The Renegade is the smallest model in the Jeep lineup, sitting two rungs below the Cherokee, but since its debut in 2015 it's been a strong seller for the brand, helped by the fact that the aging Compass wasn't replaced until late 2017. Along with its Fiat 500X sibling, the Renegade arrived during a boom for small SUVs and crossovers, and it set its sights upon the lower end of the price spectrum, even though higher-spec models like the Trailhawk and its Desert Hawk variant overlap with larger Jeep models.
Designed from the ground up as the entry-level Jeep model -- the Renegade is not a direct replacement for any other vehicles in the range -- this wee SUV offers the Jeep formula in a compact, urban-friendly package that features a spacious interior, good ergonomics, plenty of storage space and a well-designed cabin. Sporting a very cab-forward design and a tall ceiling, the Renegade makes the most of its boxy shape, maximizing passenger space that in other pocket-sized SUVs and crossovers would likely be wasted by a stylish, sloping windshield and back hatch. The Renegade delivers a tall, square box of an interior that offers plenty of cargo space for everyday items.
Powered by a 2.4-liter inline-four engine coupled with a nine-speed automatic transmission, the Renegade has 180 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque to play with, which is enough for something this size. The Renegade Desert Hawk combines the hardware of the trail-rated Trailhawk model with a number of special bits of equipment including off-road rock rails, Active Drive Low gearing for a 20:1 ratio crawling speed, 17-inch gloss black aluminum wheels, special Moroccan Sun interior trim color, leather-trimmed seats with cloth inserts and emboroidered seat stitching, all-weather floormats and cargo liner, and a unique exterior color with a map decal on the hood and D-pillar star decals. This model also features other goodies from the Trailhawk model including tow hooks, skid plates, hill descent control, 8.7 inches of ground clearance and the Selec-Terrain system with Rock mode.
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