2015 Jeep Renegade

2015 Jeep Renegade

Episode 3436 , Episode 3449
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

While we as automotive enthusiasts tend to be wary of returning nameplates, as they rarely live up to the cars that originally used them, it can be done with success, as jeep proved with the new cherokee. Well, with that success in hand, jeep is now focused on the rapidly growing small crossover segment, and has placed the venerable Renegade name on an new model, with a new DNA.  

Renegade is defined as “one who deserts or betrays an organization.” So it’s a fitting nameplate for the 2015 Jeep Renegade, as it enters into a new segment for brand, and is clearly unlike any other jeep in the stable… …or is it? 

Jeep fans know that renegade not as a model name, but rather a trim package found mostly on cjs and wranglers. 

And while early photos, with its borderline-cartoonish appearance, made it hard to take seriously, in person, the subcompact renegade sports much better proportions while still saying classic jeep up front. But, less so in the rear ¾ view with the upwardly arched quarter windows. But, the x-motif in the taillights and elsewhere, playing off a ww II-style fuel can, is pretty cool.

As for its new DNA, the renegade is on fiat’s small-wide 4x4 platform that it shares with the 500l and upcoming 500x. Built in Italy, FCA hopes renegade will make jeep as popular in global markets as it is here.

One feature we haven’t seen on other new smallish-utes is removable roof panels. Renegade’s basic mysky system has two separate pieces that, when taken off, deliver some of that open air experience jeeps are known for. Mysky with a power sliding front panel is also available.

There’s not an abundance of room in the comfortable front seats, but more than you’re expecting; and that just means all of the controls fall close to hand.

Seat controls were manual in our latitude-trimmed tester, but they’re very beefy felling, not compact car flimsy. The instrument panel looks nice, if a bit gimmicky. there’s jeep logos and “since 1941” script everywhere. It can get a bit cheesy and some materials are more economy than rugged.

The uconnect screen is on the small side, but it gets the job done, and the overall look of the interior will undoubtedly appeal to the younger set. Rear seat room is good, but the seatbacks don’t quite fold flat for cargo.  

And while total cargo space is decent at 50.8 cubic-ft; 18.5 behind the rear seats; it falls well short of the Honda HR-V. Also, the mysky panels storage bag takes up a lot of floor space. 

Now, jeep wanted to make sure you can still do jeep-type things in the renegade, and the trailhawk model features a standard active drive low 4x4 system with terrain select  modes for snow, sand, mud, and rock. It’s clearly the only suncompact ute designed for true off-road use.

And you can still get jeep’s regular-strength active drive full-time 4x4 system in all other trims, which worked fine for us.  

On road, the renegade feels very car-like, with minimal roll in corners and heavy steering. It’s a solid package overall, with no squeaks or rattles from the roof panels, though wind noise can ring out at speed. 

As for powertrains, there are two. The larger, 2.4-liter tigershark I4 boasts 180-horsepower, and 175 lb-ft. of torque. Though a little rough at idle, there’s an impressive amount of power for a segment that mostly consists of sub-2.0-liter engines. 

And of course there is one of those available here as well, fiat’s 160-horsepower 1.4-liter multiair turbo-4 which comes with a 6-speed manual. 

The 2.4-liter gets a 9-speed automatic which worked okay. There’s still some occasional stumbling, but it’s definitely an improvement over early cherokees. 

At our test track, the 2.4 renegade snaps off the line like a sprinter, but quickly settles down into a marathon pace; reaching 60 in 8.6-seconds. Leisurely shifts compound the ¼-mile situation, which took 16.5-seconds to climb to 83 miles-per-hour. 

A relaxed pace was the way to go through our cone course too; as anything more, turns manageable understeer into full-on plow. An average stopping distance of 120-feet from 60 was not bad, but random locking and an unsettled rear needs to be improved upon. 

Government fuel economy ratings for a 2.4 4x4 are 21-city, 29-highway, and 24-combined. Our average of 25.4 of regular is certainly superior to an old xj; but we expected better from such a small-fry. Still the energy impact score of 13.7-barrels of oil use and 6.1-tons of annual CO2 emissions is healthier than average. 

We think jeep’s first attempt at a truly global small crossover will represent the brand well throughout the world, as it will be available in more than 100 countries. Pricing here in the good old U.S. of America starts at $18,990 for a sport; 4-wheel-drive adds 2-grand more. 

So, while its origins are off-shore, the 2015 Renegade still embodies much of what has made the jeep brand an American icon. Combined with a low price, it’s the perfect jeep for people who think they want a jeep, but really want a rugged-looking small crossover with all of the modern comforts they’ve become accustomed to. so, renegade is one traitor with a good cause. 

