The Renegade is the second Jeep we have absolutely hated upon first sight, but really warmed up to as the style sunk in and was seen in the flesh.
Visiting the Jeep stand at the Houston Auto Show this week confirms the cool and chunky stance of the Renegade, as a right-sized compact SUV. The ultra-traditional tall windshield and functional upper bodywork maximize cabin and storage space, with the Jeep heritage styling cues at once both very modern but also classic. If the new Cherokee is almost Cayenne-like in its swoopiness from the rear three-quarter angle, the new Renegade harks back to the first-gen Cherokee in its blockiness.
Huge round lamps and a near-vertical grille are fun aspects of the design, while this Trailhawk trim and its chunky rubber tires, off-road body cladding and cool Jeep badges hidden everywhere are all fun to take in up close. We especially like the interplay of the dark tinted glass with the gloss-black middle roof sections. These design traits help the new Renegade feel even taller and blockier than it is. Subtle fender flares are near invisible from the side profile view, but actually bulge out dramatically when viewed from front of rear angles.
Overall, the new Renegade is a solid entry to the Jeep range. The model is expected in showrooms around April of May of this year, with standard front-drive but optional AWD and a very modern cabin tech suite. The back seat is a bit tight for tall legs, but headroom abounds and the easy-folding mechanism for the second row makes for one practical and efficient Jeep Junior.
The Renegade's base price-point is expected to be just below $20,000, with the loaded AWD Trailhawk trim like this one a likely $28,000. Solid competition for the new Fiat 500X, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Chevy Trax and Mazda CX-3.
You can check out the new Renegade at all the major auto shows this season, with details on how to visit Houston's very impressive show this week down at the footer of the article, along with links to buy tickets in advance.