The 2020 Renegade is part of the 2015 model’s generation, and it has had a few notable changes since. The Jeep Renegade is overall a decent vehicle. It can be considered as one of the most capable off-roaders among subcompact SUV class, particularly its Trailhawk trim. Other notable features include quality interior materials and an ample space for passengers, but it’s being held back by poor fuel economy, slow-shifting transmission and a short standard features list. But the question is how does it compare to other Jeep models? Before we answer the question let’s take a closer look at the 2020 Jeep Renegade.
The 2020 Renegade can seat up to five people. You’ll love that it has ample space for headroom and front-row legroom. But the legroom on the rear-seat is tight. Cloth seats come standard, and heated front seats, leather upholstery and an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat are available too.
There are two full sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats and an upper tether for the back middle seat. It is difficult to find the upper tethers while the lower anchors are set too deep in the seats and are hard to move around.
The 2020 Renegade has a well-built interior made of quality materials and despite having some hard plastics, critics say they don’t look inexpensive.
The cargo capacity is average with 18.5 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and expands to 50.8 cubic feet when seats are folded flat. However, the cargo bay has a narrow opening and a high load.
The Renegade’s standard Uconnect infotainment is easy to use and straightforward. The 5-inch touch screen functions well, plus physical controls are added. A USB port, Bluetooth, a voice control and six speakers come standard in the system. Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a 7- or 8.4-inch touch screen, a satellite radio and a nine-speaker premium audio system.
Renegade Performance, Ride and Handling
A 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 180 horsepower comes standard. A 177-hp turbocharged 1.3-liter four-cylinder is available as an option. Both engines are coupled with an underwhelming nine-speed automatic transmission. None of these engines offer great acceleration but the models with turbo-4 are faster.
The 2020 Renegade standard 2.4-liter engine and front-wheel drive earns 22 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway which is poor fuel economy for its class.
Fuel efficiency is not good but ride and handling are great. You’ll enjoy a comfortable ride with precise steering and poised handling when driving on pavement. And you can still have a composed ride over bumpy roads. Front-wheel drive comes standard while four-wheel drive is available as an option.
Another strong point of Renegade is its off-road performance. Even the base trim is decent enough on rough terrain. But if you are looking for a vehicle for frequent off-roading then you might want to spend more money to get the Trailhawk trim. This trim comes with four-wheel drive, all-terrain tires, tow hooks, a traction management system, a higher ride height and a traction management system.
The Renegade’s tow capacity is 2,000 pounds when properly equipped.
Renegade Reliability: J.D. Power gives the 2020 Jeep Renegade a rating of 2 out of 5.
Renegade Safety Features
Unfortunately, the 2020 Renegade only has the rearview camera as its standard advanced safety feature. Automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, front and rear parking sensors, parallel and perpendicular park assist, and automatic high-beam headlights are available as options.
JEEP RENEGADE VS. JEEP WRANGLER
For anyone looking for a new SUV with impressive capabilities ideal for driving adventures, the Jeep Renegade and the Jeep Wrangler are two good options. Both models have excellent 4×4 capabilities and are great performers both on and off the road. On top of that, they both have a variety of features for better performance and for more comfort and convenience. These vehicles have common features but they also each have something different to offer. The better option would depend on your preferences, so let’s take a look at Wrangler’s features so you can decide which is more suitable for you.
Price: The Renegade is more affordable with the base trim starting at $23,870, than the Wrangler, starting at 29,790.
Jeep Wrangler’s Engine, Transmission and Performance
The Wrangler has a more powerful engine (than the Renegade) with its standard 285-horsepower 3.6 liter V-6 (the same as the previous-gen Wrangler). It is paired with a smooth shifting eight-speed automatic or a six-speed manual gearbox. A turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is optional and paired with an electric motor to give additional low-end power. It is a better choice than the Renegade for off-roaders. Across the trims a part-time four-wheel drive is standard which is controlled by a lever on the center console.
Wrangler’s handling is okay but it’s still trucklike, the Renegade is more refined. But as mentioned earlier, it is a better choice for those who like to drive off-road frequently. The ride in the four-door is decent over rough surfaces though braking distances were inconsistent.
Fuel Economy: The new Wrangler is ahead of its class rivals like the Chevy Colorado and Toyota 4Runner. It’s EPA is 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. But the Renegade in terms of mpg is more fuel efficient than the Wrangler.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
While the Wrangler is not the most spacious SUV out there, it provides a perfect mix of vintage and modern Jeep character. You’ll have a good view of the road which allows easy maneuverability, however the rearward view is limited by grab handles, thick pillars and roll bars. But you have the option to pop the roof and remove doors if you need a better view.
Verdict: If you are not going to use your Jeep for offroading frequently, then it is better to go with the Renegade as it is cheaper, better mpg and provides better ride and handling. It also has a more contemporary look. The Wrangler is not everyone’s cup of tea. The Renegade is more utilitarian. However, the Wrangler is a better choice if you want personality and capability (specifically off-road).
