Jeep Renegade Complete Mastery Guide

jeep renegade complete mastery guide

The Jeep Renegade is a subcompact crossover SUV manufactured by Jeep since 2014. It is currently in its first generation. The Renegade slots below the Jeep Compass in Jeep’s SUV lineup and is Jeep’s first entry into the subcompact crossover segment.

The Renegade was first unveiled at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show and went on sale later that year. It is built on the same platform as the Fiat 500X, and the two vehicles are produced together at Fiat’s Melfi plant in Italy.

The Renegade features typical Jeep design elements like the seven-slot grille and trapezoidal wheel arches. It is available in front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive configurations, with the 4×4 models featuring Jeep’s Selec-Terrain traction control system.

Here is an overview of the key specs and features of the Jeep Renegade:

  • Seating for up to 5 passengers
  • Two engine options: 1.3L turbocharged 4-cylinder or 2.4L naturally aspirated 4-cylinder
  • 6-speed manual or 9-speed automatic transmission
  • Front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive
  • Ground clearance up to 8.7 inches
  • Approach angle up to 30.5 degrees (4×4 models)
  • Departure angle up to 25.7 degrees (4×4 models)
  • Removable My Sky open air roof panels (optional)
  • Uconnect infotainment system with 5″ to 8.4″ touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration
  • Up to 70.8 cubic feet of cargo space with rear seats folded

The Renegade provides a good combination of compact dimensions, off-road capability, and available tech features. It competes against other subcompact crossovers like the Chevrolet Trax, Honda HR-V, Ford EcoSport and Nissan Juke.

Trim Levels and Packages

The Jeep Renegade is available in four trim levels:


This is the base Renegade trim. It comes standard with:

  • 1.3L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine
  • 6-speed manual transmission (9-speed automatic optional)
  • Front-wheel drive
  • 16-inch steel wheels
  • Keyless entry
  • Air conditioning
  • Cloth seats
  • 5-inch touchscreen display
  • Bluetooth
  • 4-speaker audio system


This mid-level trim adds features like:

  • Aluminum wheels
  • Roof rails
  • Body-color exterior accents
  • Automatic headlights
  • Ambient LED interior lighting
  • 7-inch touchscreen display
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • 6-speaker audio system


The top-level gas model includes upgrades such as:

  • Leather seats
  • Heated front seats and steering wheel
  • 8.4-inch touchscreen display
  • HD radio
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Remote start
  • 18-inch aluminum wheels


This is the most off-road capable Renegade trim. It includes:

  • 2.4L 4-cylinder engine
  • 4×4 drivetrain standard
  • Increased ride height and ground clearance
  • Hill descent control
  • Skid plates
  • Tow hooks
  • All-terrain tires
  • Unique fascias and wheel arches
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • 17-inch aluminum wheels

Popular packages for the Renegade include:

  • Cold Weather Group – Heated front seats and steering wheel, all-weather floor mats
  • Safety and Security Group – Blind spot monitoring, rear cross path detection, security alarm
  • Navigation and Sound Group – Beats audio system, navigation, SiriusXM traffic
  • Advanced Tech Group – Automatic high beams, lane departure warning, forward collision warning

Exterior Design and Styling

The Jeep Renegade features a boxy, upright profile that is instantly recognizable as a Jeep. It has a rugged, capable look while still being stylish and modern.

Some key exterior design elements include:

  • Signature 7-slot Jeep grille
  • Round headlights and square taillights
  • Short front and rear overhangs for good approach/departure angles
  • Pronounced fender flares and trapezoidal wheel arches
  • Optional removable My Sky panels over front and rear seats
  • Rugged front and rear fascia with skid plate elements (Trailhawk)
  • Fun color options like Omaha Orange, Solar Yellow, and Mojave Sand

For 2020, the Renegade received minor exterior updates including:

  • Revised front and rear fascias with new lighting designs
  • New wheel designs across all trims
  • New available exterior colors
  • Black or body-color roof options

Overall, the Renegade combines traditional Jeep styling cues with modern, eye-catching elements to create a unique look in the subcompact SUV segment. The squared-off profile and short overhangs also enhance its off-road maneuverability.

