- Distinctive styling
- Economical engines
- Trailhawk is excellent off-road
- Styling not to all tastes
- A bit noisy on the motorway
- 4x4s only come with diesel power
The Jeep Renegade looks like a proper off-roader, with a high driving position and chunky SUV styling. While all versions will handle a dirt track with ease, the 4x4 models can venture farther off-road than most cars of this price.
Its boxy shape means the Renegade is practical for its size, with space for a growing family. Thanks to competitive prices and a range of efficient engines, it shouldn’t put a big dent in your household budget.
The Renegade was updated in 2018 with subtle tweaks to the styling, a larger 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system and improved petrol engines. A new 4xe plug-in hybrid model was also added to the range.
The interior has a few design elements inspired by famous Jeep models of the past, such as chunky grab handles on the dashboard, but overall it has a modern feel. It’s solid and spacious, with enough headroom and legroom for four adults, or five if one of your friends doesn’t mind squeezing into the middle seat.
Boot space is good for the size of the car, with enough room for three medium-size suitcases. The front passenger seat folds flat, which is handy if you need to carry longer items. You’ll appreciate the reversible wipe-clean boot floor, especially if you’re carrying muddy wellies or a wet dog.
The 2018 upgrade increased the size of the infotainment screen from 6.5 to 8.4 inches on all except the Sport model. It also added Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, which was absent on earlier models.
Unlike most small SUVs the Renegade is actually very capable off-road if you go for one of the four-wheel drive Trailhawk models. Whether you choose one of these or one of the front-wheel drive versions the driving experience is capable and fuss-free on the road. While the ride isn’t as smooth as in some rivals and the interior is a bit noisy on the motorway, the high driving position gives you a good view out and the steering and gearshift have a light, easy feel.
The 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine provides the best blend of performance and economy, while the 1.0-litre turbo petrol is fine if you mainly drive in urban areas but feels a bit underpowered on the motorway. The extra power of the range-topping 2.0-litre diesel is especially useful if you do venture off-road.
A new Renegade 4xe plug-in hybrid was introduced in 2020, offering the benefit of four-wheel drive and an official 26 miles of electric range.
The Renegade costs about the same as rivals such as the Renault Captur and Nissan Juke and it’s decent value as a used buy. Jeep improved the efficiency of the Renegade as part of the 2018 upgrade, introducing two new turbocharged petrol engines. Official fuel consumption for these is good, with an average of 46.3mpg for the 1.0 and 44.1mpg for the 1.3.
The diesel engines are more economical, with the 1.6-litre MultiJet offering an official 57.6mpg. Four-wheel drive versions aren’t as efficient as front-wheel drive models but are still cost-effective for a proper off-roader.
If you keep the batteries charged, the Renegade 4xe plug-in hybrid offers incredibly low running costs and an official 134.5mpg.
The Renegade is covered by a five-year warranty with five years’ roadside assistance from new. That should provide some peace of mind when buying a used example.
A three-star Euro NCAP safety rating may look less encouraging, but the Renegade scored well for adult and child occupant protection when tested in 2019. You’ll also find multiple airbags, Isofix points for child seats and a lane departure warning system. Four-wheel drive versions will provide all-weather reassurance, on- or off-road.
Best for economy - Renegade 4xe
Best for family - 1.3 T4 Longitude
Best for fun - 2.0 MultiJet II Trailhawk
If you require four-wheel drive, you’ll need to buy a Renegade with a diesel engine, ideally the 2.0-litre MultiJet. Take a look at the Trailhawk, because its ‘Selec-Terrain’ system allows you to select a mode for different conditions: snow, mud, rock and sand. It means the Renegade can compete with larger and more expensive 4x4s off-road.
If you don’t need to go off-road, opt for a petrol engine. The 1.0-litre is fine in the city, but the 1.3-litre is better on longer trips and when travelling with passengers.