There are a few notable dynamic compromises of the Renegade 4xe to acknowledge in this section, relative to a typical compact SUV – which the Jeep isn’t, needless to say.

You don’t produce genuine off-road ability in a 4x4 of this size and type without a permanently raised ride height or a set of tyres that, because they’re ready to deal with mud, grass and loose surfaces, don’t grip on dry asphalt as keenly as they otherwise might. Then, of course, you don’t leave the dynamic compromise you’ve already struck entirely unaffected when you add a couple of hundred kilograms into the car by way of batteries and electric motors.

Its retention of Jeep-grade off-road ability results in compromises to its ride and handling, but they’re easier to rub along with than the light, elastic feel of the steering

Nobody would expect this car to handle like a Jaguar I-Pace, then, and although it’s a little rough and poorly resolved to drive in some ways, the Renegade’s handling isn’t objectionable, either. When we road tested the regular Renegade at the end of 2016, we reported that it had an “occasionally jostling, bumbling, firmly damped ride” and “slightly sticky, pendulous, over-assisted steering”, but it still handled inoffensively enough to satisfy those predisposed to its “throwback, proper off-roader” dynamic ethos. The 4xe rings most of the same bells.

It has a vaguely teetery-feeling, roll-happy sort of lateral body control, and a busy, occasionally fussy and pitching primary ride on cross- country A- and B-roads. That lateral body control imposes a natural speed limit on your cornering, although it needn’t necessarily be considered a restrictive one; and the primary ride can become a little tiresome on long motorway journeys, when the car’s body seldom settles for long, and on choppy B-road surfaces.

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If you like the cut of this car’s jib, though – and this is quite an easy car to like – you’ll simply adapt to the Renegade’s way of doing things. However, it’s not like so many modern Land Rovers, whose off-road capabilities seem to come at little or no cost to on-road refinement or drivability.

The lightness and elasticity of the steering was a bigger bugbear for most testers than any of its other dynamic transgressions, because it makes the Renegade less intuitive to place than it need be. The car’s grip level may be only moderate during harder cornering, but its stability isn’t in question, the tyres and electronic stability controls neatly preventing you from putting the sort of lateral load into the chassis that would test its roll control to breaking point.

The way the electric rear axle keeps the chassis on line when you’re gently goading it through a corner, meanwhile, is quietly impressive – even if that clunky auto ’box can still cause waves of steering corruption when it decides to engage drive at the front axle as you exit a bend.

Off-road notes

In Trailhawk form, the Renegade offers plenty of off-road capability, although not so much that you couldn’t beat it with the right second- hand Land Rover or Toyota. The car’s near-30deg approach and departure angles are its best assets off road.

It actually has a lesser wading depth and only 5% more ground clearance than a Toyota RAV4 PHEV. Braked trailer towing capacity, at 1150kg, is also a little disappointing. The Renegade is designed to tolerate the odd light underbody grounding contact, but you’ll be surprised at the slopes and hollows it will tackle without grounding out.

The standard M+S tyres make for plenty of grip on mud, dirt and grass, and low-speed controllability is good in the more serious off-road driving modes, which desensitise the accelerator pedal usefully. The slightly spongy-feeling brake pedal can be a frustration both off the road and on it, though.

Comfort and isolation

Electric motors may not be noisy things, but boxy Jeeps with upright windscreens, big door mirrors and chunky tyres tend to be. Suffice to say, the Renegade doesn’t exactly sail along serenely even when its combustion engine is shut down. (It certainly doesn’t when it’s running.)

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Our road test noise measurements were taken with the car in Hybrid mode and the petrol engine shut down at both 30mph and 50mph, and yet, at 50mph, plenty of petrol-engined family hatches we’ve tested recently run more quietly. The wing mirrors generate plenty of flutter and the door seals aren’t brilliant at shutting out the rush of the air.

There’s generous head room in both rows of seats, although the front ones don’t have particularly supportive or adjustable cushions. Outright leg room is only average up front, while a lack of telescoping reach adjustment on the steering column will make the car less comfortable than bigger off- roaders for longer-legged drivers.