2023 Jeep Renegade Upland Trailhawk-ish

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

2023 jeep renegade upland trailhawk ish

The Jeep Renegade is being gussied up for the 2023 model year and now includes some fresh color options and a mid-tier appearance package that’ll help it look like something that might actually drive up the side of a mountain. While the new Upland trim is heavily focused on aesthetics, it does come with a few additions that might still help it participate in more basic off-road activities.

Tossed right into the thick of the Renegade lineup, the Upland variant starts at $32,185 (after fees) and is clearly trying to adopt the Trailhawk visuals without getting into those all-important mechanical bits that typically make them more capable in an off-road environment. The only noteworthy exception is that the Upland’s 17-inch wheels come wrapped in all-terrain tires. Though the swapped fascias probably offer a tad more ground clearance when you’re tackling inclines.

All 2023 Renegades come with the 177-horsepower turbocharged 1.3-liter inline-four engine, nine-speed automatic, and all-wheel drive by default. But the Upland doesn’t come with the Trailhawk’s "Selec-Terrain" Traction Management System.

Instead, you get the Trailhawk-ish matte black hood decal, unique front and rear fascia, cornering fog lamps, automatic headlamps, windshield wiper de-icer, loads of black badging, a 7-inch cluster display, black cloth bucket seats with bronze accenting, a “techno-leather” steering wheel (whatever that means), expanded ambient lighting options, and a standard 8.4-inch touchscreen using Uconnect 4.

You also get everything that’s on the Jeep Renegade Latitude because that’s what the Upland trim is based on. The only other real update for 2023 is the addition of Solar Yellow paint, which offers eye-destroying brightness (pictured) for an extra $500.

As a sleeper fetishist, appearance packages are probably my least favorite automotive trend that isn’t related to consumer data harvesting. But I am similarly hip to the premise of “different strokes for different folks” and am well aware that there are loads of people ready to plop down an extra grand or two in order to give their automobile a bit more panache. But this doesn’t seem like the best value proposition on paper considering that the actual Renegade Trailhawk starts at $34,035 (including destination) and there are already larger Jeeps offering more power, space, and features for the same money.

Though, if you’re an urbanite who likes to occasionally venture out into the wilderness, something like the Renegade might still suit your needs. It’s certainly small enough to fit into parking spaces other vehicles couldn’t dream of, capable of hopping most curbs (don’t ask how I know), and still offers just enough legitimate Jeep stuff to give you the confidence required to quietly scoff at the dude who managed to get his Volkswagen ID.4 stranded on the trail. Of course, the guys running Wranglers and 4Runners may end up laughing at you a few miles later.

[Images: Jeep]

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2 of 14 comments
  • Wjtinfwb Wjtinfwb on Feb 17, 2023

    No idea if these have been improved, but a few years ago Enterprise stuck me with one of these things in "Limited" trip. No idea what was under the hood but it was noisy, rough, very slow and pretty thirsty. It was foot to the floor down 85 from Atlanta all the way to the beach to keep up with traffic. Worst rental car I've ever had, I would have been thrilled to have traded it for an old Cavalier halfway through the trip.

  • Fred Fred on Feb 17, 2023

    Here in the foothills I'm surprised I don't see more of these, considering the price. My neighbor has one and says it's okay. Maybe it's the Fiat base or the kind of cute styling.

  • MaintenanceCosts The GT-Line and Long Range aren't going to get more than about 250 miles EPA. That's pretty disappointing for a vehicle in a class that often gets used for long trips. I would have expected at least one trim to hit 300 miles EPA.
  • Watersketch I didn't like them but my cost-conscious boss loved them. Said the 4-cyl versions were a lot cheaper to run than the full-size vans they replaced.
  • William Piper Awful exterior styling…would be a hard pass for that alone. Perhaps for $60k, but $100 large? For this?
  • Sgeffe Gee, a hybrid can have some actual horsepower behind it! With a four-pot ICE as the generator!See what Stellantis can do, and with 1.3 liters, Honda?! (Whose “Accord” will be spanked by a PRIUS!! 🤬🙄)
  • Kcflyer I get the argument to not compete in the sedan market in order to maximize short term profits on SUV's and Trucks. But what happens if Toyota ever gets serious and builds a full line of light and heavy duty trucks? What I'm saying is maybe Ford should continue to build the best vehicles they can in this and other mainstay segments. To paraphrase the last good Dem president, not because it is easy, but because it is hard. Even if the Japanese don't eventually bankrupt Ford, Tesla just might. I understand their sedans sell quite well.