What is it?
On the face of it, Jeep looks to be on a bit of a roll. With a new range of electrified drivetrains currently in development and an all-new A-segment SUV just over the horizon, the American manufacturer looks perfectly poised to respond to an ever-changing and increasingly competitive sector.
However, if you delve a little deeper, past the optimistic ‘future projections’ and new marketing strategies, you’ll discover that Jeep experienced a poor 2017 in the UK. Its market share dropped a whopping 55% over 2016, with sales dropping from 14,090 to 6380 cars. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Renegade, with its reasonable price tag and UK-friendly dimensions, made up 4540 of these - more than 70%.
So, in effect, Jeep’s small SUV is keeping the show on the road. Hence the need for Jeep to treat it to a comprehensive mid-life update.
On the surface, the 2018 Renegade benefits from some subtle but surprisingly noticeable design updates. G-Class-esque LED headlights and tail-lights give the Renegade a slightly more distinctive aesthetic, while new 19in wheels and more aggressive bumpers apparently enhance ‘urban and lifestyle appeal’ – we’re not sure what that means either.
The most important changes, however, are found under the bonnet. Two new turbocharged all-aluminium petrol engines have been developed by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with the aim of improving driveability and reducing emissions. The line-up is pretty straightforward: an entry-level 118bhp 1.0-litre petrol replaces the gutless 108bhp naturally aspirated 1.6 and a new 1.3 (available in both 148bhp and 169bhp configurations) replaces the 138bhp 1.4.