Once upon a time, a world-class manufacturer released a new subcompact SUV, and the world of automobiles hasn’t been the same since. Wait––this was less than ten years ago? That’s right, in 2015, Jeep released the Renegade to its millions-strong fanbase, and it quickly became one of the best choices for drivers looking for a value-friendly SUV with the iconic Jeep badging. Enough time has passed that the Renegade has seen a fair share of improvements, plenty of which occurred last year. The 2022 Jeep Renegade has a few changes of its own, and what we get is the most forward-looking Renegade model we’ve seen to date.
This year’s Renegade has a starting MSRP of $24,490, making it the cheapest vehicle in the entire Jeep lineup. Don’t let the low price tag of this SUV fool you because the Renegade is still a Jeep, both inside and out. The Renegade is a capable ride, and thanks to its new standard powertrain, it’s incredibly fuel-efficient as well. Best of all, you can still go off the beaten path and have some adventure in your life. Many of the most notable features you’ll find on the more expensive Jeep models are here too. For example, over seventy security and safety features are present, and plenty of them come standard. Few concessions have been made to bring the Renegade to the market, and you’ll still be getting a genuine Jeep experience.
Good Riddance Tigershark
What is perhaps the most drastic of changes that occurred this year was the elimination of the 2.4L Tigershark I-4 engine. This change was for the best, which is evident in how the turbocharged engine provided better performance in most regards, leaving the Tigershark with not much to be desired. What you’re left with is the very capable turbocharged 1.3L I-4 engine. Like last year, this engine remains paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission, and the output stays at 177 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque. For comparison, the Tigershark engine from last year offered 180 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque, and you don’t need us to explain to you why the 1% higher horsepower was outweighed by the 20% lower torque.
The removal of last year’s Tigershark engine makes more sense the further you look. Not only does the turbocharged engine tow the same 2,000 lbs, but its fuel efficiency is also superior. Your Renegade can be optioned with a 4×4 drivetrain, but that won’t stop the Renegade from being quite fuel-efficient; plus, it makes the Renegade legitimately useful for off-roading situations. The Renegade is more than ready for the rocky path with a terrain select mode, tow hooks in the front and back, and 8.7-inches of ground clearance on the Trailhawk trim. When in the standard front-wheel drive configuration, however, its efficiency truly shines with the turbocharged I-4 receiving EPA-estimated ratings of 24 MPG city and 32 MPG highway against the Tigershark’s ratings of 22 MPG city and 30 MPG highway.
Larger Than You May Think
One thing we especially admire about the Renegade is its large interior. Sometimes, the photos don’t do it justice, but the Renegade’s interior is designed to seat up to five passengers with an ideal amount of space. Let’s talk about the driver’s seat since this will be your throne. This seat can be optioned with leather, heating, and 8-way power-adjustable controls that include 2-way power lumbar support. Your friend, family member, or heck, even your Uber passenger will have a 4-way power-adjustable heated seat to enjoy as well. The phrase “Compact” might make you think the experience will be more like fitting a television in your vacation suitcase, but no, you’ll have plenty of room.
If you’re sitting in the front row of the Renegade, you’ll have 41.2-inches of legroom. That’s nearly three-and-a-half feet of space, solely for your soles. The headroom you have will be dependent on whether or not there’s a sunroof within your cabin, which by the way, we certainly recommend. With the sunroof, you’ll have 39.7-inches of headroom, and omitting the sunroof increases this to 41.4-inches. Something to consider is that even these compact SUVs will tend to give you a more spacious interior than your run-of-the-mill sedan––but that’s simply the nature of an SUV.
This brings us to the back seats, and the amount of headroom and legroom your passengers will get doesn’t stray too far away from what you’ll find in the front seats. Even with the sunroof installed, back-row passengers get 40.5-inches of headroom and 35.1-inches of legroom. This means that five adults can comfortably be seated within the Renegade––considering this SUV’s incredible efficiency, you can easily utilize your Renegade as a commuter or even carpool with a few of your peers.
Okay, now that you know that you’ll be comfortably fitting inside of your Renegade, how about the cargo space? We’re pleased to say the 2022 Renegade has similar dimensions to last year’s, and you can expect a maximum of 50.8 cu.ft. of space when the back seats are folded down. Whether you’re traveling alone, or perhaps you need the extra room to store something, such as work equipment, a new fancy purchase, or so on, this will give you plenty of space. If you’re taking a trip with some friends or family and need the rear seats up, or even if you’re going to the grocery store, the Renegade still has 18.5 cu.ft. of space to offer you.
A Few Honorable Mentions
The Renegade undoubtedly gives you the SUV experience you’re likely seeking, but there are a few extra features that we want to mention. Firstly, the Renegade allows for remote keyless entry and remote engine start, which eliminates the need for the traditional key, and will work as long as the fob is with you. Secondly, the infotainment center not only allows for some of the features we’re used to, such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but it also includes support for Amazon Alexa. Part of what makes a vehicle feel as if it’s truly designed in 2022 is a smart infotainment center, and now Amazon Alexa is one of three virtual assistants you can access with your voice––the other two being Apple’s Siri and the Google Assistant.
All of the most intriguing technology you’ll be using in your Renegade will be available through the infotainment center. We’re still in an era where manufacturers are opting to include tiny five-inch screens on base model vehicles, but Jeep goes ahead and makes a 7-inch screen standard. And, if you want an upgrade, an 8.4-inch screen is readily available too. The importance of these features is only becoming more apparent every year, and the ability to access directions, music, and your phone, all within a single screen, is something that we only saw on far more expensive models not too long ago.
An Exciting Option for Any Adventurous Driver
The way we see it, the 2022 Jeep Renegade is an exciting purchase for a couple of reasons. Purchasing the efficient and affordably-priced Jeep Renegade not only saves you money, but your experience will be reminiscent of Jeep’s more expensive vehicles. From off-road performance to high-tech features, this subcompact SUV will give you a superior experience when compared to much of its competition. If you’ve wanted an affordable adventure vehicle, then the Renegade might just be your best bet.