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Honda HR-V vs Jeep Renegade

1. Introduction

Honda’s HR-V is an entry-level crossover that offers both front and all-wheel-drive configurations. This vehicle has unusually high ground clearance and on-road tires, giving it more of a look and feel of an SUV. This can be defined as a vehicle that is neither a full-sized SUV, nor a small sedan but has characteristics of both. Unlike other subcompact cars offering two-wheel drive platforms, HR-V promises more capable off-road suspension and the option to purchase all-wheel drive with Intelligent Control System. This system can transfer torque to rear wheels when loss of traction is detected at the front wheels. A promising start for an AWD vehicle but in the end, will it live up to its claims? With sluggish acceleration and a 0-60 time of 9.7 seconds, HR-V’s 141 horsepower 1.8L 4-cylinder SOHC engine makes it a sluggish choice. AWD models are even heavier because of the added drivetrain. Step-mate options to the competitors would be Honda’s CR-V or Acura’s RDX which are certainly faster and more powerful vehicles. High points of HR-V are found in its claimed 28 mpg city and 35 mpg highway with the two-wheel drive 6-speed manual transmission model. These figures are quite high fuel economy for an SUV type vehicle and are certainly above average in the subcompact crossover segment. These figures comparing to the competition will certainly make HR-V more appealing. At the higher end EX-L w/ Navi trim, features include the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System and a 7-inch display audio touch-screen, and also a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Cost of HR-V ranges from $19,115-$25,840. Honda projects an image of safety for the occupants with the HR-V, claiming that it is anticipated to get the highest safety ratings from NHTSA and IIHS. With some features such as Honda LaneWatch and a Multi-Angle Rearview camera, we can see that Honda’s attention to safety is being well reflected on the HR-V and will certainly set the bar for safety in this vehicle segment. [1]

1.1. Overview of Honda HR-V

One of the main reasons a buyer would prefer an SUV to a sedan or compact car would be space, performance in weather conditions, or the ability to tow. According to a Car and Driver review of the HR-V and Renegade, Honda's AWD system is a huge advantage to the Renegade's. The HR-V has a built-in traction control system which is intelligent and is a front-wheel drive biased system. This means that power from the front wheels will be sent to the rear wheels when the car is starting on an incline or when the front wheels start to lose traction. Power from the rear wheels can also be forced to a front wheel if the rear wheels start to lose grip. The Renegade has a similar system, but only the higher-priced models of the Renegade carry it. This is because the HR-V offers only one type of AWD system and the price is only $1300 more expensive to the buyer compared to an equivalently equipped 2WD model. The AWD system is permanent and not engaged or disengaged, so the driver will not have to press any buttons or flip any switches. Step-in height to the vehicle is one inch taller in the HR-V and ground clearance is about the same for both at 7.8-8 inches. Step-in height is not a huge concern, but Honda's AWD system was ghosted thus far because of its superiority to the Renegade's. The HR-V can carry up to 1000 pounds of towing and the weight of the vehicle plus what is being towed must be calculated into effective weight on the vehicle – the Renegade can only tow up to 2000 pounds. Moving loads are more easily managed with more weight on the vehicle and the HR-V is built stronger as well, which is explained in the next section. All HR-Vs also feature Hill Start Assist and the HR-V can climb a greater grade according to a MotorTrend performance review. These features and greater towing power are important to buyers that reside in areas with tough winter conditions and it is where the HR-V excels over the Renegade in best utilization of its an SUV.

The first advantage of the HR-V is that it is more well known and respected in the United States currently. The 2015 WardsAuto database says that the HR-V is built in Celaya, Mexico while the Renegade is built in Melfi, Italy. More importantly, the WardsAuto database also shows that the HR-V sources more of its parts from the United States with only 18% of the vehicle coming from Japan. This means that less tariffs and duties will be necessary, making the HR-V cheaper to import. Conversely, 62% of the Jeep Renegade is being sourced from Italy. With new proposals coming from the Trump administration about placing a 20% tariff on imports and US goods sold abroad, the HR-V would be significantly less impacted. Reduced cost for importing means reduced cost to the customer and makes the HR-V a more affordable option. The reduced cost will likely mean the HR-V will carry a better resale value. The HR-V received a 5-year cost to own award from KBB comparing it to the Renegade. The HR-V starts at $20,265 while the Renegade is slightly more expensive at $20,714. Starting price is a very important factor for buying decisions, and the HR-V has the advantage there as well. Honda offers 6 different grades of the HR-V and even the top grade is less expensive at $26,720 than the Renegade which starts at $26,895. This increased amount of options means the HR-V can be much more customizable to the buyer's preference.

