2020 Jeep Renegade Review
  • Car Review

2020 Jeep Renegade Review

By Autolist Editorial | October 2, 2020

Quick Facts:

Pros:

  • Comfortable handling.
  • Strong off-road capability on some models.
  • Spacious interior.
  • User-friendly infotainment system.

Cons:

  • Common driver assistance features are expensive options.
  • Below-average fuel economy.
  • So-so acceleration.
  • Expensive compared to rivals.

Vehicle Type: Subcompact five-passenger crossover SUV.

Price Range: From $23,770 to $33,000, including destination but before options.

Powertrain: A 180-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with a nine-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive as standard.

All-wheel-drive and 177-horsepower, 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine are optional

More Photos

See more 2020 Jeep Renegade photos here.


Overview:

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The 2020 Jeep Renegade is the smallest SUV in Jeep's vehicles line, competing with other models in the growing small SUV category. Like that model, this five-seat vehicle comes with two engine types, nine-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel-drive with two kinds of all-wheel-drive available as options. The UConnect infotainment system returns, with touchscreen sizes that vary by trim level.

Rivals for the Renegade are the Buick Encore, Chevrolet Trax, Fiat 500X, Ford Ecosport, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona, Mazda CX-30, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, Nissan Rogue Sport, and Subaru Crosstrek.

New for 2020 on the Renegade is the optional nine-speaker Kenwood audio system and enhanced wireless data connectivity. Also, the feature packages for each trim level have been reshuffled.

The Renegade comes in four trims: Sport, Latitude, Limited, and Trailhawk. Several special additions of the vehicle are also on offer. The 2020 Renegade is ideal for those who want a family hauler that doubles as an off-roader.

Overall Score: 6/10


Safety Features: 7/10

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) granted the Jeep Renegade an overall safety rating of four stars out of five, with four stars for the front and side-crash categories and three stars in the rollover test. The four-wheel-drive version of this Renegade got four stars for the rollover category.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the Renegade its 2019 Top Safety Pick award. The agency cited improved headlights on some models and Good ratings in all crash tests, except for the small overlap test for the front passenger's side, where it scored the second-highest Acceptable rating.

The Renegade offers many driver assistance technology features, but only as options. Lane-keep assist, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, active lane control, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, front and rear parking sensors, and automatic high-beams are available. Many competitors now include at least some of these features, such as automatic emergency braking, as standard equipment.


Value: 5/10

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At $33,000 for a highly-optioned Renegade, it's about as expensive as a base-model Jeep Wrangler, let alone several thousand dollars more expensive than most small SUVs. While the Renegade has a competitive starting price, it's sparsely equipped, and common options quickly raise the price. And the larger Jeep Compass isn't much more expensive.

A typically equipped, mid-range Latitude 4x4 model costs more than a similarly equipped Subaru Crosstrek, which has standard all-wheel-drive, similar ground clearance and cargo space, and just about as capable off-road as the Jeep. Meanwhile, a Honda HR-V is significantly more spacious inside and less expensive than the Jeep, even if it isn't suited to much more than rain and light snow with its optional all-wheel-drive system.


Tech Features: 7/10

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The Renegade comes standard with a 5-inch Fiat Chrysler UConnect touchscreen infotainment system, though 7- and 8.4-inch touchscreens are available on higher trims. While the base system is on the small side, the larger screens generally have good usability, and the system's processor is responsive while the icons are clear and easy to press.

Base-trim Renegades also come with a USB port, six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, and 3.5-inch information display within the gauge cluster. Most reviewers feel the Renegade's standard technological amenities are a cut above the rest for its class. Higher trim levels come with a wide range of extra features, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto connectivity, built-in navigation system, and SiriusXM satellite radio.


Practicality: 6/10

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Some Renegade models can be equipped with several practical amenities, including skid plates, front and rear tow hooks, trailer sway control, electronic stability control, and 8.7 inches of ground clearance. An under-floor storage bin comes with most trims unless you opt for a full-size spare tire, which comes standard with the offroad-oriented Trailhawk trim.

