2016 Jeep Renegade Limited 4×4 review: Intrigued, amused and impressed

2017 Jeep Renegade Limited 4x4

The 2016 Jeep Renegade Limited 4×4 has a silver grille to set it apart for lesser Renegades.

Naturally, the Jeep Renegade’s rear seatbacks fold forward to increase cargo capacity, but even with a false floor at the rear, the folded seatbacks don’t make a flat load floor. The space under the rear floor can be used for additional storage, or a place to keep the roof panels of the optional dual panel sunroof. For the lower two trim levels the panels just lift out, but on upper levels, the sunroof adds My Sky, with a power-vent-and-slide front panel as part of the dual manual removable panels. You get a storage bag that goes with that top as well.

From the outside, the Renegade Limited has its own 18-inch wheels and the grille is “Silver Metallic” with chrome slot surrounds to differentiate it from other Renegades. The Limited is also the only Renegade with 18-inch wheels. The Trailhawk has 17-inch wheels with fatter tires for more grip and less chance of bending a rim going over rocks and logs and other off-road obstacles.

One feature useful in dark areas with sharp turns is the cornering front fog lamps to illuminate turns at slow speeds. We’ve seen slow-speed cornering lights on just a few other vehicles, such as the Ford Escape Titanium, but not more expensive models. Why not, car manufacturers?

2017 Jeep Renegade Limited 4x4

The steep windshield of the 2016 Jeep Renegade gives the impression from the inside that it’s far away.

Despite its Italian origin and high-tech direct fuel injection system capable of variably timed fuel squirts, the 2.4-liter four is not a paragon of smooth, and in fact is rather harsh. It detracts from the Jeep Renegade experience, unless you take it as an endearing trait that goes along with its bulldog appearance.

The nine-speed automatic is unobtrusive and can be manually shifted for slow-going on and off road. Our test 2016 Jeep Renegade Limited came with the optional full-time all-wheel drive system, plus the also-optional Selec-Terrain system with four traction control settings: Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud.

The Selec-Terrain system, controlled by a knob at the bottom of the center stack, has an additional mode on Trailhawk models which adds Rock mode with hill-descent control. The Snow setting, which we had the opportunity to use, among other changes locks the center differential to positively link the front and rear axles together to eliminate wheel spin between the two.

2017 Jeep Renegade Limited 4x4 cargo compartment

The 2016 Jeep Renegade Limited 4×4 cargo compartment has a false floor under its maid cargo area, but the seatbacks do not make a flat surface when folded.

Our test 2016 Renegade Limited included the Customer Preferred package which added $125 for the proximity-key door unlock and pushbutton start. Being able to drive without taking the key from your pocket will spoil you.