This year for my birthday I decided to treat myself to a new car. I had been looking for a few months and had narrowed it down to a few Crossover SUVs. Eventually it was between the Mazda CX-5 and the Jeep Renegade. After being treated very poorly and not taken seriously as a buyer at Mazda, I decided to take my business to Jeep, who were more than happy to help!
Let’s get a few things straight before we begin. I am by no means a car expert. I only drive to and from work and occasionally around town on my spare time. I am not an aggressive driver. I have basic needs and basic opinions. After reading so many snobby reviews online for so many things, I decided to write my own reviews in which I can break down some things in a simple, and ordinary way. I am going to look at the good, and the bad. Hopefully someone can read this and not feel dumb for wanting to buy something they really want. Without further ado, here’s my chill review of the:
2017 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk
Given the fact that I chose the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk trim of the Renegade, my interior has leather seats with red trim. Although I am not a big fan of leather seats, being that I had no choice otherwise, I love the red stitching on the black leather. It totally matches the interior and the exterior Granite Gray perfectly.
I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical about the fact that Jeep included a lot of little Easter Eggs. I just thought, “Why would a vehicle need Easter Eggs? Doesn’t that make the car a bit of a novelty?” I was wrong. Two months into driving around my Renegade, I love telling people to try to spot all the hidden Easter Eggs in my car! In a way, it makes it even more fun to drive.
Besides the Easter Eggs, there are a number of cool design features such as the “splash” on your speedometer and the removable sunroofs in the front and backseats. I haven’t been able to use them yet but I look forward to sometime in the future!
Note: As far as storage goes, it can be better. I’m not too thrilled with the lack of dashboard storage. I wish it had a larger tray in the center console to store my sunglasses or spare change. The center armrest/storage is not too big either. In fact, I had to buy a tray from Mopar to set in the top of the storage so that I could stash things like my wallet or my headphones. Considering how much thought Jeep put into the little features in the Renegade, you would think that they would have thought of this.
However, I enjoy the fact that both the passenger and driver doors have a small side pocket in which you could stash a water bottle so you don’t use up your cupholder space. The trunk is very small by most standards. I don’t necessarily lug large items around in my day-to-day, but it would be nice to know that I could if I wanted.
If you’re not into oversized SUVs or Crossovers, but also aren’t fond of compact cars, then the Jeep Renegade might be for you. I can’t deny that I’ve received the occasional “Your car is so cute!” remarks. I like to think of my Renegade as small but tough. The Granite Gray color and the Trailhawk’s red trim and hitches sort of give it a badass look, y’know? I love the classic round Jeep headlights but I’m not too crazy about the ‘X’ brake lights. I mean, they’re okay but unnecessary. Another reason I opted for the Trailhawk trim was because of the black on black rims and the blacked out logos. I’m a sucker for that dark look and I’m not one to pimp out my cars with aftermarket products. If you’re into that sort of thing, I’m sure it wouldn’t look too bad either.
I’m torn between leaving my Renegade completely plain, or giving it a bra to protect from debris. I am also toying with the idea of adding a roof rack of some sort because the Renegade looks cool with them and Jeep offers tons of accessories and upgrades to customize your ride.
One of the things I love most about the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk is that this trim comes with a lifted suspension because it is built with off-roading in mind. It gives it a more rugged look and looks great with the larger wheels offered in this trim.
The reason I chose this color aside from the fact that I like most my things in a plain and simple, is the fact that the red badges, and red coated hitches stick out in a very cool way.
Note: The Jeep Renegade Trailhawk has a vinyl portion in the center of the hood that can be a bit of a pain to clean if you’re a do-it-yourselfer. Also, if you plan on getting one of these bad boys, prepare for everyone to mention how much it looks like a KIA Soul aka, the Hampster-mobile
Here’s where things start to git a bit sticky. This would be my perfect choice of vehicle if it weren’t for the performance. It feels heavy and seems like it has to use a lot of power just to get going. Now, before I purchased the Renegade, I did a lot of research. I mean, A LOT of research. Almost every single review I read told me that the transmission was a bit awkward and I failed to understand what they were talking about. Now I know. It isn’t the worst thing in the world, but since I use it for driving to work and back and not to go off-roading or do anything crazy like street racing, I don’t really feel this as much, but when I do, boy is it annoying.
Another thing that sort of kills it for me with the Jeep Renegade is that it gets horrible gas mileage. Like I said, I’m an ordinary dude and tend to stay local and not go out of my general area much. The reason I feel the MPG is because I work about 20 miles away in Long Beach! Not only does it have a horrible MPG, it only has a 12g fuel tank. I really wish Jeep would have thought this out more, especially if they were aiming to make the Renegade one of their economical options. All the vehicle tags say that it will get you generally around 21 city/29 highway mpg. I am currently running at 19.1mpg with my best being 19.3. Now, if you’re heavy on the gas pedal, I’ve read that it can get a lot worse but I am light footed so it works to my advantage.
