One thing you have to let the jeep managers do: if they do something, then consistently. First, they take a lot of time to electrify their US climbers, but then they mercilessly pull them through. With Renegade and Compass, two bestsellers from the Fiat Chrysler subsidiary now have a plug-in hybrid drive.
If you want to have a 4×4 Renegade or Compass in the future, you have to use the electrified model. Everyone else has “only” front-wheel drive. Although this does not correspond to the basic idea of the “I dig my way through” brand, it makes economic sense: mechanical all-wheel drive drives up the price and the electric motor in the back is half the battle to drive both axles.
43 kilometers electric
The 11.4 kWh battery is to drive the 1,770 kg Jeep Renegade fully electrically up to 43 kilometers and then allows 130 km / h. Commercial electrical food. The 44 kW (60 hp) electric motor is supplemented by the 1.3 liter four-cylinder petrol engine with 130 or 180 hp, which results in a total of 190 or 240 hp. With the latter, the Renegade sprints from 0 to 100 km / h in 7.1 seconds and speeds up to 199 km / h – with a nominal fuel consumption of 2.3 l / 100 km, which (typical for plug-in hybrids) remains unreachable . On our first test drive, we are around four liters higher, but brisk and on winding mountain roads.
Purely electric rear-wheel drive
If you have been seated in seats with little lateral support and a short leg rest, you can configure driving modes and terrain settings individually. In hybrid mode (standard when restarting), the petrol engine helps the electric motor. If you select «Electric», only the rear axle is active. With «E-Save» the battery charge is kept or it is charged up to 80 percent. So that the desire to press the button never wanes, the Italians have not linked the stronger recuperation mode with the machine lever as usual, but installed a control panel. However, the delay does not allow “one-pedal driving”. “Efficiency contradicts subjective perception,” explains chief driver Francesco Cimmino.
Hybrid lau, Sport wow
In the standard hybrid program, the Renegade is not very spirited even with the more powerful petrol engine. If you press the gas, the gasoline engine howls, but little happens. But if you turn the control to “Sport”, the Italo-Jeep gets snappier. Then the traction control gives the rear more leeway and the transmission is noticeably more direct. Now the driver gets the performance – and fun. Despite the extra weight of 200 kilos compared to the conventional Renegade models, this is not bought with a hard suspension.
The infotainment has been improved. An app helps you find the charging point, control the flow of electricity and air-conditioning while charging. If you charge with three kilowatts, the battery will be full after three and a half hours. At 7.4 kW, it only takes around 100 minutes. Everything in the vehicle is controlled via the 8.4-inch touchscreen. Its graphics are not the most modern, but the navigation system reliably leads to the destination. As a test, we connect our iPhone: Apple Car Play works without any problems.
The new Jeep Renegade 4xe can now be ordered from dealers. Prices start at CHF 39,900.