The company’s first hybrid takes on the Kia Niro and Toyota C-HR

The Jeep Renegade Hybrid is the electrified version of the company’s smallest SUV to date. It’s also the company’s first hybrid vehicle alongside the Compass Hybrid. Launched in 2019, it’s identical to the familiar Renegade save for the fact that its gasoline four-cylinder engine works in conjunction with an electric motor. The Renegade Hybrid joins a tight subcompact SUV market that includes plug-in hybrids like the Kia Niro and the Toyota C-HR. But even though it’s a bit late to the party, it comes with superior power, torque, and class-leading off-road capability. Rated at up to 240 horsepower, its hybrid drivetrain is far superior to what Kia and Toyota have to offer as of 2019. Let’s find out more about that in the review below.

2019 Jeep Renegade Hybrid Exterior

  • Identical to regular model
  • Plug-in socked
  • New "e" badge
  • Same options
  • Same trims
  • Doesn’t stand out
2019 Jeep Renegade Hybrid
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Features that make it stand out are limited to the small "e" badge on the tailgate and a plug-in socket

Like most hybrid versions of familiar vehicles, the Renegade Hybrid looks identical to the regular crossover. Features that make it stand out are limited to only a couple of small revisions, like the small "e" badge on the tailgate and the plug-in socket on the left rear fender.

The Renegade was revised for the 2019 model year, and the Hybrid model sports the same new and modified features. The front bumper is boxier than before, the LED headlamps are taken from the Wrangler, while the rear bumper was also reshaped. The revised Renegade is also available with seven different wheel options ranging from 16-inch to 19-inch rims. The latter are a first for this small crossover, and they’re exclusive to the Limited trim.

2019 Jeep Renegade Hybrid
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The Renegade was subject to some controversy when it was unveiled back in 2014, but the crossover is now widely accepted by the Jeep community, and it has become a popular choice among subcompact crossover enthusiasts.

The fact the Jeep decided to keep the Hybrid model familiar is not surprising.

Jeep will launch electrified versions for most of its models, and it’s looking to integrate them into the lineup as quick as possible.

On the other hand, I think Jeep should’ve used a few more EV-specific design features like green or blue accents here and there, maybe even a modified front grille. Many customers are looking for unique features in a car, especially if it has some sort of electrification, so a few bespoke visual features would have made a notable difference.

2019 Jeep Renegade Hybrid Interior

  • Bespoke instrument cluster
  • Revised center console
  • New infotainment menus
  • Same Renegade features
  • Optional leather
2019 Jeep Renegade Hybrid
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New buttons on the center stack allow you to select whether the vehicle works in hybrid or electric mode

Just like the exterior, the interior of the Renegade Hybrid is identical to the regular model save for a few changes. But modifications go beyond visuals here. Jeep had to revise the digital instrument cluster so it can display data about the hybrid drivetrain. Specifically, you can now monitor battery status and charge, total hybrid range, whether the vehicle is in hybrid or electric mode, and if it’s plugged in and charging. The total range is displayed in the lower right corner of the central screen, while the fuel indicator is shown on the left.

The center stack features new items as well. Three buttons on the right allow you to select whether the vehicle works in hybrid or electric mode, or activate the e-Save feature for regenerative breaking. Another button on the center console activates battery recharging.

2019 Jeep Renegade Hybrid
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Everything else is standard Renegade business. Depending on the trim you will get a five- or 8.4-inch infotainment display. Both allow you to control the climate system, the sound system, and a wide range of apps, while the bigger screen also includes a navigation system. Both screens have unique menus that include additional hybrid drivetrain information. You can check out data for the e-Save mode, which shows the amount of energy consumed by the engine and climate system versus how much the battery sends back into the system.

While the cheaper models are loaded with plastic and fabric upholstery, the more expensive trims have leather and overall more upscale look.

The mid-cycle facelift didn’t bring many changes inside the cabin, but the Renegade is still somewhat fresh relative to the competition.

2019 Jeep Renegade Hybrid Drivetrain

  • Hybrid drivetrain
  • 1.3-liter gas engine
  • Electric motor
  • Up to 240 horsepower
  • 0 to 62 in 7 seconds
  • EV top speed at 81 mph
  • 31-mile EV range
  • Lower emissions
  • Electric AWD system
2019 Jeep Renegade Hybrid
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The hybrid powertrain generates up to 240 horsepower

The hybrid drivetrain in the Renegade pairs an electric motor to the already familiar 1.3-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine. Introduced with the mid-cycle facelift, the turbocharged unit generates 148 or 177 horsepower on its own in the regular Renegade. Jeep doesn’t how much extra oomph comes from the electric motor, but did say that the overall output of the hybrid powertrain "sits in the 190 and 240 horsepower range."

