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Jeep Renegade Trailhawk vs. Latitude

1. Introduction

First off, some stats which will allow you to get a basic understanding of each Jeep. All of these stats are based off the 2015+ 4x4 model. This document applies to the North American market, and information may differ for other markets. The Trailhawk comes standard only with a 2.4L Tigershark MultiAir I4 Engine mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission. The Latitude has the same engine and transmission, but is also available with a 1.4L MultiAir Turbo engine mated to a DDCT six-speed transmission. Other than the 1.4L and DDCT, the rest of this document will only compare the Trailhawk with the 2.4L Tigershark as it's pointless to compare two different engines, and this is the engine that is standard on the Trailhawk. The Trailhawk and Latitude also have two different 4x4 systems. The Trailhawk has the Active Drive Low system while the Latitude has the Active Drive system. Both are single-speed PTU-based systems and have the same 4WD lock and four-wheel drive modes, but the Active Drive Low has a 20:1 crawl ratio, low range, and a special Rock mode for the Selec-Terrain system that is specific to the Trailhawk model. The Trailhawk comes with skid plates to protect against off-road damage and is stated to have the best-in-class 4x4 capability. [1][2]

This document compares these two Jeeps when stock and may be useful to someone who has an eye on these two particular models and is not sure of the pros and cons of each compared to the other, or anyone looking at one or the other to alter from stock specs for the same reasons.

The Jeep Renegade is a really stylish car. The Trailhawk edition is no exception, with its big black rims shod with M+S rated tires, the aggressive-looking front bumper with sump guards, red tow hooks, and special "Trail Rated" 4-wheel drive system means you can go just about anywhere in it. The Latitude is probably the most common Renegade due to it being the "middle ground" model, between the sport and limited, with more equipment and options than the sport for not much more money, and lower insurance costs compared to the Limited.

2. Exterior Features

Both models offer Open Air options with removable roof panels for those who prefer the wind in their hair and the sun on their face. This feature, along with the high level of customization available, allows owners to add their own touch to their vehicle's exterior styling. It should be noted that the Open Air options are only available on the Longitude and Limited models in the UK.

The Latitude is the more road-focused model and does without skid plates and front and rear tow hooks. It's more for those who like the look and driving position of an SUV but don't want the high running costs typically associated with larger and heavier SUV vehicles. The Trailhawk is much more purposeful and stands out as a small but highly capable off-roader. With skid plates, tow hooks, raised suspension, and aggressive off-road tires, there are very few compact crossovers that would dare take on the trails that the Trailhawk could handle with ease. Both models have their own distinct look, with details such as different wheels and more black plastic body cladding on the Trailhawk, helping it stand out from its more civilized sibling.

The exterior design of the Jeep Renegade is aggressive and unique. The squared-off design of the body and the seven-slot grille is exclusive to the Jeep brand and sets it apart from the saturated crossover market. Both models, the Latitude and the Trailhawk, share the high ride height that is typical of Jeep fashion and the very short front and rear overhangs, which allow for impressive approach and departure angles. Beyond that, the models are considerably different from one another.

2.1. Trailhawk

The Latitude model offers a sleeker look. It caters more to the consumer looking to buy a Jeep for performance in city driving and highway driving. It still holds some off-road capability with a little bit more forgiving price point than the Trailhawk. The lower body panels are a gloss black, offering a visual pop and giving the vehicle a more urban feel. This model also deletes the Renegade badge above the left-hand tail lamp and replaces it with a simple Jeep logo above the right tail lamp. In the Jeep model hierarchy, there is not too much distinction of Latitude compared to sport models; however, it is still a step in the right direction in terms of off-road readiness and a significant jump from the sport model in terms of styling. [3][4][5]

Skid plates are also standard on the Trailhawk. Skid plates are meant to protect the underbody of the vehicle from damage while off-roading. With 2.7mm of steel skid plate, the Trailhawk is sure to avoid costly damage in the most vital underbody areas. Redesign of the rear fascia allows for better departure angles. It is both functional and visually pleasing to the eye. Moveable roof bars are also exclusive to the Trailhawk, allowing for additional storage options for road trips and moving personal items.

The Trail Rated badge signifies that the vehicle has been tested to perform in 5 off-road conditions: traction, ground clearance, maneuverability, articulation, and water fording. The Renegade is the first Jeep in the smaller utility vehicle segment to offer the badge, and the Trailhawk model is sure to meet the high standards of those conditions.

Exterior features of the Trailhawk are a key selling point for this model. The Jeep is made to endure rugged terrain. The first noticeable feature on the Trailhawk is the red front tow hooks. These are essential on the trail as they are used to clear debris off the path that is too large to drive over and can also be used to tow a vehicle out of a bad situation. With front-wheel drive vehicles, you very rarely see tow hooks, let alone front tow hooks. This will be a prominent feature in marketing the Trailhawk to consumers as it is a very unique feature.

