Few mainstream automotive brands generate as much loyalty and trust worldwide as Jeep does. The all-new Renegade that made its debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland marks Jeep's first entry into the ultra-competitive and ever-expanding small Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) segment. Designed with the intention of taking Jeep beyond its traditional stronghold markets, the Renegade promises to be a game-changer for the iconic brand.
Is the Renegade easily identifiable as a Jeep? Check. Does it sport a seven-slat grille flanked on either sides by circular headlights? Check. Does it provide the option of open-air off-roading for its passengers? Oh yeah. And the list goes on. Wrapped in a modern shell with distinct style elements, the Renegade is a true-blue Jeep at heart and ticks all the right boxes that a SUV is expected to fulfill. The Renegade has just the right amount of aggression and subtlety in its design and comes across as a rugged and, dare we say, cute ute. And while we are at it, how cute are those unique square-shaped taillights with X-shaped accents that reminds us of the military jerry cans?
The interiors of the Renegade are equally funky and distinctive, thanks to a design language called Tek-Tonic that's defined by the intersections of soft and tactile forms with rugged and functional details. In addition to a host of technology features such as UConnect Access that summons roadside assistance at the touch of a button, the Renegade also boasts a full set of active and passive safety features that include Forward Collision Warning-Plus, Lane Sense Departure Warning-Plus, Blind-spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path detection in addition to the regular Electronic Stability Control and seven standard airbags. Jeep's unique MySky roof system provides owners with the option of openable roof panels.
True to its global ambitions, the Jeep Renegade is touted to offer upto 16 powertrain combinations that include 4 MultiAir gasoline engines, 2 MultiJet II diesel engines, 2 manual transmissions and a 9-speed automatic transmission. Underpinned by Fiat-Chrysler's small-wide architecture, the Renegade offers two advanced 4X4 systems - the 'Jeep Active Drive' full-time 4WD system and the 'Jeep Active Drive Low' full-time 4WD system with 20:1 crawl ratio. Upto five terrain modes (Auto, Snow, Sand, Mud and Rock) can be selected too. What's more, there is a special Renegade Trailhawk model for those that demand extreme off-road capabilities from the little Jeep.
When it ultimately goes on sale, the Renegade is sure to expand the reach of the Jeep brand in hitherto unpenetrated markets. And that would most likely include India too. Now, if only Fiat wastes no time and starts working on bringing the Renegade to our shores, we will be all smiles.