Jeep Renegade 4xe plug-in hybrid review
|Car type||Electric range||Fuel economy||CO2|
|Plug-in hybrid||26 miles||123–134mpg||47–53g/km|
First shown at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, the Jeep Renegade 4xe has finally arrived on the market. One of the smaller plug-in hybrid SUVs on sale, the new Renegade is the very first plug-in hybrid Jeep (alongside a Europe-only Compass plug-in) and comes as parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) works to lower emissions across its brands.
The Renegade's closest competition is both established and slightly cheaper, headed up by more road-focused rivals like the Kia Niro PHEV. The Renegade offers a broadly similar combination of passenger space and practicality, albeit with a more upright stance and traditional SUV attitude.
Power comes from a 1.3-litre petrol engine and an electric motor, plus an 11.4kWh battery. Power on standard models is 187bhp, but top-spec Trailhawk cars get an impressive 237bhp. Four-wheel drive is standard across the range.
The trim lineup is simple – entry-level Longitude, mid-spec Limited and top-of-the-range, off-road focussed Trailhawk. Pricing is punchy when compared to rivals' but equipment is generous; adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors and an 8.4-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity all feature.
The Renegade's design is a few years old now but still looks fresh: only detail changes set the 4xe apart from its internal-combustion counterparts. Inside, the car's interior feels a little dated but comes with leather upholstery as standard; material quality isn't the best otherwise. The better news is that the car's squared-off proportions make for a spacious cabin, although the boot is slightly smaller than you get in non-hybrid versions.
The Renegade rides well and is a comfortable car to travel in, but it's not the most dynamic or engaging small SUV around – rivals like the Kia Niro PHEV are better to drive overall. However, none can match the Jeep's formidable off-road prowess; you'll need a Land Rover to match its ability to effortlessly deal with difficult terrain.
Sadly for Jeep, the market offers plenty of compelling alternatives to the Renegade 4xe – and although none can match its rough-and-tumble attitude, almost all are a better bet for most buyers. If you need that off-road ability or just like its chunky looks, though, the Renegade is a serviceable plug-in hybrid SUV.