Jeep cars are an institution. The brand dates back to 1941 where the all-road vehicles were produced for military purposes in America, specifically for World War II. The end of the war saw the beginning of Jeep manufacturing cars for civilian use and they quickly became a popular option. They’re known for their distinct silhouettes and ability to traverse even the roughest of terrains with ease. Another thing they’re known for is the ‘Jeep Wave’, which is where Jeep drivers have to wave to each other when they drive past each other on the road – even if they’re total strangers! Keen to see how pervasive this phenomenon is, we took a Jeep Renegade out for a week to see how the car drove, and to see how many waves we received.The Renegade is fairly new to the Australian market, released in late 2015. It’s a small SUV designed more for the urban environment than it is for bush bashing – though it certainly has the capabilities to do that too. The car has a really unique look, even in comparison to other Jeep models, however it still retains the classic Jeep grille so there’s no mistaking it for anything else. It sits somewhere between the iconic Wrangler and Grand Cherokee, but is more boxy and compact. I think they really nailed its design, having made it something geared more to everyday city driving.
The car’s interior is impressive as well. I was driving the Renegade Limited, which is the second highest in the range, and it featured premium leather seats plus a well set out dashboard. I drove the car from Sydney to Canberra one weekend so the 6.5 inch touchscreen and built-in sat nav was highly useful. The Bluetooth and voice command features also came in really handy since I could easily, and more importantly, safely answer or make phone calls while driving. The car’s 9-speaker BeatsAudio system sounded fantastic, especially on the long Sydney to Canberra drive.
The drive itself is surprisingly light considering the size of the car. It moves nicely in compact inner-city streets and the rear park assist feature is highly appreciated, since it makes parking so much easier. The car’s 6-Speed Dual Clutch Automatic Transmission was really smooth and I could feel the comfortable impact it had on the drive.
When my time with the Renegade came to an end, I was a little sad to have to hand it back. The car itself performed really nicely, delivering a smooth and enjoyable driving experience. It would make for a great choice if you’re after a small SUV that can handle city streets really well but with an off-road look.