This vehicle's roof is built for optimal convenience, with an optional power-sliding front sunroof and a metal rear roof panel, both of which can be removed for a more open-air experience. Roof rails are available for this Jeep as well.

The Renegade's cargo area has 18.5 cubic feet of space. You can also fold down the 60/40 split rear seatbacks for 50.8 cubic feet of space. It's not much more than a compact hatchback, but it's about average among small SUVs. Storage compartment options aren't much better, with few bins or cubbies to accommodate a purse and too-small door panel trays.

The Renegade can be equipped to tow up to 2,000 pounds, among the highest in this class, and better than some larger SUVs. Most small SUVs are rated to tow less than 1,000 pounds.


Styling & Design: 7/10

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Sporting a boxy shape common among subcompact SUVs, the Jeep Renegade has rectangular lines, circular headlights, trapezoid-shaped wheel arches, a tall profile, and a traditional seven-slot grille. The base trim boasts 16-inch black-painted steel wheels with covers, but you can upgrade to 17-, 18-, or 19-inch aluminum wheels if desired.

The vehicle's doors, dashboard, and console are black with red accents. Some higher trims come with extra visual details. For example, the Trailhawk has gloss-black polished aluminum wheels and bright red tow hooks. The interior shares the exterior's offbeat look, with maps printed on cupholders and upholstery made of cloth or leather.

The cabin feels spacious despite its relatively small size. The front seats boast 41.1 cubic inches of headroom and 41.2 cubic inches of legroom, while the rear seats have 40.5 cubic inches of headroom and 35.1 cubic inches of legroom, more than enough for most adult passengers.


Driving Experience: 6/10

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Sporting a boxy shape common among subcompact SUVs, the Jeep Renegade has rectangular lines, circular headlights, trapezoid-shaped wheel arches, a tall profile, and a traditional seven-slot grille. The base trim boasts 16-inch black-painted steel wheels with covers, but you can upgrade to 17-, 18-, or 19-inch aluminum wheels if desired.

The vehicle's doors, dashboard, and console are black with red accents. Some higher trims come with extra visual details. For example, the Trailhawk has gloss-black polished aluminum wheels and bright red tow hooks. The interior shares the exterior's offbeat look, with maps printed on cupholders and upholstery made of cloth or leather.

The cabin feels spacious despite its relatively small size. The front seats boast 41.1 cubic inches of headroom and 41.2 cubic inches of legroom, while the rear seats have 40.5 cubic inches of headroom and 35.1 cubic inches of legroom, more than enough for most adult passengers.


Fuel Efficiency: 6/10

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According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a 2020 Jeep Renegade with front-wheel-drive and the turbo 1.3-liter engine yields 24 mpg on city roads and 32 mpg on the highway, with a combined rating of 27 mpg. With all-wheel-drive, the Renegade turbo gets 23 mpg city and 29 mpg highway for 26 mpg combined. These results are not particularly remarkable, as vehicles like the Mazda CX-30, Honda HR-V, and Subaru Crosstrek do better.

With the standard 2.4-liter engine and equipped with front-wheel-drive, the 2020 Renegade gets 22 mpg on city roads and 30 mpg on highways for a combined 25 mpg. That same engine matched with all-wheel-drive nets 21 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, and 24 mpg combined. Not only does the optional turbocharged engine have more torque, but it also gets better fuel economy and is worth seeking out.


What’s it Going to Cost Me?

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Ranging from an MSRP of $23,770 to $27,295, the trim levels for the 2020 Renegade are the base-level Sport, Latitude, Limited, and Trailhawk, along with several special editions.

Starting at $23,770, the Jeep Renegade Sport comes with a nine-speed automatic transmission, front-wheel-drive, and the 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine. This SUV also sports heated and power-adjustable mirrors, power windows and locks, a rearview camera, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, air conditioning, and cruise control. Also, this base model comes with Bluetooth, a USB port, push-button start, 16-inch steel wheels, cloth upholstery, a 5-inch UConnect touchscreen infotainment system, and a six-speaker audio system.

