Jeep Renegade Review

Andy Brady

Written by

Andy Brady

Jeep Renegade
Jeep Renegade

1/10

1 / 10

00/10
heycar rating
"Rugged little crossover: poor interior"
  • Launched: 2015
  • Crossover
  • Petrol, Diesel

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Quick overview

Pros

  • Brings a sense of fun to an otherwise rather staid market
  • Four-wheel-drive models are capable off-road
  • More spacious than some alternatives

Cons

  • Interior looks (and feels) pretty cheap and nasty
  • It’s nothing special to drive on the road
  • You’d have to really want a Jeep

Overall verdict

On the inside

Driving

Cost to run

Prices and Specs

Common questions

Overall verdict on the Jeep Renegade

"It’s easy to understand why the Jeep Renegade would get your attention - but you should probably keep looking. Its interior feels pretty poor compared to rivals and it’s nothing special to drive. Still, it represents reasonable value for money and it’s pretty spacious. The kids will love it, too."

Jeep Renegade frontright exterior

You’d struggle to tell the Jeep Renegade shares its platform and engines with the Fiat 500X. For its smallest model, Jeep has pulled out all of the stops - with quirky looks, a rugged interior and genuine off-road ability (if you buy a four-wheel-drive version).


It’s easy to see the appeal when rivals range from the competent (if a bit bland) Renault Captur to the naff Ford EcoSport. The Jeep badge alone will be enough to attract the attention of a lot of crossover buyers, with its military off-roader connotations and slightly brash image.


The good news is that the Renegade is a fairly affordable way into Jeep ownership. A three-year-old model could cost you less than £10,000 (depending on specification), while even as-new examples start from around £16,000. That’s tempting value, while it shouldn’t cost a lot to run, either.


There are numerous petrol and diesel engines available, with some of the most frugal capable of late-40s mpg. The diesels are a little unrefined, though (it’s almost like Jeep’s done away with some of the sound insulation to make the Renegade feel like a proper off-roader), so we’d stick with a petrol - particularly if you don’t cover many miles.


The Renegade range was updated in 2018 with the addition of new 1.0- and 1.3-litre petrol engines (as per the Fiat 500X). The 1.3-litre is let down by its standard automatic gearbox, so we’d go for the little 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit. It might sound small for a car like this, but it’s quicker than you’d expect and also the most refined choice.


With light steering and compact dimensions, the Jeep Renegade is an easy car to drive around town. The numb steering and notchy gearchange mean it’s a bit frustrating to drive out of town, though, while a surprising amount of body lean through corners adds to the old-school feel.


If you fancy a bit of mud-plugging, Jeep offers an off-road-biased Trailhawk model. This adds the kind of things that’ll appeal to 10-year olds: extra under body protection, bespoke off-road wheels and hill-descent control to help tackle steep slopes. It also comes with four-wheel-drive, of course, which provides plenty of reassurance in poor conditions but increases fuel consumption the rest of the time.


The Renegade feels fairly spacious inside, although it’s a long way from being a premium contender to cars like MINI's Countryman. You could be forgiven for thinking it’s a much older cabin than it actually is, with lots of harsh plastics and chunky buttons. An updated 8.4-inch infotainment system arrived in 2018, bringing with it Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.


Should you buy the Jeep Renegade? Probably not. But at least it’ll stand out on your driveway more than Renault Captur or Nissan Juke, and it’s available in some bold colours. It’s also the best-value Jeep on the market, and it won’t cost a fortune to run.


Is the Jeep Renegade right for you?

It’s easy to see the appeal when rivals range from the competent (if a bit bland) Renault Captur to the naff Ford EcoSport. The Jeep badge alone will be enough to attract the attention of a lot of crossover buyers, with its military off-roader connotations and slightly brash image.


The good news is that the Renegade is a fairly affordable way into Jeep ownership. A three-year-old model could cost you less than £10,000 (depending on specification), while even as-new examples start from around £16,000. That’s tempting value, while it shouldn’t cost a lot to run, either.


There are numerous petrol and diesel engines available, with some of the most frugal capable of late-40s mpg. The diesels are a little unrefined, though (it’s almost like Jeep’s done away with some of the sound insulation to make the Renegade feel like a proper off-roader), so we’d stick with a petrol - particularly if you don’t cover many miles.


The Renegade range was updated in 2018 with the addition of new 1.0- and 1.3-litre petrol engines (as per the Fiat 500X). The 1.3-litre is let down by its standard automatic gearbox, so we’d go for the little 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit. It might sound small for a car like this, but it’s quicker than you’d expect and also the most refined choice.


With light steering and compact dimensions, the Jeep Renegade is an easy car to drive around town. The numb steering and notchy gearchange mean it’s a bit frustrating to drive out of town, though, while a surprising amount of body lean through corners adds to the old-school feel.


If you fancy a bit of mud-plugging, Jeep offers an off-road-biased Trailhawk model. This adds the kinda things that’ll appeal to 10-year olds: extra underbody protection, bespoke off-road wheels and hill-descent control to help tackle steep slopes. It also comes with four-wheel-drive, of course, which provides plenty of reassurance in poor conditions but increases fuel consumption the rest of the time.


The Renegade feels fairly spacious inside, although it’s a long way from being a premium contender to cars like MINI Countryman. You could be forgiven for thinking it’s a much older cabin than it actually is, with lots of harsh plastics and chunky buttons. An updated 8.4-inch infotainment system arrived in 2018, bringing with it Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.


Should you buy the Jeep Renegade? Probably not. But at least it’ll stand out on your driveway more than Renault Captur or Nissan Juke, and it’s available in some bold colours. It’s also the best-value Jeep on the market, and it won’t cost a fortune to run.


