Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

2017 Renegade Desert Hawk – Cooler Than Limited Edition Trailhawk

In 2016, Jeep released a couple of limited edition versions of the Renegade: the Altitude and Desert Hawk. While the Altitude was so-so, the Desert Hawk really stood out as a model. Cool, unique, it helped the Renegade put Jeep further ahead of the compact SUV segment. Many sources say both the Altitude and Desert Hawk gave the other 4x4s a run for their money in the segment, and the Renegade Trailhawk trim is a truly capable vehicle. Since the Desert Hawk is essentially a limited edition version of the Trailhawk, the capability is similar. As is the design, but with cooler colors.

Regardless, the Desert Hawk is worth looking into if you’re looking for a more unique off-roading version of an even more unique model. But, it is a limited edition model; so if you’re thinking about grabbing one, better do it fast.

It’s Got the Looks

On the design end of things, the Desert Hawk has off-road rock rails that you’d find on the Trailhawk, the same aggressive looking stance, and same type of tires, D-rings, etc. But, that’s where the similarities end and the fun really begins.

Perhaps the most noticeable fun aspect is the Desert Hawk’s assortment of colors. Sure, you can get it in a bland Anvil (gray) or Alpine White color. But, why do that when it’s available in more fun colors like Mojave Sand, a very pleasant sandy (as the name implies) color. Or a more festive Hypergreen Clear-Coat, sure to make a statement when driving through the woodland trails, desert, beach, or even on the road.

That’s not where the differences end, either. A distinctive hood decal is also found on the Desert Hawk. This decal is etched with map details, and is supposed to represent Jeep’s history of exploration.

On the inside, you’ll find McKinley leather-trimmed seats with Trailhawk metric cloth inserts. But, with Desert Hawk embroidered map designs stitched in for some extra flair.

It clearly has the looks, but what about the capability?

It’s Got the Capability

Of course it has the capability! Since it’s basically a limited edition Trailhawk model, it has the same type of capability as the Trailhawk. So, you can expect the same low range 8.7 inches of ground clearance and 8.1 inches of wheel articulation. Along with the same Jeep Active Drive Low 4×4 system, giving it some insane crawling power, especially when the Selec-Terrain Traction Control feature is utilized. On this model, you can choose from five different settings: Auto, Mud, Snow, Sand, and Rock. At the turn of a dial, you have optimal off-road performance for any of these terrains.

All that off-road equipment also means it has a Trail Rated badge, signifying that Jeep has tested the Renegade on the Rubicon Trail, and it passed with flying colors, proving its off road capability.

It also has the 2.4-liter Tigershark engine, which produces 180 horsepower/175 lb.-ft. of torque, while still returning up to 22 mpg city/30 mpg highway.

Since it has the carbon-copy performance of the Trailhawk, you know it’s going to be good. Besides, it’s still a Jeep. Even if it was different spec-wise, you could still expect greatness.