THE 2020 JEEP RENEGADE VS THE 2020 JEEP CHEROKEE
Price: A Renegade base trim’s price starts at around $23k while the Cherokee starts at $25k. The Renegade is cheaper as expected since the Cherokee has the more luxurious reputation. But the question is is it worth it to spend more for a Cherokee?
Cherokee can give more space and is known for offering more headspace and legroom. Also, a Renegade is categorized as a compact SUV while a Cherokee is a mid size SUV.
Fuel Economy: The Renegade beats the Cherokee by a very small margin. The former gets 24 mpg in the city and 33 on the highway, while the latter gets 23 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. Numbers may vary depending on the engines you choose.
Power: The Trailhawk Jeep Renegade only has a 2.4 Tigershark engine with 180 hp and 175 lb-ft torque. It has a 2,000 pound towing capacity. These are beaten by the Jeep Cherokee High Altitude’s 3.2-liter V6 engine with 271 hp and 239 lb-ft plus a towing capacity of 4,500 pound towing capacity.
The Jeep Cherokee having more power does not necessarily mean it is the better choice. You should consider which is better suited to your needs. Also, these abilities are found in the highest and most expensive trim options.
Off-Roading Abilities and Tech: The Jeep Renegade has a commanding ground clearance of 8.7,” which is the same height as the Cherokee. The former is equipped with a 34.3-degree departure angle, approach angle of 30.5 degrees, and break-over angle of 27.5. While the Cherokee has a 33.2 degree departure angle, 29-degree approach angle and a 22.9 break-over angle. So despite having more power than the Renegade, the Cherokee is beaten by the Renegade as it is better equipped in climbing over obstacles.
The Jeep Renegade offers a selec-Terrain Traction Management System to help control the drivetrain and optimize the engine in different terrains like snow, heavy rain, ice or sand. All you have to do is twist a knob to select the 4×4 mode you would need. On top of that, the Renegade also offers a controlled hill descent feature that can automatically apply the brakes when going down steep roads. Moreover, the Renegade is easier to maneuver around tight spots because it is smaller and has a better turning radius.
The Cherokee also comes in the same selec-Terrain Traction Management System but it has more modes than the Renegade. For instance, the Active Lock feature offers more traction when necessary.
For example, the Active Lock feature provides more traction when needed.
Overall, the Renegade and Cherokee have similar tech features. Both have a touch screen navigation that can be connected to your phone and smartwatch. In the event of an accident, only the Compass can send out an SOS call.
Verdict: So which is better? It depends on your needs. If you want a sporty, fun and capable vehicle without the need to tow campers or boats, then Renegade will be enough. However, if you need a vehicle with more power and haul campers or boats, then better go for a Cherokee.
2020 JEEP RENEGADE VS JEEP COMPASS
Now it’s time to compare the Jeep Renegade to its fellow compact Jeep, the Jeep Compass.
Price: The 2020 Jeep Renegade’s price starts around $23k, and the highest trim model is about $28k. The 2020 Jeep Compass also begins around $22k, but it’s highest trim model is more expensive and sells for about $30k. So it’s about $2k extra for all the bells and whistles with the Compass instead of the Renegade.
Fuel Economy: The two Jeeps have about the same fuel efficiency with both having 24 mpg in the city and 32 on the highway.
Power: The Renegade comes in two engine options. The 1.3-liter four-cylinder turbocharged produces 177 hp and 200 lb-ft of torque. On the other hand, the 2019 Jeep Compass Limited has the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 180 hp and 178 lb-ft. So if you want more power, go with the turbo. However, there is not too much pep. The Renegade can take 9 sec to go from 0 to 60 mph and can tow up to 2,000 pounds. The Compass only offers the 2.4-liter engine with 180 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque and only has a towing capacity of 1,000 pounds. It is also slightly slower than the Renegade with the ability to go from 0 to 60 mph in 10 seconds.
When it comes to being off-road ready, the Jeep Renegade beats the Compass having an active 4×4 system versus only a low active 4×4 system. The Renegade also has a Selec-Terrain management system, a 21:1 to crawl ratio, skid plates to protect the undercarriage, a beefier suspension and axle articulation.
The Renegade has more room than the Compass which makes it more comfortable for taller people. But the Compass has more cargo space and more substantial items. Both Jeeps have the Uconnect infotainment center which is a touch screen and allows you to connect to Google Assistant, Alexa, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Both Jeeps are also pretty safe, having blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts and forward collision. But the Renegade has more parking assistance features and is equipped with a Roadside Assistance button that you simply press to call for help instantly.
Verdict: The Jeep Renegade wins over the Jeep Compass by landslide. It just gives you more value to the money you’ve spent on it. It is even slightly cheaper, has much more off-road and safety features and more comfort for both the driver and the passengers.
Only go with the Jeep Compass if you prefer its look, you need more cargo space, and if you do not need to go off-roading and the extra safety features of the Renegade.