Jeep Renegade

Bring out the Renegade in you

Companies are cutting budgets. And so is government. Where a CEO qualified for a GLE, VX, Range Rover or top of the range Jeep, they now qualify for maybe a medium sized SUV. Managers who qualified for mid-sized SUVs will now go for smaller entry level SUVs or Crossovers. The game has changed, and so have the rules.

Our verdict is the smallest Jeep will really gain much traction in Zimbabwe if marketed in a way that disrupts the market. Remember Zimoco did it with Haval. When Haval came on the scene we were skeptical but it is now dominating that segment and other dealerships have followed by importing such model as Hyundai Kona, Kia Seltos, Nissan Rogue Sport, Honda HR-V, Subaru Crosstrek and Mazda CX-3. The name Jeep compared to competition is a brand with more equity.

Here is the solution. When you cannot afford a Mercedes Benz, Range Rover and other top of the range models, you can easily down grade into an entry level funky looking Jeep Renegade

French magazine SUV Crossover, published by Éditions Larivière gave the new Jeep Renegade their “2019 Urban SUV of the Year” award.

It has a boxy shape and carries proper Jeep styling cues, and certainly stands out in a crowd of increasingly blobby crossovers. In short, all the identifiers which have distinguished the Renegade through the years are still present.

The changes applied during the mid-life facelift are modest indeed, and comprise the usual bumper restyling and radiator grille revisions. It’s still an appealing-looking car with plenty of Wrangler overtones in its styling themes. Particularly endearing are the tail lights, which are designed to resemble a jerry-can. This idea carries over from the pre-facelift Renegade, but seems more accentuated in its latest iteration.

Renegades don’t receive the new-generation FCA engines (introduced in 3- and 4-cylinder formats during the facelift), so the oily bits are also the same as it was before. Apart from the off-road-biased Trailhawk, which uses a larger, 2.4-litre corporate mill for propulsion, all Renegades use the same 1.4-litre turbo petrol 4-cylinder with which it was launched.

Outputs are still class-competitive for its displacement, with 103 kW and 230 Nm  it is pretty much on par for this engine size, and matches the power on offer from the Renegade’s competitors. All Renegades from Longitude trim level upwards use automatic gearboxes, with the 1.4T engines mated to a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Performance is, as suggested by the engine’s output figures, adequate but not particularly lively. The 0 – 100 km/h dash is dispatched in a claimed 11.0 seconds, with a top speed of 181 km/h. On-road performance subjectively confirms these numbers, with reasonable acceleration from standstill, but overtaking punch at higher speeds is lacking – most likely as a result of that chunky styling. At least the gearbox goes about its business reasonably smoothly, although it did tend to shuffle up and down through its ratios to maintain freeway speeds on inclines. One upside of the Renegade’s tall and boxy build is cabin space, where it’s packaged well enough to comfortably carry four average-sized humans. Headroom is especially generous, although the cabin feels narrower than it actually is, due to those chunky roof pillars. Boot space is also segment-competitive at 351 litres, eclipsing that of the Mazda CX-3.

The cabin’s design is pretty nice, with logical control layouts and a generally sturdy build. “Easter Eggs” abound, with Jeep logos and outlines in evidence everywhere, from the windscreen to the door speaker covers. This livens up the ambience inside the car

Standard equipment is fair for this price point, with a colour touchscreen infotainment system with seamless smartphone mirroring, navigation, multi-function steering wheel, cruise control, automatic climate control and rear parking sensors included as part of the Longitude trim level. Front PDC, a rear-view camera and LED headlights only appear on the high-trim Limited variant, so it might be worth paying that 10% extra for an even more-comprehensive features list.

Six airbags, stability control, ABS, hill-hold assist, and rear ISOFIX child seat anchors form the basis of the Jeep Renegade’s safety credentials

Don’t be scared when you hear jeep and you think massive fuel consumption. Jeep is now the leader in manufacturing petrol engines with technology that does not guzzle fuel yet offers increased performance. Jeep claims an average consumption of 5.9 ℓ/100 km for a Renegade 1.4T automatic, but it’s highly unlikely that it would even break into the high-6 ℓ/100 km bracket in normal use.

With a starting price of US$39900 you can drive a Jeep Renegade Sport. The Longitude 1.4 litre will cost US$43000. The 1.4 litre limited auto will go for US$49000. The 2.4 litre goes for US$58000. They offer enough standard features to largely justify their price tags

Call Zimoco today on 0242-885329/30 for a test drive

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