This week I got a preview of Jeep’s new small SUV, the 2015 Renegade. I’ve always been a Jeep fan and this little guy marries my love of off road with my preference for small vehicles in a smartly designed package.
The new Renegade is available as a 4×2, but really, why would you? With Jeep’s reputation for off road prowess, I would go straight to the Trailhawk trim line. However, for those of you who don’t thirst for adventure around every corner, there is still plenty to love.
Two engine choices will be offered. A 1.4L Turbocharged Multiair will be standard in the Sport and Latitude trim lines. This will offer 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. Standard on the Limited and Trailhawk and available on the Sport and Latitude trim lines is a 2.4L Multiair2 Tigershark, putting out 187hp and 177 lb-ft of torque.
A nine speed automatic transmission is available with the 2.4L Tigershark and a six speed manual comes with the 1.4L engine. For those of you keeping score, that means you can not get a manual in the Trailhawk trim line. Most people won’t want it, but having traversed deserts on more than one continent with a manual, I have to say I prefer the control of a manual, especially in soft sand.
No information has been released about fuel efficiency, but Jeep expects more than 30 miles per gallon on the highway.
All 4×4 models have Selec-Terrain, allowing you to choose between Auto, Snow, Sand, and Mud modes. The Trailhawk goes one further with the exclusive Rock mode.
Here’s why the Trailhawk is my choice of trim level: 20:1 crawl ratio. This is going to give you the biggest possible torque for climbing steep hills. Add a ride height of 8.7″, approach angle of 30.5 degrees, breakover angle of 25.7 degrees, and departure angle of 34.3 degrees and the Trailhawk is great for casual off roaders, and a good starting off point for those of us that want to push the limits of physics. I’m very interested to see what the aftermarket for the Renegade is going to look like.
Visually the SUV is has a much more youthful vibe, while still retaining a classic Jeep feel. The seven slot grill is still there, but the hood line has been pulled down just a bit, to give the round headlight more menace. The rear sports some unique X-shaped tail lights and each model comes with the epic My Sky roof system, bringing the outdoors in with two large removable roof panels.
To say that I’m excited to drive the Renegade would be an understatement. I’d really love to get the Trailhawk out in the Mojave desert and see how well it does. I’ll leave the pavement testing to my TFLcar boys!
Watch the official reveal of the 2015 Jeep Renegade!