Jeep’s B-segment SUV, the Renegade, built at FCA’s Melfi plant in Italy, is being given its first facelift, four years after its launch, which primarily focuses on new engines but also includes styling upgrades at the front, interior tweaks and improvements to the infotainment options.
When introduced in 2014, the Jeep Renegade expanded the global Jeep lineup marking the debut of the American brand in the B-SUV segment.
The Renegade was also the first Jeep SUV to be assembled in Italy – it’s produced at the Melfi SATA Plant. The Renegade is built on the GM-Fiat developed “Small Wide” platform which launched in 2005 on the Fiat Grande Punto and has since evolved for the Renegade into the “Small Wide 4x4” platform, which also underpins the Fiat 500X. The 500X is built alongside the Renegade at Melfi.
The Renegade is now being given a refresh to build on success that has seen it deliver record-breaking sales for the Jeep brand in Europe. The updated model is being launched first in Europe, the first time a Jeep model has been presented to global consumers before those of North America.
The updated version is focused on a new engine range developed to ensure maximum fuel efficiency and outstanding performance both on and off-road. New three and four-cylinder turbo petrol engines debut on the new Jeep Renegade - the new engine family includes a 1.0-liter delivering 120 hp and 190 Nm of torque and a 1.3-liter delivering 150 hp or 180 hp and 270 Nm of torque. The engine offering also includes the updated 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter MultiJet II diesel engines with SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction), all are Euro 6/D compliant. The engine range on the new 2019 Renegade can be paired with a six-speed manual, DDCT (Dual Dry Clutch Transmission) and nine-speed automatic transmissions for a smooth, comfortable driving experience.
Jeep is also keeping two diesel Multijet II turbodiesel options, 1.6 and 2.0 litre, with three power outputs, but with the moodswing against oil burners these might not reach North America.
The facelifted model also gets some cosmetic updates. Distinctive design cues include a different design for the round headlamps, a new front grille and changes to the lower spoiler section including the foglights. The designers have also tried to make a connection between the design of the MY2019 Renegade and Jeep’s new Wrangler.
The new Renegade is available in two configurations - front-wheel and four-wheel drive - and features two four-wheel-drive systems, rear axle disconnect, Selec-Terrain traction control, Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control. Its 4x4 capability finds its best expression in the Trailhawk trim created for off-road driving.
In Europe, sales of the MY2019 Jeep Renegade will start in September. The complete range will offer four trim levels - Sport, Longitude, Limited and Trailhawk - a new engine range featuring two new petrol MultiAir III and two MultiJet II turbodiesel engines, front-wheel and four-wheel drive configurations and three transmissions (six-speed manual, DDCT or nine-speed automatic).
In countries outside Europe (Russia, Middle East and Africa), the new MY2019 Renegade will be available starting from the end of this year.
Market scenario and Renegade success
The Renegade was the first Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) vehicle to be developed jointly by a team of Italian and American designers and engineers and was the first model in the history of the brand to be made in Italy, at the Melfi SATA Plant in Basilicata.
It was also the first global Jeep model, built on three continents. In addition to Europe, it is assembled at the GAC FCA plant in Guangzhou, China, and in Pernambuco, Brazil.
With more than 73,200 new registrations in 2017, the Renegade was the best-selling Jeep SUV in Europe and in several major markets across the continent, including Italy, France, Spain, Germany and the UK.
Most recently, last month, the Renegade was the best-selling Jeep model in the European market with sales up 19.1 per cent compared with the same month in 2017. The leading role of the Renegade was also confirmed in the first five months year-to-date both in Europe as a whole, and in many of its top markets.
New turbo petrol engine lineup
The new turbo petrol engines are debuting on the new Renegade. Based on a modular structure, they are available in two configurations: a 1-litre three-cylinder delivering 120 hp of peak power and 190 Nm of peak torque paired with a six-speed manual transmission and a 1.3-liter four-cylinder delivering 150 hp paired with a DDCT dual clutch transmission - both with front-wheel drive. A lively turbo 1.3-litre, 180 hp paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission with torque converter and 4WD is also available. Peak torque of both 1.3-litre engines is equal to 270 Nm.
The new petrol engines comply with the Euro 6 / D standards and feature GPF filter (Gasoline Particulate Filter).
The new turbo family was developed by the FCA Group to offer a range of downsized petrol engines characterised by good fuel efficiency and benchmark performance on a wide range of applications. The basic structure of the new engines guarantees efficiency, modularity and a considerable degree of standardisation with regards to components and manufacturing process, flexibility and future development potentials.