1.2. Overview of Jeep Renegade

FCA launched the all new Renegade in 2014 as a 2015 model. It was launched in Italy and was the first ever Jeep to be manufactured in Europe. The Renegade sits on a 101.2-inch wheelbase and stretches 166.6 inches in length. For the 2018 model year, Jeep added a 1.2L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine to the lineup. It produces 177 hp and 200 lb-ft of torque. This engine is only available with front-wheel drive. Jeep stuck with the 2.4 Tigershark 4-cylinder and the 4-cylinder diesel for the rest of the lineup. The Renegade is also available with a 9-speed automatic transmission. This unique car has proven to be a hit in the market. The Renegade starts at $18,445, making it extremely affordable. It has also recently been crash-tested for safety and received a high rating. This car is becoming ever so popular as it appeals to a younger audience with the attractive design and low price. Step inside and drive something quite interesting from "The Jeep Brand".

2. Exterior Design

Exterior design is one of the big selling points for both of these vehicles. The Honda HR-V is adorned with an aerodynamic body style which differentiates it from the rest of the Honda SUV line. It incurs the Honda Fit style with its rear door handle hidden to create a coupe appearance. 17-inch alloy wheels come standard on the HR-V. Honda's in-depth and considerate approach can be seen with the HR-V's exterior color options. Included are three metallic colors, all of which change with the light due to tiny flakes embedded in the paint, and two other standard colors. The colored mirrors and handles and the roofline spoiler add trendy styling cues to an already high-grade exterior design. The Jeep Renegade has a far more rugged and quirky approach to its exterior design. The Renegade attempts to capture the true essence of the Jeep brand by including several off-road styling cues to the small compact SUV. The Renegade includes a "My Sky" roof system, either removable or retractable. The panels provide open air freedom. The most intriguing feature of the Renegade is the dual options of a solid or 2-piece removable roof. The rear lights are a direct throwback styling cue to the boxy Cherokee, and the front lights also add a rugged demeanor to the vehicle. A special edition "Dawn of Justice" Renegade has been released to coincide with the Batman-Superman movie. This version of the Renegade includes unique 18-inch gloss black wheels, black accents, and an exclusive grey color.

2.1. Honda HR-V's exterior features

The front design of the HR-V itself, compared to other Honda models, gives the impression of being more aggressive and sporty. It can be seen from the design of the front grille and the use of a very futuristic headlamp. While at the front bumper, it looks simple but makes it look more elegant and is an extension of the headlamp. Seen from the side, the design is indeed so different from the others. A simple design on the HR-V, but it exudes its own elegance compared to others. Seen from the line on the side that is so firmly connected to the rear lights, it will also make the HR-V appear more macho from the rear. The appearance of the rear lights are futuristic models as well, using LED technology plus the addition of chrome accents that reinforce the premium side of the HR-V. [2]

Honda HR-V is undoubtedly in the crossover SUV segment. Precisely by the model that has received the HR-V, Honda provides an overview of the development of the CR-V. Considering at this time many automotive manufacturers are creating SUV, well this certainly gets an advantage for Honda, in particular, to gain a big market share from the sale of the HR-V itself.

2.2. Jeep Renegade's exterior features

Firstly, the 2018 Jeep Renegade is a handsome yet tough-looking compact SUV. However, it looks a bit too similar to its big brother, the Cherokee, and consumers may mix their styles up after seeing these cars on the road. Additionally, the side profile of the Renegade almost makes it look more wagon-like than a sport utility vehicle. Also, the Trailhawk version of the Renegade only looks a little different from the other models but does have a slightly improved approach, breakover, and departure angles. One cool feature about the Trailhawk is that it has an active drive low 4x4 system with a 20:1 crawl ratio and 8.7 inches of ground clearance, and it is the only vehicle in its class to have any sort of real 4x4 system like such. This is also backed up with skid plates, signature red tow hooks, and aggressive tires for the ultimate off-road experience. However, Jeep probably could have gone a little further on the Trailhawk to make it stand out from the other Renegade models. Lastly, with a choice of an open MySky Sunroof or MySky power removable panels, consumers have some very nice options to give their Renegade a more open feel in nice weather.

