I used to look at ‘some’ Jeep cars as those vehicles that were always featured in war movies and were very capable vehicles that would be driven on any territory.
A lot has changed over the years and the Jeeps can be used as everyday cars while some models in the Italian range can still tackle even the harshest road conditions.
An example of what can be used as an everyday car is the Jeep Renegade that joined the market in 2014 and it’s probably the youngest names in the range.
Aesthetically, our Longitude test vehicle looked stunning in the glacier metallic exterior colour it wore.
The front and rear bumper have been redesigned while the front grille has been made bigger than before. It is worth mentioning that the folks at Jeep were very thoughtful when designing the Renegade’s interior, everything is well-put with impressive overall build quality.
There is plenty of storage spaces for items such as water bottles and wallets. The boot was able to swallow sizeable suitcases and few other items, thanks to its 351 litres worth of space – if you decide to leave the kids at home, folding down the rear seats further expands the boot space to a massive 1 297 litres.
The infotainment system was easy to use, from fiddling with the 8.4-inch touchscreen to connecting my iPhone via the Apple CarPlay functionality. There are two USB ports (one at the back and one in front) which were a pleasure to have.
In terms of ride quality, we do not fault the Renegade but there are few issues that we felt Jeep can really improve in. The 1.4-litre MultiAir turbocharged petrol engine with 103 kW of power and 230 Nm felt a bit underpowered mostly under intent acceleration prowess. We reckon the range-topping 2.4-litre engine addresses this issue, though.
It is an easy car to drive and remains tight and composed to the road ahead. Body roll is minimal as we were able to attack corners with so much aplomb. The six-speed DDCT automatic transmission that sends power to the front wheels is not the best in the segment as it would whine under hard acceleration.
On the open road, the Jeep Renegade Longitude shines; it is comfortable and leaves less to complain about.
A week with the car, we managed to score an attractive 7.9l/100 km with the driving range coming closer to the 600 km mark.
What we think
The Jeep Renegade continues to make waves in the competitive subcompact SUV stable. If you love Jeeps and space, comfort and style remain on top of the list of things you want in a car, the Longitude is not a poor proposition but get one with a much more powerful engine.
Pricing for all Renegade Longitude models starts from R400 000.
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