Not much change for the 2018 Jeep Renegade

First shown at the Geneva Auto Show in 2014, the little Jeep Renegade was an instant hit – all that Jeep styling and off-road coolness, wrapped up in a little Jeep body. What’s not to like?

The Renegade is the first Jeep ever that isn’t built in the USA – manufacturing bases in Melfi, Italy Goiana, Brazil and Guangzhou, China are all responsible for global output of the Renegade. It’s the Italian one’s that arrive in the U.S. (and we all know what they say about Italian reliability don’t we!).

Nothing Much Happening Here

Contents

1. Nothing Much Happening Here
2. Cheap Motoring Deals to be Done
3. Renegade Is Actually Works Off-Road
4. Options
5. No Change Under the Hood
6. Competition

It seems as though not much is going to change with the 2018 Renegade – rumors say that Jeep will be introducing a full redesign in 2020/21 but nothing is definite. We have heard talk that Jeep won’t be doing anything aside from maybe updating the colors, but we are pretty sure that isn’t right … admittedly, Jeep won’t be doing much, but it will get some remodelling.

No doubt that Jeep will go for the easy options – we believe that we’ll get a redesigned front and rear bumper, updated headlights and possibly front grille, although of course it will retain the signature Jeep grille.

Styling-wise, that is going to be about it. Nothing fancy, no major updates, maybe one or two ‘special editions’ and a couple of different colors.

Cheap Motoring – Deals to be Done

If you’re contemplating getting yourself a Renegade, we’d tell you to jump right in now – dealers will be knocking the existing inventory out pretty cheap – they need to make room for the 2018 Model Year and discounts will most definitely apply.

Will you be missing out on anything if you purchase before the new model? Well, only if you’re the type of person that has to have the very latest car on their drive to tell the neighbors how well you’re doing, if that doesn’t bother you, then save the money and buy a 2017 Model Year – there will be no discernible differences – at least not to drive or running costs.

Jeep haven’t confirmed pricing yet, but we know it will be in the same range as the existing model – it’s a hotly contested segment – they won’t out-price themselves from it. So depending on trim level, options and extras, you’re going to be looking at anywhere between $19,000 and $28,000.

For that money, Jeep are offering at least four different trims – the base model is the ‘Sport’, slightly better equipped is the Latitude, then with a little luxury comes the Limited and we’ll also get an off-road version with the Trailhawk. As we have already said, it’s likely that Jeep will do a couple of limited versions, but we have no confirmation of that yet.

2018 Jeep Renegade Is Actually Works Off-Road

Special mention must be made of the actual off-road ability of the Renegade – these sub-compact SUV’s are usually considered more of a toy rather than proper work-horse, but the Renegade has a few nice features that means you could actually take on some rugged terrain rather than slightly dusty pavement.

Of course, these extras are just that – extras that you have to pay for, although the Trailhawk should come equipped with them.

The Active Drive Low AWD system gives an ultra-low range gearing – for serious off-roading, we also have a hill-descent control and functional underbody skid-plates, plus, the Trailhawk gets increased ground clearance (8.7”) and has the ability to wade in water up to 19” deep.

Options

There is quite a list of other options as well – some that you wouldn’t expect in a range such as this … full leather upholstery? Check. Autonomous automatic emergency braking? Check. Heated front seats? Yep. Jeep’s My Sky panoramic roof? Indeed.

Better yet though – even the standard model comes with a few nice touches and technology – much more than you’d expect for the budget. All Renegade models will have push button ignition, powered windows and locks, touchscreen dashboard display and voice command with smartphone integration. The only minor criticism is that Jeep haven’t confirmed whether air-conditioning will make it to the standard equipment list or the extras – looking at the rest of the standard equipment, you’d have to say that Jeep would be missing a trick if they don’t include it.


No Change Under the Hood of the Jeep Renegade 2018

As regards the mill, we are pretty confident in saying that Jeep will be keeping the two Fiat designed engines as they are, this means the option of a 1.4 liter turbo with 160 BHP and 184 lb/ft of torque or a 2.4 liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder with 180 BHP and 175 lbs of torque – neither will set the world alight but they do what they need to.

The 1.4 liter comes as standard with a six-speed manual transmission, the 2.4 is mated to the 9-speed auto transmission – it isn’t that clear as to whether Jeep will let you upgrade the 1.4 to the auto transmission or whether you have to have the 2.4 liter.

Gas mileage isn’t bad – the little motor returns around 24/31/26 MPG (city, highway and combined) while the 2.4 returns 22/30/25 MPG – both engines have received some criticism in this department – neither are particularly economical – perhaps that is something that Jeep will address with any further or future updates?

Competition

This segment is fiercely competitive. The little Renegade is up against the likes of the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3 and the Fiat 500X. At the moment, you’d have to say that the Renegade is pretty much top of the tree, but it wouldn’t take much for one of the other manufacturers to topple it – it’s probably more of a case of brand-loyalty rather than XXX being a better car.

We do know that Americans love buying American, but would an Italian-built Jeep be classified as such? We aren’t so sure.

There is no doubt that the baby Jeep is popular right now, and if Jeep can keep it that way until they are ready to launch the all-new version in a couple of years, then it’s a happy place for them, but the other brands are ready and waiting to step-up at the first sign of a struggle for Jeep.

The new 2018 Jeep Renegade is expected to hit the showrooms in Spring of this year – as we said earlier, if you’re thinking of buying one, get down to your dealer now for a bargain.

2017-04-20 by Luke Widmeyer