Other than the 2015 Jeep Renegade (Sport and Latitude), can you name a turbocharged vehicle that has a six-speed manual, Four-Wheel Drive (4WD) and a base price starting at $19,995? Nope, didn’t think so. It’s the six-speed manual transmission that throws most people. In terms of driveline and price, the Nissan Juke is the 2015 Jeep Renegade Sport and Latitude’s main competitor.
The only manual transmission you can get with the Nissan Juke is in the front-wheel-drive model, and even that has disappeared for 2015 and beyond.
There’s more to the Sport and Latitude models than the 160 horsepower, turbocharged 1.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that makes 184 lb-ft of torque. In this configuration, Jeep says the 2015 Jeep Renegade will get over 30 MPG on the highway, but the official numbers have yet to be released. All 2015 Jeep Renegades have a 12.7 gallon gas tank.
The 2015 Jeep Renegade Sport and Latitude have 7.9-inches of ground clearance which is about three-inches less than the Trailhawk version. As it is lower and the front bumper is more prominent, the Approach angle is 21,° break-over angle is 24° and the departure angle is 32.1.° Those numbers work nicely for snow, but serious rocks and dirt enthusiasts should stick with the higher, more capable Trailhawk.
The Jeep Active Drive system used in the 4WD Sport and Latitude models uses a rear axle that disconnects when not needed for traction, thereby promising improved fuel economy. When called upon, maximum torque is sent to the wheel that needs power. It’s seamless and, if you need the front and rear-end locked up (good for starting in deep mud/snow) you can manually switch it on, which will give you instant lock.
Here’s more on the 2015 Jeep Renegade’s abilities.
“From rural roads to the most modern highways, the All-New 2015 Jeep® Renegade is designed to give you impressive ride and handling. A stiff body structure, constructed of approximately 70 percent high-strength steel, magnesium and aluminum combined with a responsive steering system and an integrated KONI frequency selective damping front and rear strut system all add up to premium performance.Large ventilated front and solid rear disc brakes deliver superior stopping power.” – – Jeep
Maximum cargo space, with the rear seats folded is a respectable 50.8 cubic feet.
This short video will give you a taste of the Jeep Sport and Latitude’s capabilities. It can do a lot more and, most importantly, it’s ridiculously fun to drive – dirt or tarmac. It’s no Golf R, but it doesn’t pretend to be either. Power off the line is impressive, there is no perceptible lag and the gear shifting is easy and smooth. Throws remind some journalists of the older Honda Accord, and that’s a compliment. Engagement is fairly positive too.
Steering feel is minimal, but the steering weight is excellent. On-center feel and resistance build-up is quite good too. This is a very easy vehicle to maneuver.
If you couldn’t tell, we’re impressed.
Check out the video review filmed in Hollister, CA. It’s part of Episode 6 of The Fast Lane Car Show (you can fast forward to 12:26 in the episode to see the Renegade Sport).
And here is the Renegade Trailhawk first drive off-road review.
By the way: Blasted Mojo Nixon “Redneck Rampage” during filming. Sounded good, even in the base stereo (standard with Bluetooth, USB and Aux) and four speakers.