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The Spunky and Rugged 2020 Jeep Renegade

An orange 2020 Jeep Renegade is parked on a city street.

The Jeep brand is known for developing rugged SUVs that can go anywhere and do anything. While models have come and gone, this expectation has rung true throughout the decades, and one of the newest faces to the Jeep family lineup is the 2020 Jeep Renegade. First issued in 2014, the Jeep Renegade has risen to the forefront of attention in a relatively short time span. And while the Jeep Renegade has continued to push this core concept of rugged sensibilities, this model is very different from others that have propagated the lineup. Based on styling alone, the Jeep Renegade is something of a black sheep. Sometimes described as cartoonish or quirky, at first glance, the Jeep Renegade appears to be something out of some futuristic concept catalog. Although, the Jeep Renegade is anything but a fantasy, and exists as a rising star amongst the brand. The 2020 model continues right where the 2019 model left off, blending street-side comfort with outdoor capability that’s hard to come by in competitor compact SUVs.

What to Expect from the 2020 Jeep Renegade

The Jeep Renegade fits into a more affordable range compared to other models within the family. Coming in at an MSRP of $22,620, this model is in direct competition with other compact SUVs on the market. Although, the Jeep Renegade has a rugged edge that competitor manufacturers may struggle to compete with. On top of that, the Jeep Renegade comes packed with a slew of configuration options that fall under the Sport, Latitude, Upland, Altitude, Limited, Trailhawk, and High Altitude.

The appearance of the Jeep Renegade is what ought to first catch your eye. This isn’t your typical compact SUV with rounded corners and safe and easy styling. The Jeep Renegade is a bug-like version of a Jeep Wrangler, with the iconic round headlights and vertical grille lines. Base models get a pretty good amount of separation between the ground and the undercarriage, measuring in at around 8.0 inches. Although, this ground clearance measurement can be amped up to 8.7 inches in the Trailhawk edition, which tweaks this compact SUV for off-road driving specifically.

While cost and style are certain factors that contribute to the appeal of the Jeep Renegade, it’s the overall performance of this compact SUV that has buyers jumping for a test drive.

A white 2020 Jeep Renegade is driving around a very foggy corner.

Spunky Power for a Spunky SUV

Your typical compact SUV will get a set of powertrain options that walk a fine line between power delivery and fuel efficiency. This is a hard line to walk, as it can be far too easy to tip to any one side. Although, the Jeep Renegade manages to do a pretty decent job at blending the two, providing decent power without sacrificing a decent level of fuel economy.

The standard engine is a 2.4-liter inline-4 engine that produces 180 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque. A 9-speed automatic transmission supports this entry-engine, as does front-wheel drive; four-wheel drive is optional. This basic powertrain build earns about 25 MPG combined, which isn’t half bad considering the size of the model.

Although, the Jeep Renegade doesn’t stop at the 2.4-liter powertrain. Should you opt for the Limited or the Trailhawk, you’ll get a 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 177 horsepower and 210 lb-ft of torque. An all-wheel drivetrain can be found accompanying this engine, and it still uses that same nimble 9-speed automatic transmission. The Trailhawk trim, in particular, is a highlight of the Jeep Renegade, as you’ll get a variety of off-road features as standard for this model.

A 20:1 crawl ratio is offered in the Trailhawk trim, as is a ground clearance of 8.7-inch and hill-descent control. What results is a very competent off-road vehicle that is likely to outpace potential compact competitors. That said, the Jeep Renegade ought not to be compared to the Jeep Wrangler, as both vehicles hit the trail at completely different weight classes.

Inside the 2020 Jeep Renegade

The white and black interior of a 2020 Jeep Renegade is shown from the side.

The Jeep Renegade may be small, but don’t let its compact size fool you. When you fold down the rear seats, you’ll get a substantial 50.8 cubic feet of total cargo capacity. Rear legroom isn’t half bad, measuring in at 35.1 inches, but we’d have liked to see a bit more space for back seat passengers. When you step foot in a base model, you’ll likely notice the soft-touch plastics and high-quality cloth upholstery. Upgrade that model, and the cloth gets swapped out for leather. Although, in the Trailhawk trim, you’ll find a unique dressing of Jeep-centric Easter eggs that are bound to satisfy any Jeep brand fan.

Modern comforts in the Jeep Renegade are a bit lacking in entry models, which is to be expected considering that low starting price. The Renegade Sport model doesn’t get air conditioning, nor cruise control unless you pay for a rather substantial upgrade. However, if you step into the Latitude trim, you’ll get a considerable amount of value starting at an MSRP of $24,640. This trim gets a 7.0-inch touch-activated infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, as well as a dual-zone climate control system. If you want to take that upgrade even further, you’ll get the option of adding in a panoramic sunroof, or Jeep’s unique removable roof system. Invest in the top-level trim, and you’ll enjoy big 19-inch tires, keyless ignition, and full leather upholstery.

Safety is another place in which Jeep Renegade buyers may want to opt for an upgrade. The base Sport trim only gets the bare minimum, which includes airbags and seatbelts. Should you want a little bit more on the active safety side, you’ll want to go with a higher trim.

Active safety features like automatic emergency braking, active lane control, and both front and back parking sensors can all be found on the Jeep Renegade. The Trailhawk trim is the only exception, wherein some of these features aren’t compatible with the rugged equipment and design.

Should You Invest in the 2020 Jeep Renegade?

There are plenty of compact SUV models out there to choose from that all offer their unique appeal. Then again, few provide the kind of aesthetic, capability, power, and value that you can find in the Jeep Renegade. The Jeep Renegade is a multi-faceted SUV that provides a spectacular driving experience both on the road and off. On top of all that, the 2020 Jeep Renegade comes with some pretty modern features should you choose to upgrade. While we would’ve liked to see these features offered as a standard package, the Jeep Renegade isn’t the only model that is lacking in advanced technology. Although, if you’re still on the fence about whether the quirky yet rugged Jeep Renegade is the right choice for you, we highly recommend you visit your local Jeep brand dealership to take one out for a test drive. We believe the best way to understand the quality of a vehicle is to get behind the wheel.

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