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

(pocket-lint) – The Renegade is the child of the Jeep family, with the distinctive grille and boxy look that lends it compact SUV styling while retaining some of the off-road capability associated with Jeep.

The Renegade, however, in its basic form, is a front-wheel drive vehicle, with all-wheel drive (AWD) reserved for some higher power engines in the past. That baton has now been passed on to 4xe, which can boast of not only electrification, but AWD as well.

Tonka looks toy

Jeep has always been iconic, and while the Wrangler still has a lot to offer that makes this brand attractive to a lot of people, the soft looking SUV still holds some charm. The Renegade has an interesting proportionality, with a strong boxy look from the front, wheels fitted closer to the corners, and a higher ceiling and ride height.

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The back of the Renegade needs to see something – no matter how many times we look at the rear quarter of the Renegade, it always seems a little abrupt, like it should be a little longer. It has the advantages of being small — it’s easy to park for one — while the large hatch rear doors mean you can avoid the rain while changing your muddy running shoes.

In many ways, the 4xe reminds us of the Kia Soul, and we definitely think it looks better with the bigger wheels, because one can’t escape looking like a toy.

The boot has a capacity of 330 liters, which is not huge and solidly solidifies the Renegade as a compact SUV.

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The Renegade also offers a range of exciting colors and given its chunky look, we’re of the mindset that something with a pop of color makes this car look better, like the so-called bikini paint on our review model.


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Paired with the Trailhawk trim, which adds that black stripe to the bonnet and the 17-inch wheels (which come with mud and snow tires), a gap in that wheel arch to allow for plenty of travel So this thing will really go off-road too.

inner comfort

The high ride height of the Renegade will certainly attract a lot of drivers, given that the SUV is so popular. But while many SUVs are pretending to be hatchbacks, the Renegade feels at least a little more utilitarian – and therein lies the appeal.

There’s knee space for the rear seats and plenty of head room once you slip into the interior, but it feels like this car is a bit tall—the space is mostly up to you.

You can seat three in the back row, but the middle seat is a bit cramped. The front seats are comfortable, however, featuring leather trim and red stitching, while the rest of the cabin uses dark hard or soft plastic in many places.

The utilitarian feel continues with a huge grab-handle in front of the front passenger, while a small (by modern standards) infotainment display appears at the center of the car.

The interior layout is actually a bit odd – it seems to have a lot of space in front of the dash, made more noticeable by the boxy design. Still, we found it completely comfortable for long drives with plenty of adjustments in the seats, good visibility, and the layout of the controls, which is mostly practical and easy to understand.

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The steering wheel has a slew of buttons, including cruise control and driver display controls on the face, push volume controls and media sources, and select buttons on the rear of the steering wheel. It’s a simple solution – and while you never see these buttons, it only takes a few moments to get used to them.

Note that despite the Renegade 4xe Trailhawk’s higher specification, it doesn’t have adaptive cruise control – it is on the Limited trim – instead it only offers regular cruise control. The Trailhawk stands out more on off-road adventures, while the Limited instead offers some more on-road comfort.

How Hybrid System Works

What sets this 4xe system apart from the traditional combustion model is the 11.4kWh battery and electric motor that drives the rear wheels. You get your all-wheel drive (AWD) system through a combination of the two, with the engine driving the front wheels and the motor available for the rear wheels.

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This means that driving on electric only powers the rear wheels, while driving on an engine only powers the front ones. The driving modes to manage what happens are: Hybrid using both sources as needed; Electric using only battery; And e-Save lets you either save charge (ie motor only) or by using the motor you can also charge the battery while driving.

This is a fairly standard configuration for Hybrid cars, but Terrain Mode is also offered on the Trailhawk trim, when you need all-wheel drive (or if you choose to engage a 4WD lock) the engine battery can also power the electric motor. Maybe – you don’t have to have a fully charged battery.

Basically, you can always access that AWD if you need it, regardless of the car’s charge status.

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The Trailhawk version of the car has a terrain selection option that lets you tell the car whether you’re driving over snow, mud, or rocks, with descent control and reduced range options so you can keep those rear wheels. Do not spin. Most, we suspect, will stick to Auto.

driving and performance

The Trailhawk’s power is around 240 bhp. Out of that the 1.3-litre petrol engine provides 180bhp and the electric motor 60bhp. On the lower trims, the petrol engine output drops slightly to 130bhp for a combined 190bhp. We haven’t driven them, so the experience may be a little different from the Trailhawk.

