This current Jeep Renegade boils down Jeep's brand values into a smaller package while adding a few useful updates, which includes more efficient petrol engine technology and the addition of a PHEV hybrid option (which unfortunately isn't currently available to order through Motability). It’s not exactly thrilling to drive, but despite this the Jeep Renegade remains a popular choice for Motability customers with its fairly unique and rugged looks, reasonable off-road capability and up-to-the-minute media connectivity.
The Jeep Renegade is not currently available to order through the Motability Scheme (section updated July 2023).
Take a respected brand, a fresh and vibrant market segment and a willingness to do something different. Then create from that a product with uncompromising looks, real capability and clever design. The result you'd get certainly wouldn't be ordinary. It wouldn't please traditionalists. No, in automotive terms, what you'd get would be something like this, the Jeep Renegade.
At its original launch here in 2015, news that this Renegade was almost entirely based on Fiat's 500X had Jeep die-hards choking on their beer. These people needed to allow for the fact that much had been done with these underpinnings in creation of a tougher, more rugged and very different product. It's certainly one that's attracted widespread interest and now accounts for over 70% of Jeep's UK sales. Its Achilles heel was previously an ancient couple of petrol engines, which in 2018 were dumped as part of the changes made to this smarter, more sophisticated facelifted model. A 4xe PHEV variant was added to the range in 2020.
Beneath the bonnet, things kick off with an efficient 120hp 1.0-litre three cylinder petrol unit. Above that, there's a four cylinder 1.3-litre powerplant, available in 150 and 180bhp guises. Ideally, you want to try and stretch to the 1.3 because the base 1.0-litre unit doesn't really have enough pulling power to shove the Renegade along with much conviction. The automatic gearbox that goes with the lower-powered version of the 1.3-litre engine isn't especially slick-changing; the uprated 9-speed auto 'box that goes with the 178bhp 1.3 is better. If you're looking at a diesel, you'll need the top 4WD 'Trailhawk' version, which uses a 170bhp 2.0-litre Mjet unit.
All petrol models are front-driven - except the '4xe' Plug in Hybrid variants.
The Renegade has always been popular because of its styling - and it still will. There are some subtle aesthetic tweaks with this revised model, but the main changes lie with the adoption of LED technology for the headlamps and tail lights. As before, the 'squarical' profile features lovely tight overhangs and some very cool detailing. What is particularly interesting is the way the design includes some very traditional Jeep design cues but isn't afraid to twist them a bit into something resolutely modern-looking. That aspect you will either love or hate.
Cover up the badges inside the car and, yes, you would probably think you were in a Fiat product, but if you've had a look at the latest Fiat range, that's no bad thing. Jeep says that the fascia's been updated but it's difficult to see many changes apart from the improved Uconnect touchscreen infotainment system, which on top variants features a big 8.4-inch monitor. This has clear menus, sharp graphics and useful shortcut buttons, plus it comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so you can use apps from your smartphone (such as Google Maps and Waze) while driving. As for practicality, well it's a bit pinched in the back, but then that comes with the territory when you've got this little length to play with.
In the UK, the Renegade is available in a range comprising five different trim levels - Longitude, Night Eagle, Limited, S and Trailhawk, but not all models can be ordered through the Motability Scheme.
Standard equipment in the well-equipped entry-level Longitude includes air conditioning, DAB radio with touchscreen and Bluetooth, electric parking brake, 17-inch alloy wheels, tyre pressure monitoring, and remote central locking. Plus a six-speaker audio system, roof rails, body coloured door mirrors and handles, cruise control, and front fog lamps.
The popular Night Eagle trim is enhanced with black interior and exterior styling, tinted glass and 18-inch gloss back alloy wheels.
The Limited version features a chromed exhaust tip, Forward Collision Mitigation, heated front seats and steering wheel, leather upholstery, privacy glass and rear parking sensors.
In case you were wondering where the Renegade is screwed together, yes, it's from the Deep South. Of Italy though; coming off the same Melfi production line as the Fiat 500X SUV.
The Renegade can't afford to be an expensive car to run, but it rather was in its original petrol forms. This facelifted version does much better thanks to its more modern 1.0-litre three cylinder and 1.3-litre petrol units. The 1.0-litre variant manages 42.2mpg on the combined cycle and 152g/km of CO2.
Of course, the ultimate figures you achieve in any Renegade will depend very much on how you drive, something you can monitor and improve if you've downloaded the infotainment system's 'Uconnect LIVE' app onto your smartphone. This gives you an 'eco:Drive' section that enables you to develop your driving style, save fuel and check your car's CO2 emissions in real time. During each trip, 'eco:Drive monitors four driving parameters: acceleration, deceleration, changing gears and speed variation. There's also a 'my:car' feature that allows you to check your fuel level and tyre pressure, choose an assistance service if you have an emergency and be informed if there's anything wrong with your vehicle.
The Renegade brought a long overdue dose of credibility to the small SUV segment. Here, you get plenty of style, in a bluff, tough Jeep kind of way, but there's decent substance behind that too, with near-family-sized practicality and the potential for far more off road prowess than any other car in this segment can provide. If you're OK with the distinctive look, then potentially, there's much to like here, especially with this current model.
The efficient engineering, strong safety standards and hi-tech features you'd want a reasonably expensive family car to provide are here packaged with a depth of character you simply wouldn't think you'd find at this price point. The result is the kind of car people talk about - the sort almost everyone will have an opinion on, so shy and retiring types should shop elsewhere. In a sea of compact Crossovers, this one's very different from the norm. A renegade if you like - perhaps, just as every Jeep should be.
People with a disability and carers who choose a new Jeep Renegade through Motability will receive a brand new car, delivered by a Motability Specialist at a local Jeep dealership, complete with insurance, servicing and maintenance, full breakdown assistance, replacement tyre cover, windscreen repair or replacement cover plus a mileage allowance of 60,000 miles over three years.