as standard cruise control, ambient LED lighting, a leather wrapped steering wheel and satellite navigation as well as 17-inch aluminium wheels. The Limited tops the range in terms of technological equipment and has 18-inch aluminium wheels, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats and steering wheel, leather upholstery, the segment leading seven-inch colour Thin Film Technology (TFT) Electronic Vehicle Information Centre, 6.5-inch Uconnect touchscreen with sat nav and Bluetooth, privacy glass, rear parking sensors and silver side roof rails, door mirrors and front grille. The exclusive Opening Edition is limited to 200 models. It comes with a unique interior and unique 18-inch wheels; 100 are available in Alpine white, 100 in Omaha orange paintwork.

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 and stands out as being the most capable Renegade of the lot thanks to a ride height that’s raised by 30mm compared to the 4x2 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 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.

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