3. Interior Features

The Honda HR-V stands out once again when talking about the HR-V's interiors because the HR-V was put together with Honda's utmost interiors quality. After even stepping into the HR-V, you can feel the space and airiness of the interiors. It is bright and spacious and airy because of the large windows and slim A pillars. Consequently, it feels like driving a car, not a crossover. Constructed on the same platform that underpins the Honda Fit, the HR-V's front and rear seats are comfortable. Moreover, in terms of spaciousness, the rear seat area is expansive and accommodates tall adults easily. It's easy for passengers to get in and out of the rear seats thanks to the second row's wide door openings and the vehicle's large rear doors. The HR-V has Honda's versatile 2nd row magic seat which includes 3 modes: Tall mode - the seatbacks fold forward and the rear seat cushion can be folded upward, allowing for a vertical cargo space in the second row, Long mode - the front and rear seatbacks can recline with the front seatbacks resting on the folded rear seat, and Utility mode - the rear seatbacks fold forward flat to extend the cargo area, accessed from the rear of the vehicle, to the front of the front seats. This likely is an industry first and is simply just too good for a subcompact crossover. The HR-V also offers all-wheel drive.

3.1. Honda HR-V's interior highlights

Interior quality is generally very good and the entire cabin feels robustly screwed together. About the only negative point is that given the HR-V's price, some might expect more soft-touch materials on the dash and doors. Noise insulation is also a weak point, as road and wind noise are noticeable at motorway speeds.

Central to the HR-V's interior is Honda's unique Magic Seat system that allows the 60:40 split rear seat to fold entirely flat into the floor. All but the entry-level model also get Honda Connect, an Android-based 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system complete with apps, internet browsing, DAB radio and a reversing camera.

Practicality is at the heart of the Honda HR-V and it's evident inside, where clever design provides a spacious and versatile cabin. The front seats are particularly accommodating while those in the rear are better than most and can be folded down in various combinations. Boot space is impressive and there are plenty of cubby holes for stowing all manner of items.

3.2. Jeep Renegade's interior highlights

The Renegade adapts to your lifestyle, thanks to the numerous innovative storage solutions. From the front passenger seat to the boot, there are clever and useful storage spaces. The rear seats not only fold flat but they are also adjustable and removable. The front passenger seat also folds back, and the load floor panel is height-adjustable. Hidden under the front passenger-seat cushion and secured to the bottom of the seat is a cargo net where additional items can be stored. Finally, the Renegade boasts a sizable boot that has a height-adjustable floor.

The Renegade Limited embodies true Jeep design. Soft-touch materials are found throughout the interior with accent stitching on the seats and the steering wheel. Chrome bezels around the air vents, speakers, and gear shifter add a touch of elegance, while the leather-wrapped shifter knob exudes that rugged Jeep look. Thanks to the dual-panel sunroof, it allows natural light to flood the interior and provides a beautiful view for the passengers. And finally, the available class-exclusive heated steering wheel is a must-have during the winter months.

With a distinctive interior that blends in automotive-inspired colors, the Jeep Renegade is unique. Offering a variety of interior combinations, innovative features, and storage options, the Renegade certainly appeals to those who are looking for something different.

