Jeep Renegade 4xe review: Just make sure you plug it in

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(Pocket-lint) - The Renegade is the babe of the Jeep family, carrying that distinctive grille and boxy looks, giving compact SUV benignant portion retaining immoderate of that offr-oad capableness associated with Jeep.

The Renegade is, however, successful its basal form, a front-wheel thrust vehicle, with all-wheel thrust (AWD) reserved for immoderate of the higher powerfulness engines successful the past. That baton is present passed to the 4xe, which tin not lone boast electrification, but AWD too.

Tonka artifact looks

The Jeep has ever been iconic, and portion the Wrangler inactive carries overmuch of what made this marque charismatic to a batch of people, the softer-looking SUVs inactive transportation immoderate of those charms. The Renegade has an absorbing proportionality, with a beardown boxy look from the front, wheels planted adjacent to the corners, and a precocious extortion and thrust height.


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The rear of the Renegade takes immoderate looking astatine though - nary substance however often we look astatine the hind quarters of the Renegade, it ever seems a small abrupt, similar it should beryllium a small longer. There are advantages to it being shorter - it's easier to parkland for 1 - portion the large hatch rear doorway means you tin structure from the rainfall portion changing retired of your muddy walking boots.

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In galore ways, the 4xe reminds america of the Kia Soul, and we decidedly deliberation it looks amended with larger wheels, due to the fact that there's nary escaping the toy-like looks.

The footwear itself has a capableness of 330 litres, which isn't immense and firmly cements the Renegade arsenic a compact SUV.


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The Renegade besides offers a scope of breathtaking colours and fixed its chunky looks, we're of the mindset that thing with popular shows-off this car better, similar the alleged Bikini overgarment connected our reappraisal model.

Paired with the Trailhawk trim, which adds that achromatic stripe to the bonnet and 17-inch wheels (which travel with mud and snowfall tyres), there's a gulf of abstraction successful that instrumentality arch allowing for plentifulness of travel, truthful this happening volition really spell off-road too.

Interior comforts

The precocious thrust tallness of the Renegade volition surely entreaty to a batch of drivers, fixed that SUVs being truthful popular. But portion galore SUVs are pretending to beryllium hatchbacks, the Renegade astatine slightest feels a small much utilitarian - and there's entreaty successful that.

Once you gaffe into the interior there's bully genu abstraction for the rear seats and plentifulness of caput room, but it does consciousness arsenic though this car is stacked a small gangly - the abstraction is mostly supra you.

You tin spot 3 crossed the backmost row, but the mediate spot is simply a small cramped. The beforehand seats are comfortable, though, featuring leather trim and reddish stitching, portion overmuch of the remainder of the compartment uses acheronian hard oregon brushed plastics successful galore places.

The utilitarian consciousness continues with a immense grab-handle successful beforehand of the beforehand passenger, portion the centre of the car sees a alternatively tiny (by modern standards) infotainment display.

The interior layout is simply a small unusual truly - it feels similar there's a batch of abstraction successful beforehand of the dash, made much noticeable by the boxy design. Still, we recovered it perfectly comfy for agelong drives with plentifulness of adjustability successful the seats, bully visibility and a layout of controls that's mostly applicable and casual to understand.


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The steering instrumentality has plentifulness of buttons, which sees cruise power and operator show controls connected the face, pushing the measurement controls and media root and prime buttons to the rear of the steering wheel. It's a elemental solution - and portion you ne'er spot these buttons, it lone instrumentality a fewer moments to get utilized to them.

Note that contempt the precocious specification of the Renegade 4xe Trailhawk, it doesn't person adaptive cruise power - that's connected the Limited trim - alternatively it lone offers regular cruise control. The Trailhawk is much pitched astatine off-road adventures, portion the Limited offers immoderate much on-road comforts instead.

How the hybrid strategy works

What makes this 4xe strategy antithetic to the accepted combustion models is the summation of the 11.4kWh artillery and the electrical centrifugal which drives the rear wheels. With the motor driving the beforehand wheels and the centrifugal disposable for the backmost wheels, you get your all-wheel thrust (AWD) strategy done a operation of both.


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That means driving connected electrical lone powers the rear wheels, portion driving connected the motor lone powers the front. There are driving modes to negociate what happens: Hybrid utilizing some sources arsenic needed; Electric utilizing conscionable the battery; and E-Save letting you either prevention the complaint (i.e. centrifugal only) oregon usage the centrifugal to besides complaint the artillery portion you're driving.

This is simply a reasonably modular configuration for hybrid cars, but with terrain modes besides offered connected the Trailhawk trim, erstwhile you request all-wheel thrust (or if you take to prosecute the 4WD Lock) the motor tin supply the powerfulness to the artillery to thrust electrical centrifugal excessively - you don't person to person a afloat charged battery.

Basically, you tin ever entree that AWD if you request it, careless of the complaint authorities of the car.


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On the Trailhawk mentation of the car there's a terrain enactment enactment truthful you tin archer the car you're driving successful snow, mud oregon implicit rocks, with descent power and a debased scope enactment too, truthful you don't conscionable rotation those rear wheels. Most, we suspect, volition instrumentality to Auto.

Driving and performance

The powerfulness successful the Trailhawk amounts to immoderate 240bhp. Of that, the 1.3-litre petrol motor provides 180bhp and the electrical centrifugal 60bhp. On the little trims, the petrol motor output is somewhat reduced astatine 130bhp, for a combined 190bhp. We haven't driven those, truthful the acquisition mightiness beryllium somewhat antithetic to the Trailhawk.

