There’s plenty for 4×4 fans to get excited about with the 2015 Renegade. Jeep has taken decades of off-road and urban vehicle engineering, and applied that knowledge to their new Renegade in an effort to capture a piece of the 2.5 million global sales that currently take place in the competitive subcompact crossover market.
Cherokee’s Smaller Sibling
The 4-cylinder Renegade will be offered with many of the same options found on the $24,000+ Jeep Cherokee V6 lineup, but with a smaller footprint and lower MSRP. Jeep has yet to release final price numbers yet, despite the fact that the very first Renegades will begin driving out of Chrysler/Jeep dealerships in just a few short months in December 2014.
On paper, the new econobox-designed Jeep Renegade promises to be able to go anywhere you wanna take it, with an off-road-capable “Small Wide” suspension architecture, and powertrain options that will trump its next closest competitors; the Kia Soul and Nissan Juke.
The Soul and Juke are currently dominating the urban crossover landscape, but fail to deliver any real trail-rated capability, despite their AWD platforms.
Small Wide Platform Sure to Please
All Renegades all be outfitted with the same rigid Small Wide platform which offers a respectable 6.7 inches of ground clearance, 8.1 inches of rear wheel articulation, and 19 inches of water-fording ability. Koni frequency-selective shocks will be mounted atop each wheel, offering a great mix of damping ability and cornering control.
Renegade’s Powertrain Options
North American Renegades will come with the following engine and transmission options:
- 1.4L Turbo-Four: 160hp/184 lb-ft torque, matched with a 6-speed manual transmission.
- 2.4L Tigershark: 184hp/177 lb-ft torque, matched with a 9-speed auto transmission.
In addition, customers will have the option to outfit their econobox Renegade with either front- or all-wheel-drive, with these two options being offered for AWD consumers:
- Jeep’s patented Jeep Active Drive Standard is an entirely hands-off AWD system that controls how much torque is distributed to each drive wheel, based on driving conditions inputs from wheel-mounted slippage sensors.
- Jeep Active Drive Low is currently a standard option on the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk, and will be an upgrade option for the Renegade. This system is a must for people who plan to hit the trails; offering a 20:1 gear ratio in 1st, along with Hill Descent Control and five preset “Selec-Terrain” off-road driving modes (Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud, and Rock).
In order to compete with similarly-priced crossovers, Chrysler has set the Renegade up for success in the urban landscape. While 4×4 enthusiasts will certainly love having the option to drive down the road less traveled and even blaze a few new trails of their own, soccer moms and commuters want all-round comfort including fuel economy, seating room, cargo space, noise-suppression and gadgets!
Here’s the standout features included on the 2015 Renegade to satisfy urban buyers:
- 30+ mpg on the highway.
- 60/40 second row seating (optional 40/20/40 cargo area pass-through).
- Passenger and rear seats fold flat for extra storage.
- 118.6 cubic feet of interior space
- Sunroof with removable panels.
- Triple door seals.
- Acoustic laminated front windshield.
- 3.5 inch monochrome gauges (optional 7 inch TFT system available).
- Uconnect Infotainment touchscreen console with 5 inch display (optional 6.5 available).
- Driver assist features include: blind-spot monitoring, rear park assist, lane departure warning, backup camera, and rear cross-path detection.
Share Your Opinion
The new Renegade looks like it’s stacked to take over the B-segment crossover market.
Based on its promising specs, will you be rushing to your favorite online jeep accessories store come the first of December? My personal favorite AutoPartsToys.com is not only awesome at pricing and products for several jeep accessories but also some new auto parts arrivals every week.
Or if you’re not in the market for a new vehicle – would you if you were?
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