Over the years, Jeep has mostly been in a niche position in the Philippine automotive market. All of its vehicles are, or at least used to be, priced a lot higher than the mainstream competition, mainly due to its vehicles being imported from the United States or Europe. Now though, Jeep is finally bringing its brand to a more accessible price point, and this was done by sourcing its more mainstream models from China. As a result, this Jeep Renegade Longitude we’re driving here is now at the same price as any other Asian-made subcompact SUV. Is it finally worth considering? Let’s find out.
The Jeep Renegade has always stood out in a sea of subcompact crossovers that merely look like tall hatchbacks. This is especially true thanks to its tall, boxy proportions. Combined with the iconic seven-slotted grille, round headlights, and square taillights with a jerry can pattern, you’ve got a crossover SUV that looks as rugged. However, this has no 4WD, so don’t expect to take this to any mud-slinging stuff anytime soon.
Unfortunately, if there’s one criticism I have with this Jeep, it’s that all of its lighting elements are still old-school incandescent bulbs. It’s the one thing that prevents this Jeep from looking completely modern. Jeep does offer LED headlights, foglights, and daytime running lights, which are a dealer retrofit option.
Moving towards the interior of the Jeep Renegade Longitude, its design is full of character. There are numerous interesting shapes and details, plus the materials used in most places are top-notch. The dash may look cheap and plasticky, but it’s actually made of dense soft-touch plastics. The center console and doors don’t budge, either. What betrays its quality feel are the typically cheap wiper and signals stalks from the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (now merged with Stellantis) parts bin. But otherwise, the interior is well designed.
Of course, because this is a Jeep, there are the expected “easter eggs” that are dotted across the vehicle, such as the CJ-generation Jeep at the base of the windshield, the”No Step” labels at the door sills, the map of Moab, Utah at the center bin, just to name a few. It makes the interior feel more playful as a result.
Features And Infotainment
The infotainment of the Jeep Renegade Longitude is also one the best in the industry. Its UConnect infotainment is housed in a 7-inch touch screen, and it responds well to your inputs with minimal lag. The icons are large, which makes it easy to tap even when the road isn’t smooth. Apple CarPlay comes as standard, but it has no Android Auto, unfortunately.
Space And Practicality
Thanks to its boxy proportions, there are stacks of headroom whether you’re seated at the first or second row of seats. The driving position is also excellent, thanks to the generous adjustment for the seats and steering. Thanks to the large glass area and also the panoramic sunroof, the Renegade is basically like a fishbowl on wheels. And then those at the back are benefitted with a decent amount of legroom. While it’s not as generous as the Honda HR-V’s or the Toyota Corolla Cross’s, there’s still enough for tall adults.
Trunk space, however, is on the small side. At 351 liters, this is on the smaller end of the subcompact SUV segment. For perspective, the HR-V has 448 liters of space. Fold the seats down, however, and this grows to 1,297 liters, which then becomes one of the biggest in its class.
The Driving Experience
Under the Jeep Renegade’s hood is a 1.4-liter four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline that produces 147 horsepower at 5,500 RPM and 230 Nm of torque at 3,000 RPM. It drives just the front wheels as this is not the traditional Jeep that’s probably on your mind. With this powertrain in mind, the Jeep Renegade actually performs decently without drama. There’s plenty of low-end torque, but not much else at the higher RPM range, as typical of numerous small-displacement turbo engines.
The accompanying six-speed dry dual-clutch automatic brings horror stories of Ford’s PowerShift transmission, but in the Jeep Renegade’s application, there’s actually nothing too dramatic about it. When coming from a stop or when crawling, there’s a bit of hesitation from the transmission, but apart from that, the dual-clutch works alright.
Out on the open road, this Jeep Renegade Longitude variant performs excellently. Road and engine noise is well suppressed. The cabin stays quiet and refined except for a bit of wind noise due to its boxy shape. As for handling, the steering has a degree of responsiveness but not to a point that it can be considered sporty. The suspension deals well with bumps, and body control as you go through corners is controlled. It doesn’t corner as flat as a Mazda CX-30 but it’s alright. Lastly, despite having a large panoramic sunroof, rigidity still feels rock solid.
Lastly, as for fuel economy, the Jeep Renegade under my hands averaged at 10 to 11 km/l, which is excellent for a crossover in this class.
The Jeep Renegade Longitude doesn’t particularly stand out in terms of the driving experience and its features. It basically feels just like any other crossover out there in these respects. However, it’s one thing to consider a vehicle solely based on the way it drives and the tech it has, and it’s another to want a vehicle based on emotional factors. This Jeep Renegade oozes on the latter. Where it stands out is being able to offer plenty of style and character that is absent in many crossovers in this segment that are trying to play it safe.
In short, the Renegade doesn’t stand out in the sensible metrics. What this vehicle offers is a lot of character and emotion.
Pricing and Rating
Exterior Design: ★★★★☆
Interior Design: ★★★★☆
Space and Practicality: ★★★★★
Fuel Efficiency: ★★★★★
Value For Money: ★★★★☆
Overall: 4.3 out of 5
*Pricing is correct and accurate as of this article’s time of writing.
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