Spring break was not as good as it was hyped up to be. As my plans to hang with friends inevitably fell through, I was even more disappointed when my plans to drive something remotely interesting to write about followed that same trend. The Metropolitan was still put away for the winter, and there was no way on God’s green earth the nearby Maserati dealership would let a moron like me test drive the Porsche GT3 in their showcase. I had to think of something fast.
Lo and behold, a task that required me to drive my mother’s new Jeep Renegade appeared. It wasn’t nearly what I was looking for, but I suppose that’s what you get when you don’t plan any alternatives. I wasn’t exactly in the position to be a choosey beggar, so I went with it. It’s relevant enough; the subcompact SUV craze has spread across the world with the proliferation to rival that of the plague. So I’ll be timely and sensible for a change.
After dealing with a horrendous problem that involved a Chevy Equinox with a thirst for oil that would give Dubai night terrors, my mom finally had enough and decided to buy another SUV. The SUV in question, a 2017 Jeep Renegade, is the smallest vehicle in Jeep’s lineup. It’s built in Milan with it’s platform companion, the Fiat 500x, and I think it looks the part. Jeep’s design language of solidity and purpose is easily found here, with the addition of some Italian drama. It’s a rather stylish vehicle. That being said, it’s easy to look stylish when one of your closest competitors is the Nissan Juke.
I was tasked with effectively being a chauffer for my Nana, a job that would accurately outline the duty cycle of a subcompact SUV like the Renegade. Since the Renegade is also a Jeep, the sprawling network of rubble and traffic cones that is the PA road system would serve as a perfect test of the SUV’s off-road capability.
Overall, the Renegade is a pleasant, fun, little SUV. Because it’s so small, the Jeep maneuvered through the tighter town streets without worry. The visibility is very good; apart from the high seating position that comes with being an SUV, the Renegade’s windows are wide and boxy. This, paired with the clear back-up camera, made street parking a breeze.
As for the ride, the Jeep was composed through the largest potholes, without a single complaint from me or my Nana. The largest disturbance in the ride came mostly from the transmission; hit the gas too quickly and the downshifts feel abrupt and distressed. This shouldn’t be a problem, since you shouldn’t be doing such obnoxious things with your nana in the car anyways.
The only major complaint I had was the storage space.