What is it?
You may have seen Jeep now outsells Land Rover in Europe, reversing the trend of a lifetime. And it’s the Renegade – the brand’s sure-footed crossover hatchback, built on the same platform as the Fiat 500X – that’s responsible for this surprising development, with 10 examples sold for every trail-hard Wrangler.
So it follows that, a few years into its lifespan, the Renegade warrants some fettling, which it has now had. Along with pin-sharp new LED headlights for higher-spec models, the front bumper has been tweaked to bear a stronger resemblance to the Wrangler, and Jeep claims to have improved cabin storage while refreshing the interior in general and, for anything other than the most basic models, swapping the 5in Uconnect touchscreen display for one of 8.5in.
Mechanically there are more substantial changes, with a raft of new engines. It’s the 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol ‘Firefly’ driven here, otherwise known as Fiat’s Global Small Engine. It replaces the asthmatic old 1.6-litre at the base of the range and adds forced induction, making 118bhp at a relatively high 5750rpm and 140lb ft at a commensurately low 1750rpm – an encouragingly broad spread.
There’s also a new four-cylinder petrol with 148bhp, and a further pair of MultiJet II turbodiesels with up to 168bhp. You’ll need to opt for diesel power to get Jeep’s GKN-sourced ‘rear-axle disconnect’ four-wheel-drive system – the very same used on the Range Rover Evoque. Everything else is front-drive only.