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.
Stellantis hasn't officially confirmed that the current-generation Jeep Cherokee will soon be discontinued, but it sure looks that way, and 2023 is looking like its final model year. But the successor cannot be far away, considering just how few options are left within the Cherokee lineup. For 2023, trims have been limited to Altitude Lux and Trailhawk – with engine options being limited to the 180-hp 2.4-liter inline-four and 270-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four.
Our fancy-pants Managing Ed. is currently enjoying the sunny and rocky environs of Moab, sampling different variants of the new-for-’22 Jeep Grand Cherokee. His impressions will appear on these digital pages in due time but, until then, let’s examine what might just be The Right Spec of this popular SUV.
Monday’s QOTD post by Matthew Guy inquiring about some of the seriously overpriced metal on today’s collector car market got me thinking. And what it got me thinking about was the present state of cars, and if there’s going to be much worthy of collecting at a later date.
We’re in some dark times, automotively speaking. Allow me to explain.
Jeep’s been on a tear lately, with the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee arguably the two models keeping all the lights on at FCA. Even the regular, not-so-grand Cherokee has been doing well in dealers. Now, the muddy brand that’s driving the company is turning its attention to its littlest machine – the Renegade.
In Europe at least, there will be a bevy of new engines, including a 1.0-liter turbocharged inline-three. Limited and Trailhawk trims promise to increase the trucklet’s average transaction price.
2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk Review - In a World Gone Mad for Crossover Cars, a Crossover That Wants to Be an SUV
This is the new, second-generation 2017 Jeep Compass, tested here in $35,200 Trailhawk guise, including $5,510 in options.
It’s two inches shorter than the old Compass but two inches wider. The new Compass offers 20-percent more cargo capacity than the old Compass and, according to the specs, marginally less space for passengers. The Trailhawk’s 8.5-inches of ground clearance is up by four-tenths of an inch.
Forget the specs, though. And for a moment, forget the price. This new Jeep Compass is better than the old Jeep Compass.
It would be difficult not to be.
But comparisons with the an old Jeep Compass that went on sale in 2006, while making for easy reading and easy writing, won’t take us very far. Rather, our goal is to determine whether the new 2017 Jeep Compass is a worthy compact utility vehicle today.
Because improving upon a vehicle that, in 2006, TTAC called “ an ugly, gangly, underpowered, mud-aversive half-breed,” a vehicle that “stomps all over Jeep’s reputation as America’s purveyor of authentic off-road vehicles,” wouldn’t be surprising, sufficient, or significant.
2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk 4×4
2.4-liter Tigershark SOHC I-4, MultiAir 2 variable valve and lift timing (180 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm; 175 lbs-ft of torque @ 3,900 rpm)
Nine-speed ZF 948TE automatic transmission w/ Jeep Active Drive Low 4×4
21 city/29 highway/24 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)
20.5 mpg on the 50/50 city/hwy, 100-percent frustrated driver cycle (Observed, MPG)
Tested Options: Trailer Tow Group, Premium Leather Group, Premium Navigation Group, Safety and Security Group, My Sky Open Air Roof System – Power/Removable Panels, Keyless Enter ‘n Go w/ Push Button Start, Black Hood Decal, 9 Amplified Speakers w/ Subwoofer, ParkView Rear Back-up Camera, Remote Start System.
Base Price (Trailhawk):
$26,990* (U.S.)/$32,795* (Canada)
As Tested Price:
$33,255* (U.S.)/$39,525* (Canada)
* All prices include $995 destination fee (U.S.) or $1,795 destination fee and A/C tax (Canada).
There’s a reason why legions of buyers deplete their expendable income to welcome thousands upon thousands of Wranglers to their paved driveways in planned subdivisions every single year. Even if you never use all the capability offered by Jeep’s mainstay, you have the appearance of being able to tackle anything that comes your way, whether it be a blizzard in Southern Texas or spontaneous volcanic eruption in Manhattan. It also helps that you can take the top off, adopt the persona of one of those lightly bearded, unachievably cool college dropouts in the Jeep commercials, and see yourself living the perfect life that’s somewhere between Bear Grylls and Socality Barbie. (Though, pee-drinking endorser Grylls also endorses Land Rover over the much-romanticized Wrangler.)
So, what if you could have all that freedom in a more economical, slightly less brutish, equally colourful package? And what if it was “crafted” in Italy just like that Dolce and Gabbana bag that totally isn’t a Chinese knockoff?
Enter the Renegade. What used to be a special edition version of CJs and Wranglers is now a redressed Italian with more lifestyle gimmicks and kitch than one can fit in an artisanal Instagram feed.
Jeeping in Moab isn’t only a neologism — it’s also a tradition. Like most traditions (anniversaries, birthdays, etc.) it’s hard to pin when the rites began, why they started, or – most importantly – why they continue. For people who live in and around Moab, Jeeping is a mostly tolerable exercise that pours money into the small, southern Utah town that welcomes more its hikers, bikers and frequent hitchhikers to its two spectacular national parks than any rolling convoy of rock-crawling muscle.
I’m guessing very few people in the town can remember why the first person took a motorized vehicle up a beautiful geological formation and into the sand behind it.
Jeeping is also mildly entertaining for locals, up until the moment someone rolls up the hill in a car that looks like it has very little business being there. Then it becomes wonderfully fascinating for everyone.
Chrysler has been on a steady upswing since the dark days of bankruptcy. Throughout its merger with Fiat, each model has been updated or completely replaced. Jeep has been the shining star of the core brands, selling every Grand Cherokee and Wrangler they can make. Even the controversially styled Cherokee has been fairly well receieved. The next vehicle in the Jeep lineup will be the small Renegade, designed to attract “a new wave of youthful and adventurous customers around the world to the brand.” We concur.
According to Jeep boss Mike Manley, the Italian-built Renegade will appeal to the off-road brand’s United States customer base despite its Italian roots, especially in Trailhawk form.
The folks at Jeep have known for some time that high volume on-road models have to be part of the mix to keep low volume off-road models viable. From the 1946 Willys Station Wagon and the original Wagoneer, to the Grand Cherokee and the Compass, Jeep has been on a steady march towards the word no Wrangler owner wants to hear: “crossover”. Their plan is to replace the off-road capable Liberty and compete with the RAV4, CR-V and 20 other small crossovers with one vehicle: the 2014 Cherokee.
With two ambitious (and contradictory) missions and unconventional looks, the Cherokee has turned into one of the most polarizing cars in recent memory. It is therefore no surprise the Cherokee has been getting mixed reviews. USA Today called it “unstoppable fun” while Consumer Reports called it “half baked” with a “choppy ride and clumsy handling.” Our own Derek Kreindler came away disappointed with its on-road performance at the launch event, though he had praise for the Cherokee’s off-road capabilities. What should we make of the glowing reviews, and the equally loud dissenting voices?
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