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The Top Gear car review:Jeep Renegade
On the inside
Layout, finish and space
Hope you like twee motifs. There’s Jeep grille cartoons stamped all over the place in here, though fortunately the vomit-worthy ‘Since 1941’ legend from the Cherokee has been omitted. Jeep’s also deleted the ‘mud splat’ rev counter for a tradition redline, presumably because the tardy engine performance will remind you of a different brown splatter.
The vertical façade of dashboard means the climate controls are a long way out of your eyeline, though they’re large and chunky which helps with operation. The touchscreen itself is depended on for all infotainment functions (and can control the HVAC too) but what it’s gained in sharp graphics and fast nav performance it loses in complication. Trying to operate this finicky and overdetailed interface while static, let alone on a European road (or on a trail) requires the patience of a bomb disposal expert’s surgeon.
Jeep’s helpfully rearranged some of the mode switchgear lower down the cabin for greater storage space for the 2018 refresh, and the materials remain the best that Jeep offers – including the Grand Cherokee. Plastics feel plush and robust and there’s little in the way of scratchy finishes or sharp edges. It’s certainly a more premium cabin than the Fiat 500X, on which the Renegade is based (though Jeep doesn’t like to shout about it – can’t think why).
As you’d expect with such a boxy sit-up-and-beg shape, but a relatively short wheelbase, head-room and shoulder-room are more than adequate but taller rear passengers will quickly butt up against a lack of knee-room in the rear. The boot is 351 litres, 1,297 with the seats down.