We got a chance to drive the latest small SUV from Jeep, the Renegade – a model being seriously considered for the Indian market.
What is it?
Jeep already has a couple of small SUVs in its portfolio, namely the Patriot and Compass (based on Chrysler’s MK platform), but this new car represents the company’s global ambitions. The Renegade is based on Fiat’s 500X platform and is available with a multitude of engine and driveline options. It’s properly compact in size as well, being actually more compact in length and width than even the Hyundai Creta. With Jeep making its way to India this year and from what we hear, setting up a production facility in the country as well, this is the sort of SUV that’ll make perfect sense for the market here.
Head-on, the Renegade is a modern interpretation of the Wrangler. The round headlights, the vertically stacked seven-slat grille and chunky proportions ensure that it establishes its own identity. The chunky theme flows to the rear as well, and its square tail-lights have a design that seems inspired by the side of a jerry can. While the front and rear look quite nice, its excessively boxy stance is something of an acquired taste. Overall though, it’s a pretty neat-looking car that combines a certain crazy-cool with a rugged, go-anywhere demeanour. Plus, one of the Renegades I drove came in a Jungle Green paint scheme, only available on the 75th anniversary models, which really reminded us a lot of this car’s military heritage of the 1940s.