YOU KNOW THE type - people who can get by on their looks alone. Jeep’s Renegade is a bit like that, too. This facelifted update includes a design nip and tuck to keep the crossover in line with the new Wrangler, and the engine range has been revised, most significantly with the arrival of a 1.0-litre boosted triple.
It’s one of two fresh petrol engines and the one that fits the suburbanite character the best. It’s perky, with a familiar gargly engine note, and it’s coupled with a meaty six-speed manual ’box. It’s not quick, but most Renegades won’t ever be asked to go fast. Whichever engine you choose, avoid the DDCT (Jeep’s Dual Dry Clutch Transmission); the shifts themselves might be buttery smooth but the reaction to throttle inputs is almost glacial when going for an overtake.
At a motorway cruise, expect plentiful wind noise due to the blocky shape, and swerve the 18s to avoid a jittery ride. The steering is initially darty on turn-in but it fades into synthetic resistance the more lock you put on. Ask the Renegade to get a move on and it will soon tilt like the leaning tower of Pisa.
There’s plenty of that old charm inside, and new equipment. The 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system - fitted to higher-end models or available as an option on others - has a pleasing clarity and is very easy to use.
For a compact car, the Renegade offers near van-like space, and the driving position to match. Headroom is enough to get Carmen Miranda complete with fruit-basket hat in here, and there are plenty of useful cubbies. JAKE GROVES
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