The optional UConnect 7.0 Group comes with a more impressive 7-inch touchscreen, SiriusXM satellite radio, dual-zone automatic climate control, and smartphone connectivity through Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Also, the Sport Appearance package offers roof rails, privacy glass, and 17-inch alloy wheels. The Safety and Security Group II package offers automatic wipers, a cargo cover, a vehicle alarm, and a blind spot monitoring system. The Advanced Tech Group II package comes with adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, an automated parking system, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and an upgraded driver information display.

The Jeep Renegade Latitude, which starts at $25,620, comes with all the standard features on the Sport, plus SiriusXM satellite radio, dual-zone automatic climate control, automatic headlights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and ambient LED lighting. The Latitude also boasts 16-inch alloy wheels, an extra back-row USB port, a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, fog lamps, automatic headlights, and roof rails.

The optional Cold Weather Group comes with heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, automatic windshield wipers with de-icer, and all-season rubber floor mats.

Starting at $26,645, the Jeep Renegade Limited gets the turbocharged 1.3-liter inline engine as standard. It also has most of the items available at lower trims, plus 18-inch two-tone aluminum wheels, leather-trimmed interior surfaces, and a heated steering wheel. Remote start, silver side mirror caps, a black roof, and a leather-trimmed shift knob are also included with this trim level.

The optional Safety and Security package comes with a cargo cover, vehicle alarm, and blind-spot monitoring system. The Safety and Security Group II is available for this trim as well. You can also purchase the Advanced Technology package, which boasts automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and an automated parking system. LED lighting is also optional via the LED lighting package.

The Renegade Trailhawk, which starts from $27,795, boasts the same turbo engine as the Limited. It also has many features geared toward offroading, such as improved ground clearance, skid plates, all-terrain tires, front tow hooks, a crawl-ratio first gear, and full-time four-wheel-drive with low-range gearing and selectable terrain settings. The Trailhawk also sports a modified design, with satin-finished grille inserts, black side mirrors, a black hood decal, and red accent stitching inside.

An optional Premium Leather Group comes with leather upholstery, a trunk pass-through, heated front seats, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, a heated steering wheel, and a windshield wiper de-icer. The Uconnect 8.4 NAV Group package offers HD radio, a navigation system, and an 8.4-inch touchscreen. The Popular Equipment Group includes an auto-dimming mirror, six-way power-adjustable driver's seat, 40/20/40-split back seat, and the Cold Weather group. You can also get the Safety and Security package for this trim and the LED lighting package.

Several special editions are available for this SUV, including the Jeep Renegade Altitude. The Altitude's interior boasts black trim, deluxe cloth upholstery, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The exterior sports black accents, black 17-inch aluminum wheels, and side mirrors with built-in turn signals.

The Upland, a special-edition off-road model, has all-wheel-drive with the 2.4-liter engine. The Upland's interior has all-weather mats and orange trim, while the vehicle's exterior has black badges, black roof rails, black 17-inch aluminum wheels, body-color door handles, tinted windows, and bumpers with built-in fog lamps and tow hooks. This vehicle also comes with remote vehicle start and keyless entry and start.

The High Altitude comes with the turbocharged engine and an exterior sporting 19-inch aluminum wheels, a black grille, roof rails, and grey badges. LED fog lights, headlights, and taillights. Inside the High Altitude, there is an 8.4-inch UConnect touchscreen, heated front seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror, perforated leather upholstery, and leather-wrapped steering wheel. The interior also contains heated front seats and a 7-inch digital gauge cluster display.

Finally, the North Edition has bumper-mounted tow hooks, rain-sensing windshield wipers, heated front seats, and 17-inch aluminum wheels. Fitted with the 2.4-liter engine, this model also comes with all-wheel drive, all-weather floormats, black side mirror caps, special badging, and cloth-trimmed seats. The North Edition has an 8.4-inch UConnect touchscreen with satellite navigation, a heated steering wheel, a windshield wiper de-icer, and bumper-mounted tow hooks.


More Photos

See more 2020 Jeep Renegade photos here.