TO SUM UP
From € 29,950
Recently integrated into the Stellantis group, the American brand announced earlier this year its strategy for the coming months. The aim is to discard all traditional heat engines in favor of electrified motors. In markets where taxation is tough, such as France, the rechargeable hybrid already accounts for more than 50% of Renegade’s sales. Therefore, this decision is relevant.
In addition, it is to offer customers an alternative to the plug-in hybrid – invoiced with a minimum of € 41,400 – at a decent price. This is done with the new Renegade e-hybrid, whose prices start at € 29,950.
Aside from the “e-Torque” logo on the tailgate, no design elements indicate the Renegade’s hybrid engine.
The 7-bar SUV houses under the hood a new 130 hp supercharged 1.5-cylinder petrol engine with 130 hp paired with a reinforced starter alternator that relieves the engine in the energy-consuming phases. So far classic compared to the competition. The difference lies in the installation of an additional 48 V electric motor integrated in the new 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox called “e-DCT” (see: equipment page). With a power of 20 hp, this engine can move the Renegade alone in 100% electric form within walking distance when the heat engine is off to run as a non-rechargeable hybrid (Toyota Yaris type). A 0.8 kW / h battery placed on the floor between the two front seats is responsible for powering this engine. It recharges when braking and lifting the foot.
The Jeep Renegade is therefore the first model of the Stellantis group to receive this new generation of gearbox. A technology designed here by Magna (Getrag) that will also be deployed to Alfa Romeo and Fiat. The rest of the group’s brands (Peugeot, Citroën, Opel, etc.) will use a similar technology, but this time designed by Punch Powertrain, from 2023.
The main advantage of this technology is that it offers more attractive prices than the plug-in hybrid version, this is the case. However, they are still superior to the competition, whether they are equipped with light hybridization (48 V) like the Ford Puma Ecoboost 125 (€ 26,400) or with full hybridization like the Renault Captur E-Tech hybrid 145 (€ 28,200).
This new set reduces CO2 emissions by 15% compared to a gasoline engine of the same power, according to Jeep. In the French market, the Renegade e-hybrid thus limits the penalty to € 75 this year (129 g CO2 / km). In theory, consumption follows the same path.
In urban use it is undeniable. The Renegade maximizes the electrical phases, from the start to about 15 km / h, in the same way as a Toyota hybrid. The driver has nothing to do. Just activate the “Drive” mode and Renegade will take care of everything. The transitions from electricity to thermal are well controlled and an additional indicator on the instrumentation informs you of the state of charge of the battery. Then the fuel consumption becomes more interesting than the 1.0 3-cylinder 120 hp. We are running about 5l / 100 km. Too bad the information displayed on the media tablet is not very clear. The interface only provides a visualization of the number of kilometers traveled in the electrical phase and the energy recovered during braking.
It is also possible to manually activate 100% electrical conduction to enter a restricted area (ZFE) by pressing the “e” button next to the shift lever. “EV” capabilities are available depending on the state of charge of the battery and the power required.
On the other hand, the average consumption observed throughout our test is much more negligible. We recorded an average of 7.5 l / 100 km on a mixed route with a stretch of highway, city and secondary roads. The observed benefit compared to the 3-cylinder petrol engine offered at entry level is not obvious.
When driving, the 1.5 T delivers decent performance. The electric motor provides a lively acceleration at low revs accompanied by appreciable flexibility and discretion, which makes urban driving enjoyable. On the other hand, don’t ask for too much. The times are a bit tight and you have to anticipate, for example, the progress. For the use of a good parent, this engine is suitable.
Despite two successive renovations, the chassis has not undergone any changes. The Renegade is not the most agile or comfortable on the market, but it does it pretty well most of the time. He is relatively lenient with his passengers without taking too much shooting in the corners. The steering offers nice resistance even if it doesn’t have the slightest feedback.
The interior of the Renegade is bright, practical and well finished. We regret the presence of a very large number of buttons on the center console.
Jeep takes advantage of the launch of this e-Hybrid engine to present a new finish called “Upland”, with ecological fiber billed at € 36,150. It is characterized by the use of recycled materials found in the upholstery of the headboard, carpets and seats. They were made from recycled plastic extracted from the ocean.
What does not change are the measures of the Renegade. Always 4.26 m long, which makes it a great urban SUV and favors the rear habitability, above the average of the category, as well as the roof protector, favored by the cubism of the body. However, the volume of the 351 liter stagnant trunk is at the bottom of the table. You can’t have it all, but it’s still enough for a (small) family. The Uconnect 8.4 “touch screen multimedia system is not the most efficient on the market, but it has the merit of being easy to use and relatively responsive. Its graphics, on the other hand, are quite old.