Bob Plunkett, Sat, 23 Sep 2017 12:30:12 PDT
The list of models for Jeep's 2017 Renegade 5-door subcompact sports utility vehicle expands with new Altitude and Deserthawk editions.
Rank the Renegade as the smallest SUV in Jeep's stable, as well as the first Jeep produced outside of North America. It was designed in the USA but comes together at Fiat factories in Italy, Brazil, and China for markets in North America, Europe, South Africa, Brazil, and China.
Renegade landed in the USA in 2015 with front-wheel 2-wheel-drive or optional 4-wheel-drive traction for three versions -- Sport, Latitude, and Limited. Further, Jeep added the rugged Trailhawk model with a hiked chassis and off-road 4WD gear.
The 2017 Renegade lineup expands to six models: Price-leader Sport, well-equipped Latitude, luxurious Limited, trail-ready Trailhawk, new Altitude dressed in edgy Gloss Black and new Deserthawk packing the Trailhawk's trail-ready equipment including 4WD, skid plates, rock rails and a trailer tow kit.
Renegade's 2017 models split between two 4-cylinder powertrains.
The base engine for Renegade Sport, Latitude and Altitude editions is an Italian 1.4-liter inline-4 MultiAir turbocharged plant with single overhead cam configuration. It musters 160 hp at 5500 rpm with 184 lb-ft of torque between 2500-4000 rpm and links exclusively to a 6-speed manual transmission.
The wee turbo works with 2WD or 4WD and earns EPA-estimated fuel economy numbers of 24/31 mpg city/highway.
The standard engine for Renegade Limited, Trailhawk and Deserthawk models (or optional for Sport, Latitude, and Altitude) is a Michigan-built 2.4-liter 4-in-line Tigershark MultiAir plant with the single overhead cam.
The Tigershark engine generates 180 hp at 6400 rpm with 175 lb-ft of torque at 3900 rpm and ties to Jeep's electronically controlled 9-speed automatic transaxle.
Fuel-burn for the Tigershark powertrain tally to 22/31 mpg city/highway for 2WD and 21/29 mpg with 4WD.
Two 4WD systems apply to 2017 Renegade editions: Active Drive with a single-speed power transfer unit, and Active Drive Low with a low-range 20:1 crawl ratio. The former system is optional on all Renegade models, while the latter one is standard on Trailhawk and Deserthawk.
Jeep's Selec-Terrain traction control system applies to all 4WD editions and allows a driver to dial in one of four terrain settings (Auto, Sport, Snow, Sand/Mud -- plus Rock mode exclusive to Trailhawk and Deserthawk).
All Renegade versions come with many active safety systems including a quick-response electric rack and pinion steering system and 4-wheel disc brakes tied to the ABS (anti-lock brake system) and ABA (advanced brake assist) plus anti-skid devices like ESC (electronic stability control) and HSA (hill start assist).
Optional safety gear ranges from ParkSense and Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning to LaneSense Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist, Rear Cross Path Detection, and the ParkView rear backup camera.
Every Renegade edition looks rugged and stands tall in the traditional 2-box format of an SUV but it's both square in style and curvy with edgy angles scoring fascia and fenders, a sloped hood and flat flanks interrupted only by trapezoidal wheel openings rippling in sculptured fenders.
Renegade's cabin contains a pair of contoured buckets in front and a rear bench for three but indents for two. Rear-bench seatbacks split 60/40 and fold to extend the floor of the rear cargo bay, which has 50.8 cubic feet of room with rear seats folded or 18.5 cubic feet with seatbacks raised.
Jeep Renegade Altitude rolls on 18-inch Gloss Black wheels with Gloss Black accents on grille rings and taillamp rings. Inside, the blacked-out theme continues with black premium cloth seats and High Gloss Black finishes.
Jeep Renegade Deserthawk totes the Active Drive Low and Selec-Terrain systems plus HDC (hill-descent control). It has 8.7 inches of ground clearance with skid plates added, plus red front and rear tow hooks, the ParkView rear backup camera and a TFT (thin-film transistor) instrument display.
Jeep sets MSRP figures for 2017 Renegade models as low as $17,995 for Sport/2WD. The Altitude/4WD lists for $23,495, as Trailhawk/4WD and Deserthawk/4WD, go to $26,645.