2017 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk 4X4
As I said back in 2016, I'm not sure if the Renegade is ugly or cute. It's kind of on the cusp.
Every other auto maker sells a small SUV with AWD. Jeep builds a Jeep; It is a 4X4 not an AWD. Big distinction to Jeep buyers. Jeeps can go off-road while the others are pretty good in the snow; Jeeps attack the Rubicon and the others go to Tahoe. That's the way I think Jeep sees it. I never went off-road so I can't say one way or the other.
Back in 2016 the Renegade I tested had the turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder. I thought it was fine. The 2017 used the 2.4-liter "Tigershark" engine. It has more horsepower (180 versus 160) but slightly less torque (175 versus 184). The smaller engine gets slightly better fuel economy as well. For the life of me I can't figure out why Jeep offers two engines so close in specs. I haven't driven them back to back or done instrumented tests so I am really in the dark. The two biggest differences I can see in the specifications are that the 1.4 prefers premium fuel and towing is not recommended whereas the 2.4 gets by on regular gas and can tow up to 2,000 lbs. with 4WD.
Although a 6-speed manual transmission is available with the 1.4, an excellent 9-speed automatic is optional with the smaller engine and mandatory with the 2.4 (6th, 7th, 8th and 9th gears are overdrives). I've only drive automatic transmission Renegades so I can't comment on the manual. My suspicion is that Jeep sells very, very few Renegades with a manual transmission.
Long gone are the days of getting out of your 4X4 to lock the hubs and then getting back in and shifting the transfer case. The Renegade uses Jeep Active Drive. All you have to do is twist a knob on the console to select the drive type (Auto, 4WD, 4WD Low). Most people will leave it in Auto mode most of the time but for those who might go crawling the "Crawl Ratio" is 20:1.
Fuel economy is decent. The test Jeep is rated 21-mpg in the city and 29-mph on the highway. My figures were in line with those so I was satisfied.
The base 2017 Renegade Trailhawk 4X4 was $26,895; that went up to $33,195 with options and destination charges. According to the Jeep website the 2018 is actually $50 cheaper. I would imagine that you might get a good deal on any 2017s at your local dealer.
Oh yeah, you don't need to get such a bright color. I'd choose something like this: