The baby Jeep is getting a facelift

The cute-ute Jeep Renegade is getting its first mid-cycle refresh. Spy photographers spotted a camouflaged Renegade winter testing in Europe along side the euro-spec Wrangler JL and some Alfa Romeo products. The changes are confined to the Renegade’s front and rear fascias, along with tweaks to the dashboard.

Changes to the drivetrain will likely be limited to a new nine-speed automatic transmission and updated Active Drive 4WD system, both courtesy of the updated 2019 Cherokee. Jeep could even include its new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, though at 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, is a big jump over the for the 2.4-liter Tigershark four-cylinder and its 180 horses and 175 pound-feet. The power would certainly be welcomed, though.

Jeep is expected to debut the updated Renegade sometime in 2018 ahead of the 2019 model year.

Continue reading for more on the refreshed Jeep Renegade.

Exterior

2019 Jeep Renegade Spyshots Exterior
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Like any modern mid-cycle refresh, the front fascia receives the bulk of changes

Like any modern mid-cycle refresh, the front fascia receives the bulk of changes. Though the camo we can see an updated grille, repositioned fog lights, and new turn signals.

The grille features less dead space between the seven-slotted opening. Chrome trim surrounds the slots, too, likely offering a slightly more up-scale feel to the Renegade’s playful design. The fog lights are now located more inboard, alighting right under the screw-in recovery loop. The placement means this test mule is most certainly a non-Trailhawk model that doesn’t feature the prominent red tow hooks.

The bumper-mounted turn signals are now shorter and wider than before. They also appear to be LED. Our spy photographer says the new Renegade will be offered with optional LED headlights, too. Our guess is they’ll look like the new Wrangler JL’s premium LED units.

2019 Jeep Renegade Spyshots Exterior
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Around back, it’s hard to tell any differences between the test mule and current Renegade

Around back, it’s hard to tell any differences between the test mule and current Renegade. About the only noticeable change are the taillights, which have larger white portions in the center than current Renegade’s X-shaped taillights. It could just be the camera angle, too. The rear bumper also confirms this test mule isn’t the Trailhawk model since the red rear tow hook isn’t present.

Lastly, the Renegade appears unchanged in the middle. The doors, roof, and middle portions of the wheel wells are uncovered.

Interior

2015 Jeep Renegade High Resolution Interior
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Currently, the Renegade comes standard with a 5.0-inch Uconnect screen and an optional 6.5-inch unit

Our spy photographer wasn’t able to grab shots of the interior, but said the dash features a new, larger infotainment system and updated HVAC controls.

While we’re pretty sure the Renegade won’t be getting the 2019 Ram 1500’s 12-inch Uconnect system, we do expect Jeep to upgrade the Renegade’s interface. Currently, the Renegade comes standard with a 5.0-inch Uconnect screen and an optional 6.5-inch unit. We’d wager the 7.0-inch will now be the default system and the 8.4-inch Uconnect will be the premium choice. The latest Uconnect 4 software will be present, too.

As for the HVAC controls, we’re not sure what more Jeep can do beside shake up the design. The Renegade is already available with an automatic dual-zone system in higher trims. Perhaps a new dual-zone system will be standard across the board. We’re also expecting an updated connectivity base with more USB ports, including USB-C connectivity. Jeep might even throw in a wireless phone charger.

Otherwise, the updated Renegade will continue seating five people over its two row, while holding 18.5 cubic feet of stuff behind the second row. Folding the 60/40-split second-row bench opens the cargo capacity to 50.8 cubic feet of storage.

Drivetrain

2019 Jeep Renegade Spyshots Exterior
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We expect Jeep to update the 2019 Renegade’s transmission and 4WD systems

We expect Jeep to update the 2019 Renegade’s transmission and 4WD systems. The engines, however, are likely to carry over mostly unchanged.

The base 1.4-liter MultiAir is a naturally aspirated four-cylinder making a trepid 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of toque. A six-speed manual and nine-speed automatic are the two transmission choices. Fuel economy maxes out at 24 mpg city and 31 mpg highway.

