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Renegade: Jeep sees light, thinks small

2015-03-23 10:07

GOOD PEDIGREE: The Renegade is Jeep’s first entry into the small SUV segment, but has a nine-speed gearbox. Image: Newspress.

The new Jeep Renegade marks a series of firsts in the company’s history - its at last moving into the small SUV segment and the first right-hand drive units are already in UK showrooms.

The cars will be launched in South Africa over Masy 18/19 2015.

The Renegade is Jeep’s first entry into the small SUV segment. It is also the first Fiat Chrysler car to have been jointly developed by Italian and American engineers and the first Jeep to be built in Europe but sold in the USA.

There are more 'firsts'. It's also, Jeep says, the first small SUV with a nine-speed gearbox; the first in its segment to have rear-axle disconnect and is unique in its class because of a My Sky sunroof that gives occupants a true open-air driving experience.

Oh yeah, and the first in its segment to have an 18cm full-colour multiview display.


Although it’s built at a rejuvenated plant, Sata in Melfi, Italy, the Renegade had to be instantly recognisable as a Jeep. It will be sold in 100 markets globally and designers were challenged to come up with a look that would symbolise Jeep’s American heritage while appealing to youthful and adventurous buyers

VIDEO: Watch the new Jeep Renegade in action!

The Jeep Renegade offers six powertrain combinations, each of which offers a combination of efficiency and performance. There are two MultiAir II petrol engines, a pair of MultiJet II turbo diesels and the 1.6-litre eTorque petrol. There are also five and six-speed manual gearboxes, the dual dry clutch transmission and the nine-speed automatic gearbox.

The new 4x4 systems supply the proper amount of torque for any driving situation ensuring enhanced safety even in the slipperiest conditions, the developers say.

Jeep Active Drive and Active Drive Low are combined with Jeep Selec-Terrain which gives the driver four settings (five on the Trailhawk version) for optimum performance on any surface.

GALLERY: 2015 Jeep Renegade

The Trailhawk is the model with the most ability off-road thanks to the Jeep active drive low and Selec-Terrain system with gradient-descent control and rock mode. It has all the key equipment from the Limited model and stands out as being the most capable Renegade thanks, Jeep says, to a ride height that’s raised by 30mm over the 4x2, unique front and rear ends to improve approach and departure angles and front suspension and transmission skid plates plus transfer case and fuel tank skid plate shields and a tow hitch.


It has a choice of two 4x4 drive trains. Longitude a nd Limited models have Jeep Active Drive, a fully automatic 4x4 system that swops between two and all-wheel drive as road and driving conditions dictate. An innovative transfer unit can provide most torque to the rear wheels while a fully variable wet clutch in the rear drive uses algorithms to select the necessary torque.

Each has Selec-Terrain for the driver to choose on or off-road settings.

The three petrol and three diesel engines can be specified with a choice of four transmissions, including a nine-speed auto.

The two-litre MultiJet II engine can be specified with an output of either 105 or 128kW, each at 3750rpm; maximum torque of 350Nm comes in at 1750rpm.

The Jeep Renegade’s two petrol engines are the 82kW 1.6-litre E-torQ engine and the 1.4-litre MultiAir II turbo which comes with power outputs as above. The four-cylinder 1.4 is available in Longitude and Limited models and has Fiat powertrain tech.


When combined with either six-speed manual or dual dry-clutch transmissions, the 1.4 MultiAir II turbo produces a maximum 105kW at 5500rpm and 230Nm of torque at 1750rpm. When paired with the nine-speed auto the all-wheel drive 1.4-litre delivers 128kW at 5000rpm with 250Nm of torque at 2500rpm.

The other petrol engine is the 1.6-litre E-torQ. This delivers 82kW at 5500rpm and 152Nm at 4500rpm. This light engine is only available with front-wheel drive.

Both petrol engines are equipped with stop/start and the 1.4-litre MultiAir and two-litre MultiJet can be specified with the nine-speed auto. This smooth-shifting unit has been designed to provide a more responsive driving experience with quicker acceleration and more efficient power delivery.

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