2015 Jeep Renegade Test Drive Review

By:sonia | Date:6/26/15 4:47:17 PM
Category: Used Car


When I imagine a Jeep what naturally comes to my mind is a timeless big, heavy duty, off-road capable monstrosity. I’m sure you can agree with me when I say that Jeep has built a resilient reputation not only on performance alone, but also for its iconic form and structure that which stands the test of time. However, that being said Jeep is not so quick to dismiss the idea of variety and versatility when designing and building new models that can appease to the modern man- or women. With the emergence of urban living and structures, a big boxy and aggressive vehicle is not always practical, thus making it harder for the inner avant-garde to get a fix for an off-road adventure from time to time. But all hope is not lost, early this year Jeep introduced the Renegade, a subcompact SUV that fits well with both urban driving and terrain driving.



When I first caught a glimpse of the Jeep Renegade at the 2015 Toronto Auto Show, I was delighted with enthusiasm. I remember how it stood tall and proud giving off a strong and assertive personality. Fast forward to the present, I got the opportunity to take the Jeep Renegade North* for a test drive.


The Looks


The form structure and colour of the 2015 Jeep Renegade stood out more prominent  than Jeep’s previous models. One look at the Renegade is all you need to pinpoint exactly which two stocks bred this young stylish Jeep, and that’s the Jeep Cherokee and Wrangler.  The Renegade is boxy but with softer corners, it’s big but not too big, it truly is the Goldie Locks of being “just right”. Aside from being the perfect vehicle for the urban adventurer, the Renegade`s exterior and interior are many "Easter Eggs" implemented with symbols and trademarks. If you look inside and out you can find the “X’ that which was embedded on the Jerry cans used to carry fuel for the Willy MB Jeeps in WWll, as well numerous etchings of Jeep’s iconic 7-slot “grille”. Some of the other symbols and design include “stickers” of the Willy MB, a Sasquatch, map of Moab, Utah, and a cheeky spider near the gas tank with a speech bubble that reads “Ciao Baby” referencing the Renegade’s manufacturing home in Melfi, Italy. I had fun looking for all the cool symbols and designs, and needless to say it made me not only bond with the mini Jeep but also get to know its past and its present. The "Easter Eggs" weren`t the only noteworthy traits, the colour of the Jeep was a glossy blue appropriately named Sierra blue. If Serra blue isn`t your colour you can opt for 9 other eccentric colors like the Omaha Orange, Alpine White, Solar Yellow and so on. The Jeep`s design is more certainly marketed toward a younger demographic ranging from early 20`s to 30`s. You have a better chance of catching a glimpse of it on University campuses rather than on well-known corporate streets.



The Feel

Not only did it look cool and stylish it offers a multitude of a variety of comfort and conveniences starting with the push to start button, powerful AC, big rear-view mirrors for maximum all around view, 4 select-terrain driving options, outlet and USB jack, rear backup camera, rear storage, adjustable steering wheel and much more.  Being a 5’5 female I found it hard to adjust myself in a comfortable driving position, but I can only assume this was due to my inexperience driving an SUV. At first sitting in the Renegade was daunting and intimidating, despite its seemingly small exterior it was quite big and spacious inside. However, playing around with the gadgets inside I quickly became comfortable and well versed and ready take it for a spin. The push to start button and the rear view backup camera offered a lot of comforts and confidence when backing out of the parking spot. The turning radius offered a wide range of support when making a wide turn. When I finally took it for a spin I noticed that it was very light on the gas pedal, offering a weightless and controlled driving. I was worried that due to its size it would take extra effort to manoeuvre around but, my expectations were quickly drawn back when I felt fully in control of the vehicle. The gearbox was one my favourite features, although it was an automatic transmission but, when changing the gears it felt like a manual transmission which I thought was neat. And though overall I was very impressed with the interior and exterior’s look and feel, I was not so impressed with the cloth seating despite it having Jeep monograms. But what I was really impressed with was the wide opening "MySky" sunroof which offers an abundance of refreshing air when driving. 


The Safety

I’m relatively a new driver, and I’d be lying if said I didn’t have any close calls on the road. When looking for my ideal car I’m instantly attracted to all the safety features it has to offer. The Jeep Renegade offers a variety of features to help you safely get to and from your destination. As I was test driving the Renegade the “Spot Monitoring System” displayed a visual warning on the outside side view mirror, alerting me that another vehicle is in my blind spot and that I should wait until it turns off before switching lanes. The “Full-speed Forward Collision Warning with Active Braking” is also implemented for automatic braking when your vehicle is approaching a vehicle too rapidly, to help you avoid collisions. The rear view backing camera is by far one of my favourite features, I found that I wasted less time and stressed less when trying to reverse, it was especially helpful in assisting me out of tight spots without cringing and worrying that I would hit something In the back. The Renegade also offers a “Lane Keep Assist” a helpful feature that allowed me to stay inside my designated lane, and failing to do so without a turn signal made the steering wheel shake alerting me to stay within the lane. If you’re anything like me and have the insecurity of parallel parking, just know that you can take comfort in the Jeep Renegades  “ParkSense, Rear Park Assist System” offering  assistance when  parking in tight spots. One issue that I had when driving the Renegade is the left side driver pillars that make it hard to see past then when making curvy turns. This may not be a big issue, but it’s one that's worth mentioning because i found it a little annoying when making turns. Aside from that I had a clear all around visual with minimal blind spots. The safety features offered are very helpful and I felt very comfortable and confident when I drove the renegade. 


The Tech


I’m not big on super fancy tech stuff, but for what’s worth I do place an importance on the entertainment and media features like music and Bluetooth. The Renegade has a USB, Aux, Bluetooth and a SiriusXM radio offering clear sound quality via its 4 speakers. It also has a convenient infotainment screen with an optional navigation system. Between the tachometer is a digital screen displaying driver and vehicle information when. As I drove it, it the screen displayed  tire pressure levels for each of the 4 tires, thus allowing me to know which tire needed servicing if it came to it. It also has power windows, adjustable seating, and adjustable steering wheel and mush more. It offers an 115-Volt auxiliary power outlet which I can only imagine is very convenient and useful for camping and anything in between. Almost every feature in the Jeep Renegade is powered electronically or automatically for maximum safety, comfort, and convenience. 



The Conclusion 


The Renegade's quirky and young exterior and functional interior is designed by a forward thinking team whom set out to prove, that you don`t have to be the typical rural living outdoorsman to have this versatile and fun vehicle. You can drive it every day whether it`s to your office or school campus, or to those camping trips you and our friends constantly plan but never get around to doing because no one has a vehicle that is as capable as this one. The Jeep renegade truly is a multi-purpose compact SUV for anyone living anywhere. There were a few issues that I was not fond of such as the cloth seating, obstructing side pillars, and it`s limited niche targeted demographic. That being said l would buy the Jeep Renegade, and I give it an 8/10*

The Jeep Renegade Comes in 4 sub-models with varying colours, features and options; the Sport, North, Trailhawk, and Limited.
You can build your own Jeep Renegade with a starting price at just $19,995*


By Sonia Sahi
*Rating is subjective opinion of the author. Rating is for the specific make and model of the vehicle only

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