In hybrid mode, the Renegade 4xe drives well though. As long as the battery has a charge, it will use a combination of the engine driving the front wheels and the motor driving the rear wheels to power up when you need it.

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Speed ​​up a hill and you’ll hear the engine chirp to provide that extra power, before going to sleep again as you climb to the summit and need less power.

Typically, it will default to power on when you are away from the lights. In fact, if you have a full charge, the Renegade 4xe will essentially drive electric until the charge reaches three percent, at which point it’s running on the engine alone.

Actual electric range from that 11.4kWh battery is about 31 miles, but it depends on how you drive and what conditions you drive in, including regeneration.

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You can dismiss the 31-mile limit, but this figure is based on average travel distance, the idea being that all of your short trips can be electric without the need for an engine, a car when you’re parked at home. to recharge or at the office.

Regeneration is a bit light for auto-charging the battery by default, but next to the gear stick there’s a button to engage “Maximum regeneration” which gives a strong braking effect when the accelerator is lifted, and we’re very happy with this. I like the mode.

On motorways or long drives the electric charge will just dissipate automatically, leaving you with a 1.3-litre Jeep that might feel a little underpowered. It really shows itself when you come up a steep hill, when there is a noticeable and noisy increase in engine speed and stepping through the autobox – it really misses the electric motor in these conditions .

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This isn’t likely to be a problem in suburban driving, but it’s worth noting if you want to take the Renegade 4xe further. The small fuel tank is also worth noting. There’s only a 35-liter tank, compared to the 48-liter on the regular versions – and that means the maximum range is about 300 miles from a full tank and a fully charged battery. Arguably, for a price that isn’t too far off, you can go full electric and have the same range (but not with any sort of off-road prowess).

Giving a useful figure for miles per gallon (mpg) depends on how often you charge the car and how far you drive. Driving about 340 miles a week, we got an average of 46.8mpg, but that includes 110 miles of power and 230 miles from petrol. On the motorway, once the power goes out, you’re only looking at over 30mpg. Like any plug-in hybrid, if you’re not charging it, you’re not doing it properly.

Elsewhere the steering is light and the suspension is soft, which will absorb a lot of knots and ensure you have fewer jerks when you drive off-road, but the sharp cornering and hard braking made the Renegade bouncing around on its springs Will give Nevertheless, it is easy to drive and the high ride height and good visibility will appeal to many drivers.

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As a plug-in hybrid, there’s a Type 2 socket on the rear left, so you can plug in and recharge from a home socket in about four hours. It’ll charge up to 7.4kW, and it’ll charge quickly with a public charger or wallbox.

internal technology

The internal technology centers around the center of the driver’s display, which is customizable so that you can change the information shown in different areas, while also letting you access detailed information on the drive – and is flanked by two traditional dials. One for revs (RPM) and one for showing your power output or region charge. It’s not the most advanced or graphically sophisticated display, but it really didn’t have a problem accessing most of the useful information, so we didn’t have a problem with it.

The central display measures 8.4-inches and, as we said above, it’s a bit small by modern standards. It’s also set very low, so staring at it for navigation directions, for example, would involve looking down at the car – unlike many cars that now have displays much higher and closer to your eyes.

Navigation comes courtesy of TomTom, with familiar graphics and decent routing, while there’s also support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto via a cable connection.

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Elsewhere you can access useful information, such as how much you’re running on the engine and how much on power. To get the most out of your plug in hybrid, you really need to keep it charged and these graphs quickly reveal whether you’re driving it around like a normal petrol car.

Decision

As a step in electrification, plug-in hybrids have something to do with a usable short range electric driving experience. Once you start charging and using it, 31 miles will cover a vast amount of daily tasks – shopping, commuting, driving to the station, driving to school – without a drop of petrol.

However, having a smaller fuel tank here, and therefore a combined range of 300 miles, is a compromise—so a great long-range cruiser this Jeep really isn’t.

Have fun with the Jeep Renegade: It’s a different compact SUV with some real off-road capabilities in the Trailhawk that other plug-ins lack. However, the 4xe comes at a premium, so the real question is whether you’re going to use its electric range wisely on a daily basis to make it really worthwhile.

Writing by Chris Hall. Editing by Stuart Miles. basically . Published on .



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