What's the best Jeep Renegade model/engine to choose?

Unless you need a diesel or four-wheel drive, we’d recommend the little 1.0-litre petrol engine that arrived in 2018. It packs plenty of punch and comes with a slick manual transmission, which is less frustrating than the dual-clutch auto that’s paired with the 1.3.


The Longitude specification provides a good combination of standard kit and affordability.


What other cars are similar to the Jeep Renegade?

The Jeep Renegade is closely related to the Fiat 500X which, although it lacks the rugged image of the Jeep, we reckon is actually a better choice. The Suzuki Vitara is another good alternative, while the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur are both popular choices in this class. We’d recommend the practical Honda HR-V, too, while the SEAT Arona is good to drive.

Comfort and design: Jeep Renegade interior

"The Jeep Renegade has the kind of rugged interior you'd expect of a proper SUV. That said, one person's 'rugged' is another person's cheap and nasty"

Jeep Renegade front interior

The layout is fairly conventional but it's very intuitive with all the main control easy to work. The instrument dials are simple and, on top models, include a large colour display between them, giving you all the trip information in an easy to read and nicely designed fashion.  Lower trim levels have to make do with a smaller monochrome display though.

What engines and gearboxes are available in the Jeep Renegade?

"Poor gearbox and engine combinations letdown the Jeep Renegade, although most models have reasonable running costs. The Jeep is also one of the few cars of its ilk that you can realistically take offroad and it's also a good choice if you need a small SUV for towing."

Jeep Renegade front exterior

The Jeep Renegade is available with a choice of three petrol engines and one range-topping diesel. Kicking things off is the 120PS three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol. It's a thrummy little motor that works fine in town but can feel a little lacklustre when speeds rise. Sure, it'll handle motorway slogs with no issues but if you're planning on overtaking streams of traffic on A roads then, well, you might want to rethink that strategy.


Unfortunately, the answer isn't in the more powerful 150PS, four-cylinder 1.3-litre petrol, which is hamstrung by its standard six-speed automatic gearbox. Perplexingly, 0-62mph takes 11.8 seconds, exactly the same as the 120PS model with its six-speed manual.


At the top of the range you'll find the 170PS four-cylinder 2.0-litre diesel and the 180PS four-cylinder 1.3-litre petrol. Both get a smooth-shifting, nine-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive – so they're ideal for off-roading and towing – but their high price will put you off, particularly when you factor in the Jeep's cliff edge depreciation (although this does mean they could be a canny second hand purchase). 



MPG and fuel costs: What does a Jeep Renegade cost to run?

"As you’d expect, the diesel Jeep Renegades are the most efficient - but avoid four-wheel drive if you’re worried about spending a lot of time at the petrol station."

Jeep Renegade back exterior

The 120PS 1.6-litre diesel officially returns up to 48.7mpg with the manual gearbox, dropping to 47.1mpg as an auto. The 140PS 2.0-litre 4x4 provides up to 40.9mpg, falling to 37.7mpg with the automatic transmission. The off-road Trailhawk model with a 170PS version of this engine returns 35.8mpg.


There’s not much difference in fuel economy between the 1.0- and 1.3-litre petrol models. The 1.0-litre officially returns 37.2mpg while the 1.3 achieves up to 39.8mpg in WLTP tests.


All Jeep Renegade models registered since 1 April 2017 will be subject to tax at a flat rate of £150 a year. Before this, VED was based on CO2 emissions.


Trim levels and standard equipment

"The most affordable Jeep Renegade is the Sport model. This comes with a basic five-inch infotainment display (with DAB radio) and a simple 3.5-inch instrument cluster. "

Jeep Renegade boot open

It gets 16-inch alloy wheels, cloth seats and manual air conditioning. Cruise control is standard, along with various driving assistance features, namely Traffic Sign Recognition, Intelligent Speed Assist and Lane Departure Warning Plus.


Longitude spec builds on the Sport with rear parking sensors, electric door mirrors and front fog lights. It gets a more advanced Forward Collision Warning system, 17-inch alloy wheels and dual-zone air conditioning. Its most desirable feature is probably the 8.4-inch navigation system with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.


The Limited model adds adaptive cruise control, front parking sensors and a premium instrument cluster with a seven-inch TFT display. It gets a full LED lighting pack (including headlights, fog lights and tail lights), as well as leather seats. There’s also 18-inch alloy wheels as standard.


Off-road fanatics will find the Renegade Trailhawk model appealing - and not just for its cool name. This comes with hill-descent control, off-road skid plates and unique 17-inch ‘off road’ alloy wheels. Inside, there’s black leather upholstery with contrasting red stitching, as well as all-weather floor mats.

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

Is a Jeep Renegade a good car?

The Jeep Renegade is pretty good value for money when compared with similar-sized crossovers but its interior feels below par compared to rivals and it’s nothing special to drive. There are better options out there starting with the closely related Fiat 500X.

Andy Brady

Answered by

Andy Brady

What problems do Jeep Renegades have?

The Renegade has proved reliable with only a few problems reported including failed turbos on Multijet diesels and the odd complaint of poor paintwork.

Dan Powell

Answered by

Dan Powell

Does the Jeep Renegade have a Fiat engine?

Jeep is part of the FCA Group - Fiat Chrysler Automobiles - which includes Chrysler, Jeep, Fiat and Alfa Romeo among others. The Renegade shares engines with the Fiat 500X - which is essentially the same car under the skin.

Phil Hall

Answered by

Phil Hall

Jeep Renegade cars for sale on heycar

188
Number of cars available
£9.5K - £35K
Price bracket of these cars
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5 doors
Door options available

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