Jeep is mostly a niche brand here in the Philippines, mainly because its vehicles used to have high price tags relative to its competition. That all changed last year when they introduced the new Renegade and Compass. One of the more notable models of the two is the Jeep Renegade. With a starting price of P1,640,000 (P1,490,000 when considering current discounts), this is one of those vehicles that might push the American automaker to mainstream status.
Its rugged and boxy styling is definitely distinct and it easily stands out among a sea of crossovers that merely look like a taller hatchback with body cladding. It has 17-inch aluminum wheels with external mirrors that are heated so that they can be defrosted easily for proper easy view. Don’t forget its signature seven-slotted grille as well. On the side panels, there is a pair of good plastic moldings connected to the side skirts running thru the rear well fenders. For the rear side, take note of the X-pattern-designed tail lights which resemble the X-pattern of Jerry cans.
The interior design offers a lively and pervading tone for the driver and passengers alike. It comes with manually adjustable seats for both driver and passenger. Front and center is a 7.0-inch UConnect touch screen, which we consider one of the best in the industry. The icons are large, making it easy to interact with, and then there’s also Apple CarPlay as standard.
As with every Jeep, there are numerous “easter eggs” dotted around the cabin. The front doors for instance, have a nice speaker set with a cover that has the Jeep Logo. There’s even a climbing Willys Jeep on the corner of the windshield, a spider when you open the fuel door, and a sasquatch near the rear wiper. For the rest of the interior, this Jeep retains visibly its rugged-macho look aura. For good visibility, the huge windows appear to give an advantage of a wider look control on the road. Lastly, the Jeep Renegade Longitude has a big panoramic sunroof, which brings in a lot of light into the cabin.
For storage capacity, opening the back door offers 351 liters of space behind the rear seats, which is good for its size. Lifting the cargo cover provides extra more space to place your things underneath. On the other hand, the boxy design of the Jeep Renegade provides passengers with plenty of headroom.
Some might argue that the engine under the Jeep Renegade’s hood is small. At 1.4-liters in displacement, it definitely is. However, this engine benefits from the magic of turbocharging. With 147 hp and 230 Nm of torque, the numbers sound definitely strong. The power is good enough to propel the vehicle from a standstill, with 0-100 kph happening in around 9 seconds.
As for handling, the electronic power steering is adept and responsive to your driving style, feeling planted when going through corners. Despite the large panoramic sunroof, it does not have a detrimental effect on any cabin rigidity loss, either. And then in terms of ride quality, the Jeep Renegade soaks up bumps quite well, with only the harshest of bumps going into the cabin almost unfiltered.
So, what should you consider a Jeep Renegade? Well, in a sea of crossovers that feel and drive almost the same, there’s a sense of character with this American crossover. Not only does it look great inside and out, but it’s also has a long heritage and a distinctive style that’s sure to please everyone. And at P1,490,000, there’s no other crossover out there that offers such a sense of occasion.