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Vancouver Auto Chat 2016 VAC Community Head Moderator: Raid3n

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Old 10-02-2016, 06:02 PM   #1
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Revscene Car Review: 2016 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk














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The 2016 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk

First and foremost this is NOT the old Jeep Compass and Patriot on which it was based on the Dodge Caliber. This Renegade is brand new from the ground up and it has some Italian roots, sharing it's platform with the Fiat 500x. This Renegade does not have a North American Vin number, it's actually an import and an Italian one at that. So what we have here is basically a baby Ferrari off-roader. Okay, maybe that's stretching it a bit. The Renegade it's Jeep's new baby 4x4 and it's aimed more for a city type environment but still having the capability of going out and having some fun when the roads are rough.

Looking at the Renegade there's no mistake that it's a Jeep. With the corporate grill and big round headlights up front, the Renegade has tons of charm. And there're lots to love as well, the car has funky tail lights that reminisce of the fuel canister that was mounted in the back of Willys or Wranglers. There's also a Sasquatch running around the border of the rear window. The designer definitely had some fun creating this car and the corporate overlords have allowed it, and we applaud them. It's not common where automakers take risks anymore.

Powering this little Jeep is the trusted 2.4L Tigershark making 180 horsepower through a 9-speed automatic box. Remember when cars had 3-speed automatics with overdrive and we thought that was enough? With the 9-Speed, the little Renegade is able to get up and go with ease. Something we found unique is the car always started itself in 2nd gear unless 4Low was engaged. This little truck always started on 2nd but there's no hesitation there was more than enough torque. On the highway, the transmission would shift up to 9th gear as soon as possible maximizing fuel economy. At highway speeds, the engine is turning just a bit over idle. The readout that displays the instant fuel economy could get as low as 3L/ 100km. But that is just what's displayed, it gets about 8L/100Km on highway and 11.2L in the city. That being said, that's what's on the sticker, combined we got an average of 13L/100km of mostly city driving. The Trailhawk fuel economy is not it's strong suit, and it doesn't need to be. For the economy in mind, there's a base model Renegade with a 1.4L turbo which gets under 10L/100km combined.

While driving the Renegade you will feel the car is more suited for off-road adventures than on-road. The suspension is soft, it feels a bit more floaty than some will like. This is no Cx-3 when it comes to road manners. It's not designed for carving switchbacks but it is surprisingly likable. The steering is light and effortless, and the tall tires give more body roll than expected. Some cars feel special when you drive them the Renegade lacks that. However, where it lacks in on-road it makes up fully in off-road scenarios. This little Renegade has definitely earned it's trail hawk badge. It provided the driver with positive traction and confidence during obstacles. Peering out the cab over the long hood it wasn't as easy to spot obstacles as we would like. In addition, the Renegade's large A and C Pillars reduce visibility. However aiding some of its downfalls are large mirrors and an overall small footprint means getting used to it is easy. During its adventures off-road drive, the Renegade was surprising. With short front and rear overhangs, it can easily climb obstacles and it's short wheelbase means it can go over crest easily. The 4wd system automatically switches power from front to back while in automatic so there's no real need to switch to its other modes. Going down steeper drops the 4Low and Hill Descent Control helps, it eases on the brakes automatically and slowly crawls downhills. Keep in mind the Low ratio on the Renegade is not as low as a true 4Low box from it's bigger brothers but it can still put the power where it's needed.

Inside the Jeep, it carries over the funky styling with red accents surrounding vents and speaker grills. The controls are thought out pretty well with the far side of the media controls a bit out of reach but the duplicated steering wheel controls do help. HVAC controls are a simple dual zone unit with big dials to easily control even with thick gloves. It almost seems the design department forgot to put a placement for the 4wd controls. Sitting low on the center console just beside the driver's right leg it's a bit of a reach and difficult to see which mode the vehicle would be in. Luckily as the knob is turned the cluster does show you the list of mode. Speaking of the cluster it does feature a "muddy" redline and display in the center providing information like heading, fuel economy and what's playing on the radio. It is a high-resolution unit and the animations are pleasant to look at. What's not so nice is the Multimedia unit, it does what you expect however it's sluggish and slow. The segment leaders have units that respond faster and the voice activation works with human language rather than specific phrases.

Overall the Renegade has it's pros and cons while offering very capable off-road capabilities it lacks the on-road handling that people would like. The big tires and aggressive tire choice are great for pushing through the mud and sand but it creates a drone while traveling on the highway and offers a less than stellar ride quality. We can see people purchasing the Renegade over a Wrangler because it does offer better city driving characteristics while still having that fun factor. The Renegade is primarily made to be a compact SUV, keeping with its Jeep roots it's able to climb mountains and ford streams. Plus maybe the best thing about the Renegade is some people find it cute, take it how you like.
Photos and words By Jimmy Mak

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Old 10-03-2016, 12:07 AM   #2
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oh what the heck...I've never seen that on the road.
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Old 10-03-2016, 08:37 AM   #3
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I've only seen a handful in Calgary, not many to be honest. Curious about the reliability though...
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Old 10-03-2016, 09:30 AM   #4
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Curious about the reliability though...
It's basically a fiat. Refer to any top gear segment on Fiat's for reliability information... That should make it abundantly clear.
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Old 10-03-2016, 10:02 AM   #5
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^ that's true...

but it is in phoenix yellow, so those type R guys must love it!
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Old 10-03-2016, 10:33 AM   #6
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I've heard that the new compact jeeps cut power to the wheels when faced with serious load conditions.. Dosnt sound like a very good offroader to me.. Maybe a provincial campground warrior but that's about it
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Old 10-03-2016, 10:41 AM   #7
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I've heard that the new compact jeeps cut power to the wheels when faced with serious load conditions.. Dosnt sound like a very good offroader to me.. Maybe a provincial campground warrior but that's about it
I didn't feel that. I even stopped at an incline and was able to climb with ease with minimal wheelspin
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Old 10-03-2016, 11:07 AM   #8
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Super ugly jeeps. Styling does make more sense now that I learned they're Fiat. Hate those tail lights too.
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Old 10-03-2016, 11:37 AM   #9
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this car along with the rest of the Fiat lineup are cars that i stay far away from.

fiat, chrysler, volkswagen
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Old 10-03-2016, 11:47 AM   #10
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God, the interior.

"We took our design inspiration from a basic rental car"

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Old 10-03-2016, 11:56 AM   #11
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thats not a car bruh
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I'd probably blow someone for that 911
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Old 10-03-2016, 12:51 PM   #12
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traction control comes on and engine loses power - Jeep Renegade Forum


Looks like it's a wheel spin issue that cuts the power, again... Not a good offroad option
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Old 10-03-2016, 12:58 PM   #13
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Looks like a Matchbox car with tires to match.
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Old 10-03-2016, 01:23 PM   #14
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When I drove one of these I really hated the 9 speed that was on it and with every bump in the road the interior would creak and shudder like it was about to fall apart
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Old 10-03-2016, 03:49 PM   #15
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Informative review, but ugly looking car.
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Old 10-03-2016, 05:03 PM   #16
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Lol @
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How much did they have to pay you to drive that pos?
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Old 10-03-2016, 10:18 PM   #17
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traction control comes on and engine loses power - Jeep Renegade Forum


Looks like it's a wheel spin issue that cuts the power, again... Not a good offroad option
hmmm in auto mode I was able to deactivate traction control so not 100% sure
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