The Renegade might be Jeep’s smallest vehicle, but it’s big on character. It comes packed with unique touches including a massive sunroof, a stylish cabin, and plenty of heritage-inspired styling cues. Beyond the look, the Renegade is surprisingly capable off the beaten path thanks to a serious four-wheel drive system. The off-road Trailhawk variant goes where CX-3s and HR-Vs fear to tread thanks to class-leading off-road abilities, a 20:1 low-range rock-crawl mode, knobby tires, and skid-plates.
Though it was just launched last year, the Renegade gets a couple of minor upgrades for 2016. The biggest news is a 75th Anniversary Edition, which sits above the North trim level in the model trim hierarchy. It includes low-gloss bronze-finish wheels, exterior trim, unique cloth seats, added standard equipment, and the availability of Jungle Green metallic exterior paint. Tune-loving owners will appreciate the availability of a new range-topping 506-watt Beats Audio sound system, which is now available on most trims. Automatic rain-sensing wipers also join the equipment list; they’re standard on the Trailhawk and Limited, and an option on the North trim level. JetSet Blue and Granite Crystal join the colour portfolio, too.
The Renegade rides on a European-designed platform and is assembled in Italy alongside its kissing cousin, the Fiat 500X. Like the Fiat, it is available with two different engines. The 1.4 MultiAir Turbo, also found in the Dodge Dart and Fiat 500, produces 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque; it can be had in 4x2 or 4x4 configurations, but is paired exclusively to a six-speed manual. Most Renegades will use the 2.4-litre Tigershark four-cylinder by virtue of its standard nine-speed automatic. This motor is more powerful, with 180 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque, and can also be had in 4x2 or 4x4 configurations. Fuel economy with either engine is merely OK – the most frugal variants (1.4T 4x2) rate at 9.9 L/100 km city, and 7.5 L/100 km highway.
Prices for the Renegade range from $19,999 for the Sport 4X2 with manual transmission, all the way to $33,795 for the Limited 4X4 with automatic.