2016 Renegade Trailhawk: The Fun-Sized Off-Roading Jeep

The New 2016 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk is quite an impressive vehicle. Don’t judge it by its size either; this little fun-sized Jeep is ready to take on almost everything the Wrangler can handle while off the beaten path. All while wearing its Jeep Trail Rated badge proudly and boasting best-in-class 4×4 capability. You are just as likely to spot this Jeep Renegade in Miami cruising by the hottest night clubs as you are seeing it in the mountains climbing some rocks; because it has the best of both worlds. A fun and “hip” design create misleading assumptions about the rugged capability this little vehicle possesses.

Best-in-Class 4×4 Capability

The 2016 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk is the proud owner of a Trail Rated bade. The Trail Rated badge from Jeep is proof of a Jeeps capability to perform well under numerous off-road conditions. Conditions that would require solid traction, good ground clearance, stellar maneuverability and handling, along with water fording abilities. That’s right, the pint-sized Renegade Trailhawk can do all that and more, thanks to the features that give it best-in-class 4×4 capability.

Jeep Active Drive Low 4×4 System

This best-in-class capability all starts with the 4×4 system, and the Jeep Renegade boasts one of the best systems out there. The Jeep Active Drive Low 4×4 system includes a lower than average crawl ratio for better performance off-road, as well as Jeep’s Selec-Terrain system. The crawl ratio is sitting at 20:1, which is quite a powerful crawl ratio for a little Jeep. For comparative purposes, the Rubicon in early 2000 sported a 4:1 crawl ratio, which means this crawl ratio is 5x stronger than that. This Active Drive Low 4×4 system will automatically engage if it senses that 4×4 traction is needed, and 4×4 will remain off when 4×4 is not needed so the fuel economy doesn’t suffer. This is thanks to the innovative and segment-first disconnecting rear axle and power take-off unit.


The Selec-Terrain offered by Jeep is also roped into this 4×4 system, and provides even more help when it comes to off-roading conditions. The Selec-Terrain system allows you to choose from five different modes: Auto, Snow, Sand, Mud, and Rock mode for the Trailhawk, so that the Renegade can perform its best no matter the situation presented on or off the road.


Some other notable features that make the Trailhawk have the best-in-class 4×4 capability are the unique 17-inch wheels with aggressive on-road and off-road tires, skid plates to protect the transfer case and fuel tank, an increased ride height compared to the other trims, and up to 19-inches of water fording capability.

Engine and Transmission

The engine sitting in the Renegade is a 2.4-liter Tigershark I4. This engine is able to put out 180 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. 180 horsepower for a Jeep that weighs in at just over 3,000 pounds is certainly enough to get it down the road, and the amount of torque provided allows something this size to scale a mountain. This engine features state-of-the-art MultiAir technology that’s able to increase power and torque while lower fuel consumption and emissions. It’s also paired with a nine-speed transmission, which is a bit of an anomaly for a small SUV, and gets up to 31 mpg highway. Making this Renegade just as effective at longer drives as it is in the woods.

The Jeep Renegade Trailhawk is a small SUV, and has a nine-speed automatic transmission paired to it. While that seems kind of strange, it works really well. Typically, these wider-gear-selection transmissions are on much bigger vehicles. But on the Renegade Trailhawk, it provides it with outstanding acceleration, efficiency, and silky-smooth shifts between gears. Making this Jeep Renegade Trailhawk one of the first vehicles in it’s class with this type of enhanced performance coming from a transmission.

The performance and mechanical capabilities of vehicles are an important factor in off-roading performance, but the design and size are another. Too heavy, and the vehicle won’t be able to climb very well. Too light, and the vehicle will be sliding all over the place. The Renegade Trailhawk’s fun-size, however, is just right.

The Fun-Size

The Jeep Renegade Trailhawk weighs in at a relatively light 3,490 pounds. This lightness is no doubt thanks to it’s compact design; which measures just over 13 feet long and just under 6-feet wide. Surprisingly, it has a spacious interior. You would think it would be cramped inside, but it isn’t. It has about 3 and a half-feet of head room in the front and back of the vehicle, and almost just as much leg room. The hip room inside the cabin is about 4 and a half-feet in front and back, which means plenty of room to bring some friends off-roading.

The size of the Reengade is a good weight for both on and off the road. Jeep knew they needed to make the Renegade a vehicle that would be able to perform well in the woods, but also in the city. The compact size helps with both,;allowing easier maneuverability through a thick forest or dense city streets. The fun-size is also accompanied by a fun design, and Jeep needs a pat on the back for the way it looks.

Head-Turning Looks

The looks of the Renegade Trailhawk can be described with one word, and you guessed it: fun. The Renegade Trailhawk looks like a car that belongs in the city at first glance. But, it’s a Jeep. It needs to have some adventurous look to it, and the Trailhawk delivers that.

The iconic Jeep front-end leads the way in the Trailhawk’s new design, but meets with a fun twist at the hood. The center of the hood is raised, which pronounces the Jeep lettering even more. Next, you will notice the roof is topped off with a My Sky dual-panel roof. These panels can be retracted or removed completely in order to provide both front and back passengers with a feeling of freedom. Even if they aren’t removed, the tinted panels will always let the right amount of light in; and provides a sky-light feeling when looking through it. At the back, unique and playful bug-eyed X shaped taillights are noticed first. Then, the entire package is neatly wrapped up in a rounded off rear.

The Renegade Trailhawk is adorned with a few extra design features, like a raised ride height for a more aggressive stance, red tow hooks, more defined angles, and 17’ aluminum wheels with rugged looking tires. The combination of ruggedness and fun makes this a unique looking vehicle, and one that’s sure to turn heads as it’s going down the city streets or through the woods.

Your Eyes Deceive You

The ruggedness of the 2016 Renegade Trailhawk is something that can be easily underestimated. With Jeep’s class-exclusive 20:1 powerful crawl ratio and best-in-class- 4×4 capability, the Trailhawk is there to cruise around the city streets, as well as over rough backwoods terrain. While it might not be as strong of an off-roader as its bigger brother the Wrangler, don’t let it’s size or design fool you.

On top of this rugged performance, the Renegade Trailhawk comes in a fun-size and playful design, on the inside and out, that’s sure to make your next night-club trip or off-roading excursion an enjoyable one.

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