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The Renegade is an Italian-flavored Jeep: A taste of Olive Garden

Scott Sturgis, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Automotive News

2019 Jeep Renegade: The Jeep with the flavor of Italy.

Price: $33,670 as tested ($27,445 for the Limited trim). Options include Advanced Technology Group ($995) and Safety and Security Group ($895) for all sorts of safety features; $1,595 for panoramic sunroof; more noted below.

Conventional wisdom: Car and Driver liked the "solid off-road capability, toy-truck style and brand recognition, relaxing ride quality" but not that it was "slower than a three-legged turtle, poor fuel efficiency, lacks storage."

Marketer's pitch: "Legends aren't born, they're made."

Reality: The flavor may be Olive Garden; the Renegade is perfect for the suburbs.

Jeepish: The Renegade should actually satisfy most ordinary buyers' secret cravings for a Jeep Wrangler. The vast majority of Jeep enthusiasts hardly need the off-road capability of the Wrangler, which until recently also meant forgoing a whole bunch of creature comforts.

 

In fact, the Renegade gives buyers a lot more for a lot less.

On the road: More than most crossovers its size, the Renegade really feels like a truck. With its wide, upright windshield and tall stance, buyers can feel like king of the road for a pretty low entry fee. (Well, maybe prince of the road. Or princess.)

Handling is far better than a Wrangler, of course -- which actually falls below certain pieces of heavy equipment for steering feel. Furthermore, Renegade's steering feels more accurate than many other crossovers out there, and the ride is less bumpy than the other boxy wannabe crossover, the Kia Soul.

Friends and stuff: More people fit more easily into the Renegade than the two-door Wrangler, and Renegade rear-seat comfort pleased lanky Sturgis Kid 4.0. Legroom and foot room are good, while headroom is incredible.

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