Call it a ‘Cute Ute” or maybe the little Jeep that could. Whatever moniker you apply, the roll out of the new Renegade, is a clear indication of what the Jeep brand is capable of with Fiat’s support.
Jeep entered the small SUV segment for the first time at the recent Geneva Motor Show with a brand new model that’s targeted at youthful and adventurous consumers. According to the owner and president of KellyCars, Bill Kelly, the response amongst Chrysler dealerships has been extremely positive.
“We’re really excited about it,” said Mr. Kelly. “The Renegade opens up a whole new opportunity for us.”
Although pricing and availability of the new 2015 Renegade lineup hasn’t been announced, Mr. Kelly believes that this “baby Jeep” will be affordable enough for the first-time new car buyer.
“We’re not talking about a $30,000 car here,” he said. “A vehicle like this is perfect for the times, especially in this market where everyone wants four-wheel drive.”
Jeep has packed a lot of power and capability into this small SUV, in the process creating something that is truly unique. It should have broad appeal not just here in Pittsburgh, but in the U.S. and around the globe.
“The all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade expands the brand’s product portfolio and targets the rapidly expanding small SUV segment around the globe with benchmark levels of efficiency and driving dynamics, while at the same time delivering best-in-class 4x4 capability that customers expect from Jeep,” said Mike Manley, president and CEO of the Jeep Brand for Chrysler Group LLC. “Renegade symbolizes the brand’s renowned American design, ingenuity and innovation, marking the Jeep brand’s first entry into the small SUV segment in more than 100 markets around the globe.”
Leveraging 4x4 technology from the all-new Jeep Cherokee, the all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade offers two of the most advanced and intelligent 4x4 systems in its class, all to deliver best-in-class off-road capability. Both systems can provide up to 100 percent of the engine’s available torque to the ground, through any wheel, for optimal grip.
The Renegade is also the first small SUV to feature a disconnecting rear axle and power take-off unit to provide Jeep Renegade 4x4 models with enhanced fuel economy. The system instantly engages when 4x4 traction is needed.
This little four-wheel drive fire plug was designed in the U.S. but is built in Italy. It shares its platform with the Fiat 500L and will be sold with two familiar engine choices here in the U.S.; one is the 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo from the Fiat lineup, the other is the 2.4-liter Tigershark found in the Dodge Dart.
The Renegade Trailhawk will only be available with the larger of the two engines mated to a nine speed gearbox, which is yet another first for the small SUV segment. It will also feature a low-range equipped 4X4 featuring a 20:1 crawl as well as something Jeep calls Selec-Terrain, which adjusts the suspension, traction control and shift points to the terrain selected by the driver, including auto, snow, sand and rock modes.
The Renegade delivers off-road capability, but in city-sized proportions. It also features am opening roof, a feature that dates back to Jeep’s 1941 roots with the Willys MB Jeep.
Keeping the tradition of the legendary 1941 Willys MB Jeep, the all-new 2015 Renegade offers open-air freedom with two available My Sky open-air roof systems. With a manual removable, or removable with premium power tilt/slide feature, the segment-exclusive My Sky roof-panel systems quickly brings the outdoors inside. Designed for convenience, the honeycomb fiberglass polyurethane roof panels are lightweight and stow neatly in the rear cargo area. For added design detail, both My Sky roof systems feature a debossed “X” stamped into the roof that exude strength and play on the brand’s utilitarian history.
Designed and engineered to first and foremost deliver legendary Jeep 4x4 capability, the all-new 2015 Renegade has a fully independent suspension capable of over eight inches of wheel articulation and over eight and a half inches of ground clearance on the Trailhawk.
Renegade also raises the bar in the small SUV segment with best-in-class off-road capability. Extensive use of advanced steels, composites and advanced computer-impact simulations enable the all-new 2015 Renegade’s architecture to deliver world-class torsional stiffness and Jeep brand’s durability required for Trail Rated adventures.
Naturally, the all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade offers technology features once found only in upper-segment vehicles, making them more attainable to customers in the growing small SUV segment. Technology includes award-winning Uconnect Access, Uconnect touchscreens and a large full-color instrument cluster.
The new Jeep Renegade also offers a full suite of standard and available safety features, including the availability of Forward Collision Warning-Plus and LaneSense Departure Warning-Plus.
In addition, engineers added both active and passive safety and security features, including Blind-spot Monitoring; Rear Cross Path detection; ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines; electronic stability control with electronic roll mitigation and seven standard air bags.
The Renegade will likely start showing up in Pittsburgh-area showrooms later this year. Mr. Kelly hopes to start selling it at KellyCars by October.
“I wish that the Renegade would’ve come around sooner,” he said. “But at least this year we’ll have it in time for the snow.”