3.3. Comparison of interior space and comfort

The HR-V offers more passenger space than most subcompact SUVs, and it has a versatile cargo area that can accommodate bulky items. It has room for tall adults in both rows, with the rear seat particularly accommodating. When it comes to the Renegade, it falls short of the Honda in rear legroom, meaning taller folk may find it a squeeze in the back. Both cars are matched on front seat comfort however. The Honda feels airy and its bigger external dimensions bear fruit when it comes to interior space. There's plenty of room up front, while rear-seat space is impressive – there's good head and legroom, and the broad cabin means three can sit comfortably. The Honda's innovative rear 'Magic Seat' is also brilliant. It basically allows the rear seat base to be folded up, which is great if you want to carry a tall house plant for example. Then you can fold the rear seats entirely by pulling a lever on the side of the seat to create a long, flat load space. Perfect for that aforementioned bike. Folding the seats in the HR-V gives a healthy 1,462 litres of space, which compares well to rivals. Boot space is also pretty good with the rear seats up. At 437 litres with the rear seats in place, it's well above the class average and is much the same as you get in the larger, and pricier, Nissan Qashqai. But the HR-V offers something the Qashqai doesn't. Four-wheel drive. This is only available with the 1.6-litre diesel engine, helping it to target the outdoor type who might be considering something like a Suzuki S-Cross. The Honda's off-road ability might still not be vast, but it does open up more use for the car and it still has the clever functionality to impress. There is also a more rugged looking four-wheel drive version of the HR-V available called the 'J Range' which comes with a selection of cosmetic changes. The Renegade can't quite match the HR-V for overall space, but it's far from a cramped place. Front seat occupants have plenty of room and a good view out, while those in the back won't feel too hemmed in. The square-shaped back end of the Renegade also means there is a large boot with a wide, tall load space. Volume-wise, it stands at 351 litres with the rear seats up. Fold them down and you get a total of 1318 litres. That's not as much as the HR-V, but it's slightly more than you get in the larger and pricier Audi Q3 so still impressive. The Renegade also has a few tricks up its sleeve. Jeep offers a fully removable 'My Sky' roof system, which gives an open-top feel without having to remove the whole roof like on the Nissan Murano Cross Cabriolet. My Sky allows front and rear passengers to have the roof open to various degrees and it's also possible to fully remove the roof panels and store them in the boot. A height adjustable boot floor is also available. This can be set at different levels and when placed at its highest setting it aligns with the folded rear seats to create a completely flat load surface. This is particularly useful if you have a large dog that might worry about jumping a gap between the boot and folded seats at a higher level.

4. Performance and Technology

The HR-V is assembled in Mexico and in Celaya, Mexico, while the HR-V for the North American market is made in El Salto, Mexico. The Renegade, meanwhile, is assembled in Italy.

The Renegade is unique in its segment for offering a four-wheel drive setup and the performance on offer is impressive for a small SUV. The larger engine options are far quicker than the HR-V producing a 0-60 time of sub 9 seconds in the more powerful Trailhawk and Limited models. The Renegade is, however, less dynamically pleasing and more agricultural in the driving experience, it feels heavier and less responsive, despite the quicker acceleration. Overall, the Renegade is a better bet for anyone looking for an SUV with good off-road capability. It is, however, worth noting that the on-road and off-road performance for both of these vehicles is marginal, and both cars are essentially higher riding versions of their respective superminis.

The Jeep Renegade comes with a number of engine options, something fairly rare in today's market. In the UK, the choice is a 1.6 litre e-TorQ Evo Inline-4, a 1.0 litre GSE T3 Inline-3 Turbo, 1.3 litre GSE T4 Inline-4, and a 2.4 litre Tigershark MultiAir. The standard 1.6 litre inline 4 should be avoided as it's fairly underpowered, the 1.0 litre and 1.3 litre engines will offer far better efficiency and performance. The 2.4 litre comes with Renegade models featuring all wheel drive. Each Renegade model features a nine-speed automatic transmission, the same one that can be found in the 2016 Land Rover Evoque, albeit with some tweaks for the smaller vehicle. This gearbox has received a good reception overall from critics and owners.

The Honda HR-V comes with just one engine choice, a 1.8 litre four cylinder which carries the same engine block as the Civic. It isn't quick and the performance is best described as lackluster. However, the HR-V does come with optional Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System. The feature is designed to kick in when necessary and promises a smooth transition from normal front wheel driving to AWD when required. This would make the HR-V more suited to rural driving but we can't see this feature being used to its full potential very often.

