Herald Sun - Motoring - - Head To Head -


The Rene­gade isn’t due here un­til Oc­to­ber so de­tails like price and spec­i­fi­ca­tion have yet to be set. Australia is un­likely to take the base head unit, which has just a ra­dio dis­play and so does with­out a re­vers­ing cam­era. In Limited guise, ex­pect a 6.5-inch touch­screen, rain-sens­ing wipers, leather-trimmed seats and heated front seats.


Sold with a 1.4-litre turbo en­gine or nat­u­rally as­pi­rated 2.4-litre. The turbo is the pick for en­thu­si­asts, while the 2.4 does the job with less fuss. Both have yet to be of­fi­cially rated for fuel use but did about 8.0L/100km dur­ing the in­ter­na­tional launch last month. The nine-speed auto shifts early and of­ten and you won’t see much of eighth and ninth gear in nor­mal driv­ing. Australia is not (yet) tak­ing a diesel en­gine.


Out­door adventure was used to in­spire the in­te­rior, from the coloured metal bezels around the vents and speak­ers to “Easter egg” Jeep mo­tifs in the cabin. Vi­sion and in­te­rior room are good and the lat­est Ucon­nect in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem is a step up on the norm in this class. Ex­ter­nally the Rene­gade is be­ing pitched as a Wran­gler homage, with round head­lamps, square, seven-slot grille and re­mov­able MySky roof pan­els.


The Rene­gade cedes an airbag to the Skoda but is still has five stars and Jeep says it has the high­est per­cent­age of high-ten­sile steel of any ve­hi­cle in its line-up. It can also be op­tioned with the likes of au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing, adap­tive cruise con­trol, blindspot and lane de­par­ture alerts and more.


Firm sus­pen­sion keeps it from rolling through cor­ners. The fre­quency se­lec­tive dampers quell sec­ondary jostling and make the Jeep a com­fort­able place to play. AWD and 200mm of wheel ar­tic­u­la­tion make it an im­pres­sive off-roader. Driv­ing po­si­tion is re­laxed and elec­tric steer­ing feels solid un­der the palms.

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