In Hybrid mode, the Renegade 4xe drives alternatively nicely though. As agelong arsenic there's complaint successful the battery, it volition usage a operation of the motor driving the beforehand wheels and the centrifugal driving the rear wheels to springiness you the powerfulness erstwhile you request it.


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Accelerate up a elevation and you'll perceive the motor spark up to supply that further power, earlier going backmost to slumber again arsenic you crest the acme and little powerfulness is needed.

Usually, it volition default to electrical powerfulness erstwhile you propulsion distant from the lights. Indeed, if you person afloat charge, the Renegade 4xe volition fundamentally thrust connected electrical until the complaint hits 3 per cent, astatine which constituent it's moving connected the motor alone.

The existent electrical scope from that 11.4kWh artillery is astir 31 miles, but that varies a small depending connected however you thrust and the conditions you thrust in, including regeneration.


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You mightiness disregard the 31 miles of range, but that fig is based connected mean commute distances, the thought being that each your abbreviated journeys tin beryllium electrical without the request for the motor astatine all, recharging the car erstwhile you're parked astatine location oregon astatine the office.

By default the regeneration to auto-charge the artillery is simply a small light, but there's a fastener adjacent to cogwheel instrumentality to prosecute "max regeneration" which gives a stronger braking effect erstwhile you assistance disconnected the accelerator, and we similar this mode.

On the motorway oregon longer drives the electrical complaint volition conscionable usage itself up, leaving you with a 1.3-litre Jeep, which tin consciousness a small nether powered. This truly shows itself erstwhile you travel to a steeper hill, erstwhile there's a noticeable and noisy summation successful motor velocity and stepdown done the autobox - it truly misses the electrical centrifugal successful these conditions.


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In suburban driving that's improbable to beryllium a problem, but it's noticeable if you privation to instrumentality the Renegade 4xe further afield. Also noticeable is the smaller substance tank. There's lone a 35-litre vessel compared to 48-litres connected the regular versions - and that means the maximum scope is astir 300 miles from a afloat vessel and a afloat charged battery. Arguably, for a terms not excessively acold off, you could spell full electric and person akin scope (but not with immoderate benignant of off-road skill).

Giving a utile fig for miles per gallon (mpg) depends truthful overmuch connected however often you complaint the car and however acold you drive. Covering astir 340 miles successful a week, we got an mean of 46.8mpg, but that's comprised of 110 miles of electrical and 230 miles from petrol. On the motorway, erstwhile the electrical has gone, you're looking astatine conscionable implicit 30mpg. As with immoderate plug-in hybrid, if you're not charging it, you're not doing it right.

Elsewhere the steering is airy and the suspension soft, which volition soak distant a batch of lumps and ensures there's less jolts should you thrust off-road, but faster cornering and hard braking volition spot the Renegade bobbing astir connected its springs. Still, it's casual to thrust and the precocious thrust tallness and bully visibility volition person entreaty for galore drivers.


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As a plug-in hybrid, there's a Type 2 socket connected the rear left, allowing you to plug successful and recharge successful astir 4 hours from a home socket. It volition complaint astatine up to 7.4kW, and that volition springiness a quicker complaint from a nationalist charger oregon wallbox.

Interior tech

The interior tech centres astir the centre of the driver's display, which is customisable truthful you tin alteration what accusation is shown successful assorted areas, portion besides letting you entree a wide scope of accusation connected the thrust - and flanked by 2 accepted dials, 1 for revs (RPM) and 1 showing your powerfulness output oregon regen charge. It's not the astir precocious oregon graphically refined display, but there's nary occupation accessing overmuch of the accusation that's really useful, truthful we person nary problems with it.

The cardinal show is 8.4-inches and, arsenic we said above, that's a small tiny by modern standards. It's besides acceptable beauteous low, truthful glancing astatine it for navigation directions, for example, would impact looking down into the car - successful opposition to galore cars which present person displays mounted overmuch higher and person to your eyeline.

The navigation comes courtesy of TomTom, with acquainted graphics and decent routing, portion there's besides enactment for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, via a cablegram connection.


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Elsewhere you tin entree utile information, specified however overmuch you're driving connected the motor and however overmuch connected electric. To get the astir from your plug successful hybrid, you truly request to support it charged and these graphs soon uncover if you're conscionable driving it astir similar a mean petrol car.


As a measurement into electrification, plug-in hybrids person thing to offer, with a usable abbreviated scope electrical driving experience. Once you commencement charging it and utilizing it, 31 miles volition screen a immense magnitude of regular tasks - shopping, commuting, driving to the station, the schoolhouse tally - without a driblet of petrol being used.

Having a tiny substance vessel here, however, and truthful a 300 mile combined range, is simply a compromise - truthful a large long-range cruiser this Jeep truly isn't.

There's amusive to beryllium had with the Jeep Renegade: it's a chiseled compact SUV with immoderate existent off-road capabilities successful the Trailhawk that different plug-ins simply lack. The 4xe does travel astatine a premium, though, truthful the existent question is whether you're going to sensibly marque the astir of its electrical scope connected a regular ground to marque it really worthwhile.

Writing by Chris Hall. Editing by Mike Lowe. Originally published connected 16 September 2021.

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