Interior Layout and Cargo Space

The Renegade has a versatile interior designed for both passengers and cargo. Here are some key interior features:

  • Room for up to 5 passengers
  • Available 60/40 split folding rear seats to maximize cargo space
  • Rear cargo volume ranges from 18.5 cubic feet to 50.8 cubic feet depending on seat configuration
  • With rear seats folded flat, total cargo volume expands to 70.8 cubic feet
  • Passenger volume of 100.6 cubic feet
  • Available dual pane panoramic sunroof provides open-air feeling
  • Upright seating position for good visibility
  • Available heated front and rear seats
  • Available leather-trimmed seats

Some Renegade models also come with removable My Sky panels over the front and rear seats. These panels can be easily removed to create an open-air SUV.

The boxy proportions make it easy to get in and out and provide plenty of headroom for passengers. The upright seating position also enhances outward visibility, which is useful for off-road driving. Overall, the interior is versatile for carrying both passengers and gear.

Mechanicals and Performance

The 2020 Jeep Renegade is available with two engine choices:

1.3L Turbocharged 4-Cylinder

  • Output: 177 horsepower, 200 lb-ft torque
  • Paired with 6-speed manual or 9-speed automatic transmission
  • Front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive
  • Up to 31 mpg highway (FWD models)

This turbocharged engine delivers good power and efficiency. The quick-shifting 9-speed automatic transmission helps keep the engine in its power band.

2.4L Naturally Aspirated 4-Cylinder

  • Output: 180 horsepower, 175 lb-ft torque
  • Comes only on Trailhawk 4×4 models
  • Paired with 9-speed automatic transmission
  • 20 mpg city / 27 mpg highway

This engine provides extra power and torque for off-roading. It is only available with 4×4 capability on the Trailhawk.

4×4 Systems

The Renegade uses Jeep’s Active Drive and Active Drive Low systems. Key features:

  • Selec-Terrain system – Includes modes for Auto, Snow, Sand, and Mud
  • Hill descent control – Maintains low speed on steep declines
  • Up to 20:1 crawl ratio (Active Drive Low) for serious off-roading
  • Up to 8.7 inches of ground clearance (Trailhawk models)

The 4×4 systems provide impressive off-road abilities, especially for a vehicle of this size. The Renegade Trailhawk model can traverse some surprisingly tough terrain.

Overall, the Renegade provides good power and efficiency from its engine options. The 4×4 system gives it legitimate off-road cred for a small crossover.

Fuel Economy

Here are the fuel economy ratings for the 2020 Jeep Renegade:

1.3L Turbocharged Engine

  • Front-wheel drive
    • 24 mpg city / 32 mpg highway / 27 mpg combined (manual)
    • 26 mpg city / 31 mpg highway / 28 mpg combined (automatic)
  • Four-wheel drive
    • 22 mpg city / 29 mpg highway / 25 mpg combined

2.4L Engine (4×4 only)

  • 20 mpg city / 27 mpg highway / 23 mpg combined

These numbers are about average for a small crossover SUV. The front-wheel drive models with the 1.3L turbo engine can achieve over 30 mpg highway when equipped with the automatic, which is good. The larger 2.4L engine sacrifices some efficiency for more power.

In real world driving, expect fuel economy in the high 20s for most models. Drivers who do more city driving or cold weather driving may see averages closer to 25 mpg. For a 4×4 SUV, the efficiency is pretty solid. Choosing the FWD model provides the best mileage if maximum efficiency is a priority.

Technology Features and Infotainment

The 2020 Renegade offers many technology and infotainment features. Highlights include:

Uconnect System

  • 5-inch (Sport models) or 7-inch touchscreen
  • Available 8.4-inch touchscreen with navigations
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Bluetooth hands-free calling and wireless audio streaming
  • Voice command controls

Driver Aids Available

  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross path detection
  • Rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines
  • Front and rear parking sensors

Other Available Features

  • Keyless ignition and entry
  • Remote start system
  • Automatic climate control
  • Heated front seats
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Power moonroof
  • Beats premium audio system

The Uconnect interface is user-friendly and the large touchscreens make it easy to control music, navigation and your phone. The available safety tech brings the latest driver aids to this small SUV class. Overall, the Renegade offers great tech and convenience features for its size.

Safety and Ratings

The Jeep Renegade offers a range of standard and available safety features:

Standard Safety Features

  • 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes
  • Electronic stability control
  • Traction control
  • Hill start assist
  • Side-curtain airbags
  • Driver knee airbag
  • Tire pressure monitoring system

Available Active Safety Features

  • Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning and lane keep assist
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross path detection
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Front parking sensors (Trailhawk)

Crash Test Ratings

The Renegade earned top marks from the IIHS and NHTSA:

  • IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (with optional front crash prevention features)
  • Five-star overall rating from NHTSA (five stars in all tests)

The combination of standard safety equipment, available driver aids, and excellent crash test results make the Renegade a very safe subcompact SUV. Families can feel well protected on the road.