The new engines are made entirely of aluminium for lightness (weights start from 93 kilograms). The crankcase, developed in partnership with Teksid, is made of high-pressure die-cast aluminium alloy. Cast-in iron liners are used to increase structural robustness. They are 1.8 millimetres thick and coated on the outside with aluminium to create a "metallurgical bond" between liner and block. After having studied various crankcase designs, an architecture with bedplate was chosen as it offers the best balance of noise, vibrations, weight and structural performance.
In order to maximise effectiveness and ensure better performance and fuel efficiency than the ones they replace, the new engines have a 70-millimetre bore with a stroke-to-bore ratio of 1.24 and a 10-millimetre crank offset. This forms a very compact combustion chamber to benefit thermal efficiency. A conrod-crank architecture with improved mechanical efficiency results in minimised friction. All three and four-cylinder turbo engines implement this innovative combustion module with a 0.33-liter unit displacement.
The head has four valves per cylinder and a single camshaft. The compact combustion chamber structure and the high-tumble intake ducts ensure air turbulence and short combustion time with regular flame propagation, which implies high thermal efficiency and knock control. The high engineering level of the new drivetrain is demonstrated by the presence of many innovative technical features, such as direct fuel injection to maximise volumetric efficiency and a low-inertia turbocharger managed by an electrically controlled Wastegate actuator paired with a water-cooled supercharger module in the intake manifold to ensure quicker transient response.
The third generation of the exclusive MultiAir technology, that improves combustion efficiency by adjusting valve lift and timing, is debuting on the new turbo engines. The latest MultiAir III evolution further optimises independent intake valve opening and closing. By implementing specific intake and exhaust cam profiles, low-load efficiency is improved by recirculating the exhaust gas by opening the intake valves in advance, while high-load output is emphasised at the same time by delaying the intake valve closing. In other words, MultiAir III technology can reduce the real compression ratio, controlling knock and substantially improving fuel efficiency also when the engine is delivering high power.
The new turbo engines were tuned in over 75,000 hours of virtual analysis, 60,000 hours of off-vehicle testing and five million kilometres driven worldwide both on and off-road to test robustness and reliability.
The new Jeep Renegade is the first model of the Group to implement the innovative turbo petrol engine range, designed to offer the enjoyable driving experience that customers expect from a Jeep SUV, while saving up to 20 percent of fuel with respect to its predecessors and delivering excellent driving comfort.
Two 1.6-litre and 2-litre MultiJet II turbodiesel engines with Stop&Start
The new 2019 Jeep Renegade can also be equipped with a 1.6-litre or a 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine. Both engines feature second-generation MultiJet technology, developed and patented by the FCA Group. Two displacements and three power levels are available, namely a 1.6-litre, 120 hp engine, paired with manual or DDCT dual clutch transmission, and a 2.0-litre, 140 and 170 hp with manual or nine-speed automatic transmission.
To maximize after-treatment efficiency, these engines adopt "SCR on filter", a solution that integrates the Selective Catalyst Reduction functionality over a DPF substrate, in order to promote:
- NOx reduction through AdBlue injection (the underfloor passive SCR manages ammonia slip, continuing the reduction process),
- particulate Matter reduction, through regeneration management.
The power and torque curves confirm the excellence of the MultiJet II family delivering high levels of performance and efficiency.
The MY2019 Renegade features a new front-end design delivering a more modern look thanks to a new front fascia, which now sports a redesigned, cut-in silhouette 7-slot Jeep grille - similar to the Wrangler, new design of the round headlamps and fog lamps. The roof bars are finished in black on the Longitude, Limited and Trailhawk models.
Key new features of the model are the new headlamps with full-LED daytime running lights, high beam, low beam and fog lamps (optional on Limited and Trailhawk) that enhance the vehicle's efficiency and safety.
Thanks to the new front lighting, visibility is increased by 50 per cent with respect to halogen headlamps and brightness is improved by 20 per cent with respect to Xenon headlamps. Both the perception of depth and lateral illumination are improved.
These changes deliver a personal, evolved and modern look to the front end of the Renegade that is in-line with the typical Jeep styling. The rear end also features updated taillamps with new LED light clusters, available on Limited and Trailhawk.
The light clusters are a key design element of the rear end of the vehicle featuring a characteristic X pattern inspired by the Wrangler - this is another unmistakable Jeep design element that defines the character of the two models.
The exteriors are completed by new wheels, which convey an exclusive appeal to the Renegade and further add to the possibilities of customisation offered to its customers. The new model year offers seven different wheel options - including 16-inch, 17-inch, 18-inch and 19-inch - with the latter introduced for the first time and exclusive to the Limited trim - all featuring special finishes.