Specifications

  • Engine: 2.4 liter / 1.4-liter
  • Horsepower: 180 / 160
  • 0-60 mph: 8.6 seconds
  • 1/4 mile: 16.5 seconds @ 83 mph
  • EPA: 21 mpg city/ 29-highway
  • Energy Impact: 13.7 barrels of oil/yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 6.1 tons/yr
2024 PHEV Roundup 1

2024 PHEV Roundup

You Don’t Have To Go Full EV To Live The EV Lifestyle

Episode 4338
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

You’ve heard us say many times that PHEVs– plug-in hybrid electrics– rather than BEVs– pure battery electrics– are a sound choice for many folks thinking about owning an electric vehicle. Well, buyers do seem to have gotten the message, as while recent sales of all-electric BEVs are down, PHEVs are suddenly skyrocketing. So, we thought we’d give you a close look at the range of PHEVs that are available today.

An EV when you want it, a fuel-efficient hybrid when you don’t; that’s the reason that PHEVs are so appealing, and why we feel they’re the perfect starter vehicle for this time of transition from internal combustion to all-electric. So, buckle up for an alphabetical rundown of all the mainstream PHEVs that are currently available.

BMW has many plug-in options, starting around $46,000 with the 2.0-liter I4-based 330e sedan and its 22 miles of EV range. There’s also a 750e sedan with more than 30 miles of EV range, and an xDrive50e X5 utility with closer to 40 miles of EV range, plus a high-performance XM with 738 horsepower. For partner Mini, a small 1.5-liter I4-based setup is available in the Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 utility with 18 miles of EV range, going for around $42,000.

Ford has been in the plug-in game for some time, and currently gets a great 37 miles of EV range out of their 2.5-liter I4-based setup which is available in both the Escape for about $36,000, and in its upscale Lincoln Corsair counterpart which goes for around $55,000.

Hyundai offers a pair of plug-in SUVs, the Santa Fe priced at around $43,000 and the Tucson which goes for about $40,000; both use a 1.6-liter I4 turbo engine. It shares with their corporate cousins over at Kia. The Sorento, which starts around $51,000, and the Sportage, beginning at $40,000, along with Kia’s Niro at $35,000. All get more than 30 miles of EV Range.

For the high-rollers, Land Rover has a six-cylinder P550e plug-in option for both the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport with 51 miles of range, starting around $119,000.

Mazda is very new to the plug-in game, with their inline-six based setup just recently becoming available in the new CX-70 and CX-90 SUVs, both with 26 miles of electric-only range, starting at $41,000.

Mercedes-Benz has offered quite a few PHEVs over the years, though currently their lineup only consists of the $70,000 GLE450e SUV with a 2.0-liter I4 and 48 miles of EV range; and a $128,000 3.0-liter I6 S580e sedan with 46 miles of range. Though a high-performance 671 horsepower AMG C 63 S E Performance will be blasting onto the scene soon.

We’re very familiar with this second-gen Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, having had both generations as part of our long-term fleet. The current Outlander PHEV goes for $41,000 and gets 38 miles of EV range from its 2.4-liter I4-based setup.

Stellantis has a wide array of PHEVs available across their many brands, starting with the 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar-packing Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. It arrived way back in 2017 and currently delivers 32 miles of EV range for $40,000.

More recently, they’ve added the technology to the Jeep brand with 4Xe versions of the Jeep Wrangler for $52,000 and the Grand Cherokee at $61,000. And their most recent setup has just arrived in the compact crossover segment with 33 miles of battery in both the $45,000 Alfa Romeo Tonale and the $42,000 Dodge Hornet R/T.

All of this started with the Toyota Prius of course, which you can now get a Prime version of for $34,000 with a 2.0-liter I4 and 40 miles of range. The RAV4 Prime goes for $45,000 getting 42 miles. Plus, there’s a trio of Lexus PHEV’s rolling with bigger batteries on board, the NX450h+, the RX450h+, and the TX550h+, starting around $58,000.

Volkswagen PHEVs stick to their premium brands, starting with the $58,000 2.0-liter I4-based Audi Q5 55TFSI e quattro SUV with 22 miles of battery range.

Bentley adds electric-motor assistance to a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 for both the $206,000 Bentayga SUV, which gets 18 miles of EV range, and the $217,000 Flying Spur sedan, which stretches it to 21 miles. That same setup is available at Porsche in E-hybrid versions of both the $93,000 Cayenne SUV and $110,000 Panamera sedan, getting up to 19 miles on battery power.

Finally, Volvo has had a plug-in version of their turbocharged 2.0-liter I4 since the T8 arrived with the XC90 back in 2016. Now with a Recharge label, an updated version is available in just about every vehicle in their lineup; the S60 and S90 sedans, XC60 and XC90 SUVS, and yes even in the V60 wagon, starting around $53,000 with up to 40 EV miles.

So, there you have it, the Bs-to-Vs of PHEVs. They really are an easy way to live the EV lifestyle today, without going all the way.