At first glance, you don't trust him too much. The 4,26-meter-long Jeep Renegade looks strikingly angular, but still has a hint of those cuddly and fashionable mini SUVs that do not require great technical sophistication and are only a little higher, clear, practical and spacious. Current sales already show that the Renegade is carved from different wood than most of its peers: Around 70 percent of the smallest of all four-wheel drive jeeps are ordered - comparable models are up to 20 percent, if at all, they offer more than pure front-wheel drive , The crown of off-road suitability among the Renegade models is the 2.0l MultiJet Trailhawk, which we were able to test extensively around Wörth am Main. The supposedly lifestyle Italian-American cuts a surprising figure on- and off-road. It is available from 31.900 euros.
The striking off-road look of the Renegade itself - for example with the X-motif in the rear lights reminiscent of a gas can or the typical grab handle for the front passenger - is enhanced in the top model, among other things, by 17-inch alloy wheels with improved off-road properties, a black contrast stripe on the hood and the so-called "Trail Rated" logo on the fender. This signals that the little rascal can master the infamous Rubicon Trail in California.
Technically, the top-of-the-line Rengade model is characterized by the 125 kW / 170 hp 2.0-liter MultiJet diesel, which with its 350 Nm torque brings valuable thrust for rough terrain - especially since it is already at 1.750 rpm. The Renegade Trailhawk brings its decent power to the ground via the sophisticated "Active Drive Low" all-wheel drive including Selec Terrain system: all four wheels are permanently driven in Kraxel mode "Rock" mode Rear axle differential is locked automatically. In addition, the Trailhawk 1,6 has 21 cm of ground clearance, underride protection and, thanks to special front and rear aprons, increased slope angles (20 degrees in front, 30 degrees in the rear).
The interior of the Renegade Trailhawk is a mix of robust off-road look and youthful fresh color accents. As in the Renegade in general, the material appearance is high quality, the workmanship is good. The leather seats in the top model offer good lateral support even on rocky and rough terrain passages. The interior is particularly astonishing: even two-meter giants have enough space for legs and torso, and at least two adults sit comfortably in the nominal five-seater at the back. Thanks to the spacious box look of the Jeep Renegade: the luggage compartment offers a volume of 351 liters, which can be expanded to up to 1.297 liters.
A terrain reduction in the true sense is missing, but the short first gear of the nine-speed automatic in the Trailhawk together with a shorter axle ratio on demand leads to enormous climbing potential. "4WD Low" is then the choice on the mode switch, which adjusts the traction control and blocks the first automatic gear against upshifting. Then nothing stops the Trailhawk as quickly as you can see not only on the Rubicon Trail in California, but also on a northern Bavarian off-road course. If necessary, a hill start and stop aid is also used. Although the Renegade Trailhawk still lacks the seemingly unstoppable off-road expertise of its hardcore cousin Jeep Wrangler, its great stick-and-stone talent should be more than sufficient for the target group of mini-SUV buyers.
Thanks to the early and frequent gear changes of the nine-speed automatic, an unfamiliar driving experience is initially revealed on the road, which on the other hand pampers with smooth power delivery. Overall, it is striking that the technicians managed the tightrope walk between off-road and on-road suitability very well: on asphalt, the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk has an astonishingly high level of comfort and agility. Nevertheless, slight losses in comfort are noticeable compared to competitors with different designs.
The 2.0l MultiJet Diesel drives the short all-rounder agile through the tangle of curves, from 8,9 to 196 in 5,9 s and at up to 100 km / h on the highway. Clear wind noises arise - probably due to the box design. But even when it comes to drinking, the Top-Renegade does not really slip: its 7,3 l / XNUMX km standard consumption climbed to an acceptable XNUMX liters during a brisk on-road test drive. Apparently, Jeep is really serious with its highly talented small off-road vehicle.
Author: Ralf Sagittarius / SP-X