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2015 Jeep Renegade Brings Off-Roading to the Small SUV Market

(Fiat Chrysler Automobiles)

Jeep introduced the 2015 Renegade SUV this week at the Geneva Motor Show. The new model slots below the Cherokee compact SUV in its vehicle lineup. In a press release, Jeep says the Renegade is available with Active Drive and Active Drive Low four-wheel drive systems and is capable of driving through 19 inches of water. Both systems feature full-time four-wheel drive, and Active Drive Low also includes low-range gearing. The Trailhawk trim comes with a number of off-roading features, including crawl control, skid plates, hill descent control, all-terrain tires and a driving mode that enhances the Renegade's rock-crawling abilities.

The Renegade is available with a 160-horsepower, turbocharged, 1.4-liter, four-cylinder engine or a 184-horsepower, 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine. A six-speed manual transmission (1.4-liter engine only) and nine-speed automatic transmission are available.

(Fiat Chrysler Automobiles)

Although off-roading is important for the Jeep brand, auto journalists note that the Renegade needs to hold a wider appeal than just to off-roaders in order to be successful. Car and Driver says that the "Renegade has the hipster looks and everyday efficiency to entice shoppers, while also offering the rugged capability for which Jeep is well known."

Jalopnik also likes the Renegade's appearance, saying, "It looks modern and video-gamey while retaining some marquee heritage, thanks to that grille."

(Fiat Chrysler Automobiles)

The Renegade's cabin features a design theme that Jeep calls Tek-Tonic, which it says "… is defined by the intersections of soft and tactile forms with rugged and functional details." The Uconnect stereo system with up to a 7-inch touch-screen display is available, which Jeep says is the largest colored display in the segment. Jeep is offering a My Sky roof system in the Renegade, which features roof panels that can be removed and stored in the cargo area.

Autoblog likes the overall interior design, noting that it integrates design cues of the Cherokee with styling elements from the Wrangler, such as the open-air driving experience and dash-mounted, passenger side grab handle.

(Fiat Chrysler Automobiles)

Jeep has not yet announced when the 2015 Renegade will hit dealerships or how much it will cost, though Car and Driver expects it to go on sale in the U.S. this December.

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