The 2017 Jeep Renegade is the smallest crossover available and it offers genuine offroad capability with a two-speed transfer case, like a Jeep.
Renegade is large enough for people who don’t need a vehicle the size of the Patriot, Compass or Cherokee, and don’t want to burn the fuel it takes to run those bigger cars. The Renegade is hugely successful in countries where gas can’t afford to be guzzled. The Jeep Wrangler is shorter and even more capable, but it’s a highly focused vehicle and it isn’t a crossover. The Range Rover Evoque is slightly longer and more capable, but it’s much more expensive.
The Renegade comes with two powertrains, with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The base engine is a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder making 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, mated to a 6-speed manual transmission.
The more powerful option is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder making 180 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque, mated to a 9-speed automatic. It comes standard on the Trailhawk and Desert Hawk models.
Changes for 2017 are minor, with keyless ignition and HID headlamps added to the top model. Two limited-edition models are offered: the Renegade Altitude and Renegade Desert Hawk.
The 1.4-liter turbo gets an EPA-rated 27 miles per gallon Combined, while the 2.4-liter rates 25 mpg Combined city and highway.
The federal NHTSA gives the Renegade four stars for crash worthiness, while the insurance industry’s IIHS gives it top scores in all but the small-overlap front crash test on which few vehicles can earn a Good rating. Optional active-safety features include forward-collision warnings and automatic braking, lane-departure warning, and blind-spot monitors.