By Mike Torpey on 2018-06-02 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Jeep Renegade 1.6
MultiJet II Limited
THE name may be Renegade but there's no way Jeep's compact SUV has betrayed its maker's principles.
And they are principles that go back a long way too.
During World War Two the US military realised it desperately needed to update its modified reconnaissance vehicles.
The Willys-Overland Quad design won the bid for production and became known as the Jeep, the origin of which most likely came from personnel slurring the letters GP, the military abbreviation for General Purpose.
After the war Willys trademarked the Jeep name and turned it into an off-road workhorse for farmers. Since then the name has become almost a generic term for a hardcore off-road vehicle.
So to the Renegade, the smallest 4x4 in Jeep's line-up and available with both two and all-wheel drive.
While it's easily recognised as a Jeep with its seven-slot grille and round headlamps - rugged yet chic according to its maker - the Renegade looks a bit short and snub-nosed, something on which you could easily base a child's toy.
It's not short of room inside though and everything from the cup holders and firm leather seats to the switches and dash feels of a tough, durable quality.
Space in the rear is just about adequate for three and comfortable for two, the centre rear passenger having a soft if slightly perched seating position.
As for luggage capacity the boot isn't overly large, though it has plenty of depth and the rear seats both split/fold 60-40 and also fold flat.
Of course not everyone wants 4x4 capability and the added cost it entails, in which case the tested front-wheel drive versions make plenty of sense.
The 1.6-litre MultiJet II diesel is both strong and frugal, producing 120bhp, performance that feels livelier than the 0-62mph time of 10.2 seconds would suggest.
And while we couldn't match the manufacturer's claimed average fuel consumption figure of 61.4 miles per gallon, our own return of 52mpg was nonetheless impressive.
Of the main trim grades the Limited trim on the test model is the top level but ensures the Renegade is comprehensively kitted out.
So stuff like 18-inch aluminium wheels, rear parking sensors, leather upholstery, sat-nav, a seven-inch colour TFT display and a powerful Beats sound system are all included.
In fact the only optional extra added to the £23,995 on the road price was white Glacier Metallic paint at £700.
Jeep Renegade 1.6 MultiJet II Limited
Mechanical: 120bhp, 1,598cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max Speed: 111mph
0-62mph: 10.2 seconds
Combined MPG: 61.4
Insurance Group: 120g/km
C02 emissions: 25%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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