This probably means that unlike the Compass Hybrid, the Renegade Hybrid will be offered with two power ratings. It’s worth nothing that both deliver more power than any other drivetrain currently available for the Renegade. The most powerful non-hybrid version is the U.S.-spec crossover fitted with the 2.4-liter Tigershark engine that cranks out 180 horsepower, so the least powerful hybrid comes with an extra ten horses.

2019 Jeep Renegade Hybrid
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The 240-horsepower version is also the quickest Renegade yet, as it needs around seven seconds to hit 62 mph from a standing start.

The new all-wheel-drive system, called eAWD, features a dedicated electric motor at the rear axle

But what about range? Well, Jeep didn’t release combined ratings yet but did say that the SUV can travel for up to 31 miles on electric power alone. In this setup, top speed is limited to 81 mph, a notable decrease from the Renegade’s 120+ mph rating.

On top of being more efficient, the Renegade Hybrid also emits less carbon dioxide. While the 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine is rated at 144 grams per km on its own, the electric motor reduces that figure to only 50 grams per km.

2019 Jeep Renegade Hybrid
- image 828891

Jeep says that electrification improves the Renegade’s off-road capability as well. But that’s not only because the electric motor adds extra torque. The new drivetrain layout also has the ability to transfer torque with more precision, while the new all-wheel-drive system, called eAWD, features a dedicated electric motor at the rear axle instead of a prop shaft. This setup allows the two axles to control torque in a more effective way than a mechanical system, so the Renegade Hybrid should climb rocks easier than its gasoline and diesel counterparts.

2018 Jeep Renegade - Drivetrain Specifications

Type and Description In-line four-cylinder, liquid-cooled, turbocharged In-line four-cylinder, 16-valve MultiAir with multiport fuel injection
Displacement 83.48 cu. in. (1,368 cu. cm) 144 cu. in. (2,360 cc)
Bore x Stroke 2.83 x 3.31 in. (72.0 x 84.0 mm) 88x97
Valve System Belt-driven, MultiAir, SOHC, 16 valves, hydraulic end-pivot roller rockers SOHC, four valves per cylinder
Fuel Injection Sequential, multiport, electronic, returnless Sequential, multiport, electronic, returnless
Construction Cast-iron block with aluminum-alloy head and aluminum-alloy bedplate Aluminum block, aluminum cylinder head
Compression Ratio 9.8:1 10:1
Power (SAE) 160 hp (119 kW) @ 5,500 rpm 184 hp (137 kW) @ 6,400 rpm
Torque (SAE) 170 lb.-ft. (230 N•m) @ 2,500-4,000 rpm 177 lb.-ft. (236 N•m) @ 4,400 rpm
Max. Engine Speed 6,500 rpm (electronically limited) 6,500 rpm
Fuel Requirement 87 octane (R+M)/2 acceptable
91 octane recommended
Unleaded regular, 87 octane
Oil Capacity 4.0 qt. (3.8 liter) with dry filter 5.5 qt. (5.2 liter) (total)
Coolant Capacity 5.5 qt. (5.2 liter) 6.8 qt. (6.45 liter)

2019 Jeep Renegade Hybrid Pricing

2019 Jeep Renegade Hybrid
- image 828876

Jeep has yet to release pricing information for the Renegade Hybrid, but it should be among the most expensive versions of the small SUV. The Hybrid model will probably retail for as much as the range-topping Renegade Trailhawk, priced from $27,095 in the United States. In the United Kingdom, the Renegade Hybrid will probably cost at least £30,000 before options.

2019 Jeep Renegade Hybrid Competition

Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid

2017 Kia Niro High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 665038

Introduced in 2016, the Kia Niro spawned a plug-in hybrid version in 2018. Similar to the Renegade as far as dimensions and features go, the Niro is a bit more stylish, so it may be more appealing if you’re into cars rather than crossovers. Its hybrid drivetrain also pairs a four-cylinder engine and an electric motor, but the gas mill is slightly larger at 1.6 liters. The engine cranks out 104 horsepower and 109 pound-feet of torque, while the electric motor adds 43 horses and 125 pound-feet of twist. Total output is rated at 139 horsepower and 195 pound-feet, significantly less than the Renegade. On top of being less powerful, the Niro PHEV also lacks the off-road potency of the Renegade Hybrid. U.S. pricing for this vehicle starts from $28,500.

Read our full review of the 2019 Kia Niro.

Toyota C-HR

2018 Toyota C-HR
- image 696860

Toyota’s smallest crossover yet, the C-HR is arguably the coolest looking vehicle in this comparison. Sporting angular and aggressive lines, the C-HR manages to stay away from the usually boring design language that plagues most Toyotas. It’s just as wild for the subcompact SUV segment as the Honda Civic Type-R is for the hatchback market. But even though it may look menacing, the C-HR is pretty bland under the hood. Powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder and an electric motor, the C-HR hits the street with only 122 horsepower and 105 pound-feet of torque, less than the Kia Niro. The sprint to 62 mph takes 11 seconds, four more than the Renegade Hybrid. Needless to say, the C-HR also lacks the Jeep’s off-road capability, so this Toyota is actually more of a daily city driver than an adventurer’s crossover. The C-HR is not available in the United States as of April 2019.

