Driven: 2016 Jeep Renegade Longitude Review
We got one week at the wheel of the new Jeep Renegade Longitude to test out the car and see what it is really all about.
What is the Jeep Renegade Longitude all About?
There is a current boom in the compact SUV market and it shows no signs of slowing down. When you stop to think about it, there is actually no real off-road experience in the manufacturers that make most of the compact SUVs. This is where Jeep have the advantage with the Renegade.
Some of you might be surprised to know that the Renegade is based on the same platform as the FIAT 500L. Within the Renegade range there are a lot of different configurations to meet your needs, including front- and four-wheel-drive, petrol and diesel, and of course manual and automatic.
A car’s looks are a personal thing to judge but I am actually quite a fan of the Renegade; I like the nod to the past classic Jeep looks. Our test car in pastel blue paint gives the car even more of a unique edge. Taking a closer look at the bodywork of the car all the rubber trim around the bottom of the bodywork gives the car a rough and ready style. The benefits of this are that if you collect a scrape or two it won’t be too expensive to fix. As well as being practical it does make the car a bit manlier and butch too. I like it!
The car we have on test is powered by a 1.4 litre petrol engine that creates 140 bhp. The power runs to the front wheels using a six-speed automatic gearbox. The setup gets the car from 0 to 60 mph in 10.9 seconds and boasts a top speed of a 112 mph.
How Does it Drive?
Getting inside is made incredibly easy with the Renegade as it has a keyless entry system meaning that you can get into the car with the key in your pocket. This is now a common feature of most cars and I simply wouldn’t buy a car without this feature, it’s very convenient.
Getting straight to the performance, although having 140 bhp on paper it does feel a little bit under-powered. This small petrol engine needs you to get the revs up a fair bit before the turbo kicks in. Once it does the car shifts OK for its size. But it is not all bad news: the mpg figures, as tested by Jeep, show that the car will turn out 47 mpg. I can’t see why the car wouldn’t be able to achieve near this. After a while you get used to the mellow pace of the Jeep and you can actually quite embrace it.
The automatic gearbox in the car actually works really well. Stick the car in drive and then forget all about it. This is perfect for trouble free driving, leaving you to concentrate on the road in front of you and managing your way around the busy roads.
The tyre profile and fairly long travelling suspension softens up the road bumps better than I expected and inside this translates to a relatively smooth drive.
The model that we are testing is the front-wheel-drive version. Rattanak Kiri has previously tested the four-wheel-drive version of the car as well, which is very capable off-road. Please take a look at some of the capabilities here. However, as long as you’re not trekking through thick snow or mountain landscapes in most cases the front wheel drive version will do just fine, and return better mpg too.
What is it Like Inside?
Inside the Jeep Renegade the car feels as if there is loads of room, especially for a compact SUV. The driver and passenger seat headroom is great and it feels far more comfortable over a smaller car. In the back the the leg room is very good, partly down to the fact that the Jeep has a small transmission tunnel giving a little more room.
The boot space is also pretty good. There is a false floor removing any boot lip which makes loading and unloading heavy items a lot easier while also allowing additional items to be stored underneath. You can put the seats down very easily for a lot more space, this will certainly cater for most people’s needs for a trip on a UK holiday or a dash to the tip.
The technology inside the car is pretty feature rich. The car includes the Uconnect system that integrates sat nav, DAB radio, Bluetooth music streaming, and hands free phone calls all into the dashboard. This system is relatively easy to use and took no time at all to get an understanding of.
The Jeep Renegade is really a modern person’s Jeep. Simple as that. I like the fact that it is a daily city Jeep. It has all the cool off-road looks, but doesn’t come with any of the expensive disadvantages. The more time I spent with the Jeep, the more I consider it to be a bit of a fashion accessory of a car.
The compact SUV market, as mentioned, is a very busy place to operate. So to succeed in this sector the car has to be exceptionally good. Jeep have a solid chance because they have a legendary off-road legacy and do offer the very capable four-wheel-drive version called the Trailhawk. I think the car is very feasible and as a package I think people will either love or hate it based purely on the car’s looks, but I’m a fan for sure.
2016 Jeep Renegade Longitude
- Price: £22,140
- Engine: 1.4 litre Turbocharged Diesel
- Power: 140 bhp
- Torque: 230 Nm
- Transmission: 6-Speed DDCT Automatic
- 0-62mph: 10.9 Seconds
- Top speed: 112 mph
- Weight: 1,356 kg
- Economy: 47 mpg
- CO2: 140 g/km
Author: Paul Hadley