Renegades in Trailhawk spec also get an extra 20mm of ride height and additional underbody protection, neither of which our 75th Anniversary version has. Nevertheless, it is going to be fun finding out just what it can get up to on green lanes.
It will also need to perform well on long road journeys, so we specified optional front seats that have eightway electrical adjustment, including lumbar support. From behind the wheel, the Renegade feels like a much bigger SUV and its boxy shape and upright windscreen provide good straight-ahead visibility. The A-pillars, though, are some of the thickest I’ve seen and may inflict a big blind spot.
I really like the feel of the chunky steering wheel and the fact it’s heated, as are those seats. There’s a 6.5in touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, sat-nav and smartphone pairing. Elsewhere in the cabin, however, there are buttons that look like they come straight from a Fiat parts bin.
It’s imperative that I can recharge my video equipment while I’m out on shoots and so it’s welcome that the Renegade has two USB ports and a 12V charger. There’s a 230V auxiliary charging port in the back as part of the Function Pack 2 (£500), which would be fantastic but for the fact that it has a European two-pin socket. The Function Pack 2 also includes electric folding mirrors, keyless entry, a reversible, height adjustable boot floor and a rear bench that splits 40/20/40.
One quirk I’ve already found is the positioning of the boot release button, which is right on the bottom of the lip of the rear door, lower than you might instinctively expect. Inside the boot, though, the space seems decent enough. It will get a serious test in the coming months as I cram it with camera gear and, on occasion, clamber in there myself with my video camera.
The Renegade is already big news for Jeep, accounting for 75% of its business last year and tempting scores of new buyers to the brand. Although our car commemorates 75 years of Jeep heritage, it also represents a bold future for the US company, one in which it hopes to establish a foothold as a global player in the car industry.
In the coming months, we’ll find out whether the Renegade really has what it takes to fight the small crossover class leaders such as the Nissan Juke and Mini Countryman.
JEEP RENEGADE 2.0 MULTIJET II 140HP 75TH ANNIVERSARY 4WD
Price £28,595 Price as tested £30,460 Options 75th Anniversary Jungle Green metallic paint (£700), eight-way powered front seats (£465), spare tyre (£200), Function Pack 2 (£500) Economy 48.7mpg Faults None Expenses None