Designed like a real Jeep with its typical 7-bar vertical grille, its very straight windshield and its square lines, the small American adventurer Renegade, built in Italy, enjoys a real capital of sympathy. He has always taken advantage of it to post slightly higher prices, and it won’t get any better. As the brand announced, only electrified variants will be marketed from 1 June, rechargeable or not. So, if you plan to offer it in 1.6 diesel of 130 hp, or in petrol 1.0 T3 of 120 hp, act quickly because these versions will disappear, and the price of access will fly away.
New hybrid, but higher price
From € 26,300, its access price will thus rise to € 29,950 with the new 1.5 turbo hybrid variant with 130 hp. tested here, and equipped with an original hybridization. If your new four-cylinder turbo is not very powerful only 130 hp and 240 Nm, this is also due to the fact that it uses a Miller combustion cycle (high compression ratio and longer throttle stroke than compression stroke) intended to prioritize fuel efficiency over performance. This thermal block is reinforced with a 20 hp and 55 Nm electric motor, whose originality is to operate at only 48V, powered by a 0.8 kWh lithium-ion battery.
An electric motor inside the car body
And to be located not between thermal and transmission, but within the dual-clutch automatic transmission and 7 original Getrag reports, and more precisely in the tree that carries the even reports. A economic and not very powerful architecture, but that still allows a real hybridization since this Renegade is quite capable, unlike microhybrids, of 100% electric driving … but at very low speed. Therefore, if the parking maneuvers take place at zero emissions, you still have to be very gentle to reach 15 km / h without waking up 1.5. And with a feather tip on the right pedal, you can go up to 30 km / h without burning without lead, but on condition that you have no one behind but the horn is waiting.
Hybridization in the economy
This hybridization is therefore a bit more “economical” than its rivals (Hyundai Kona, Toyota C-HR or Renault Captur E-Tech offer better electric driving capabilities), but still brings something in terms of consumption to a rather heavy Renegade: here 1,512 kg! – and really glottal so far in all its engines. With a average consumption of 7 l / 100, and 6.7 l / 100 km in the city (compared to the average of 10 l / 100 km and 10.2 l / 100 km in the city of the 4xe plug-in hybrid variant), this 1.5 e-Hybrid looks almost sober, finally as long as they are not compared to their rivals. Indeed, a Captur capable of easily climbing 70 km / h in electric mode, and offering the same good performance on the road, does not exceed 5.7 l / 100 km, and drops to only 4.8 l / 100 in the cityor almost 2l / 100 km less, knowing that Kona and C-HR drink just more than the French.
License to review
If this hybridization still allows the Renegade to have a more reasonable consumption than usual, but it is not the same in terms of driving pleasure.. This small Jeep SUV certainly retains its reasonably efficient chassis (all-season M + S tires on our Italian model do not help with cornering efficiency, more than mediocre stopping distances and steering sensation) and damping suspensions are sometimes missing. progressivity. But this hybridization requires above all a rugged operation in everyday life. Because the low electrical power causes frequent starts of 1.5, which impose a somewhat long delay, often followed by a shock.
Slow gearbox and difficult braking
Next, less than 2,500 rpm, this four-cylinder seems unmatched and slowly increases revs, even when reinforced with light electrical support. Therefore, there is a feeling of lack of brightness. And in the event that the accelerator is crushed, which offers enough time to advance (7s to go from 80 to 120 km / h) the car changes very slowly and with a slippery feel which could suggest the presence of a continuously variable transmission. Finally, the brake pedal here is very difficult to dose, between a very important dead end and then more braking than necessary, thus complicating the management of the deceleration to the stop. Enough to shake its occupants at every fire.
Annoying audible alerts
And then we regret that, as in many modern cars, the help to stay in line is reactivated at each exit, while the anti-collision alert of the emergency braking is too sensitive here and, above all, embellished with shrill beeps and too loud on board.. Something to scare everyone when danger is not really imminent!
In short, if this nice American SUV has something to please small families, they will find enough space on board despite a trunk reduced by 30 dm3 (3 cm lost in height compared to non-hybrids), but a little dark and material not all up to your price, there are still many small things to adjust to make it really enjoyable to use on a daily basis. Especially because it appears a few thousand euros above its direct competitors.