The all-new, city-sized 2015 Jeep Renegade is perhaps not as cheap as many buyers would have expected.
The US off-road/SUV specialist brand has opted to position the new Renegade compact SUV at a higher price than many of its rivals, with a starting point of $29,500 plus on-road costs. That ranges through to the top-spec Trailhawk, which is a $41,500 proposition.
For some context, that entry price point is for a front-wheel-drive manual model, and it’s all of $9500 more than the entry-level Mazda CX-3, which currently has the sharpest pricing in the segment.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Australia director of marketing and product strategy Zac Loo told CarAdvice at the launch of the new baby Jeep in Queensland this week that the brand sees there is space for the Renegade to be priced where it is, despite the fact it sits above the existing Compass (from $29,000 driveaway) and Patriot (from $25,500 driveaway), both of which are larger than the Renegade (but considerably older).
"Where we've positioned the car, is, I think, where it conceptually fits," Loo said. "I think the hard part is that we've seen this whole wave of 'B SUVs', and everyone wants to say this is our 'B SUV'. But when you actually sit in this, versus one of those, firstly in terms of size and even from fit and finish, I think there's a big gap.
"From a showroom perspective we still have Compass and Patriot, and they are longer in their lifecycle. And where we see Renegade is its go-forward position, and I think it's the right one for it," he said.
"It does have some crossover in our showroom - it's not, let's say, the clean space you would usually look for, but the showroom will progress and change as it does for all brands, and we think it's the right position for the car to sit in the long-term.
Indeed, the starting price for the Renegade positions it higher than all the new arrivals in the small SUV segment, including the Honda HR-V (from $24,990 auto), Holden Trax (from $23,990 manual), Ford EcoSport (from $20,790 manual), Nissan Juke (from $23,490 manual) and Renault Captur (from $22,990 manual) to name a few.
The Renegade range consists of three front-wheel-drive models: the entry-level Sport, better-equipped Longitude, and the plush Limited variant. On top of that, there’s the four-wheel-drive Renegade Trailhawk.
The entry-level Sport is offered with a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine (producing 81kW an 152Nm) with a five-speed manual gearbox in its cheapest form. Fuel consumption for this drivetrain is claimed at 6.0 litres per 100 kilometres.
The Sport, when chosen with the new six-speed dual-clutch (DCT) automatic gearbox, also takes on a higher-tech and more powerful 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with stop-start. That powertrain has 103kW of power and 230Nm of torque, and fuel use is claimed at 5.9L/100km.
The 1.4/DCT engine is also fitted as standard in the Longitude and Limited models, but equipment varies between the three levels. See our spec breakdown below.
The range-topping Trailhawk gets more kit and a bigger engine again, with a 2.4-litre “Tigershark” four-cylinder producing 129kW and 230Nm being teamed to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Fuel use is claimed at 7.5L/100km.
The Trailhawk features a selectable four-wheel-drive system, Jeep’s Selec-Terrain system and low-range, and the off-road-focused model also claims ground clearance of 211mm and wheel articulation of up to 205mm.
The Trailhawk adopts different front and rear bumpers to improve the approach (30.5 degrees) and departure (34.3 deg) angles of the vehicle. The claimed break-over angle is 25.7deg, while Jeep claims the Trailhawk can wade up to 428 millimetres.
While it’s unlikely that many small SUV buyers will tow, it’s worth noting that the limits vary depending on the engine fitted to the vehicle. The 1.6 manual can tow 600 kilograms unbraked and 800kg braked, while the 1.4 turbo auto can handle 1200kg braked and 600 unbraked. The Trailhawk, despite its bigger engine, manages only 400kg unbraked and 907kg braked.
All Renegade models come with a standard reverse-view camera and seven airbags (dual front, front-side, full-length curtain and driver’s knee).
Buyers will be happy to note that the Renegade is the first Jeep to adopt service intervals of 12 months or 15,000km, as opposed to the existing six-month/12,000km maintenance schedule. The cover spans three years or 45,000km, with the 1.4-litre models costing $423, $781 and $423 per visit, and the 2.4-litre costing $427, $541, $427.
Jeep Renegade standard equipment by model:
- Reverse-view camera
- Seven airbags
- 5.0-inch touchscreen audio
- Bluetooth phone and audio streaming with voice control
- USB input
- Steering wheel audio controls
- Four-speaker sound system
- Electric park brake
- Cruise control
- Digital speedometer
- 16-inch alloy wheels
- “Premium” cloth trim
- Black exterior highlights including grille, door handles and mirrors
Longitude (adds over Sport):
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Rear parking sensors
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Dual-zone climate control
- Auto headlights and wipers
- Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
- Six-speaker stereo
- Electric lumbar adjust for driver’s seat
- 17-inch alloys
- Front fog-lights
- Black roof rails
- Body-coloured mirrors and door handles
Limited (adds over Longitude):
- 6.5-inch touchscreen media
- Satellite navigation
- 7.0-inch colour TFT instrument cluster
- Nine-speaker Beats audio system
- Heated front seats
- Heated steering wheel
- Electric front seat adjustment (eight-way)
- Leather trim
- “Deep tint” privacy glass
- Bi-xenon headlights
- 18-inch alloy wheels
- Silver-finished exterior treatment on roof rails, exhaust tip, grille, mirrors
Trailhawk (over Limited):
- Selec-Terrain with low-range
- Hill descent control
- Underbody bash plates
- 17-inch alloy wheels
- Black bonnet decals
- Black grille
- Unique front and rear bumpers for better approach and departure angles
- Tow hook
- Grey exterior highlights on mirrors and roof rails
- “Trail Rated” badges
- Trailhawk leather trim
Jeep Renegade pricing, plus on-road costs:
Sport 1.6 man - $29,500
Sport 1.4T auto - $32,500
Longitude 1.4T auto - $34,500
Limited 1.4T auto - $38,500
Trailhawk 2.4 auto - $41,500