Car & Truck Blog

Driven: Jeep Renegade Trailhawk

13/06/2016 07:44 PM

The 2016 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk starts at $27,740 after a $995 destination fee.

Here's what yours truly learned after spending time in the 2016 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk.

What’s to love?

1. Smooth ride. When you couple the around town driving characteristics (little body lean, surefootedness in roundabouts, etc.) with an extremely useful blind spot warning system, this small off-road-capable vehicle becomes a solid traffic fighting vehicle.

2.Capless fuel-filler door. Yes, it’s a small touch, but a brilliant time saver.

3. Off-road ability. It's legit. We took a Renegade off-road a few months ago in the soupiest, muddiest conditions we've seen in quite a while at the Summit Point BSR off-road course. The Renegade Trailhawk really is an everyday vehicle with off-road abilities. Is it on the same level as a Wrangler? No. But it helps scratch the off-roading itch in a pinch.

4. UConnect infotainment system. It’s easy to use with an excellent layout and a backup camera that warns of pedestrian cross-traffic (a coveted feature in suburban parking lot jungles).

5. Design-heavy appeal coupled with towing abilities. Jeep-only design features (like red tow hooks for this Trailhawk trim) are well executed and not overdone. Combine the aesthetics with the vehicle's ability to tow 4,508 lbs. and you have a real world example of form meeting function.

What needs to be addressed?

1. Not enough power. Thinking about passing that distracted driver swerving in front of you? You may just want to slow down. The 2.4-liter four cylinder MultiAir® engine doesn’t deliver enough torque to move the Renegade quickly when already at highway speed.

2. Back seat isn't young family friendly. Reverse-facing baby carriers make the front passenger seat unusable, however L.A.T.C.H. anchor points are easy to locate.

3. UConnect infotainment system is slow. While the system is extremely easy to use, it took about 30 seconds to load upon startup of the vehicle. Several times. Not even the volume worked during this time period.

4. Large blind spot in D-pillar. Thank goodness for that backup camera and blind spot detection system.

5. No manual. Yes the nine-speed automatic transmission is more fuel-efficient, but to be a true American enthusiast off roader, the Renegade Trailhawk needs a shift-your-own setup.

Proof you can park the trail-rated Renegade Trailhawk anywhere.

According to the trip computer, we scored 23.5 mpg with 50% city and 50% highway driving over 351 miles.

Value Retention

To get an idea of how well the Jeep Renegade holds its value, we looked at the one-year-old sub-compact utility segment data our analysts crunch regularly.The 2015 Jeep Renegade dominates its segment competition by holding 72% of its value in 2016. The average for the segment, which consists of four vehicles, is 69%. It should be noted, this is not an apples-to-apples comparison as competitors from Nissan (Juke), Chevrolet (Trax), and Buick (Encore), do not offer off-road capable packages like this Trailhawk model.