This is where the case for the Renegade begins to unravel. It feels very much like a car originally intended to take Jeep into what marketeers call the B-SUV segment, alongside the Yeti and Captur. But it’s as if those same marketeers realised that, in order to adequately represent the Jeep brand, the Renegade would need more power, more mechanical specification and more 4x4 capability than that segment routinely offers –and all of that inflates the car’s price.
And so to all but those in love with the idea of a downsized Jeep or who’ll make regular use of its off-road talents, the Renegade ends up simply looking like a curious alternative to a full-size crossover such as the Nissan Qashqai, Mazda CX-5 or Peugeot 3008: characterful and capable, sure, but also downmarket, with its supermini-level material quality levels, and lacking in space.
Jeep uses the high equipment levels of the car to justify its price, pointing out that a like-for-like Mini Countryman Cooper D will cost you £1750 more than a Renegade 1.6 Multijet Limited, considering that sat-nav, climate control, 18in alloys and leather are all standard on the Jeep and costly options on the Mini.
But it’s an argument that won’t hold water for a great many because, first and foremost, it makes the Renegade look expensive on paper.
We would recommend opting for the cheapest 4x4 model – 2.0-litre Multijet 140 Longitude, as front-wheel drive versions miss the point, and add 17in alloys and the Function 1 pack (consisting of electric folding door mirrors and keyless entry and start). Although there are other equipment packs which may take your fancy, albeit they are quite expensive. For example the Parking Pack adds a rear-view camera, blind spot monitoring and parking assist, while the Visibility Pack includes auto lights and wipers, xenon headlights and an electrochromatic rearview mirror.
Credit to Jeep for offering the varied and flexible finance deals on the car that it’ll need to attract the younger buyers at whom it’s aiming. And for creating an environment for those deals to flourish by delivering better residual values than we’ve seen from Jeep in a long time.