SMALL JEEP AIMS FOR BIG SALES IN SA
TRENT Barcroft, CEO and MD of Chrysler and Jeep in South Africa is a happy man.
His division finally took delivery of the Jeep brand’s smallest vehicle yet, the Renegade.
While built in Italy on a platform shared with the Fiat 500, Barcroft stressed the little crossover ute was designed by Jeep to extend the brand’s domination to new buyers in urban areas.
With just over 17 cm of road clearance, even the 4x2 version, which was launched on Tuesday is comfortable on rough dirt roads, as Jeep showed.
The first Renegade in SA will be powered by the 103 kW version of Fiat’s 1,4-litre MultiAir II Turbo petrol engine, which is in the same class as Volkswagen’s 1,4 with 230 Nm from at 1 750 rpm, mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.
An all-wheel drive and a ninespeed autobox will arrive in September and makes about as much with stop/start featuring a six-speed manual transmission and 4x2 configuration.
Jeep’s boss in South Africa likened the brand to Africa, a continent which he says can grab your soul. He told Wheels Jeep had basically invented the 4x4 over 74 years ago and all the vehicles in the brand still give their drivers the freedom to get adventurous in their spare time.
While exploring rough roads in this spare time, Renegade drivers won’t feel the knocks so much, as the little Jeep is the first model behind the seven-grill bar to use Koni’s frequency selective damping that filters out vibrations from uneven road surfaces. Six airbags, ESC with Electronic Rollover Mitigation are standard.
A five-inch touchscreen links with Bluetooth to smartphones, and have voice-command control of the AM/FM radio. An auxiliary jack and USB port also enable recharging and seamless operation of portable devices.
Pricing for the Jeep Renegade 1.4L Limited starts at R375 990 and includes a standard threeyear/100 000 km warranty and class leading six-year/100 000 km maintenance plan.
The first 500 Renegades now available at dealers in SA come with optional sat nav and bigger wheels with chrome finish as standard. Jeep in Pietermaritzburg say they have already had calls inquiring after the Renegade, and a model is ready for test drives from today.
Trent Barcroft, CEO and MD of Jeep SA, in front of an artist’s impression of the Jeep Renegade, now on sale in SA.