The optional 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir 2 engine is also naturally aspirated but makes slightly more power at 180 horses and 175 pound-feet of torque. This engine is only offered on 4WD models and pairs exclusively to the nine-speed automatic. Fuel economy is slightly less than the smaller engine, but not by much. The 2.4-liter is EPA-estimated at 22 mpg city and 30 mpg highway.

As for the big updates, we expect the new Renegade to receive the 2019 Cherokee’s updated nine-speed automatic. Jeep says that transmission provides smoother shifts thanks to a reprogrammed computer control module.

2019 Jeep Renegade Spyshots Exterior
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As for the big updates, we expect the new Renegade to receive the 2019 Cherokee’s updated nine-speed automatic

Also likely borrowed from the updated Cherokee is the new Active Drive I 4WD system. The new AD I system have been completely reworked and is 17 pounds lighter and has 50 percent less internal friction at low speeds than before. Between the new Active Drive I and nine-speed auto, the updated Renegade should return better fuel economy numbers, regardless of what engine it has.

The Renegade Trailhawk will continue using the Active Drive Lock 4WD system. This setup includes a low range for low-speed crawling and a locking rear differential. The Trailhawk also boasts beefier all-terrain tires, a 0.8-inch suspension lift, and unique bodywork that improved approach and departure angles, as well as accommodates the distinctive red tow hooks the Trailhawk trim is known for.

Pricing

The Jeep Renegade competes in a highly competitive market segment, so we’re not expecting Jeep to drastically inflate its prices beyond a couple hundred dollars on each trim level. The 2017 Renegade Sport in FWD starts at $17,995. For $2,000 more, 4WD can be had. Above the base Sport trim is the Latitude, Altitude, Limited, and Trailhawk. The “trail-rated” Trailhawk starts at $26,895 and tops out around $30,000 with extra options.

The Competition

Subaru Crosstrek

2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek High Resolution Exterior
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Subaru offers something for the adventurous types, too – the XV Crosstrek. This lifted Impreza wagon has an impressive 8.7 inches of ground clearance and standard AWD. It even comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission. The Crosstrek offers a car-like driving feel while being completely at home in adverse weather condition and on unpaved trails.

Power comes from Subaru’s 2.0-liter Boxer four-cylinder making 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. While the six-speed is standard and more fun, upgrading to a higher trim level means a Continuously Variable Transmission is the only choice. Regardless of transmission, the Subaru isn’t fast or particularly sporty, but neither is the Renegade.

Pricing for the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek starts at $21,795 for the 2.0i trim. The mid-grade Premium trim carries a $22,595 sticker price and the range-topping limited starts at $26,295.

Read our full review on the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek.

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport High Resolution Exterior
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The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport continues in the same outdoorsy, sporty vibe established by the Jeep Renegade and Subaru Crosstrek. The Outlander Sport seats five, offers descent ground clearance and short overhangs, and comes with FWD or an optional AWD system.

The standard powertrain is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual is standard, but a CVT will be more widely available. Optionally, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder makes 168 horses and 167 pound-feet. Unfortunately, it’s only available with the CVT. Both engines come standard with FWD and have the option of AWD. Even the manual can be paired with FWD or AWD.

Pricing begins at $20,395 for the ES trim. Adding the CVT moves the sticker to $21,595 and AWD to $23,095. Prices span up to $25,995 for the range-topping SEL trim with the 2.4-liter.

Read our full review on the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.

Conclusion

2019 Jeep Renegade Spyshots Exterior
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The Renegade has proven itself a valuable member of the Jeep lineup thanks to its hot sales. Its cuteness aside, the little Renegade is actually the most off-road capable compact crossover among its competitors when fitted with the Trailhawk trim.

The visual updates for 2019 should help the Renegade remain a top choice for crossover shoppers. We just can’t wait to hear the official details about powertrain and infotainment improvements.

  • Leave it
    • Possible price increase
    • Still on the small side
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