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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello folks. I took part today in an offroad event to mark the launch in Romania of the brand new baby Jeep , the Renegade. Got to take it out on a motocross circuit on the outskirts of Bucharest and see what it is capable of. We first got to hit the track in the 2.8 Diesel Wrangler or a 3.0 Diesel Grand Cherokee and then compare it with the main star the Renegade.
I , of course , chose my first car to be the Wrangler. The circuit was loose dry dirt / sand with some deep mud areas. It had quite a few steep inclines and some sideways banks.
The Wrangler tore through the track with enthusiastic ease and to my surprise so did the baby Renegade. The little guy is quite nimble , has good approach angels and a decent ground clearance. Has a nice high sitting position to asses the trail ahead. It fells sturdy and well built but you can tell it is quite a light car by Jeep standards and the 140 HP engine pushed it with ease over even the steepest inclines and deepest mud. This thing is quite fun to take offroad , prancing around like a happy gazelle compared to the heavy trusts of the rino like Wrangler. Kinda reminiscent to the old Suzuki Samurai / Jimny.
Sadly enough I didn't get to drive it on an asphalted road but in the dirt it was perfectly at home.
The infant Jeep does look better in the metal compared to the images having quite a bit of a presence for honestly quite a small car. Interior space is more or less identical to that on the 500L so it is pretty good , easily more spacious than any other B-class CUV/SUV. Build quality is definitely superior to that of the fiat and over all it is a nice place to be in. The color screen in the middle of the instrument cluster is bright , informative and quite well proportioned. The screen of the center media-player-touch-thingamajig was a bit small. I tested a completely bare-bone version so I can imagine the higher level trims will be much better. Also this car had none of the electronically controlled traction modes for different surfaces or hill climb and hill descend assist, or pretty much anything for that matter it was crazy basic. From what I got it had to do with the fact that it was a pre-production model.
Boot space is pretty much bigger than anything else in the B segment , we are talking over 400 liters with the seats up and including the little compartment under the movable floor.
Again I was sad to see that it did not come with the dual open sun roof , a feature I was really looking forward to see .... I like shiny sky over head.
Overall I'm quite fond of the toddler Jeep as it seems to be the perfect small weekend offroader that can be had at a decent price , starting at 20.000 and going into the 30's for the trail-hawk. Compared to the aging Jimny which costs 16.000 and is horribly ... good god horribly under-powered , I seriously doubt that there is any other choice if you are planing to buy NEW. Supposedly even fuel consumption should be pretty good but couldn't get any figures. Every other CUV/SUV in this class is pretty much a sad joke when it comes to playing in the mud or driving it on the road for that matter.
Here is a gallery with a few pictures from the event : https://www.flickr.com/photos/hatetosketch/sets/72157646983038342 [1]
Ask me anything else you desire to know about the car and I will be glad to answer.
Also here are some freebies I got from Jeep : https://www.flickr.com/photos/hatetosketch/14885179440/ [2] ..... SWAG!

This is the track where the event took place : http://topcrosstcs.ro/
 

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Cool.

I'm still not convinced by it's looks. But with the 500L as the base
it already has a good starting point for space 'n' comfort.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Definitely has a ton of room inside for it's size. And it drives a lot better than a 500L. As I said you should see it in the metal as it looks much better.
 

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Thanks for the review, and the pictures! No sign of a Right-hand-drive launch here yet, and it looks like the 500X may actually get here first...

Sadly enough I didn't get to drive [ the Wrangler ] on an asphalted road but in the dirt it was perfectly at home.
A friend of mine has a Wrangler Unlimited (the long wheelbase model), and it's not great on-road. Fine at low speeds, but not something for spending hours at a time in.

But off the road, as you say, there is nothing to match it.
 

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I've done a San Francisco to Jackson Hole roadtrip in a Wrangler in winter.

Will never do a long distance paved-road roadtrip in a full-fat Jeep again.
(Although good in snow/ice. :))

I've done 800km in one go in the 500L and that was good. So if the Renegade's
better they're on to a winner.

;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm curious if they will bring the Trail-Hawk version to Europe with the 2.4 L MultiAir2 unit. Bet that will be a fun engine. They refused to comment on this during the event.

I'm hopping they will organize something similar for the 500X launch or the Panda Cross. I want to give these two a spin.
 

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Thanks for sharing this, I think its a Fantastic car (Jeep needs it IMO) and have been following it closely for a while. My sister really wants one, but she cant wait unfortunately, with the bills mounting on her Fiesta shes gone for a 500S with a view to trade it in for a Renegade in 3 years.
 
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