Read our full story on the 2019 Toyota C-HR.

Final Thoughts

2019 Jeep Renegade Hybrid
- image 828885

The Renegade Hybrid is big news for Jeep, a company known for its traditional approach to SUVs. Alongside the Compass Hybrid, it signals the brand’s entry in the hybrid market and previews a big electrification effort that will eventually include important nameplates such as the Wrangler and Cherokee. Jeep’s decision to electrify the Renegade is inspired when it comes to market positioning as well. The subcompact SUV segment includes only a couple of hybrids in 2019 so Jeep may benefit if things take off in the following years. What’s more, the Renegade lands at the top of the market when it comes to power and off-road capability, so it’s pretty much a unique offering when compared to the Kia Niro and the Toyota C-HR.

  • Leave it
    • Looks too much like the standard Renegade
    • Likely a bit expensive

Further reading

2015 Jeep Renegade High Resolution Exterior
- image 544583

Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Renegade.

Jeep Compass Plug-in Hybrid Debuts in Geneva with 31-mile EV range High Resolution
- image 827846

Read our full review on the 2019 Jeep Compass Hybrid.

Preview of the new Jeep® Renegade and Jeep Compass with plug-in hybrid electric technology
New PHEV technology enhances the Jeep off-road performance taking advantage of the high torque control during take-off
The combined action of the two propulsion systems delivers up to 240 hp
Both Jeep SUVs feature batteries which can be recharged by the internal combustion engine or by the plug-in charging cable
The evolution of the Jeep brand in Europe continues and stays true to its core values of freedom, authenticity, adventure and passion

The Jeep® brand continues to surprise audiences at this year’s Geneva International Motor Show.

After setting a new global sales record in 2018, the Jeep brand welcomes 2019 as the year of an evolution that remains true to those core values that have been at the heart of the brand for almost eighty years. The Jeep brand has always pioneered new segments and new technologies: its legend started in 1941 with the Willys-Overland, the first 4x4 vehicle, followed in 1946 by the Willys Wagon, which first introduced the concept of the Sport Utility Vehicle. Its legendary reputation for off-road capability has lasted ever since. Comfort, handling and connectivity have been increased over time, in parallel with the all-terrain performance of Jeep SUVs. Today, the Jeep brand is making another major evolutionary step towards respecting the environment and reducing the total cost of ownership by presenting its new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) models. A no-compromise hybrid solution, which integrates the unmatched technical layout of each Jeep SUV, will power both the Jeep Renegade and Jeep Compass and will turn them into vehicles that provide absolute freedom while taking their capability to the next level through some of the most advanced eco-friendly technology.

New Renegade and Compass PHEV: power and range

In the spotlight at the Jeep stand in Geneva, these new plug-in hybrid models are equipped with batteries that are rechargeable from an external power outlet and, as a consequence, can store more electric energy. This choice allows for the use of more powerful electric motors, which translate into a pure electric range of approximately 50 kilometers and about 130 km/h full electric top speed for both Renegade and Compass.

The electric units work in synergy with the new 1.3-litre turbo petrol engine to increase efficiency and power overall. For the Renegade, the power sits in the 190 and 240 hp range resulting in outstanding on-road performance: 0-100 km/h is reached in approximately seven seconds. The same figures - although still pending homologation - are achieved by the first plug-in hybrid Compass. Also, on the Compass, the simultaneous action of the internal combustion engine (ICE) and the electric motor delivers up to 240 hp of maximum power.

In addition, the new Jeep SUVs with plug-in hybrid technology are more fun to drive courtesy of improved acceleration and fast engine response. They are also extremely quiet and respectful of the environment with CO2 emissions lower than 50 g/km.

But above all, thanks to electrification, the Jeep range further improves its legendary off-road capability, courtesy of the greater torque offered by the electric motor and the ability to adjust it with extreme precision during take-off and while driving on the most challenging terrain, where a very low transmission ratio is needed.

Thanks to the new electric all-wheel-drive technology (eAWD), traction to the rear axle is not provided by a prop shaft but through a dedicated electric motor. This allows the two axles to be separated and to control the torque independently in a more effective way than a mechanical system.

Renegade and Compass PHEVs feature a dedicated instrument cluster and infotainment screen, updated in order to help the customer with information related to daily hybrid driving.

While being loyal to its mindset of overcoming any limit, the Jeep brand continues to evolve, to develop and to bring its SUVs to the next level in line with its core values of freedom, authenticity and passion. Today the brand is embracing a new challenge and setting new standards. Behind the wheel of Jeep Renegade and Jeep Compass featuring PHEV technology, driving fun becomes efficient and, for the first time, it will be possible to tackle the most extreme off-road trails not only in the utmost safety but also while listening to the sounds of nature.

Turin, 5 March 2019

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