NEW_CAR_PREVIEW

2015 Jeep Renegade Preview

By: Jeff Youngs, 3/6/2014
Fast Facts:
  • New compact SUV sold globally
  • Gasoline or diesel 4-cylinder engine
  • Available 9-speed automatic transmission
  • Choice between two 4WD systems
  • Available Selec-Terrain technology
  • Trail Rated 4WD capability in Trailhawk model
  • Numerous infotainment and safety systems
  • Built in Italy

Introduction
Jeep says that it seeks "youthful and adventurous customers" with the new 2015 Renegade, a compact SUV that will be available to buyers around the world. Designed in the United States and built in Italy, the new Jeep Renegade is expected to arrive in the fall of 2015.

Exterior Features
Signature round headlights, a 7-slot grille, and trapezoidal wheel arches instantly identify the new 2015 Renegade as a Jeep. The Renegade Trailhawk sits higher, provides greater ground clearance, and gets revised front and rear styling in order to improve approach and departure angles--features off-roaders will appreciate. Observers can identify the Renegade Trailhawk by its red front tow hooks and unique 17-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires.

Interior Features
"Rugged and functional," according to Jeep, the new Renegade's interior is crafted with what the automaker characterizes as "high-quality materials" and "inspired colors." A passenger grab handle is present on the dashboard, and the front passenger's seat folds forward in order to maximize cargo-carrying capability. The driver grips a thick-rimmed steering wheel.

Optional Features
The 2015 Jeep Renegade can be optioned with numerous upgrades. Highlights include a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather seats, color-coordinated interior accent trim, and a 7-inch information display in the vehicle's gauge cluster. Two different MySky sunroof options are available in the form of a manual canvas or dual-panel power glass opening. Jeep also offers its Uconnect Access system for the Renegade, featuring 911 Connect, text-messaging capability, an Assist button to summon roadside assistance, and more.

Under the Hood
A 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard for the 2015 Jeep Renegade. This is the same engine that is included in the larger Jeep Cherokee, where it is rated to make 184 horsepower and 171 lb.-ft. of torque. Jeep confirms that a 9-speed automatic transmission can be installed in the new Renegade, but does not state whether it is standard or optional equipment.

Jeep does confirm that it will offer a 2.0-liter diesel engine in the 2015 Renegade, that the diesel engine will be available with the 9-speed automatic, and that it will be able to tow up to 3,300 lbs. With either engine, the transmission offers manual gear selection by pushing up on the shifter to execute a downshift, and by pushing down on the shifter to execute an upshift.

Jeep Renegade buyers will be able to choose between an Active Drive 4-wheel-drive (4WD) system and an Active Drive Low 4WD system that features a 20:1 crawl ratio. Both 4WD systems include Selec-Terrain technology with Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud, and Rock settings, and can deliver up to 100% of engine torque to a single wheel. To improve fuel economy when a Renegade isn't off-roading, a rear-axle disconnect system reduces friction in the drivetrain.

A 4-wheel independent suspension is standard for the Renegade, and offers up to 8.1 in. of wheel articulation. Jeep uses Koni frequency damping front and rear struts for the suspension, and the Renegade Trailhawk model rides higher and delivers 8.7 in. of ground clearance in combination with greater approach, breakover, and departure angles, according to the automaker.

Thanks to these upgrades, Jeep says the Renegade Trailhawk model provides best-in-class off-road capability. Jeep Active Drive Low is standard for this version of the SUV, which rides on 17-in. aluminum wheels with all-terrain tires, gets a set of skid plates, can ford 19 in. of standing water, and includes standard hill-descent control technology.

Safety
In addition to 7 standard air bags, the 2015 Renegade is available with several safety-related technologies including Forward Collision Warning Plus, LaneSense Departure Warning Plus, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-path detection, and a reversing camera.

Technology
Two different Uconnect infotainment systems are available for the 2015 Renegade, ranging in screen size from 5 in. to 6.5 in. The larger version can be equipped with Uconnect Access, a subscription-based upgrade that provides access to text messages and can read them to the driver over the stereo speakers. This system also includes a 911 Connect button to summon rescuers in an emergency, and provides the ability to contact roadside assistance for help when needed.

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