Jeep Renegade review: A crossover with the Jeep attitude

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The Wrangler is the quintessential Jeep—a tough, macho vehicle with a gung-ho attitude, the kind that will traverse anything, even if there are no actual roads. But the Wrangler isn’t for everybody. Which is probably why the manufacturer came out with a crossover for those who appreciate the reliability Jeep is known for but don’t need a Wrangler as an everyday ride.

The Jeep Renegade 1.4L Longitude 4×2 A/T comes with the ubiquitous seven-slot grille and a pair of round headlights. The design profile is angular with a lower beltline that complements the sharp corners of the windows. The square wheel openings also mean business—a salute to its off-road pedigree. Wheel bulges also add some serious sportiness. Black claddings add some visual gratification, aside from road debris protection.

The rear is also angular and features square taillights and a big rear bumper. The rear hatch has a curving glass window that widens at the middle, giving a more expansive rear view. The low cargo floor makes loading stuff easier.

Inside, you’ll find the A/C vents on the top of the center dashboard, with the 7-inch infotainment system right below it. This system comes with the Uconnect vehicle platform with voice command, Bluetooth, and Apple CarPlay support. What the system lacks in size it more than makes up for with its connectivity options and intuitiveness. Plus, the audio from the six-speaker system sounds great.

The fabric upholstery is ideal for hot weather as it disseminates heat especially during summer. The “Jeep” name silkscreened on the seats are a nice touch but they look like they will fade over time. The front seats have good back support and are contoured well for comfortable seating. Sadly, there’s no power adjuster for these; you’ll have to move the seats manually to adjust to your desired position.

The 60/40 split-folding rear seats offer generous space. Even tall passengers can sit comfortably, with its angled backrest and higher ceiling. The seatback can fold flat for storage. For extra-long cargo, the front-passenger seat can fold forward, too.

The Renegade’s engine is a small but potent 1.3L twin cam, 16-calve, MultiAir turbo engine with direct injection. A 7-speed dual dry clutch transmission transfers power to the front wheels. This power combination is fuel-efficient, with a measured 10-12kpL in heavy traffic. But don’t let those figures fool you. All 147hp is on tap when you mash the accelerator. The suspension is also at par with more expensive SUVs; firm bit comfortable–and can keep up with spirited driving. This, ladies and gentlemen, is one serious crossover.

Speed says

The Jeep Renegade Longitude is one understated crossover. It has top-notch amenities, big interior and cargo space, and a powerful but fuel-efficient engine. At P1,640,000, the Renegade is a bit pricey, but you get what you pay for—and more.

Words and photos Earl Manalansan

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