It’s still full of most of what shoppers are looking for from a cute ‘ute, but the 2021 Jeep Renegade crossover SUV still prioritizes off-road capability. It stands out among its rivals in that way—and, assuming that’s a good thing for you, it’s pretty capable.
It earns a 5.7 TCC Rating, which is buoyed by its standard safety gear and looks but dragged down by its efficiency in base guise. Power isn’t in the Renegade’s repertoire, but it does just enough to go just about anywhere off road.
The Renegade is available in Sport, Latitude, Limited and Trailhawk trims this year. Front-wheel drive is standard in base trims, although all-wheel drive will be a popular upgrade for most. The Sport model ducks in at the right side of reasonable for about $24,000, but Trailhawk trims that we recommend tip the scales at just over $30,000.
Every Renegade gets Jeep’s signature looks: upright style, seven-slot grille, tall ride height. The Renegade is smaller than the rest, and less practical, but also less expensive.
Base Renegades are powered by a 2.4-liter inline-4 that’s forgettable for its unrefined noises and mediocre fuel economy, but optional on Latitude and standard on Trailhawk and Limited models is a 1.3-liter turbo-4 that’s better. It makes 177 horsepower and is better suited for efficiency and off-roading—we can’t say the same about the rest of the Jeep lineup. Both engines pair to an indecisive 9-speed automatic transmission that we pan and a four-wheel independent suspension of which, we’re a fan.
Four adults will fit in the Renegade, but two will be more comfortable up front with more room in the rear for gear. Despite the Renegade’s tall ride height, it’s comfortable on the road and capable off road.
The news this year is automatic emergency braking included on all models, although federal crash testers don’t have many good things to say.
Base Renegades include a 7.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment, active safety features, cloth upholstery, and 16-inch steel wheels. We’d spend up to a Latitude or Trailhawk anyway, which feature the uprated engine and an available 8.4-inch touchscreen.