The 2015 Jeep Renegade comes with Italian engineering in its chassis due to its FCA parent company, the Fiat-Chrysler amalgam, but shows Jeep tradition in its design.
Wrangler fans may doubt the Renegade's abilities, but it has made a good showing on difficult offroad terrain.
The Renegade is a new small SUV from Jeep, marking a new entry point for the brand in worldwide markets.
Classic Jeep styling shows up in the round headlight and seven-bar grille, yet more dynamic lines along the sides give it modern appeal.
Jeep offers a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine for the Renegade, but the Trailhawk edition is only available with the larger 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine.
The Renegade is built on a chassis developed by Fiat and shared with the Fiat 500L and 500X.
The Trail Rated badge only shows up on the Traihawk edition of the Renegade, which boasts Jeep's more serious offroad gear, including a 20:1 low range.
The Renegade has 8 inches of ground clearance and short front and rear overhangs allow steep ascent and departure angles.
A wading depth of 20 inches may not be extreme, but other cars in its price range can match it.
The tailgate allows for easy access to the cargo area, and creates a nice bit of shade.
Cloth seats with leather inserts are reasonably comfortable, but only the driver's side is power adjustable.
The rear seats offer a 40/20/40 split to improve cargo versatility.
With the rear seats up, the cargo area only affords 18.5 cubic feet of space.
This example shows the optional 6.5-inch UConnect touchscreen infotainment system with navigation. Renegade Trailhawks come standard with a 5-inch touchscreen, lacking navigation.
The steering system feels responsive, and is easy to turn at low speed.
The nine-speed automatic transmission shifts a lot to find optimum engine speed, and is slow to kick down.
Jeep's Selec-Terrain system offers five program modes for different conditions.
An LCD panel in the instrument cluster shows offroad mode and trip information.
Along with a rear-view camera, the Renegade can be optioned up with a blind-spot monitor.
The navigation system is useful, although the screen is a bit small.
This navigation interface will look familiar to users of Garmin systems.
The UConnect system supports satellite and HD radio.
The music library interface for onboard digital media shows the usual selections for album, artist and genre.
The current track screen shows information in a large font, making it easy to take in at a glance.
The upgraded audio system for the Renegade Trailhawk uses nine speakers, including a subwoofer, and includes surround processing.
The UConnect system includes a limited number of apps, available through an online app store.
Yelp integration makes it easy to find local businesses.
UConnect includes a Bluetooth hands-free phone system.
The Renegade makes a good choice for those shopping for a small SUV, as it can be optioned up to handle terrain most others can't.
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