Review of the 2022 Jeep Renegade e-Hybrid Car News

What is that?

A Jeep that starts quietly is not something many will be used to. The new Jeep Renegade does just that, thanks to a new e-Hybrid powertrain that the firm says marks the latest step in its move to a fully electrified model line.

The model, along with the larger Jeep Compass e-Hybrid, joins the Jeep lineup alongside the newly introduced 4xe plug-in hybrid variants. Unlike the 4xe, the e-Hybrid is front-wheel drive only. It also commands a £7,000 premium over the entry-level petrol Renegade and is slightly cheaper than the base plug-in hybrid 4xe.

The all-new powertrain consists of a 128hp 1.5-litre turbocharged engine, a 20hp electric motor and a 48V battery positioned between the two front seats. Torque is 177 lb-ft. Jeep also claims emissions and fuel economy improvements of up to 15 percent.

A second electric motor is mated to a new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which Jeep says makes for a smoother ride. You also have a few handy all-electric driving features, including the aforementioned quiet start (which Jeep called e-launch), e-creeping, e-queuing, e-parking, and reversing, and braking energy recovery.

How does it look?

For the most part, the Renegade makes good use of its electrification. The model’s e-creeping and e-queueing functions are effective and energy recovery from cruising is excellent, especially on the steepest slopes. Granted, most drivers won’t have to deal with the steep roads like on our drive around the Stellantis base in Turin, but most should have no problem keeping the Renegade’s battery topped up.

The 1.5-litre petrol engine starts up smoothly when accelerating in e-mode, although it might feel like the transition is coming a little too early. Still, Jeep describes the transition between EV and ICE as seamless, and unless you’re heavy on the throttle, it’s hard to immediately notice when you’re back on gas.

Jeep claims that electrifying the gearbox in this way helps to improve fuel economy and at the same time driving dynamics. It’s not too bad, but on steeper hills and faster roads it was slow to shift and often left the engine gasping for air.

The ride, meanwhile, is as sophisticated and direct as ever in the bends. Grip and stability are both decent, but the reliance on assist technology dampens the feel and enjoyment of the Renegade somewhat. The ride is also largely uncompromised by the added weight of the battery and the two electric motors, but, as with the standard Renegade, there is significant vibration on the harder, rougher urban tarmac.

Not much has changed inside the Renegade. The interior feels sturdy in places and the doors are largely made of rough plastic. New customization options for displaying hybrid-related stats on the digital driver display are welcome, as is the panoramic roof fitted to our test car, which makes the cabin light and airy.

Should I buy one?

Those considering the e-Hybrid Renegade will likely be interested in its eco-friendly credentials. Model figures have yet to be confirmed for homologation reasons, but Jeep has promised combined economy figures of 46.3 to 49.3 mpg for the larger Compass.

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This notice was published: 2022-03-09 09:10:00

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