2.2. Latitude

For the front fascia, the Upland fascia replaces the standard Latitude fascia. The Upland fascia is on capable models and is painted the same color as the Latitude model. The fascia is a tow hook mount, but the tow hooks may or may not be included and are also sold separately as an accessory. Coming around to the rear of the vehicle, there are modifications that can be made for the rear fascia of the Latitude. This fascia may be replaced with the Upland rear fascia or the Upland rock rail compatible fascia. Both the Upland fascia and the rock rail compatible fascia are available with or without park assist. The park assist may or may not be included and may also require a sensor kit and/or connecting kit.

The 2015 Jeep Renegade Latitude has its own instantly recognizable front grille and seven-slot bezels and halogen headlamps. It rides on 16-inch styled steel wheels with all-season tires. The front windshield is acoustic glass. There are several options available to modify the exterior. For example, on top of the vehicle's roof, there are two options including the "Sport Bar" and the "Upland Fascia". Continuing, the vehicle may also be equipped with a power-adjusting and heated exterior mirror.

3. Interior Features

The Cherokee Latitude's cabin includes a 5-inch touchscreen, a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, an SD card reader, and the Jeep brand's Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH) technology. Depending on whether you equip front-wheel drive (FWD) or four-wheel drive (4x4), the Latitude will include Jeep's Selec-Terrain system, which is a rotary knob that allows the driver to pick from available settings for Auto, Snow, Sport, and Sand/Mud modes. Both Latitude and Trailhawk models will feature cloth seats, manual 6-way driver and manual 4-way front passenger seat adjustments, dual-zone automatic climate control, a rear 60/40 folding seat, and illuminated cupholders and interior LED ambient lighting. The Latitude will also have premium options available such as the Comfort/Convenience Group which adds a power 8-way driver seat adjustment and a remote start system. The Trailhawk will feature a 7-inch screen with similar media inputs and a larger standard 6-speaker audio system, designed to improve sound quality. The 7-inch screen will also be featured in the instrument cluster and is configurable, allowing the driver to monitor various aspects of vehicle performance and off-road features. Both seating areas of the Trailhawk will be leather with premium cloth accents, and keeping inline with the off-road capabilities, Jeep added all-weather floor mats and a reversible cargo side to include a carpeted side and a resilient vinyl side for easy cleaning. Additional standard features of the Trailhawk are the Comfort/Convenience Group and a discount tire pressure sensor display. As with any new vehicle, the interior features may be the selling point for new customers and the deciding factor for current Jeep owners looking to upgrade to a newer model. The Latitude is more catered to on-road comfort and can be equipped with a variety of add-on features to improve the daily driving experience. The real interest for Jeep enthusiasts and off-road junkies will be the rugged all-inclusive features of the Trailhawk to make any trip feel like an adventure. Both models are versatile and the added features of each will present different appeals to many types of drivers.

3.1. Trailhawk

The off-road focused Trailhawk is the most distinctive model. It gets a unique appearance, with a one-of-a-kind grille, special wheels, skid plates, and unique interior accents. The cloth seats are embossed with a Tectonic fabric pattern, there are all-weather mats, and the steering wheel adds the capability to control steep ascent and descent modes. Prices range from the low to high twenties, and a fully optioned Trailhawk can reach into the low $30,000s, overlapping the price of the more street-focused Limited.

Features Every Renegade comes with a height-adjustable cargo floor panel, and a fold-forward front passenger seat to accommodate long items. The base Sport model has cloth seating, but Latitude and Limited models have upgraded cloth. The Latitude has a Premium Cloth Group option with deluxe cloth upholstery and heated front seats, while the Limited has an available Leather Group. To a five-inch Uconnect 5.0 system, the Latitude adds a 115-volt power outlet and SiriusXM Radio. And the available My Sky open-air roof system is now also offered for Latitude and Trailhawk models, extending the open-air fun the Renegade promises.

Comfort & Quality With front seats that are supportive and well-padded, the Renegade is comfortable for long distances. Seat travel is long for a vehicle this size and there is a lot of head and leg room. Entry and exit are easy for average-sized adults, in either 2- or 4-door models. However, rear accommodations are a bit tight and upright, and it's tighter getting in and out of the back seats. Tall, slab-sided doors ease entry and exit. Only the Trailhawk model gets orange accent stitching on the seats and interior panels.

Cargo The Renegade excels in cargo storage. Every model has a fold-forward front passenger seat that allows loading items up to 8 feet long. All but the base Sport model have a rear seat that can be adjusted fore and aft, or folded for and-aft travel to optimize passenger and cargo room. With the rear seat folded, there's up to 50.8 cubic feet of cargo space.

