The compact SUV is a pretty popular body style, and for a good reason. These are vehicles that are built to excel at just about everything, from the engine to the relatively well-delivered cargo capacity. Although, the 2020 Jeep Renegade is a special case, providing drivers with a compact SUV that isn’t just well-spaced and powered, but versatile as well.
Recognized as one of the smallest members of the Jeep family lineup, the Jeep Renegade has been rolling out of manufacturer factories since way back in 2014. This is a quirky car and is often identified as the cartoony, fun-loving, black sheep of the Jeep family. Although, that isn’t to undermine the Jeep Renegade’s success. Here is a Jeep model that manages to find a seamless balance between fuel economy, power, price, and rugged capability.
Starting at an MSRP of $22,620, the Jeep Renegade is incredibly well-priced. That said, the Jeep Renegade can be easily upgraded from the simple "pavement-only" compact SUV to a 4x4 machine that can compete with the best of them, including the Jeep Trailhawk. The trim and special edition options for the Jeep Renegade are quite diverse, and all totaled, include the Sport, Latitude, Upland, Altitude, Limited, Trailhawk, and High Altitude. The Jeep Renegade is a success amongst the Jeep family, and you can test drive a model of your own when you visit our Jeep dealership.
There are many ways in which one can judge a compact SUV, although performance resides at the top of the list. The performance of any vehicle matters, but in a compact SUV, you want to be able to enjoy some solid power without sacrificing fuel economy at all. This is a difficult balance to strike, but the Jeep Renegade manages to pass the test with flying colors.
Powertrain options in the Jeep Renegade bob and weave between two levels, one focused on on-pavement driving, the other intent on providing an incredible off-road experience.
The baseline model Jeep Renegade is pushed forward with the assistance of a 2.4-liter I4 engine that produces 180 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque, all with the guidance of a zippy 9-speed automatic transmission. This base powertrain utilizes front-wheel drive, which results in a rather smooth ride, but four-wheel drive is optional for an even better experience. That said, this entry-level powertrain is hardly off-road worthy, which is why if you want a more rugged Jeep Renegade model, you’ll have to take things up a notch.
Upgrade to the Trailhawk trim edition, and you’ll get to enjoy the robust power of a 1.3-liter Turbo I4 engine that yields up to 177 horsepower and 210 lb-ft worth of torque. While this turbocharged four-cylinder is certainly commendable, it is the four-wheel drivetrain and additional off-road gear that makes the Trailhawk simply incredible. On top of its torque-heavy engine, the Trailhawk trim gets an increased ground clearance and a hill-descent control switch. The standard four-wheel drivetrain is also tweaked for off-road performance, thanks to the 50/50 front-to-rear split torque, and the 20:1 crawl ratio. What results is a compact SUV that is far more capable off the pavement than your average model.
The 2020 Jeep Renegade's Fuel Economy Ratings
What’s better is that fuel economy isn’t sacrificed significantly, even in the four-wheel drive model. When equipped with the 2.4L engine and front-wheel drive, the Jeep Renegade earns an estimated 25 MPG combined. Meanwhile, when equipped with the 1.3L engine and front-wheel drive, the Renegade gets an estimated 27 MPG combined. And if you opt for the Trailhawk, you’ll be able to earn 24 MPG combined, which isn’t half bad for a vehicle specializing in off-road performance.
Interior space and comfort is a big deal for any car, but more particularly for a compact SUV. The classic SUV body styling is intended to be a cargo and passenger space titan, offering drivers a large alternative to more compact alternatives. Compact SUVs typically struggle with the spacing factor, as due to reduced size, the ‘utility’ aspect of the sports utility vehicle ends up falling to the wayside. Although, this isn’t the case for the 2020 Jeep Renegade.
Behind the rear row of seats, drivers will find 18.5 cubic feet, which isn’t half bad considering the overall size of the Jeep Renegade. If you desire more spacing, you can fold those rear seats down and get up to 50.8 cubic feet of cargo space, and yes, those seats fold flat. As can be expected of any other compact SUV, the Jeep Renegade sports enough room for five passengers in total. And while this Jeep model isn’t necessarily large, second-row passengers will get to enjoy 35.1 inches of legroom and 40.5 inches of headroom.
Interior materials include soft-touch plastics and cloth in base trims and leather upholstery in higher-trims. Although, the interior of the Trailhawk deserves a special highlight, as it is sprinkled with Jeep-themed Easter eggs that’ll tickle the delight of any Jeep fanatic.
Interior features in the 2020 Jeep Renegade exists on a kind of sliding scale. Base models, with their low entry price, offer a return to basics. Although, if you upgrade to the Latitude trim, you’ll get plenty of modern amenities such as a 7.0-inch infotainment system that’s touch-activated and packed with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible software. Optional features are quite expansive within the Jeep Renegade. Features like a panoramic sunroof can be added in for an additional price, as can a removable roof system that allows you to have an open-air driving experience similar to that found in the Jeep Wrangler. At top tier levels, the 2020 Jeep Renegade adds in things like leather upholstered seating and a keyless ignition making access to your vehicle simple and easy.
The Jeep Renegade may start small when it comes to interior features, but for a small additional price, you can ride in a near-premium level compact SUV with off-road sensibilities.
The outside of the Jeep Renegade is possibly the most unique part of this compact SUV. It's unlikely you’ll find another vehicle like it on the road. With the boxy design, and classic round Jeep headlights and grille, it’s possibly one of the most unique looking models in the Jeep family. The ‘x’ taillights and considerable ride-height make the Jeep Renegade a one-of-a-kind creation. In the Trailhawk trim, you’ll find additional stylistic changes, chief amongst them being the set of front red tow-hooks that make the model stand far apart from the rest.
Safety technology is a big deal nowadays. In the past, safety was exclusive to things like seatbelts and airbags; now we expect cars to be able to nearly pilot themselves. The 2020 Jeep Renegade may start with rather basic safety features, but higher-end models add-in some pretty incredible tech.
Within the Jeep Renegade’s premium safety package, you’ll find features like active lane control. Active lane control is a feature that uses cameras and sensors to essentially read and follow the lane-lines in the road. This system also guides your vehicle so that it stays within those lane lines effectively, and helps prevent the risk of lane drift.
Another feature-packed into the Jeep Renegade’s safety package is a blind-spot monitor system. Blind-spot monitors, like active lane control, uses sensors and cameras to detect vehicles, people, or objects moving in the vehicle’s blind spot. When there’s the risk of a collision, this system will alert the driver. Assisting this system is rear cross-traffic alert, which can truly come in handy when navigating through cramped parking lots. Automatic emergency braking is possibly one of the most hotly-desired features in the Jeep Renegade’s safety package. Automatic emergency braking is a feature that, like others, uses cameras and sensors to detect the flow of front-end traffic. If this system detects a collision is likely, it’ll grab control and apply the brakes. While this system isn’t fool-proof, it does an excellent job of providing peace of mind and giving drivers the chance to avoid a possible accident.