4.1. Honda HR-V's engine options and performance

The engine for the HR-V will be a 1.8 liter four-cylinder engine that has 141 horsepower and 127 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine can be paired with a six-speed manual transmission on front-wheel drive models or to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that has steering wheel mounted paddle shifters that simulates a seven-speed automatic on front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive models. Expect the HR-V two-wheel drives to have a 28/35 city/highway mpg rating and all-wheel drive models to have a 27/32 city/highway mpg rating. With the weight of HR-V, the 1.8 liter engine can be considered decent for this vehicle. It has relatively good fuel efficiency and a low cost maintenance with the chain driven engine and standard grade gasoline. However, if you want a more exciting HR-V to drive, you are in luck. Europe has a more powerful option for the HR-V. The engine is a 1.5 liter four-cylinder VTEC Turbo that comes from the European Civic that has 118 kW and 243 Nm of torque. It is paired with a seven-speed CVT and paddle shifters. This engine has a lot more quickness and response for acceleration and gives driver a more enjoyable sporty driving experience compared to the standard 1.8 liter engine. However, there are no plans for this engine to be available outside of Europe. This could be a disadvantage for HR-V in comparison to other competitors that offer multiple powertrain options for select markets.

4.2. Jeep Renegade's engine options and performance

The Jeep Renegade is offered with three engines and two 4x4 systems, which has led to best in class off-road capability. The two MultiAir four-cylinder engines feature a 160-horsepower 1.4-liter and a 180-horsepower 2.4-liter. The 1.4-liter engine comes with the MultiAir turbo, which increases fuel efficiency and specific power by up to 10 percent. This is an extremely efficient engine package that provides great torque for off-roading and off-the-line acceleration. The new Tigershark engine provides even more power and efficiency that the Renegade requires at 21-28 mpg and 32-44 percent better fuel efficiency compared to competitive vehicles equipped with a V6 Engine. With an output of 180 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque, the Renegade can be powered through any predicament. This extra power and the 2.4-liter's 2000 lb towing capacity are in part thanks to the MultiAir2 electro-hydraulic fully variable valve actuation system. This system is able to independently control intake valve timing and control intake valve lift for intake strokes to increase exhaust gas recirculation, ultimately improving fuel efficiency and emissions control. This engine also comes with Engine Stop/Start technology. Finally, the 2.4-liter engine comes mated to a class-exclusive nine-speed automatic transmission. This transmission delivers ultra-smooth shifts and optimizes fuel economy. Beach, Sand, Mud and Rock modes are offered attributed to the Jeep Selec-Terrain system, further optimizing engine and transmission, to best suit the Renegade's on or off-road environment. This system has led to the Renegade receiving a Trail Rated badge. This is only possible for Jeep vehicles that pass tests in five categories: traction, ground clearance, maneuverability, articulation and water fording.

4.3. Comparison of technology features and driving experience

The Active Drive Low feature is a sophisticated feature for off-road. But this should be of high concern to the Renegade users who want to have this car because a feature is only implemented on the Renegade Trailhawk type. For the machine, Jeep Renegade provides a simple machine and easy to use. Jeep Renegade has a good quality driving experience with qualified safety features. With the advantage of high ground clearance, it can reach 208mm from the lowest point of the car to the road. And good quality suspension makes the car has a good comfort in passing a rough road. For the security system using Passive Entry and Keyless Go so users no longer need to bother to dangle looking for the key to open the door.

Different things expressed by Jeep Renegade. At Renegade Jeep, the car is designed simple and has a high technology. This is what Jeep is looking for on Renegade. Renegade is equipped with technology that can be used on the road and off-road. Jeep provides an Active Drive 4-Wheel Drive system that makes the driver can move settings on four-wheel drive.

Honda always emphasizes safety in the car design. This Honda HR-V prioritizes safety features for buyers and passengers. HR-V has a Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) feature that can maintain tire traction on the road. HR-V also has a Hill Start Assist feature that serves to hold the brake when climbing the slope. This feature has been applied in the Jeep Renegade product. In addition, the HR-V also has an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) feature. The existence of safety features such as these certainly make HR-V a considering vehicle to buy.


[1] S. Thangavel, D. Mohanraj, T. Girijaprasanna, et al., "A comprehensive review on electric vehicle: battery management system, charging station, traction motors," IEEE ..., 2023. ieee.org

[2] ZM Jawi, MS Solah, AA Ab Rashid, M Wahab, MHM Isa, "Automotive consumerism: Exploring car user's ownership experience via motoring online portal," 2021. [Online]. Available: researchgate.net. researchgate.net

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