The result is a vehicle which is inspired by the design of Jeep Wrangler through mutual stylistic hints and influences. The exterior of the vehicle retains the functionality that has always been a distinctive feature of the Renegade design and its robust-shaped body. Two open-air roof systems are available to provide customers with open-air freedom - another common and unmistakable feature shared with the Wrangler: a large, dual pane electric sliding glass roof and the exclusive My Sky, characterised by two lightweight panels which can be easily removed and stowed in the boot.
Functionality has been improved by the addition of a new central console, which now features a built-in smartphone holder, new cup holders and additional storage compartments, including a pocket for an iPad Mini or other small accessories. Also new is the position of the additional USB port (now located at the rear of the central armrest for easy access by backseat passengers), standard from the Longitude up. These solutions provide more than 1.2 litres of additional storage compartment.
Even in terms of interior roominess, the Renegade is at the top of its category, distinguishing itself in terms of headroom and width of the seats.
The Renegade also offers several interior customisation possibilities, thanks to different configurations specific for each trim level. This allows customers to choose the trim closest to their needs, between the Trespass Black and Polar Plunge upholsteries. The latter, for example, is offered in the Ski Grey and Black leather combination with Ski Grey stitching on the Limited trim. Further design improvements include refreshed bezels on the radio, climate vents, central tunnel and speakers. Some details shared with Wrangler are also found inside, including the wide, horizontal instrument panel with central focal points and trapezoidal details.
The MY2019 Renegade is available in two configurations, with two- or four-wheel drive. Off-road capability comes from two 4x4 systems, Jeep Active Drive and Jeep Active Drive Low. Jeep Selec-Terrain is integrated with four settings (Auto, default mode with rear axle disconnect; Snow, 4WD mode calibrated to reduce understeering; Sand and Mud, 4WD mode for maximising low-speed traction promoting further wheel spin) for optimal response on all road surfaces.
Jeep Active Drive
Jeep Active Drive is a fully automatic system and delivers seamless operation in and out of four-wheel drive, and at any speed, reducing energy loss when 4WD is not needed to the benefit of fuel efficiency. The system does not require any driver intervention, delivers yaw correction during dynamic events and improves response in both understeer and oversteer conditions. Jeep Active Drive can transfer up to 2,000 Nm of torque to the rear wheels, enabling optimal grip in low-traction conditions. A variable wet clutch housed in the rear wheel drive mode uses patented Jeep algorithms to provide the proper amount of torque for any driving condition, including low-traction surfaces, aggressive starts and dynamic driving.
Jeep Active Drive Low
Jeep Active Drive Low integrates Jeep Active Drive taking the crawl ratio to 20:1 for genuine 4x4 performance. The system, paired with the 2.0-liter diesel engine and nine-speed transmission, guarantees the best off-road capabilities of the category in extreme off-road driving conditions. Jeep Active Drive Low adds Hill-Descent Control functions to Selec-Terrain.
Hill-Descent Control (HDC) allows gradual, controlled downhill driving on rough or slippery terrain without the driver needing to press the brake pedal. When active, the vehicle can tackle steep downhill courses by exploiting the ABS brakes to control the speed of each wheel and guarantee optimal momentum and rhythm.
With its independent-wheel suspension able to guarantee a maximum wheel articulation up to 205 mm and a ground clearance of up to 210 mm, Jeep Renegade Trailhawk defines the reference in the segment and offers best-in-class 4x4 capability. Furthermore, on this version, Selec-Terrain integrates the Rock function to maximise wheel traction and improve grip.
Connectivity and infotainment
Depending on the trim, the new Jeep Renegade can be equipped with Uconnect 5-inch, Uconnect 7-inch or Uconnect 8.4-inch NAV, which include touchscreens and easy-to-use features, and a more powerful processor with improved response capability. This allows for the driver to control the climate system, the sound system and much more directly from the Uconnect display, resulting in additional safety while driving.
Both Uconnect 7-inch or 8.4-inch NAV systems also feature a high-definition, capacitive, full-color touchscreen which significantly enhances the user interface experience, offering pinch and zoom capability and a customisable menu bar with 'Drag and Drop'. Functions of the Uconnect system also include hands-free calling, navigation and text-to-talk features for a safe, comfortable and connected everyday driving experience. Built-in radio options are also available to allow drivers and passengers to stream Internet radio through Bluetooth or plug-in compatible personal devices into USB or AUX ports. Uconnect navigation with detailed instructions is standard on Uconnect 8.4-inch NAV with user-friendly voice controls allowing Jeep customers to simply say the destination address and start navigation.
Integration for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility
The Uconnect 7-inch and 8.4-inch NAV systems on the new Renegade can integrate with Apple CarPlay, the smartest and safe way to use the iPhone while driving. The infotainment system is also compatible with Android Auto that brings the best of Google directly to the mid-size Jeep SUV.
