Home Car Reviews First Look at the 2020 Jeep Renegade

First Look at the 2020 Jeep Renegade

by Frank
2020 jeep renegade

The 2020 Jeep Renegade is no Wrangler, but it’s certainly a Jeep. The style of the vehicle fits right in with the company branding. It’s got those rounded headlamps and signature grille that you’ll also find on the Wrangler and the Gladiator. It’s not as big as it’s showroom cousins, but the 2020 Renegade is simply made for fun. From the outside, the Renegade looks like a city mover. Under the skin, it’s got a rigid body frame and the ability to take you off the beaten path. You can remove the roof panels, tackle a little rock crawl, and fully integrate your smartphone or tablet.

The 2020 Jeep Renegade packs the iconic Jeep style of a Wrangler into a compact crossover package. It has true 4×4 off-road capabilities, but it’s aimed squarely at people who do most of their driving in the urban jungle. Different models mix up the features. Yet, there’s no way to add more space to such a small cabin.

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2020 Jeep Renegade Performance Capabilities

2020 jeep renegadeMost compact crossovers never see an actual dirt path, but the expectation is higher for a Jeep. The 2020 Renegade might not instantly make you want to cross a river like a Wrangler, but it’s still quite capable of creating fun off-road experiences. The 2020 Renegade comes with two powertrain options. There’s a 2.4 Liter inline four-cylinder block that produces 180 horsepower and 175-pound feet of torque. The other option is a 1.3 Liter turbo four that achieves 177 horsepower and 210 lb. ft. of torque. A 9-speed automatic transmission comes standard, but you can choose between front-wheel and all-wheel drive. In fact, there are 2 all-wheel-drive systems. One is like a 4×4 Lite version and the other is a full-on Active Drive Low system that has a 21:1 crawl ratio.

The ultimate performance capabilities are found in the Trailhawk model. All Renegades have a terrain selector that allows you to adjust the traction and torque for mud, snow, and sand. The Trailhawk version has a terrain selector for rock, as well. It splits the torque 50/50 between the axles and can muster a whole lot of torque in low gears. Hill Descent Control takes the guesswork out of getting down from high places. The braking and throttle control is handled automatically. Additionally, the ride height and ground clearance are adjusted to make this compact crossover more of a baby Wrangler.

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Style Points

Perhaps one of the best qualities of the 2020 Renegade is the spot-on style that instantly reminds you of the Jeep brand. You’ve got those round headlamps and seven-slot grille upfront. There’s the upright, boxy body style that could be easily mistaken for a dolled-up Wrangler. When you consider the profile, this crossover has squared wheel arches and a low beltline. In back, you have squared tail lamps and subtle style cues centered around the rear liftgate.

The 2020 Renegade picks up additional style points with each model trim. The Upland model has one of the widest ranges of exterior colors available. The Renegade becomes a head-turner when decked out in clear coat Omaha orange, grille rings and tow hooks in the front fascia and matte back wheels on the feet. The Limited model has 19-inch painted and polished wheels. The Trailhawk edition lifts the front end for difficult off-road approach angles, adds roof rails and bright red tow hooks.

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2020 Jeep Renegade Interior Amenities


The 2020 Jeep Renegade has 100 cubic feet of passenger volume. As a point of comparison, the 2020 Kia Soul has 102.2 cubic feet of passenger volume. There’s also more rear hip and legroom in the Kia Soul. It’s obvious that compact crossovers must make the best use of their limited interior space, but the Renegade seems to fall a bit short in this category. A Jeep is supposed to at least outclass all competitors in utility, but again, the 2020 Jeep Renegade can’t edge out the competition. There are just 50.8 cubic feet of cargo volume in the Jeep when you fold the rear bench down.

This compact crossover makes up for the lack of space and utility by excelling in the quality of the materials. The black and grey McKinley leather in the Limited model gives the interior a bright and airy look. If a cloth interior is your preferred fabric, then the black seating and ruby red accents in the Trailhawk model are a delight to the senses. The High Altitude model washes the whole interior in a tungsten metallic finish with silver gloss leather and a black headliner.

There’s a “My Sky” sunroof available on the Renegade. It has two panels that can be completed removed for an open-air experience. You can remove them and store them under the cargo floor or just slide one panel back to add just a touch more light to the cabin. There’s also a dual-pane glass panoramic sunroof. Although it can’t be removed altogether, it can slide open if you want. These sunroof options are smart ways to make the boxy interior of the 2020 Renegade look a lot bigger than it is.

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Hi-Tech Features

The 2020 Jeep Renegade is ready for the rugged outdoors, but it still must compete in a crowded SUV segment. Compact crossovers are ever gaining in popularity and consumers often look for hi-tech features as equalizers and dealmakers. The 2020 Renegade does have loads of technology, but the best value comes in the middle range.

The 2020 Renegade has an available 4G Wi-Fi hotspot and comes with Apple Car Play and Android Auto compatibility. Eight devices can link up to the hotspot at the same time. Amazon Alexa connects your home with your Jeep by allowing you to preload map destinations and can even remotely start your engine while you get the kids ready for school. Speaking of kids, there’s a Uconnect app that lets parents monitor their vehicle remotely when in the hands of teen drivers.

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Safety Gear

The 2020 Jeep Renegade has a fully modernized platform for active and passive safety systems. Although the basic version of the Renegade won’t come with these features as standard, you still can find them in the mid-range. There’s adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot detection, and lane departure warnings.

The 2020 Jeep Renegade can be outfitted with additional sensors and automated systems for parking. This might seem out of place for a compact crossover that only measures 166.6 inches long and 74.2 inches wide. Yet, the Renegade can be outfitted with front and rear parking sensors to alert you when you’re getting too close to other vehicles and objects. There are an available rearview camera and a system that handles the steering while you creep into a tight parallel space.

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The Takeaway

The 2020 Jeep Renegade is a quirky, fun little Jeep. It has true off-road 4×4 capabilities. Even though you might never take it on a rock crawl, it’s still good to know that you can. The base engine should be skipped if possible. It’s just too pokey and has a loud drone when the windows or sunroof are open. The best options can be found in the mid-range. You get the turbo engine with loads of torque and more standard features inside and out.

Many competitors offer more interior space than the Renegade. That’s a definite drawback when you consider the pricing. Base models start at $22,470 and can climb up toward $30,000. If you want the best interior amenities, safety, and tech features then you’ll most likely land in the high range. There are more affordable compact crossovers and SUVs on the market, but this one is ideal for weekend warriors.

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