Pro-Tip: Drive like SpongeBob when he’s taking his driving test using only his big toe to press the gas pedal. Try not to press so hard!
As far as under the hood, we’re looking at 180 horsepower and the Trailhawk in particular has a “powerful” 2.4L Tigershark® MultiAir® 2 engine. If I’m being honest, none of this means anything to me. I’m not a car guy and unless the engine can go warp speed, I don’t very much understand the technical aspects of it. As long as the car moves, and doesn’t blow up or use 50 gallons of gas per day, I’m okay. Other versions of the Trailhawk have a turbocharged engine, but not this one, which is baffling. I’m not too impressed with its capability.
One thing I do love about the overall capability is the fact that it is a 4×4 and is built specifically to handle all terrain. For someone like me who generally lives a very safe life, it’s something that’s nice to have up its sleeve just in case.
Note: The first “big” trip I took in my Renegade was a drive down to San Diego for Comic Con 2017. I know I said the mileage on this vehicle was nothing to write home about but I was very impressed with how it handled itself and ironically it did not use much gas on the highway as I expected! I suppose it’s because I am not stopping and going as much as on the streets. I should start taking the freeway to work if it wasn’t for that damn LA Traffic.
Okay, now let’s have some fun! I am [not] ashamed to admit that one of top 3 factors that lead to my purchase of a Jeep Renegade Trailhawk is the fact that it comes built in with 9-Speaker BeatsAudio™ Premium Sound System! I am a notorious audiophile and cannot have a vehicle that does not have a premium audio system. Jeep decided to leave out the CD Player on the Renegade which does not bother me one bit. I mean, c’mon, it’s 2017. My first week driving my Renegade, I made excuses to go places just so I could hear that beautiful bass coming out of those deep red speakers.
Controlling the entire electronic aspect of the Renegade Trailhawk is the Uconnect® 6.5 NAV. Other trims of the Jeep Renegade come with the same software but a smaller screen. There’s not much different that the Uconnect® does that other vehicle software systems can’t but it is mighty convenient. It has navigation, SiriusXM, and tons of cool features like Game Alert that [annoyingly] notifies you whenever your favorite team has scored a point [or if a player blinks]. Yelp is also a useful app that you can get from the Uconnect® app store assuming you live in a world without a smartphone. It also features the basic mumbo jumbo that the majority of today’s vehicles come stocked with such as Bluetooth, USB, and an AUX Port. The 7 inch “Cluster Display” that is located where your speedometer is shows itself to be really convenient and enjoyably customizable. Using the conveniently located directional buttons on the backside of your steering wheel, you can navigate your way through various informational screens that’ll tell you the health and stats of your Renegade. It lets you customize your own home screen to display the information most important to you. The backup camera works beautifully and I have no idea how I got along without one.
I’m waiting for winter to roll around [or as we in SoCal call it- Less Aggressive Summer], so that I can take advantage of the seat warmers as well as the steering wheel warmer!
Another cool [no pun intended] feature is the Dual-Zone Automatic Temperature Control which allows you to adjust the temperature on your side of the car and your passenger can adjust theirs, because as you know, there is apparently an invisible forcefield in between so that they won’t cancel themselves out for some reason.
The driver’s seat has an 8-way seat adjuster that pretty much leaves it to you to configure how you want to sit in the car. Although, I’m finding it a bit hard to coordinate all the directions the seat can move to give me a position I really like. I feel like Dr. Evil in his power-chair…
Great Highway Mileage.
Friendly Software UI.
Terrible City Mileage.
Very Little Storage Room.
Slow Acceleration/Weak Engine.
Transmission can be a bit Awkward.
Score: 8 out of 10
The Jeep Renegade Trailhawk 2017 may be weak and a bit awkward at times, but it’s really hard not to love. Given its unique design and cool features, including hidden easter eggs and a quality sound system, the Renegade makes up for its downfalls in my opinion. If you’re an average city slicker like myself, you will love this vehicle. It’s smooth, it has that classic Jeep feel, and it feels luxury at the same time. If you want my honest opinion, if you don’t plan on opting for the Trailhawk or even the Deserthawk trims of the Renegade, I suggest looking elsewhere. The lower trims just don’t cut it but I am glad to have gotten the Trailhawk. Its 4×4 capabilities as well as interior and gadgets make it a very solid choice.