New Renegade leads

Jeep expansion

Jeep Renegade, 2018, front, action
Jeep Renegade, 2018, front
Jeep Renegade, 2018, side
Jeep Renegade, 2018, rear
Jeep Renegade, 2018, interior
Jeep Renegade, 2018, headlamp
Jeep Renegade, 2018, tail lamp
Jeep Renegade Trailhawk, 2018, off road, front
Jeep Renegade Trailhawk, 2018, off road, side

A PRODUCT offensive is about to start at Jeep and begins with a new Renegade SUV due out in September.

Making full use of its relationship with parent company Fiat Chrysler the latest model comes with new engines and updates inside and out.

The powertrains include the first use of Fiat's new MultiAir lll turbo petrol engines - a 1.0-litre three cylinder and a 1.3-litre four pot.

Although small in size they pack a fair punch with the 1.3 available in two power outputs of 150 or 180bhp.

The 1.0-litre develops 120bhp and is joined in the line up by three MultiJet diesel engines in 1.6 and 2.0-litre guises.

A variety of transmissions is available across the range with six-speed manual gearboxes as well as DCT semi-automatics and nine speed autos.

All models get LED headlamps - round in shape as is Jeep's trait - and come with seven slot grilles, another trademark of the legendary American brand.

Although the Renegade is built in Italy at a Fiat factory it is sold across the world and in Trailhawk specification it's as tough and capable as any other Jeep 4x4.

The MultiAir petrol models are front-wheel-drive and are more suited to regular use than mud-plugging.

With an optional 8.4-inch touchscreen connected to the Uconnect connectivity system they are bang up to date on the techno front and fully smartphone compatible.

While the 1.0-litre engine the Renegade's forte is economy and it is rated at 47mpg with emissions of 139g/km rather than outright performance with 0 to 60 acceleration taking some 11.2 seconds.

We averaged 40 to the gallon with ease on a run from Milan to the Fiat proving ground at Balocco to try out the Renegade off road where it showed its abilities to the full in a 2.0-litre diesel Trailhawk.

Fitted with a selectable drive system for snow, sand, mud and rocky conditions and independent suspension the Trailhawk has a ground clearance of almost eight-and-a-half inches and can tackle all but the toughest of conditions in true Jeep fashion.

It's also fitted with hill descent control and low ratio gears for when the going gets tough - and it still returned 21 to the gallon.

Out on the road and in the 1.3-litre petrol Renegade the car feels much more lively than the 1.0-litre and with 150 horses on tap it pulls in good fashion.

Officially it's said to be good for 0 to 60 in 9.4 seconds with a top speed of 122mph and while fuel economy has still to be homologated we managed an average of 32mpg.

On the interior the new Renegade has a revised layout which includes a centre console with handy storage areas for a phone while the central USB port is now accessible for rear seats passengers.

Standard kit includes lane departure warning, a speed limiter and traffic sign recognition while an automatic parking system is on the way.

All models come with automatic emergency braking and forward collision alerts while adaptive cruise control, rear cross traffic detection and blind sport monitoring is also available.

At the rear the signature tail lamp clusters have been retained and the new model is of similar proportions to the current Renegade which sees boot space ranging between 351 and 1,297 litres depending on seating configuration.

Pricing and exact performance data is still to be released but the current line up starts from just over £18,000 and tops out at £28,555 for the Trailhawk with automatic transmission.

With a new Wrangler In the wings Jeep is expanding its horizons and intends to increase its range from five to eight models in the coming months with a pick-up, a large Range Rover sized model and a compact SUV to sit beneath the Renegade joining the line up.

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