Parkers overall rating: 2.8 out of 5 2.8
  • Rugged interior for Jeep authenticity
  • Perhaps too rugged for some
  • Some switchgear feels cheap

How is the quality and layout?

Not bad, although Jeep has been quite liberal with the black plastic in the cabin. Acres of the stuff fill the gap from windscreen to passengers – and it’s lifted only by some bold painted inserts on the vents and speakers on some trims. Some of the plastics lower down in the cabin feel scratchy too, which can be forgiven on the cheaper models, but they make the top of the range 4xe plug-in hybrid feel unfinished.

This is nit-picking on a car that, overall, offers intuitive controls and ergonomics – but given Jeep’s brand equity, more attention to detail is needed in these areas to avoid disappointment. It takes more than a hidden Jeep grille Easter egg to make a substantial, relatable car that builds customer loyalty, after all.

To complement the new e-Hybrid powertrain, Jeep has also launched a new Upland trim-level. Normally, we wouldn’t delve too deeply into the specifics of each model, but this one merits discussion. Jeep says it’s eco-friendly – the seat upholstery is made from recycled plastic that was fished out of the Mediterranean Sea, while the interior plastics are finished in a paint that’s less damaging to the environment.

Infotainment and technology

One thing that is consistent across Jeep’s vehicles is the Uconnect infotainment system. In the Renegade it’s housed in an 8.4-inch screen and retains hardware controls (and Jeep’s unusual, but intuitive once learned, back-of-the-steering-wheel buttons). It offers a fairly good sat-nav, and Apple CarPlay or Android Auto as well so you probably won’t use it.

All Jeep Renegades now feature dual-zone climate control, but you need to go to the middle of the range (for 2022, the Latitude) to get heated seats and steering wheel. They also include connected services – in this case including some remote control features such as locking the car from your smart phone. It’s an above-average package for the price, but you do need to pay extra to get the Kenwood sound system to match the Renegade’s attitude.

Comfort

  • Seats supportive for most, but low-backed
  • Looks more cramped than it is
  • Rear passengers sit very upright

This Jeep is based on a platform called ‘Small-Wide’, and it really shows in the interior room as well as the exterior stance. The front seats are broad but not tall, and initially feel very supportive, making use of a good range of adjustment and fairly large footwells to create a good driving position for most drivers. However, on a long journey the firm foam can be fatiguing.

Good ventilation and light, easy controls help alleviate long journeys – but it’s clear that the Renegade’s home is in towns and cities, where ease of access for front and rear occupants is more of a priority than cossetting seats. Again, this is where the 4xe has the advantage – it can be remotely pre-heated for extra convenience, ideal for winter commuting.

Rear passengers get a good view out, but that’s partly because they’re sat bolt upright. With a flat, equally firm base, the back seat of the Jeep Renegade is best described as ‘functional’ – it’ll do the job, but expect complaints on long journeys. To be fair, you’ll probably appreciate the break yourself.