The Jeep Renegade is a fantastic little addition to the Jeep family. Jeep noticed the smaller SUVs and crossovers became much more popular. Therefore, they took matters into their own hands and created the 2016 Jeep Renegade. The Renegade’s architecture and powertrain are the same as the Fiat 500L’s. Not a big surprise when you note that Fiat Chrysler Group owns Jeep. Also, the 500L (and 500X for that matter) is quite similar dimensionwise.
Now Jeep has returned with an updated version of the Renegade for 2016. Jeep shaped, polished, improved and enhanced it in all areas to make it an even better end-product than the first Renegade.
What’s so new about the 2016 Jeep Renegade is that it still adopts the square-ish shapes that Jeep models sport. However, all its edges are chafed and polished. This results in a definite Jeep sibling with all the classic Jeep features. Yet this one is slightly more easy on the eye because its corners are just a tad more curvy.
Starting at the front of the car, the first thing you’ll notice are the round headlights and seven-slot grille, custom for Jeep cars. More so than with other models, these features look well-placed and fit tightly into the front of the car. Above that, the hood comes with two big creases on either side of the middle, returning to the original Jeep look. The lower part of the front bumper is black, giving the car a tougher look. There’s an extra air valance and it features foglights and optional Running Daytime Lights. New is the position of the turn signals, directly next to the headlights. This is instead of the more usual position halfway between the front of the hood and the side mirrors.
The front windshield is very steep, almost vertical. The advantage of this is that the car gains much height, which consequently expands the interior space.
Moving on to the side of the car, most noticeable are the Jeep wheelbases floating high above the wheels. All intrinsic off-road vehicles feature high wheels. The black material of the front bumpers returns here, sharply outlining the wheelbases and the lower part of the Renegade. Remarkable are the two deep creases in the Renegade’s side, adding some details and grid to the car.
Side and rear
The appearance of the rims depend on the 2016 Jeep Renegade trim (there are six). The most basic option comes standard on the Sport trim and that’s the 16 inch styled steel rims on all season tires. The rims are all black with little embellishments and seem a little small compared to the 215 mm sized tire. To be honest, these rims remind us most of a tire that has no rims at all. Luckily, the standard trim has an optional upgrade to. 16 inch aluminium rims. These are standard on the Latitude trim and already look much more in place.
Moving on to the back of the 2016 Jeep Renegade, let’s start with the taillights. These are square-shaped red LEDs with a transparent X in the middle and are reminiscent of when Jeep still made military vehicles. These always carried two jerry cans with a large dented X on it, placed on the left and right of the back. The public loves these gimmicky headlights so much that we expect them to return on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler as well.
Moreover a large, slightly darkened and wide back window features on the Renegade. They made a small niche especially for fitting on the nameplate. Furthermore, on the lower part there is the black plastic bumper that goes around the whole car. As usual, there is one exhaust pipe on the right side of the car. Note that it ends in a little twist downwards so that no water will flow into it when you drive the car off-road through a patch of shallow or deeper water.
Finally, there are ten colours to choose from, including Solar Yellow and Omaha Orange. Also, a great optional feature is the MySky removable roof panels.
Moving on to the 2016 interior, what to expect here? Well, as cute and rather fluffy as the Renegade’s exterior looks, especially for a Jeep, the interior is the mr. Hyde side. It has a supersporty appearance, ready for driving fast and rocking the roadless wilderness. Ergonomically shaped frontseats, with optional seat and steering-wheel heating and and optional upgrade to leather seats. On the Sport trim the driver can choose from black- or sand-coloured interior details. When choosing sand not only the seats will be sand-coloured, also some features on the inside of the doors.
The steering-wheel is a thick, sturdy looking thing with an amount of buttons to control functions such as air conditioning. The centre console will feature a TFT-screen of 5 or 6.5 inch for controlling some functions and the view from the reverse-assist camera.
In the middle there’s a custom Jeep moveable and closeable compartment for small things that you don’t want flying around when you’re driving off-road. Very handy, especially when you drive an automatic. A little less handy when you’re driving a manual Jeep, since the manual brake is situated halfway underneath the compartment lid, so that might necessitate some handwiggling in order to find the manual brake.
All new on the 2016 Jeep Renegade are the rain-sensing windshield wipers and the optional Beats Audio System, consisting of nine speakers through the whole car.
The standard Renegade Sport trim comes with the 1.4 liter MultiAir turbocharged four-cylinder and a manual transmission, good for 160 horse power. The other engine is a 2.4 liter “Tiger shark” 16-valve four-cylinder with variable valve lift timing and is available on the higher trims. This engine is good for 180 horse power and comes standard with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Nine speeds are many and this is especially beneficial to fuel economy. Four wheel drive is optional on all trims.
In Europe the driver can also choose between a gasoline and diesel engine. There are two diesel options, the 1.6 liter MultiJet and the 2.0 liter MultiJet engine, both with a manual gearbox. The 1.6 liter MultiJet can make up to 110 horsepower, and the 2.0 liter MultiJet can make up to 140. Only the 2016 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk with a 2.0 liter MultiJet turbocharged four cylinder engine can make 170 horsepower.
Interestingly enough, the four wheel drive option can put all of the engine’s power on one of the four wheels when needed to crawl out of a tight situation. There’s also an automatic switching on and off of 4WD, for improving fuel economy and it will be immediately switched on when it’s deemed necessary. These 4WD options are called Active Drive. Jeep also offers Active Drive Low, which has the same options, only especially adapted for off-road conditions. Both systems feature five terrain settings: auto, snow, mud, sand and rock (only on Trailhawk trim).
On to the software of the car. Here you can expect the most changes and new tricks from the 2015 Renegade, since car technology is on the move, finishing new usable functions every month.
Some tech options include ParkSense Rear Park Assist with a backup camera, the UConnect 911 Call Assistance button, lane departure warning system, forward collision warning, Rear Cross Path Detection and blind spot monitor. The UConnect Access infotainment system offers navigation and makes it possible for the driver to order emergency services with just a touch of the screen.
Keyless unlocking, starting and stopping is optional on the higher trims of the Renegade.
Price and sale date
In the USA the standard Sport trim comes at a starting price of $17,995. The Renegade Latitude starts at $21,395 and the 75th Anniversary Edition starts at $23,375. The Limited trim is available from $25,120, next is the Dawn of Justice SE starting at $26,250 and finally the Trailhawk starts at $26,745.
European prices always differ depending on which country you buy the car in, but prices are easily accessible on your country’s Jeep site. On the official JEEP website you will also find a feature to build your own 2016 Jeep Renegade. You can choose the trim, colour, options and the end-product will show you exactly what the price will be.