Towing Capacity and Off-Road Performance

One area where the Renegade shines is its off-road capability, especially in Trailhawk trim. Key specs:

  • Up to 2,000 lbs towing capacity when properly equipped. Enough to tow small trailers, boats, jet skis.
  • Trailhawk trims feature:
    • Increased ride height and ground clearance (up to 8.7 inches)
    • Improved approach, departure, and breakover angles
    • Low-range 4WD gearing with 20:1 crawl ratio
    • Hill descent control and Selec-Terrain system
    • Skid plates and tow hooks
  • Can safely traverse mud, snow, sand and rocky trails
  • Higher water fording capacity than many rival SUVs

The Trailhawk models can traverse some surprisingly challenging off-road conditions. The Renegade also has more towing capacity than many rivals thanks to the available tow package.

While all SUVs advertise adventure, the Trailhawk Renegade can actually back it up and get you well off the beaten path. It’s a unique offering in this segment.

Customization and Accessories

One fun aspect of the Jeep Renegade is the wide range of customization options and accessories:

Factory Options

  • Custom color combinations via dual-color exterior paint
  • Removable My Sky Panels for open-air driving
  • Unique and vibrant exterior color choices not found on most small SUVs
  • Upland and Altitude special editions with unique wheels and styling upgrades

Mopar Accessories

  • Lift kits and off-road rock rails
  • Auxiliary lights for grille and roof racks
  • Roof racks and carriers for bikes/skis/snowboards
  • All-weather floor mats and cargo trays
  • Wheels, tires, and wheel flares
  • Doorsill guards and interior trim kits
  • And much more!

Between the fun color combos, removable roof panels, special editions, and huge catalog of accessories, buyers can really customize a Renegade to match their personality and lifestyle. No two have to look the same.

Pricing and Value

The 2020 Jeep Renegade starts at an MSRP of $22,275 for a base Sport FWD model. Here are some other pricing points:

  • Renegade Latitude 4×4: $27,595
  • Renegade Limited 4×4: $29,995
  • Renegade Trailhawk 4×4: $30,495

At the upper end, fully loaded Limited and Trailhawk models can reach around $35,000. These prices are very competitive for a 4×4-capable subcompact SUV.

The Renegade compares favorably to rivals like:

  • Chevrolet Trax: Similar pricing, less off-road ability
  • Honda HR-V: Less powerful, worse fuel economy
  • Subaru Crosstrek: Less cargo room, similar off-road chops

Overall, the Renegade provides a strong value by packaging real Jeep 4×4 capability and utility in an affordable, city-sized crossover. There are few other vehicles at this price point that can match its versatility on- and off-road.

The Ideal Buyer for the Jeep Renegade

The Renegade slots in below the Compass as Jeep’s entry-level crossover SUV. It appeals to several buyer types:

Young Singles and Couples

  • Stylish and modern design stands out
  • Easier to park than larger SUVs
  • Efficient 4-cylinder engines and FWD models
  • Advanced tech features at a reasonable price
  • Just enough cargo and passenger room

Downsizing Empty Nesters

  • Rightsized compared to larger mid-size SUVs
  • Easier to maneuver and park
  • Good gas mileage for urban use
  • 4×4 capability provides peace of mind
  • Upscale interior and features

Adventurous Families

  • Real off-road performance from Trailhawk
  • Removable roof panels create an open-air Jeep
  • Compact exterior with usable interior room
  • Safety of all-wheel drive in rough weather
  • Towing capacity for small trailers/boats

In summary, the Renegade hits a sweet spot between size, capability, efficiency, and value in the small crossover segment. For those wanting Jeep fun in a more maneuverable package, the Renegade delivers.

Final Thoughts on the Jeep Renegade

The Jeep Renegade occupies a unique niche in the crowded subcompact SUV segment. What really sets it apart is its impressive off-road ability, open air driving potential, and fun personality.

Jeep took the best aspects of the Wrangler – ruggedness, 4×4 traction, removable roofs – and sized them down into a pint-sized package. While cheaper crossovers simply look rugged, the Trailhawk-trimmed Renegade can actually leave the pavement and explore trails.

For buyers wanting real Jeep adventure in a smaller package, the Renegade delivers. Its unique styling, open air options, and customization potential also help it stand out. With a combination of value, efficiency, interior flexibility, modern tech and genuine off-road chops, the Renegade makes a compelling case in the small SUV marketplace.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *