2018 Jeep Renegade First Drive, Price, Performance and Review

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The 2018 Jeep Renegade poses an interesting question: Is it possible to marry a great economy car and a great off-roader in one vehicle?

Four years after we first asked that, we’re still wowed by the amount of real Jeep tucked into this tiny trucklet. It’s the smallest Jeep sold by the brand since the last world war, but the Renegade tucks in turbo-4 engines, manual and automatic transmissions, touchscreen navigation, and in-car data while it still outpaces direct rivals when the road crumbles and turns to dirt.

2018 Jeep Renegade Redesign and Price

We’re not fans of its rear-seat space or its thrummy, underperforming engines, but we like it enough in any of its trim levels—Sport, Latitude, Limited, or Trailhawk—to give a 5.5 out of 10.

With its slab-sided, upright style, the Renegade weaves Jeep heritage into every body panel. The seven-slot grille and round headlights look more Jeep than does anything on the next-class-bigger Cherokee, and the details bring the look home. The “X” shape in the taillights? It’s a throwback to stampings on WWII-era fuel cans. Inside, the Renegade toughens up the usual economy-car shapes, puts big round knobs where they’re useful, and brightens things up with lovely textures and color choices.

We prefer the base powertrain in the Renegade—a 160-horsepower turbo-4 with a 6-speed manual, and either front- or all-wheel drive—but know full well that the 180-hp inline-4 with its 9-speed automatic is far more common. The base engine’s smoother and quieter, if more sluggish. The bigger engine kicks in more cabin noise to go with gutsier acceleration, but its transmission dithers and sometimes gets lost in all those gears. Fuel economy isn’t great, for all the complexity.

2018 Jeep Renegade Redesign and Price

On the road, the Renegade handles with the usual tall-wagon lean and with steering that’s no better than decent for on-road feel and response. Ride quality suffers with the biggest 18-inch wheels, but for a small car on a short wheelbase, the Renegade does well enough to consider as a daily commuter. Where it excels is in Trailhawk trim, where its all-wheel-drive system combines with a simulated low-speed crawl ratio, knobbier tires, and increased ground clearance, to cut its way through rutty mud paths and gravel passes, and can be spun into traction modes that anticipate mud, snow, sand, or downhill descents.

The 2018 Jeep Renegade offers outstanding style and technology both inside and out. See interior & exterior photos. 2018 Jeep Renegade New features complemented by a lower starting price and streamlined packages. The mid-size 2018 Jeep Renegade offers a complete lineup with a wide variety of finishes and features, two conventional engines.

Check out the 2018 Jeep Renegade review at Release Car. Use our Car Buying Guide to research 2018 Jeep Renegade prices, specs, photos, videos. The well-rounded 2018 Jeep Renegade does just about everything you’re probably looking for in a three-row family SUV. Get in-depth expert information for the 2018 Jeep Renegade including reviews, pricing, features and photos on Release Car. New and used 2018 Jeep Renegade vehicles. Select a year to find 2018 Jeep Renegade pricing, reviews, photos, and videos.

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