2015 Jeep Renegade Latitude 2.4 gas
Great urban off-road vehicle
Never had to have anything repaired in the 2 years I owned the car. There was an occasional squeak or rattle, but it was a lower end Jeep and not a luxury vehicle, so I figured that was expected.
I test drove a few other compact SUVs before buying the Renegade. The others made me feel like I was on my way to drop off kids at soccer practice; the Renegade made me feel like I was heading out on an adventure. The interior is over the top, with contour maps in the cup holders, old Jeep grilles all over the place and mud splats painted on the gauges. Someone had fun during the design process and you can't help but feel some of that fun when behind the wheel.
The interior was devoid of luxury, as if on purpose. Everything was useful and/or fun. Surfaces were easy to clean; no fancy wood, just rugged plastic. There are lots of storage compartments which I greatly appreciated. If you have the model with the removable rood panels, they are stashed under the trunk floor. If, like me, you did not have that roof, you have a nice sub-trunk where you can keep your tow rope, first aid kit, sun tan lotion and other essentials for your adventures.
Of course the back seats fold down, but not flat. I was able to carry furniture, a dryer and take loads to the dump, but it is not quite as cargo friendly as some of the larger SUVs, due to the seat backs always being at a slant.
I took some dirt roads but never did any real off-roading. Was stuck having to drive in a sleet and snow storm, and the AWD performed admirably. The ground clearance makes it easy to run over curbs when necessary. Can do a U turn in a two lane alley. Not sure how it would do as a rock-crawler, but as an urban SUV it did all I asked of it.
It rode a bit bouncy, my wife (BMW driver) disliked it but I just thought it rode like a real Jeep should. Took the corners very well for a tall SUV; not modern car fast, but much better than my 2006 Liberty. I never was afraid it would tip or even felt like I had gotten close to the limits.
The 2.4 Tigershark motor is just barely enough for a vehicle this size. From a dead stop you would have to make sure there was a big enough gap to pull out because it took a little bit of time to get up to speed. My 3.7 Liberty could not keep up with the Renegade on the corners, but would leave it far behind on the straights. But I got 25 MPG in the Renegade compared with 16 MPG in the Liberty, so you have to make a compromise someplace.
Much of the credit for the MPG can be given to the 9 speed transmission. When driving in parking garages or other stop-slow-stop situations, it felt like the Jeep was always looking for a gear and may buck at times when it picked the wrong one. All the rest of the time, the shifts were silky smooth and not even noticeable.
A few times a year I would rent the largest trailer U-Haul has and move stuff (mostly other peoples). The little Jeep moved the load without issue or complaint. Of course you need to leave more room to go and stop, but the load never felt like it was too much for the vehicle to handle.
My biggest complaint was the overly-helpful at times traction control. If I was trying to make a right onto a busy street and gunned the engine while the wheels were turned hard, the computer would figure I was out of control and reduce the throttle. So instead of darting out into 45mph traffic I would launch in front of the cement truck, then slow down. I learned to anticipate it and leave gradually until the wheels were pointed straight and then floor it, all the while yelling, "I think I can!" at the 4 cylinder under the hood.
Overall I loved the vehicle and would gladly buy another.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 28th November, 2017