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Jeep Renegade Sport vs. Latitude vs. Trailhawk

1. Overview

At first glance, it is easy to notice that all of these vehicles have commanding presences. Observing the Latitude, it is quite clear to see that it takes on a more stylish look by having a two-tone paint, whereas the Sport and Trailhawk have a more rugged appearance. In a side-by-side comparison of the paint schemes, the Sport and Latitude have identical schemes which consist of having the minor accent paint on the interior of the headlights and wrapping around the grille and finally ending on the bottom portion of the fascia. The Trailhawk differs in that it has no accent paint and offers the unique option of a black hood decal. Moving on to the wheels, the Sport comes standard with black steel wheels and wheel covers. The Latitude, having more of a stylish approach, has 16-inch styled steel wheels, with the option of upgrading to 18-inch aluminum wheels for a more aggressive look. The Trailhawk comes with off-road ready 17-inch aluminum wheels with a unique design, but also has an option for the same 18-inch aluminum wheels that can be equipped to a Latitude. Further pushing towards enhancing its rugged look, the Trailhawk includes red tow hooks, unique front and rear fascias to allow for better approach and descent angles, and raising the ride height. The visual appearance of the Trailhawk is a large departure from the normal sleek crossovers Jeeps bread and butter has been made of. This could be either a good or bad thing, depending on what the consumer's intention of using the vehicle is. The Trailhawk's purpose is to give the Renegade a proper off-road variant, whereas the other models are mainly front-wheel drive with the option of buying a cheaper 4x4 version.

2. Features

The Trailhawk has standard skid plates and tow hooks located in the front and back of the vehicle. There is also a capless fuel filler, black door handles, power and heated mirrors, and a solid and sturdy all-season spare tire. The Trailhawk comes in the larger 17-inch wheels that give it a more dominant presence on any terrain. This model comes in the largest variety of color options. There are 11 different colors to choose from: black, tan, white, silver, anvil, glacier metallic, granite crystal metallic, black metallic, hypergreen, omaha orange, and colorado red. With the variety of choices for colors and the durable but unique features, the Renegade Trailhawk is appealing to many different types of drivers.

The Jeep Renegade Sport has exterior features that set it apart from other compact SUVs. The Sport has 16-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, power windows and locks, keyless entry, a rear defroster, a rear-window wiper and washer, and a capless fuel filler. This Jeep has 9 different colors to choose from: black, commando sand, alpine white, omaha orange, colorado red, sierra blue, glacier metallic, granite crystal metallic, and black metallic. The Jeep Renegade Sport is definitely a head turner with its eye-catching colors and sleek design. It is plain to see the extra thought and attention put into the exterior of the Sport model.

2.1. Exterior Features

All three models have fairly different exterior dimensions. The Sport model measures at 166.6" in length, 74.2" in width, and has 7.9" of ground clearance. The Latitude is the same as the Sport, except for the option to add an 8-way power adjustable driver seat and an available 180 HP 2.4L Tigershark MultiAir 2 engine. The Trailhawk measures the same as the other two models, but with the option to add a removable short blade antenna and 17" x 6.5" aluminum wheels. All models also have the option to add a passive entry remote start system. This is convenient for heating or cooling the vehicle before driving. This can be done by pressing the button on the key fob up to the range on the keyless entry system.

The Renegade Sport comes with basic features such as power-heated mirrors and deep-tinted glass. The Latitude comes with the same features as the Sport, but has the option to add features as needed. The Trailhawk, in comparison, has most of the basic features the other models have, along with premium LED lighting and unique "Trail Rated" badging. The Trailhawk also has an available black painted roof for a unique look. All models also come with the optional My Sky open-air dual-panel roof, perfect for letting in the sun during nice weather.

2.2. Interior Features

The difference in comfort in each model can be found in some features. Some features have no differences between the models, while others do. The good news is that the Renegade model already uses electric power steering, unlike previous cars that had a steering problem due to the use of the traditional hydraulic system. The steering wheel is now wrapped in leather and equipped with standard audio controls. Standard features that you can find in every model are air conditioning, the electronic vehicle information center, a 12-volt power outlet, ambient LED lights, a driver seat adjuster with height adjusters, and a folding front passenger seat. Stepping up, you can find standard auto temperature control, navigation readiness, heated front seats, and a premium instrument panel. The highest features can only be found in the Limited model.

