The Jeep Renegade, is a little bit of a departure from the normal Jeep lineup. The Renegade is a small SUV built on the “Long Wheelbase 4×4” platform which I find a funny name given that the Renegade looks so much smaller than the Wranger JK I drive on CoolToys, or the Jeep Grand Cherokee that our director drives. Why they call it the “Long Wheelbase 4×4” is a mystery.
The interesting part for Jeep fans is that the Jeep Renegade is built on the same platform as the Fiat 500x. Essentially a four wheel drive version of the Fiat 500L. Maybe that L is where the “Long” is coming from in the platform name.
To be honest other than picking a great song for the commercials I really didn’t know what Jeep was doing with the Renegade or why they needed it. It looks a little goofy and un-Jeep like and if you want a goofy little Jeep that doesn’t scream Jeep as it cruises over rocks, the regular Jeep Cherokee fits that bill just fine.
This week, I started looking at the Jeep Renegade very differently. You see for the last month I have been traveling back and forth to Dallas Texas. Each week I have rented a car and each week has been a wildly different experience. This week started out with Budget Rent a Car at the DFW Airport going above and beyond. Well almost.
For this week the best price I could find was on the Budget website. They were nearly $50 less than Priceline and the other “deal sites”. As a Fastbreak member, I also like booking directly because I can skip the line and go straight outside.
I got a Kia Sportage, and there is a whole different story there I’ll share with you in a day or so. The Kia had a flat halfway through the week, so I swapped it out for the Jeep Renegade. That was a MAJOR improvement. The Renegade and the Sportage look like they are the same size but FCA has pushed the quality bar way up with the little Renegade.
As I left the Budget checkout, the first thing I noticed was how quiet the Renegade was and as I got on the highway, how easily it would hit 75 MPH. The stereo, A/C and bluetooth system is completely different than the CoolToys JK or the Directors Grand Cherokee. It didn’t take long to figure out and the Beats speakers rocked the little Jeep. In the back the subwoofer is on the side like it should be.
The Jeep Renegade looks way smaller than the Jeep Wranger JK, but the interior doesn’t feel that way. The aft storage looks like it is about 4″ smaller. Everything else feels very similar to the bigger Wrangler JK. The seats were comfortable and eventually I figured out it had a panoramic roof. I really started to wonder why I got a JK in the first place. The obvious answer is all the Cool stuff I can do to it for the CoolToys web series.
The other obvious reason I didn’t get a Renegade for the CoolToys show is that the Renegade is so nice, my wife will clearly approve it. I am sure she will think the little Jeep grill logo on the beats speaker is “cute”.