The 2015 Jeep Renegade and Renegade Trailhawk were just unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show. So why is Jeep for the first time unveiling a new model outside of the United States? And why is the Jeep Renegade its first foray into the small SUV segment? Remember who Jeep works for: Fiat Chrysler Automotive, or FCA for short. And as a global player in the automotive field, Fiat has opened doors allowing Jeep to sell vehicles into overseas markets it had previously been locked out of for decades.
The Jeep Renegade (pictured below in white) and Renegade Trailhawk (pictured below in orange) are in many ways Jeep’s first truly globally viable offering, poised to enter markets in Asia, Europe, and South America where even the new Jeep KL Cherokee would seem big and uneconomical. Jeep purists and enthusiasts will no doubt rail against the new Jeep Renegade as just another watered-down cute-ute that will hasten the demise of the beloved Wrangler and drag the company headlong into mediocrity. And while revolt and drama sell magazines and make people click website links, we’re here to tell you the opposite will most likely prove true.
The reality is the capable (for its class) Jeep Renegade will undoubtedly sell well not just in the overseas markets, but North America as well. It’s a vehicle that serves to pull non-Jeep people to the Jeep brand, increase profitability of Jeep as a company, and can actually help increase Wrangler production since EPA and other bureaucratic entities around the globe ding auto manufacturers based on the sum total of the carbon footprint of vehicles sold.
So yes, the 2015 Jeep Renegade is small. The Jeep Renegade is cute. The Jeep Renegade lacks a real low range and isn’t going to be as off-road-capable as the Jeep JK Wrangler, Grand Cherokee, or even KL Cherokee. But Jeep already owns off-road-capable with the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, Wrangler Moab, and plain old Wrangler. And it has the off-road luxury segment sewn up with the excellent Grand Cherokee Trailhawk. Heck, even the Cherokee Trailhawk is the most off-road capable vehicle in its class. What it didn’t already have is what the Jeep Wrangler Renegade is: a small, highly economical, easy to maneuver and park, affordable alternative to the cute utes sold worldwide. And when you stack the new 2015 Jeep Renegade up against the other platforms in its class like the Nissan Juke or Kia Soul, the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk’s 20:1 crawl ratio, 184hp 2.4L Tigershark four-cylinder engine, red tow hooks, increased front and rear departure angles, and nice interior appointments, it’s really a pretty darn nice alternative in a class swimming in a sea of watered-down mediocrity.
Read our complete report on the Renegade: 2015 Jeep Renegade Photos and Details Revealed