Moving on to the Trailhawk model, it's different. On the Jeep website, you can find the tagline "interior that's as adventurous as you are". The interior looks more rugged and off-road with the change of accent, material, and color. It still uses the console design, but now with the change of the finish to a polished black color, and the soft touch point now only on the instrument panels, not on the door panels. The trim is now different with the selection of black, ruby red, or ski gray for the interior. The Trailhawk model uses premium cloth bucket seats with standard ruby red stitching accents. Detail changes can be found with the standard Trailhawk logo on the front seats. The atmosphere feels more premium from the change of the ambient light to red, the change of the headliner and the carpet to black, and the addition of hood insulation to minimize noise from the outside.

Trim differences can be seen in the interior color and upholstery. In the Sport model, you can choose the black color for the interior with black premium cloth bucket seats. But you can also choose the black sandstorm or black ski gray color for the interior. The Latitude has the same color options, but with the additional bark brown color for the interior. The material also differs, with the Sport having the premium cloth bucket seats and the Latitude having the premium cloth bucket seats too, with the choice to upgrade to premium leather. The step up between Sport and Latitude can absolutely be seen in these features.

Interior features are quite similar between Sport and Latitude models. Both interiors are effectively designed, comfortable, and stylish. It differs from rival cars that still face the common problem of plain and uninteresting interior design. The Renegade has a console design, but it doesn't look cheap or boring. The plastic quality on the dashboard and the door trims may not be top in class, but it's decent with a soft touch point. The upside is that the cabin looks tasteful but won't make you worry too much when getting it dirty because it's still easy to clean.

3. Performance

Both engines are at a disadvantage in performance, as every version of the Renegade is portly for its size, due to its elaborate structure and feature set. We've come to accept mediocre acceleration as part and parcel to a boxy, truck-like SUV shape, but given the current state of the market, the Renegade will have to adapt more convincing powertrains. Step one should be to offer the stronger engine with better gas mileage. Step two could involve considering more fuel-efficient, non-turbocharged offerings. [1][2]

With 180 horsepower and a 9-speed automatic, the 2.4-liter four is substantially stronger and smoother. It's the engine on the options list for those models and comes standard on the Trailhawk, but on the downside it's also less efficient, earning slightly lower EPA ratings of 22/31/25 mpg.

On the performance side, the Renegade's small engines require a hard workout to keep up with traffic and hills. The base engine in Sport, Latitude, and Limited models is a 1.4-liter turbo four. With 160 horsepower and a 6-speed manual or automatic, it manages just 22/30/25 mpg and doesn't feel as peppy as its specific output suggests. The manual shifter isn't much fun to use and its mechanism doesn't encourage shifting.

3.1. Engine Options

The standard engines for the Jeep Renegade are adequate, not thrilling. The base engine is a 1.4-liter four-cylinder making 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque, which comes only with a six-speed manual transmission. Latitude and Limited models come with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 180 horsepower and 175 lb.-ft. of torque. This is considerably more power than the 1.4-liter, and in reality doesn't sacrifice much in terms of fuel efficiency. The 1.4-liter with the six-speed manual transmission/2WD drivetrain combo is the most frugal of the Renegade lineup at 27/32 mpg. The rest of the lineup with the 2.4-liter engine is rated at 22/31 mpg with front-wheel-drive and 21/29 mpg with 4WD. It's important to note that the 2.4-liter comes with a nine-speed automatic transmission, which Jeep has worked hard to refine for the 2016 model year. That transmission is very important as not having it equipped means one would miss out on getting Jeep's Active Drive and Active Drive Low 4WD systems, as the 1.4-liter engine is not available with either. Active Drive is a fully automatic 4WD system which disconnects the rear axle when not needed, improving fuel efficiency but can instantly transfer torque to the rear wheels when the system senses it is needed. Active Drive Low is a more conventional 4WD system with a 20:1 crawl ratio designed for slower off-road situations and is standard on Trailhawk models. This may seem like a lot of drivetrains to digest, but the basic idea is that a Renegade with a 2.4-liter engine will have a more comprehensive set of drivetrain options compared to one with a 1.4-liter.

3.2. Off-Road Capability

All of the Renegade’s different makes and models have a 4x4 option available. But it is important to make sure that just because the car is a Jeep, it does not mean that it has the same off-road performance as other Jeeps. Going by trim levels, the Sport may not be the best option for off-road capability. The reason for that is because the Jeep Renegade Sport comes with the option of front-wheel drive. This could result in people not being satisfied with the off-road capability without the 4x4 version. However, with the Jeep Renegade Latitude, both versions of the front-wheel drive and 4x4 are the same cost. This allows the consumer to choose whether they would like to save a little bit of money and have better fuel economy with the front-wheel drive, or to have more capability and performance with the 4x4 version. Take the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk for example compared to the other makes and models, the Trailhawk, coming with the Active Drive Low 4x4 system, is specifically tailored to the consumer that often goes off-road. Additionally, the Trailhawk comes with the select terrain system allowing the consumer to choose the mode the Jeep is in, whether it be snow, sand, mud, and an exclusive rock mode. This is essential for those that go off-roading, as changing terrains are typically encountered and this allows the best performance and capability in the Jeep Renegade to handle these different terrains. [3][4]

