Jeep’s New Renegade is far from a concept

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.

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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.

The Renegade interior is stylish and relevant.
The Renegade interior is stylish and relevant.

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.

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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?

4 thoughts on “Jeep’s New Renegade is far from a concept”

  1. The problem with Renegade is that it’s not exactly an off-road vehicle and not exactly a road vehicle, it’s a mix of Grand Cherokee and Wrangler.. and let’s be honest here, it doesn’t look as good as other Jeep models.

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    1. Doug – I hear ya. But the Jeep brand has long been “diluted” with entries such as the Compass, Patriot, and of course the new Cherokee.

      At the same time, the more vehicles Jeep can sell that shore up interest, drive up the average fuel economy, and make it a financially viable brand, the better. An automaker cannot live off the Wrangler and GC anymore…

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