When you see a Jeep Renegade for the first time, words like ‘adorable, cute, or charming’ come to mind, but for our review, we’re going to avoid these terms. While yes it is all of those things, it’s also so much more. The attention to detail that Jeep put into this vehicle is geeky and borderline crazy.
And I like that.
Take one peek at the exterior of the 2016 Jeep Renegade Latitude and one may think to oneself, ‘My, that’s …. delightful!’ However, a closer look at the jeep-grilled ute and you’ll find a mini-jeep driving up the frit (black stuff) on the passenger side of the windshield, Jeep logos emblazoned in the headlight glass, and jerry can outlines everywhere.
The 2016 Jeep Renegade came in a blazing bright Colorado Red color with stylish 17-inch alloy wheels covered in 215/60R17 BSW all-season touring tires, the latter being part of the engine’s upgrade package.
A peppy 2.4L inline-4 MultiAir engine powers the 2016 Jeep Renegade, producing 180 horsepower and 175-lb.ft. of torque. The 9-speed automatic transmission was quick to shift but, more importantly, there a Selec-Trac system which included off-road modes for snow, mud, sand, and more.
More jerry-can shapes fill the cup holders, Jeep grille outlines are littered throughout the interior (such as on the speakers), and “Since 1941” is proudly stamped on the center console and elsewhere. Jeep is proud of the heritage that produced this ultimate city car from the ultimate off-roader, and they aren’t shy about that.
Even if there’s rugged environments outside, the interior of the 2016 Jeep Renegade has keyless entry and push-button start making it easy to get in and go, a leather-wrapped steering wheel has direct steering response, and the seats were comfortable, but manual (6-way driver and 4-way passenger) in our model.
Cloth seats offered good bolstering in the front while a bench seat in the back had 60/40 split for a very capable cargo space. With the rear seats up there is 18.5 cubic feet of cargo capacity, but with them down you have access to a whopping 50.8 cubic feet.
Back up front, there’s a standard rearview camera and 5.0-inch touchscreen connected to 6 speakers, but we didn’t have the base model.
The tester 2016 Jeep Renegade had the 6.5-inch touchscreen Uconnect system featuring navigation, SiriusXM with Traffic and Travel Link, HD Radio, and more. The system had apps for movies, sports, fuel, weather, and other important information.
And, of course, the Bluetooth hands-free voice command technology we’ve come to require from our vehicles. My usual tests of “Call [my husband’s name, mother’s name, and best friends name]” resulted in the system connecting me to the correct person each time.
While we didn’t use the off-road capability, we did what most people using the Jeep Renegade are won’t to do: city crawl. While the rest of Seattle was stuck in their offices, we went on a tour of city parks, stopping at various green spaces for a bit of in-city R&R complete with coffee and tunes courtesy of the Beats Premium Audio system in the Renegade.
The optional blind spot and cross traffic monitoring shined in the tight city-sized parking spaces in which the Renegade is able to fit.
For all the tech, capability and stylish design, what really sold me on the 2016 Jeep Renegade was … yes, I’ll say it… how supremely cute it was from every angle. I may have failed at keeping the cuteness out of my article, but Jeep sure won by exuding it in the 2016 Renegade Latitude 4×4.
Check out www.Jeep.com/Renegade to check out the specs and find the nearest Jeep retailer near you!