The Jeep brand has been something of an icon since 1941. It has an allure of adventure coupled to a ruggedness and toughness that defines its persona. The Jeep brand has made lifestyle its marketing concept – the car that can take you to hard-to-reach places yet strong enough in its looks to still set you apart from the pack – and that’s what they’ve delivered with the Jeep Renegade.
The Renegade boasts a look that certainly stands out from the crowd. It has a short and stocky appearance that is built on the Wrangler’s powerful stance.
It’s most definitive feature is the X-symbol rear lights. If you’re looking for a car that shows off attention to detail, then the interior of the Renegade won’t disappoint.
The orange seats complemented the touches of orange finish found around the cupholders, air vents and other storage areas in the car. At first it’s a little over the top and almost kitsch, but then hey, why not? Normal is just so last season.
The 7-inch TFT multi-view touchscreen instrument cluster is very user-friendly and makes you feel like you’ve arrived in the big league of motoring enjoyment. The system also offers Bluetooth capability and has two USB ports for charging or syncing devices.
The driver can select from a multitude of information that can be displayed in the centre of the gauge cluster including turn-by-turn navigation, speed, real-time fuel economy, safety warnings (including Parallel/ Perpendicular Park Assist (optional) and LaneSense Departure Warning-Plus), audio information and Jeep®- specific features including Select-TerrainTM. The electric parking brake is operated by a switch on the central console – just to add yet another difference.
Once you’ve pressed the stop/start button you will barely hear the engine it’s so quiet. The nine-speed automatic gearbox is super smooth and the Renegade achieves good driving speed with ease. It hugs the roads and shows no signs of body roll in corners as you might expect from this crossover SUV segment.
The 1.4 L T Limited 4×4 automatic is quite capable offroad too. Jeep® Active Drive systems feature the new Selec-Terrain® which allows the driver to choose on and off-road settings for optimum performances on all road conditions, with up to five modes available including Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud. It has a ground clearance of 198mm, so not too shabby in the off-road department.
There are also a range of safety features that form part of the package. There are six airbags, ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, plus traction and stability control on offer. This model also boasts Blindspot and Crosspath Detection.
The 1.4 turbo engine delivers 125kW and 250Nm for real torque power. Fuel consumption is a little thirsty and the tank range has an average of 696 kilometres, so you have to stop a little more often than you might think to refill.
That said, the Jeep Renegade delivers maximum fun, on and off-road. You look great and the driving experience is as good as it gets. The only part that brings you back to reality is the price tag, which starts at R501 900, including a three-year/100 000km warranty, plus service plan.