More in detail, Apple CarPlay shows road directions optimised according to traffic conditions and can be used to make and receive phone calls, open text messages and play music while remaining focused on the road. Android Auto allows customers to continue the Android experience in the car, by mirroring apps and services of the central display and is designed to make retrieving information while driving easy and safe. The driver may use Google Maps to receive road directions and easily access music, multimedia content and the favourite messaging applications.
Waze for Android Auto allows owners to enjoy the features of the Waze community directly on the vehicle's central display. Easy, immediate interaction with devices provides the convenience of maintaining the same operating system even in the car, for safe, simplified and constantly connected driving, meaning great quality of life onboard and improved ergonomics.
Jeep Uconnect LIVE services available on all Uconnect systems
The three systems - Uconnect 5-inch, Uconnect 7-inch and Uconnect 8.4-inch NAV - offer Uconnect LIVE services to customers for viewing and monitoring a host of applications on the Uconnect display simply by connecting their smartphone to the vehicle. The Uconnect LIVE app can be downloaded from the App Store or from Google Play and installed on your smartphone.
With Uconnect LIVE and using the touchscreen, users connect to Tune In Internet, a web-radio with more than 100,000 stations from all around the world; the Deezer Internet Music platform, containing over 35 million tracks; Reuters, to keep abreast of world news; and, of course, Facebook, Facebook CheckIn and Twitter to keep in touch with friends and followers. Uconnect LIVE can also be used to access my: Car, the service which offers servicing reminders in real time and an electronic owner handbook to keep track of maintenance operations.
Jeep Skills, the exclusive app for measuring off-road performance in real time
For customers who want to improve their off-road driving performance and live adventures in the most authentic Jeep spirit, Uconnect 8.4-inch NAV can be equipped with Jeep Skills. This remarkably user-friendly app provides specific indicators, allowing drivers to monitor their off-road performance.
With Jeep Skills, customers can discover the off-road potential of the new Jeep Renegade and exploit its capabilities to the fullest. Jeep Skills constantly informs the driver on off-road driving systems and provides practical feedback on the 8.4-inch display by means of a set of specific parameters, such as traction, rolling, pitch, pressure and altitude in real time.
Additional useful vehicle information including oil pressure, steering angle, G-force, pressure on accelerator and brakes, acceleration from 0 to 50 km/h and from 0 to 100 km/h, braking distance and speed can also be accessed.
Drivers can select a course from a catalogue and learn more about its features or share their favourite trails with the entire Jeep Community and Jeep Skills users. According to driving performance and objectives achieved on the selected routes, drivers can earn badges which are diversified according to the difficulty of the achievement. All earned prizes are saved on a specific page, a sort of virtual showcase.
The new Jeep Renegade was developed to guarantee top level protection courtesy of several state-of-the-art safety systems, offered as standard or optional, and including six standard airbags and ESC (electronic stability control) with ERM (electronic rollover mitigation).
The 2019 model year has been updated to include new contents that complement the offer in terms of safety ensuring maximum protection and comfort. Now standard on the entire range are Lane Sense Departure Warning-Plus and Intelligent Speed Assist with Traffic Sign Recognition.
Lane Sense Departure Warning-Plus uses the optical sensor of the camera to establish the position of the vehicle on the road. In case of unintentional lane departure, occurring when the system detects a lane drift without the turn signal being switched on, Lane Keeping Assist provides corrective action to return the vehicle back to its original position.
The new Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR) system is able to recognise road signs, including speed limits with and without restrictions, and to notify the driver through an alert that can be viewed on the instrument panel. In combination with the Intelligent Speed Assist system (which can be operated comfortably via the steering wheel controls), the speed can be set to the limits that the TSR has previously identified. However, the driver is free to ignore the system's notifications and to reject the speed limits indicated by the traffic sign.
An updated Automatic park assist - park sense (available after launch) simplifies manoeuvring into - and now also out of - parking spots. It is based on the same functions as the previous version of the system. Automatic steering is implemented by means of sensors and cameras, integrating the side obstacle detection function.
To ensure more comfort and provide the trademark functionality of the Renegade, the refreshed model has an updated Function Pack which now includes new features, such as folding rear-view mirrors operated when locking the vehicle and power windows which can be operated using the fey fob remote control. All power windows are one touch up/down.
To guarantee maximum protection, the complete offer of optional safety systems on the Jeep Renegade also includes Forward Collision Warning-Plus with Active Emergency Braking standard (standard on Limited), Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind-Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path Detection.
Photos: Jeep Renegade MY2019
Video: Jeep Renegade Limited / Jeep Renegade MY2019 Trailhawk / Jeep Renegade MY2019: Interview with designer Scott Krugger /