2019 Jeep Renegade Downsizes Displacement, Upgrades Power

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Jeep’s smallest model has a new uplevel engine for 2019, one that brings to mind the revered and diminutive Suzuki Samurai of the late 1980s. That model also housed a 1.3-liter engine, though the Suzuki’s mill boasted, in a manner of speaking, just 63 horsepower.

The Jeep Renegade’s new 1.3-liter four-cylinder isn’t likely to remind anyone of ’80s featherweight Japanese utes.

Turbocharged, direct injected, and equipped with standard electronic stop/start, the 1.3L found as standard equipment on the 2019 Renegade Limited and Trailhawk generates 177 hp and 200 lb-ft of torque. Buyers of base Sport and mid-level Latitude models also have the option of outfitting their rig with this tiny engine.

As a replacement for the 1.4-liter MultiAir four-cylinder, the 1.3L unit is a global engine, with active grille shutters (not available on Trailhawk) adding further economy to the overall package. The only transmission available is a nine-speed automatic. For budget-minded buyers, the 2.4-liter Tigershark four-cylinder remains in place at the bottom rungs of the Renegade ladder.

We’ve described the subtle yet meaningful appearance changes coming for 2019 already, with a rejigged fascia, grille, and front and rear lighting adding a teaspoon of menace to a package that’s difficult to refresh. For the coming year, Renegade’s Advanced Tech Group includes adaptive cruise control, ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist Plus, and front park sensors. There’s also new colors on the paint palette and new wheel designs to select from. Jeep’s My Sky roof remains available, as does an 8.4-inch touchscreen.

The biggest news remains the new engine, which is second only to Ford’s 1.0-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder in the Tiniest American Engine Competition. Compared to the three-pot’s 123 hp and 125 lb-ft, however, the Jeep mill’s power figures won’t have buyers worried they’ll be left struggling on steep grades. Compared to the engine it replaces, the 1.3L boasts 17 extra horses and 16 additional lb-ft of twist.

Sadly, we can’t judge the efficiency of the engine at this point in time. The EPA has not yet handed down its MPG verdict for the 2019 Renegade.

[Images: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Steve Biro Steve Biro on Oct 01, 2018

    Does this mean no manual transmission will be offered in the Renegade going forward?

  • Vehic1 Vehic1 on Oct 01, 2018

    Garrett: The 500X styling is cleaner than this neither fish-nor-fowl thing (an odd combination of box and strange, small curves). Perhaps this engine is a decent one, at least.

  • NJRide So this is an average age of car to be junked now and of course this is a lower end (and now semi-orphaned) product. But street examples seem to still be worth 2500? So are cars getting junked only coming in because of a traumatic repair? If not it seems a lot of cars being junked that would still possibly worth more than scrap.Also Murilee I remember your Taurus article way back what is the king of the junkyard in 2024?
  • AMcA I applaud Toyota for getting away from the TRD performance name. TuRD. This is another great example of "if they'd just thought to preview the name with a 13 year old boy."
  • Jeff Does this really surprise anyone? How about the shoes and the clothes you wear. Anything you can think of that is either directly made in China or has components made in China likely has some slave labor involved. The very smart phone, tablet, and laptop you are using probably has some component in it that is either mined or made by slave labor. Not endorsing slave labor just trying to be real.
  • Jeff Self-driving is still a far ways from being perfected. I would say at the present time if my car took over if I had a bad day I would have a much worse day. Would be better to get an Uber
  • 2manyvettes Time for me to take my 79 Corvette coupe out of the garage and drive if to foil the forces of evil. As long as I can get the 8 track player working...