Fresh is best in the hyper-competitive compact crossover categories, with the newest vehicles typically getting the most attention. If it isn't time for a full redesign, then you make a mid-cycle refresh as Jeep has done for its entry-level Renegade for 2019.
Riding on the same platform as the Fiat 500X, the Renegade wears more rugged styling that gets an updated front end and wheel designs. The other notable change is a new 1.3L turbocharged four-cylinder engine to replace last year's 1.4L as the standard power source for Limited and Trailhawk trims. The new motor makes 177 hp and 200 lb-ft of torque, increases of 17 hp and 16 lb-ft.
Carried over from last year is a 2.4L four-cylinder that makes 180 hp and 175 lb-ft and serves as the base engine in Sport and North trims. Both engines now come standard with a nine-speed automatic, as the manual transmission offered with last year's 1.4L has been dropped.
Other changes include new paint colours and instrument cluster graphics, and an Advanced Tech option package that gains adaptive cruise and parallel/perpedicular park assist.
Four-wheel drive is an option. The Trailhawk uses an Active Drive Low system with low-range gearing, while other trims can be had with a single-speed transfer case.
Standard features include the Uconnect 3 infotainment system with a 5.0-inch touchscreen, electric windows and keyless entry, 16-inch steel wheels, six-way manual driver's seat and four-way front passenger seat.
North trim adds fog lights, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, leather-trimmed steering wheel, ambient interior lighting, dual-zone automatic air conditioning and 17-inch silver wheels.
The Trailhawk's additions focus on off-road ability and include skid plates, unique styling cues, tow hooks, rain-sensing wipers and a 115-volt power outlet.
Limited models add remote engine start, windshield wiper de-icer, auto-dimming rearview mirror and passive keyless entry.
North and Limited trims can be optioned with the Advanced Tech group and its active safety features, which include automatic high beams, forward collision warning with active braking, lane departure warning with lane keep assist and rear park assist.
As of press time, Jeep hadn't published its fuel consumption estimates for the 2019 Renegade, but we expect them to be in the neighbourhood of 11.0/8.0 L/100 km (city/highway) with the 2.4L engine and 10.0/7.5 with the new 1.3L turbo mill.