At a castle nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, (in Sedalia, CO), Jeep gave us a guided preview of the 2015 Jeep Renegade. Slightly shorter than the Jeep Patriot/Jeep Compass, the Jeep Renegade has a much more user friendly interior layout and it’s dripping with utility. Two engines, two transmissions and two 4×4 systems combine with trim variations to give the consumer (according to Jeep) one of the most off-road capable vehicles in its class.
There is a bit of confusion and speculation as to what “class” the 2015 Jeep Renegade falls into. Will it step onto the sales of the Jeep Patriot and Compass, or vise versa?
Despite sharing its platform with the FIAT 500L, the Jeep Renegade was developed in the United States and it will be assembled at the Melfi Plant in Italy, “Designed in America, crafted in Italy, the 2015 Renegade highlights the Jeep brand’s global resources and dedication to meeting customer needs in more than 100 countries .” – – Jeep
There were a few quotables that I’m paraphrasing, namely: Its base price will have a one (1) in front of it and it’s highway mpg will have a three (3) in front of it. If you’re guessing that it will start below $19,000 and get up-to or more-than 30 mpg highway – that’s our guess too. According to Jeep, the Jeep Renegade will get over 30 mpg highway either with the base motor, the 1.4-liter turbo, or with the beefy 2.4-liter Tigershark engine with MultiAir2 paired to the segment’s first nine-speed automatic transmission.
“The all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade symbolizes the brand’s renowned American design, ingenuity and innovation, marking the Jeep brand’s first entry into the small SUV segment,” said Mike Manley, President and CEO — Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “Renegade expands the brand’s product portfolio and targets the rapidly expanding small SUV segment with a best-in-class combination of fuel efficiency and off-road capability, while at the same time delivering outstanding driving dynamics and the open-air freedom customers expect from Jeep.”
The base engine is a 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo four-cylinder engine offers 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. It is paired to a six-speed manual transmission and is available in 4×2 and 4×4 models. The 4×4 2015 Jeep Renegades that come with the 1.4-liter engine get the ‘Jeep Active Drive,’ full-time 4×4 system. This system can send all of the torque to the appropriate wheel that needs power. Rather than bogging down, this system is said to be constantly alternating (as needed) to maintain the best grip.
The 2.4-liter “Tigershark” engine with MultiAir2 technology makes 184 horsepower, 177 lbs-feet of torque and is paired ‘exclusively’ to a nine-speed automatic transmission on 4×2 and 4×4 models. Step up to the 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk and you’ll get 4×4 “Trail Rated” capability with class-exclusive Jeep Active Drive Low, which includes 20:1 crawl ratio working in conjunction with the Jeep Active Drive system.
The 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk also gets more aggressive tires, a higher ride height, unique bumpers that increas approach/departure angles and a ton of beefier Jeep aggression.
Jeep is adding a lot of unique touches, especially in this segment. They are opting to give this vehicle an exterior presence that evokes a similar reaction that a MINI would – to a fan. It’s innovation can be seen in its exterior design and nifty additions… “And for segment-exclusive panoramic views, two available “My Sky” open-air roof panel systems conveniently stow to provide passengers open-air freedom with ease.
The all-new 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.
The interior of the all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade has a distinctive form language, which Jeep designers have titled “Tek-Tonic.” This new 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 class-exclusive removable, reversible and height-adjustable cargo floor panel.” – – Jeep
Check out the reveal of the Renegade from Moab, Utah and stay tuned for our Renegade walk around with Mark Allen, Head of Jeep Design.