First brought to market in 2014, the Renegade continues to make its mark, cultivating a style appropriate to the American brand with a compact SUV raring to go on a weekend adventure.
The brand offers us a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) equipped with an 11.4 kWh battery giving a range of 50 kilometres (31 miles) in 100% electric mode. The electric motor, installed on the rear axle, is accompanied by a 4-cylinder 1.3 litre turbo-compressor petrol engine driving the front wheels. Inside, the raised driving position is pleasant and reassuring. Cabin space is more than sufficient and the vehicle is well equipped: lane assist, adaptive cruise control, speed limiter, automatic headlights, traffic sign recognition, GPS, heated seats, etc.
At the wheel, the driver has a choice of three driving modes:
Hybrid the system uses the most appropriate energy depending on the conditions encountered. Propulsion is mainly electric, but the petrol engine regularly comes to the aid of the electric motor.
Electric in this case you use only the energy from the battery until it is empty (reckon on between 25 and 40 kilometres (15½ and 25 miles) effective range).
E-save when you activate this mode you ask either for the battery to be kept charged at its current level (passive E-save) or for it to be recharged via the petrol engine which then acts as a generator (active E-save).
We liked the gentleness of the automatic gearbox and the excellent synergy of the electric and ICE modes. By taking the bends calmly and adopting an eco-responsible way of driving, you can get maximum savings on consumption while at the same time enjoying the silence of its operation. If necessary the 190 hp available (60 hp electric + 130 hp petrol) will rise to the call, but this is not the way in which this Jeep is best appreciated. On the road, the little SUV’s suspension proves really comfortable. We didn’t test them, but Jeep has worked on the Renegade’s off-road capabilities and offers functions for such use.
Jeep offers us a very pleasant compact 4x4 SUV, comfortable and suited to sorties off the beaten track, with the capacity to get you out of difficulty in slippery conditions. Its active safety is excellent and families that are not in too much of a hurry will certainly appreciate it providing they can get used to the limited boot volume. If properly used (meaning by regularly recharging the battery) the hybrid solution will allow you to consume very little fuel providing you avoid long hauls in order to get the most out of its battery.
Lastly, its great bushwhacking look is likely to strike a chord with quite a few people!
Image source: Jeep
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