2016 Jeep Renegade: Cute as can be–and tough as nails, too

11 Jul 2016 | 1,022 views | No Comment
By Don Hammonds There is so much to like about the Jeep Renegade. It's hard working. It's cute as hell. It's well built, and fuel economy is great considering what it offers. But I'm betting none of those things will be reasons why the Renegade is selling like hotcakes. Renegade is selling well because it has so much personality.  It literally oozes charm and fun through every badge, and interior and exterior feature that it has.  And believe me, really creative nd imaginable design elements from the world-famous Jeep brand are everywhere---and that is part of the sheer fun of driving the Renegade. And of course, you won't have to worry about losing your car in the crowd! 2016 Jeep® Renegade 75th Anniversary edition The Jeep Renegade Latitude  4 x 4: This is your grocery getter, pick up the children from school Renegade.  It rides softer than the Trailhawk, and though its interior is well carried out, it is not nearly as cool looking inside. Also, you will likely find that there is tight room in the back seat, although its squarish roofline makes for more adequate headroom. The Latitude is quiet inside and pretty darn comfortable overall. The ride is surprisingly stable and reassuring for such a small CUV, and steering and brakes both performed very well. We were not crazy about the My Sky removable roof panels; the unlocking/locking process and lifting them out proved to be a counterintuitive process because you could not just grab the handles and get busy releasing them. We suggest taking some time to read the owners manual to get full instructions. We also didn't care much for the nine speed automatic, it is still balky and unsmooth at times. And it still feels as though it is searching for shifts when coming up hills. With the 2.4 liter engine, gas mileage is 21/29/24 combined. You will spend about $500 more than the average truck or car over five years, and annual fuel costs totals $1900 based on 15,000 miles of driving using $3.00 a gallon gas. Standard equipment includes a rear backup camera, electronic roll mitigation, Select-Terrain system, all speed traction control, speed control, capless fuel fill,, daytime running lamp system, hill start assist, a tire pressure monitoring display,  Uconnect 5.0, an Integrated Voice Command system with Bluetooth, six speaker, XM satellite radio with a subscription for one year, air conditioning, silver shift knob, leather wrapped steering wheel, media hub, ambient LED interior lighting, rear 60/40 folding seat, front seat back map pocket, sun visors with illuminated vanity mirror,  height adjustable rear cargo floor, power windows, black side roof rails, aluminum wheels, tire service kit, automatic headlamps, cornering fog lamps, and power heated mirrors. Safety equipment includes advanced multistage front airbags,, supplemental side curtain and front and rear airbags, antilock four wheel drive disc brakes, and supplemental front seat mounted side airbags. Options on the Latitude included  remote start system, aluminum wheels,MySky power retractable and removable panels, engine cooler, 2.4 liter four cylinder multi-air , 184 horsepower engine, nine speed automatic transmission, and a few other items. Final price was $28,185. Jeep Renegade Trailhawk: The Trailhawk is an almost completely different CUV from its less expensive sibling in many ways.  It has a tougher, slightly rougher ride, but as you can imagine the way it is built and the expertise that Jeep ha with all-wheel and four wheel driving, give the Trailhawk a totally new personality all its own. [caption id="attachment_8304" align="alignnone" width="689"]2016 Jeep® Renegade Trailhawk 2016 Jeep® Renegade Trailhawk[/caption] It is built for all-wheeling and off  road driving, and is 0.8 tenths of an inch higher clearance over ground than does the Latitude. It also has a transmission skidplate and transfer case skidplate as well.  It also has a Selec-Terrain System rock mode that is not part of the Latitude's equipment. In addition it also as a Hill Descent control to make driving downhill more safe and predictable. Standard equipment also includes  two front tow hooks and one rear tow hook. And the Trailhawk is a plenty comfortable place to be in on the open road.  There's a bit more tossing around behind the wheel when you hit potholes and have to through mud, gravel and such, but it's all good. You are comfortably seated inside on luxurious leather seating being entertained by Jeep's fabulous UConnect 6.5 (optional equipment) navigation, climate and entertainment system. A FCA US news release said, "The Jeep Renegade interior features a rugged and energetic appearance that builds upon Jeep’s legendary brand heritage. This small SUV’s precisely crafted detail, innovative and high-quality color and material appointments, state-of-the-art technology, and clever storage draw inspiration from contemporary extreme sports gear and lifestyles." It adds,  "The interior of the Jeep Renegade has a distinctive form language, which Jeep designers have titled “Tek-Tonic.” This design theme is defined by the intersections of soft and tactile forms with rugged and functional details. Major surfaces, such as the sculpted soft-touch instrument panel, are intersected with bold functional elements like the passenger grab handle – indispensable for off-road adventures and borrowed from its big brother, the legendary Jeep Wrangler. Unique “protective clamp fasteners,” anodized design accents and inspired colors are derived from extreme sports equipment, while the newly familiar “X” shapes inspired by its roof and tail lamps add to Renegade’s Tek-Tonic interior look. And to make sure all of the needed passenger gear fits, the Renegade is designed with an efficient and flexible interior package that includes a fold-forward front-passenger seat and removable and height-adjustable cargo floor panel." In both the Trailhawk and the Latitude, you will find plenty of comfort and space for legs up front, and though it does get a bit tight in the back, the unusually wide stance of the Latitude allows for enough space for three across in the back seat.  You can't necessarily say that with some of the competition. 2016 Jeep® Renegade 75th Anniversary edition Standard equipment, except for items I mentioned above, is pretty much the same for both the Trailhawk and the Latitude. Options on the Trailhawk included  the Premiere Trailhawk group that includes an Automatic Climate temperature control with Dual Zone feature, other options included blind spot and cross path detection system, Connect, Navigation system, and Uconnect, among other things. Final price for the Trailhawk was $31,175. The new Renegade is a welcome addition to the automotive market here--not only is it well built, tough as nails and cute as a button, it is a standout, individually packaged product that isn't like anything else on the road. And that's a good thing to us.

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