As a couple of leaked pictures revealed a few days prior to the Geneva Motor Show, Jeep is reviving the Renegade nameplate on a car that, on the surface at least, does not seem worthy of it. The 2015 Jeep Renegade is basically re-bodied Fiat Panda 4×4 designed to expand Jeep’s SUV lineup and reach new markets around the world.
Designed as a fuel-efficient crossover with decent off-road capabilities, the 2015 Jeep Renegade comes with depending on the market, a choice of 16 different engines and two new four-wheel-drive system. You can choose between a full-time 4×4 system or a class-exclusive full-time 4×4 system with 20:1 crawl ratio. They both come with Jeep Selec-Terrain system, providing up to five modes (Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud modes, plus exclusive Rock mode on the Trailhawk model, which is the most capable version).
The main issue with the new Jeep Renegade is the way it looks, which is supposed to be an homage to the early Willys Jeeps, but it really isn’t. One feature that does hark back to the original is what Jeep calls My Sky open-air roof, featuring a manual removable, or removable with premium power tilt/slide system.
The Renegade comes with Chrysler’s nine-speed automatic transmission which can be paired to select number of the available 16 powertrains. Speaking of which, the range includes four MultiAir petrol engine offerings, two MultiJet II diesel engine offerings, and flex-fuel capable E.torQ engine with different outputs. They get fuel saving features such as Stop&Start technology, and can be had with two manual and one dual-dry clutch transmission (DDCT) in addition to the new nine-speeder.
In Europe, the 2015 Jeep Renegade will be competing in a segment full of good-looking, value for money crossovers. It does possess greater off-road capabilities than all of them, but we’re not sure it would really matter to the average crossover buyers who only want the high-riding driving position.