2022 Jeep Renegade Pros Vs Cons. Should You Buy?
Versatility is likely what will draw people into buying the new 2022 Jeep Renegade. Is the Renegade the most cost-effective SUV out there? Nope. Is it the most fuel-efficient? Nah, probably somewhat far from it. Is it the swiftest on the road? Unlikely. But it shows a lot of agility while handling, especially if you get the off-road oriented Trailhawk trim level. The tech features included in the Renegade are user-friendly, which makes for a short learning curve - something you won't find in some of the Jeep's top competitors. Could the Renegade be your next big purchase? Should it be? Read on to learn what is new for 2022, what there is to like about the Renegade, what you might not like so much, and how it stacks up to a few top contenders in its segment.
What's New for 2022?
A few major changes have been made to the 2022 Jeep Renegade. First and foremost, the 2.4-L 4-cylinder engine is no longer available to buy. Also, the trim level line-up has been pared down to just the Sport, Latitude, Limited, and Trailhawk. The Jeepster, Upland, Freedom, and Islander are no longer available on the Jeep Renegade. But, other than that, everything else carries over from the 2021 line-up.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2022 Jeep Renegade – The Pros
1. The Trailhawk's Off-roading Capabilities
The most popular trim level for the 2022 Jeep Renegade is undoubtedly the line-topping Trailhawk. Sure, the Sport is the most affordable, but the Trailhawk's off-roading prowess makes it worth the cost to upgrade. It is infinitely more fun to drive than any other trim level. All-terrain tires grace the 17-inch wheels, and there are unique interior and exterior accents. But what makes the Trailhawk shine are its raised suspension, hill descent control, underbody skid plates, and front and rear tow hooks - all things you will want from an off-roader.
2. Secure Steering and Handling Performances
Steering and handling are the highlights of the Renegade's driving performance, which is otherwise somewhat disappointing. Steering provides ample feedback to the driver, and the handling feels secure while rounding through turns. This SUV is easy enough to park, even in a tight, cramped parking spot. Maneuverability isn't an issue here.
3. A Climate Control System That Works Well
Whether you need to crank it up to a sensible 74 degrees or turn things down to 68 to keep everyone cool enough, the climate control system is quick to heat or cool the vehicle. And, for the most part, the system does a good job of maintaining the set temperature. Additionally, the models with heated seats and a heated steering wheel feel quite pleasant on cooler days.
4. A Spacious Cabin
The 2022 Renegade's cabin feels quite spacious, especially up front. There should be more than enough room for all heads and shoulders regardless of where you are sitting. You can even scrunch a smaller adult into the middle seat in the back, although leg room is somewhat tight for this segment. Still, even getting the panoramic sunroof installed as an optional feature won't cut off too much room for your head.
5. Ease of Entry and Exit
Accessing the vehicle is really quite simple thanks to the wide door openings. You just open the door and slide in given the appropriateness of the ride height. You won't have to duck down or worry about smacking your head as you do so. The doors have a boxy shape to them, which definitely helps with getting in and out when you're parked in a cramped spot.
6. Controls That Are User-friendly
Jeep knows how to deliver on user-friendly layouts, and the controls are certainly easy to understand and access in the Renegade. The labels are all clear, and everything is kept within the driver's reach. Even if you have smartphone app integration going, the major menus found along the bottom of the Uconnect's touchscreen interface are easy to see and scroll through as needed.
7. The User-oriented Uconnect Infotainment System
Speaking of the Uconnect, this system is known for being one of the best in its class. The menu is clean and easy to read. The 8.4-inch touchscreen display has a high resolution that yields crisp, clear graphics. And, of course, you get the benefit of having standard smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
8. An Abundance of Functional Driver Aids
The Jeep Renegade is loaded up with driver aids, most of which work pretty well. Standard equipment includes trailer sway damping, lane departure mitigation, forward collision mitigation (although this is strangely left off of the Trailhawk trim level), and rear cross-traffic alert with the blind spot monitoring system. The Luxury Group, which becomes an option starting on the Limited trim, gives the Renegade LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, rear automatic braking, rear parking sensors, and an automated parking system.
9. Ease of Cargo Loading
While the cargo space is somewhat limited, loading up your cargo is fairly simple. The load floor is flat and low enough. And, given the boxy nature of the Renegade, you can find some creative ways to stack your bulkier cargo items.
10. A Few Good Package Options For the Trailhawk
The Trailhawk does come with a few of its own package options. Its Luxury Group package equips LED headlights and leather seats, and the Sun and Sound Group will give it a nine-speaker Kenwood sound system and the panoramic sunroof. The Trailer Tow Group equips the Trailhawk with a Class III towing hitch and four-pin wiring harness. This latter package is one that outdoor enthusiasts will be interested in if they want to tow some of their off-roading "toys".
Reasons Not to Buy a 2022 Jeep Renegade – The Cons
1. A Mushy Brake Pedal
The 2022 Jeep Renegade suffers from some seriously squishy brakes that just don't feel secure enough when you have to come to a panic stop. In fact, a panic stop from 60 mph takes 135 feet, which is quite long for this segment.
2. Sluggish Acceleration
Another aspect of the driving performance that suffers is the Renegade's acceleration. The engine just doesn't give enough 'oomph' to get this SUV up and moving. It takes the Renegade about 9.3 seconds to get from 0 to 60 mph, which is slower than average for this segment. At least you get some seamless starts from the engine stop-start feature in traffic.
3. An Overly Firm Ride Quality
The Renegade's suspension feels ultimately too stiff for the liking. You will feel a lot of bumps and jarring motions as you roll over imperfections in the road surface. If you get the 19-inch wheels equipped, this will likely play a big role in why the ride quality feels too firm and jarring.
4. Poor Fuel Economy
Our last big gripe with the 2022 Jeep Renegade is its lackluster fuel economy. EPA estimated for the four-wheel drive, 1.3-L engine configuration is 26 mpg in combined driving. However, real world testing reveals that it gets more like 24 mpg combined. Given that most other vehicles in this segment meet or exceed their EPA estimates, this is somewhat alarming.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition:
2022 Jeep Renegade vs. 2022 Honda HR-V
One of the Renegade's toughest competitors is the 2022 Honda HR-V. The HR-V is priced to compete and offers spacious seating and a versatile cargo area that helps you maximize your storage space back there. Outward visibility is superbly clear all around, and the HR-V achieves better-than-average fuel economy. However, its engine lacks when it comes to acceleration, and it will create a fair amount of noise and vibrations. The HR-V's touchscreen display has menus that can be difficult to sift through, plus there just aren't as many contemporary tech features as you will find in many of its rivals.
2022 Jeep Renegade vs. 2022 Volkswagen Taos
The 2022 Volkswagen Taos is another strong contender in this segment, and this is due in large part to its slew of functional tech gadgetry and massive amount of cargo space for such a small SUV. On top of that, the Taos has a smooth, quiet ride quality and a comfortable and accessible interior design. The downsides? There aren't many, but the Taos does suffer from road and engine noise that you will hear when cruising along on the highway. Also, the transmission is frustratingly slow on the downshift.
The 2022 Jeep Renegade is something of a mixed bag. While we have to commend Jeep for their user-friendly tech and layout and sharp steering and handling capabilities, the drawbacks almost outweigh the positives. A lackluster fuel economy, underpowered engine, and squishy brakes make the Renegade a somewhat unpleasant ride.