First Impressions: 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk
What do you get when you mix a family and a trail-rated vehicle? Where does the Renegade fall- closer to the Cherokee or the Wrangler? We had so many questions about the Jeep Renegade. Thankfully, a ride around town got them answered.
Let’s be honest. It’s more like a Kia Soul than anything else in the Jeep Family. Not that it’s a bad thing. It just is what it is. Despite the comparison, the Renegade still has a distinctive Jeep front end that, from the side, reminds us a little of a 1994 Jeep Cherokee.
It’s unique square-molded style and “x” taillights make it easily distinguishable from its Jeep brothers and sisters.
The Renegade isn’t sexy. It certainly isn’t boring. It has a bit of external charm that will attract the same crowd that considers a Scion or Soul for their next vehicle.
When they made the Renegade unique, what they didn’t alter from the rest of the Jeep brand is its capable handling. Whether it’s handling the Camp Jeep course or the mean, pothole filled streets of Atlanta, the Renegade happy drove along.
Unlike the Grand Cherokee we drove last year, the Renegade wasn’t boring to drive. While it wasn’t especially connected to the street like a sports car, the drive was pleasant enough. We never got the feeling that it was only meant for off-road or on-road functionality.
Not only did the Renegade have plenty of room for two adults in the front and back, it had oodles of headroom. If you usually look at Subarus due to your height, the Renegade is worth taking a longer peek at.
The up/down rear seating and storage configurations make traveling with a family or a trip to Costco easy. While two adults also fit comfortably in the back seat with a few shopping bags between them.
Easy to use, approachable, uniquely Jeep. Everything from the touchscreen to the heating and cooling knobs is unlike what we’ve found in any other vehicle, which isn’t to say it’s bad or good. We need a little bit more time with these knobs, dials, and screen to make a full judgement.
One of the knobs we instantly liked the positioning of is the Selec-Terrain® dial which is conveniently located at the bottom of the vertical center stack close to the driver and easy to see without moving your eyes too far off the road.
The Renegade impressed us. We hadn’t considered it a serious contender for an everyday family vehicle but after a ride and a glance at the low-$20,000 price tag, we have to admit it is worth a second peek.
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