Jeep Renegade long-term test review: areas to improve

Jeep Renegade long-term test review

It does much well but here are some things it could do better

Having lived with the Renegade for six months now, I’ve been impressed by its talents.

However, I have started to put together a wishlist of ‘improvements’ that would make it absolutely perfect for my needs – which are, I admit, fairly specific.

For a start, I need the boot to be at least 100mm longer. I know that is quite a demand, considering the car’s dimensions, but it wouldn’t need to affect the wheelbase. Although its short overhangs are an advantage during parking, it leaves a bit to be desired when it comes to boot space.

I carry bulky camera bags and because the rear wheel arches impinge on the internal space, I often resort to stowing some of my kit on the back seats. I usually carry only one passenger at most, but I can imagine the Tetris-style challenge a 2+3 family would have to endure when making, say, a trip to the beach.The height-adjustable boot floor would be useful but for the fact that my Renegade carries a full-sized spare alloy wheel in its lower cavity. I’d be very thankful of the spare if I ever had an emergency, but I can’t help but wonder if Jeep could have recessed it further to allow more depth and space in the boot.

Cabin noise really needs to be improved, too. At 70mph, it is one of the noisiest vehicles I’ve driven and I find I have to really crank up the stereo to drown out the road roar.

Also, although the tall, boxy frame allows a lot of light to pour into the cabin and enhances the sense of space, the amount of side-on glare you get on bright sunny days is off-putting. Neither the sunvisor nor sunglasses do much to help. I don’t understand why manufacturers can’t employ a roller-blind-style system that can be pulled down a bit further but folds away into the rooflining when not in use. No car driver needs a vanity mirror on a sunvisor because they have smartphone cameras.

The Renegade’s powertrain could also do with more refinement when the car is idling at junctions and traffic lights. If the stop/start system doesn’t engage and you wait with your foot on the brake, the car vibrates and feels like it is trying to lurch forward like an over-eager Jack Russell straining against a leash.


Price £28,595 Price as tested £30,460 Economy 38.4mpg Faults Forward Collision Warning system (now fixed) Expenses None Mileage 12,045


After my most recent report about the disabled Forward Collision Warning (FCW) system needing repairs following an impact with a pheasant, our Renegade has been back to Jeep HQ to be fixed. The autonomous emergency braking sensor was replaced at a cost of £526.23, not including a day’s labour.

I must correct something that I was told by a Jeep dealer representative: there isn’t just one ‘master’ technician in the UK with the training to repair FCW systems. It is, though, a more niche repair, but only because the technical kit needed to calibrate the system is very specialised.

There’s no doubt that safety is paramount and any technology that can prevent collisions or injuries should certainly be fitted to as many cars as possible – and not just as optional extras. However, the cost of repairs can be extremely high.

The likelihood of such a situation arising is that your insurer would foot the bill and your premium might be affected come renewal time. The true cost of repairs becomes difficult to ascertain, because what insurers are charged and what they pass on to you will differ.

These advanced systems are double-edged swords. They are reassuring, of course, but the cost of such technology is no doubt one reason car insurance bills are rising.


Price £28,595 Price as tested £30,460 Economy 38.4mpg Faults Forward Collision Warning system (now fixed) Expenses None Mileage 11,450


The other day I was driving along the A33 in the Renegade when a pheasant ran out of a roadside bush and into the road. I tried to dodge the bird but we collided. I pulled over to check for damage to the car, but there was nothing, not even a feather. I breathed a sigh of relief.

Then, as I turned the car back on, a heard a ‘bing’ and the warning light for the Forward Collision Warning (FCW) system came on. I dug through the handbook, which redirected me to the infotainment menu. After a deep dive of the vehicle settings, I discovered that I couldn’t turn the warning off.

So I rang a helpline that put me through to Italy, from where I was redirected to my local Jeep dealership, three miles away. They booked me in the following day to have the issue looked at.

After an inspection, the service assistant presented me with an estimate that amounted to almost £900. My jaw hit the floor.

I couldn’t believe how this had escalated so quickly from a warning light that seemingly needed just a software reset to actually needing a full day’s worth of labour and special parts that would have to be ordered from Italy.

Considering that, from the outside, there wasn’t a scratch in sight, I questioned what exactly the problem was. The service assistant told me that the sensor behind the plastic bumper had shattered and that the corresponding unit in the windscreen above the rearview mirror would also have to be replaced because they are apparently “calibrated together”, but the kicker is that Jeep currently has only one technician in the UK who can fix FCW systems.

The Jeep is fully driveable with the FCW system disabled, so long as you can ignore the chimes and warning messages every time you start up.

Technology such as FCW is obviously great for safety and Euro NCAP ratings, but I’m stunned that a fairly innocuous bird strike can inflict almost a grand’s worth of damage and …read more

Source:: Autocar