4. Price and Trims

The Limited is where the features really start to pile on. Starting at around $24,000, this trim has numerous additional luxury and technology features such as a dual-zone automatic temperature control, power 8-way driver's seat, heated front seats and steering wheel, 18-inch aluminum wheels, and 5.0 Uconnect system with Sirius XM. This is a relatively small increase in price and has a big difference in features, making it also a good value.

The Latitude is where the options start to open up a bit. Starting at around $21,000, this trim is still a great value and provides many more standard features than the Sport. A few of the more notable additional standard features include a rear backup camera, the Uconnect system, roof rails, and 17-inch aluminum wheels. This is a great middle ground for someone looking for something nicer than the base model without having to spend too much more.

The prices on the Renegade start at around $18,000 for the base 2WD Sport model. This model is pretty bare-bones, with standard features including power windows and locks as well as a four-speaker audio system. However, considering the rest of the trims are significantly more expensive, this is a good entry-level price and still has an impressive list of standard features.

4.1. Price Range

The price for the Jeep Renegade varies greatly depending on the model and what you decide to add on to the vehicle. The base model Jeep Renegade Sport has a starting price of $17,995. The bells and whistles can be added to the tune of $30,000. The nice thing about the Renegade is that you can fully load the vehicle and still not be out of the price range. The base model Jeep Renegade Latitude starts off at $21,295. The fully loaded price tags come in around $31,000. Once again, the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk starts off at $25,995 and the fully loaded Trailhawk is right at $31,000. The price tags for the different models don't really overprice themselves. You can fully load a Renegade and it's still in the price range. The price for the Jeep Renegade varies greatly depending on the model and what you decide to add on to the vehicle. The base model Jeep Renegade Sport has a starting price of $17,995. The bells and whistles can be added to the tune of $30,000. The nice thing about the Renegade is that you can fully load the vehicle and still not be out of the price range. The base model Jeep Renegade Latitude starts off at $21,295. The fully loaded price tags come in around $31,000. Once again, the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk starts off at $25,995 and the fully loaded Trailhawk is right at $31,000. The price tags for the different models don't really overprice themselves. You can fully load a Renegade and it's still in the price range.

4.2. Trim Levels

The Latitude is the mid-range option. It comes with all the standard features of the Sport with some small additions. Color-keyed door handles and 16-inch alloy wheels give it a subtle outer appearance enhancement. Inside, the steering wheel is leather-wrapped and a 5-inch touchscreen is added to the center stack. Perhaps one notable add-on is the available My Sky open-air roof system. This option allows drivers to retract the exterior roof while still having an internal fixed glass panel. The two-part removable roof panels can be stored in the rear cargo area. Pricing ranges from $21,000 to $25,000.

The Sport is the base model. It comes well equipped and should be considered the start of what makes a Jeep, a Jeep. 16-inch steel wheels are standard as are keyless entry and push-button start (the latter being particularly uncommon on base-model cars). The steering wheel and audio system are quite basic, and the seats are cloth, but it's hard to find a base model car where these things are not the case. A 1.4L turbocharged inline-four and front-wheel drive is standard, and as with all Renegades, a 2.4L engine and 4WD is optional. All of this comes at a base price of $17,995.

As a subcompact crossover SUV, the Jeep Renegade deems it unnecessary to go overboard by creating a myriad of unasked for trim levels that complicate the car buying process. However, the basics are all pretty much covered.


[1] R. Greaves, "White Faces and Nervous Laughter: Subversive Comedy in Australian Performance," 2024. usyd.edu.au

[2] S. Ó Cadhla, "Audience influence on the composition, revision and interpolation of traditional Irish ballad narrative," 2020. tudublin.ie

[3] M. H. A. M. Hindam, "Development strategies for a new product in the automotive sector: The Jeep case," 2020. polito.it

[4] D. POSTERS, "E200," namwheels.com, . namwheels.com

Jeep Renegade: Sport vs. Latitude vs. Trailhawk

Explore the distinctions between the Jeep Renegade Sport, Latitude, and Trailhawk trims to find the perfect fit for your adventures. For more insights and comparisons, check out the following resources:

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