Jeep goes electric

with plug-in


Jeep Renegade 4xe, 2020, off road, water
Jeep Renegade 4xe, 2020, off road, front
Jeep Renegade 4xe, 2020, off road, rear
Jeep Renegade 4xe, 2020, off road, action
Jeep Renegade 4xe, 2020, off road, front, static
Jeep Renegade 4xe, 2020, off road, rear, static
Jeep Renegade 4xe, 2020, front
Jeep Renegade 4xe, 2020, side
Jeep Renegade 4xe, 2020, rear
Jeep Renegade 4xe, 2020, interior
Jeep Renegade 4xe, 2020, instrument panel
Jeep Renegade 4xe, 2020, off road controls
Jeep Renegade 4xe, 2020, display screen
Jeep Renegade 4xe, 2020, EV controls
Jeep Renegade 4xe, 2020, recharge control
Jeep Renegade 4xe, 2020, charging
Jeep Renegade 4xe, 2020, boot
Jeep Renegade 4xe, 2020, badge
Jeep Renegade 4xe, 2020, rear seats
Jeep Renegade Trailhawk 4xe, 2020, engine

JEEP is embracing the electric age with a plug-in hybrid version of the Renegade - and it's lost none of its all-terrain ability.

With two electric motors backing up a 1.3-litre petrol engine, the Renegade 4xe - as Jeep is designating its electrified 4x4s - has a total power output of 190 horsepower in its mainstream models which makes in the most powerful of all Renegades.

More rugged Trailhawk versions have even more to go at with some 240hp on tap.

We have just put the 4xe through its paces in mid-range Limited specification and that's a model which costs from £34,500.

The plug-in line up actually starts from £32,600 in Longtitude trim with the Trailhawk topping out the range from £36,500.

As such, the 4xe is the most expensive Renegade on the market but comes with a low tax rate of 12 per cent for business buyers with the SUV emitting 49g/km of CO2 making it the most environmentally-friendly vehicle Jeep has produced.

That's equivalent to around 134 miles per gallon - on paper. In the real world we managed to average 35.6mpg over a 50-odd mile route which took in off and on-road driving.

The Renegade 4xe is aimed at the sort of driver who wants a genuine ‘go-anywhere' car that is equally at home in the city as it is in the mud and mire out on an adventure.

It has a pure electric range of up to 26 miles but left in its hybrid mode - where both power sources operate automatically switching from one to the other or a blending the two - it showed a want to operate as an EV as much as possible and make heavy use of braking regeneration to recover its battery charge.

Energy recovery is maximised by an eCoasting function which can be switched into an ‘intense' setting to generate more power for the battery pack. It works well and we saw battery charge recover from just four per cent remaining to more than 25 per cent in only a few miles.

A full recharge can take less than two hours - five hours from a regular home charger - and it can handle speeds of up to 80mph in electric mode. As a hybrid the top speed is up to 113mph and 0 to 60mph takes 7.6 seconds.

There is also a ‘save' mode where electric power is conserved for use as required - in city traffic for example.

It's fitted with Jeep's Selec-terrain four-wheel-drive system which has been modified for use on electric vehicles and on the Renegade the rear axle is driven by its own motor. There's low ratio gears too from the six-speed automatic transmission if needed.

Overall, the Renegade 4xe was highly capable off-road although after only a mile-long course it used up some five per cent of its battery charge.

The charging socket is on the left rear nearside - the opposite side to the fuel filler - and the petrol tank at eight gallons is smaller than on the plug-in versions.

So is the boot at 330 litres compared to 351 litres but the maximum towing limit of 1.15 tonnes is similar to that of other versions.

On road handling is also on par with other Renegades and the instrumentation in the 4xe has been altered to show powerflow, battery data and other information relevant to its electrical operation.

Overall, the Renegade 4xe marks a strong debut for Jeep in the world of electrified vehicles with a model that is as tough and rugged as any other in the legendary brand's stable but one that can run on zero emissions if required.

And with the extra torque associated with the electronic drive - up to 50 per cent more than on diesel Renegades - its off-road potential is very impressive.

As plug-in hybrid off-roaders go it's among the best so far and compared to rivals from the likes of Land Rover and Volvo, the Jeep take on low emission SUVs is much, much cheaper


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