UPDATE: Jeep’s official microsite is online!
This week, the auto world was thrown into a tizzy over Jeep’s latest salvo in bringing more fuel-efficient vehicles to the fleet. This of course, is mostly to offset the MPGs of their core vehicles (Wrangler and Grand Cherokee), but also aims to make the Jeep brand more appealing to a larger audience.
When Jeep (a.k.a. Chrysler, a.k.a. Fiat) introduced the new Cherokee, I feel they missed the mark. But most of that was simply because they blew the Cherokee heritage. Had they called it something else (maybe something patriotic like the “Justice” or “Freedom” to match the “Liberty” already in their line up #sarcasm), I am sure the reception would have been warmer.
As you may know, federal fuel economy standards continue to force car manufacturers to introduce smaller and lighter vehicles to their fleets. The average of the vehicles they sell needs to be below certain mileage figures. Jeep can no longer offer only the rugged, burly vehicles they have been known for – so they must innovate and “dilute” the brand as many feel they have been doing since the JK.
But this little Renegade is establishing its own heritage. So we can now set our own expectations and understanding of this little vehicle.
And, for some reason, I cannot stop looking at it! I have visions of running this little grocery-getter around town, to the ski hill, or even to the coast while my 15 MPG Wrangler waits for the trails of Moab and TSF.
In my opinion, for the Renegade to succeed, the mileage will need to be pretty damn impressive, to help set everyone’s expectations. Make it fun (ala a removeable roof that is being rumoured), make it inexpensive, and make it a gas sipper. That will be the formula for success.
Now I just need to figure out if I want to keep my Renegade decals on my Wrangler!
What do you think about the new Renegade?