The inside of the Jeep presents a rough but stylish space, with some funky details and a few flimsy panels. It's a smaller space compared to the mainstay Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, but practicality is strong - the rear seat slides back and forth, the front passenger seat folds forward for long objects, and the load floor can be set to three different heights. Overall, we rate the Renegade's interior a 7 out of 10 with bonus points for the Trailhawk's hard-wearing materials. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

3.2. Latitude

- Within the Latitude, a 3.5" Black and White EVIC is used. EVIC is an acronym for Electronic Vehicle Information Center. The EVIC is used to engage the driver by displaying various vehicle information such as temperature, direction, time, and fuel economy. Moving right along, the Latitude does contain a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Sorry, but there's really not much to say about this. It's a more comfortable material and should outlast the plastic steering wheel. At the Latitude Limited trim level, there is a 115V Power Outlet added. Coming from the standard car charger/power outlet, this power outlet allows the usage of electronics that can plug into a standard household outlet (2 prong). This is especially good for a portable vacuum or cellphone charger. At the Latitude Anodized Package or Latitude X Package, there is the addition of SIRIUS Satellite Radio with 1-year Radio Subscription. This one is a no-brainer. High-quality digital sound from a satellite without commercials... You really can't beat that!

- The differences start at the interior of the Latitude. While both models are intended solely for off-road purposes, the Latitude contains an Automatic Climate Control with Humidity Sensor and a quality carpet/rubber floor. Unlike the Latitude, the Trailhawk contains hidden storage underneath the cargo area, as well as the front passenger seat and a reversible/washable cargo floor. All of these can come in handy for someone who loves to adventure. Speaking from experience, I've used the cargo floor for bikes, snowboards, and some wet/muddy gear without problem of soiling the seat cushions/fabric. The cargo area is also deep and has plenty of space for coolers or other heavy equipment.

- Two models of the Jeep Renegade are: the Landmark adventure-seeking Trailhawk and a trendy compact SUV known as the Latitude. Both have differences as well as similarities. This post will be focusing more on those differences. But if you'd like to view the similarities, there will be a link to a website at the bottom of the article to view my full review.

4. Performance and Handling

The Jeep Active Drive 4x4 system on the Latitude is likely adequate for drivers who do not require Trailhawk's off-road capabilities. The on-road performance of the Latitude should be superior to the Trailhawk. With a more comfortable suspension and a fuel system that can selectively disengage the rear axle to conserve energy when increased traction is unnecessary. This system, combined with the 6-speed automatic transmission and the 2.4L Tigershark engine, provides great on-road handling, if not as economical as a FWD vehicle. The Latitude Trailhawk would be the vehicle to choose if you require good off-road capabilities as well as on-road handling. But for those who require predominantly on-road performance, the Latitude may be the best compromise between the two.

The Jeep Renegade comes with two different 4x4 systems, both featuring a rear axle disconnect system to seamlessly switch between two and four-wheel drive. The Trailhawk uses Jeep's Active Drive Low 4x4 system, with a 20:1 crawl ratio to enable increased torque. This, combined with the neutral mode and Rock mode on the Selec-Terrain traction control system, provides the ability to traverse a diverse range of terrains. It provides excellent off-road capability with the class-exclusive Trail Rated certification. Despite this, the rugged Trailhawk may not handle as well on the road as the Latitude, with its increased ride height and harsher suspension to bolster its off-road performance. The 1.4L MultiAir turbo engine may also not provide the power required for some drivers. The 2.4L Tigershark engine should offset this, however, as it provides greater horsepower and torque.

4.1. Trailhawk

This is a very close comparison when comparing the two vehicles in terms of acceleration, highway/interstate driving, and normal driving. In these types of driving categories, the Latitude is lighter and has a more aerodynamic body than the Trailhawk. For every Latitude model other than the 4X4, it comes with the 2.4L engine with an optional upgrade to the 2.4L Tigershark MultiAir engine. The 2.4L engine has the same amount of torque and power as the 2.4L engine, while having worse fuel economy. The rest of the models come stock with the 2.4L Tigershark MultiAir engine. This engine has the same HP but slightly more torque than the 1.4L engine in the Trailhawk. Moving onto the transmission, every model of the Latitude comes with a 9-speed automatic transmission, and it comes with a 2WD option. So overall, there is not much difference in terms of engine between the Trailhawk and the Latitude.

The Trailhawk comes as the top-of-the-line Renegade, and it comes well-equipped to handle off-road. It comes with a lowered 20:1 crawl ratio and an off-road mode that strengthens the 4-wheel drive mode. The Renegade also comes with 8.7 inches of ground clearance, hill-descent control, red front and rear tow hooks, skid plates, and aggressive off-road tires. The Trailhawk is well-equipped to handle itself in tight spots and when traversing rough terrain. All of these features make it a much better off-road vehicle than any version of the Latitude.

4.2. Latitude

The Latitude is designed as the more off-road oriented option. Both the Latitude and Trailhawk models include the 2.4L MultiAir Tigershark engine, although the Trailhawk's Select-Terrain™ system seems better equipped for off-roading. The Latitude comes standard with FWD system but has the option of upgrading to the AWD system for a mere $600. When comparing the two different drive systems with the same engines, the Latitude is more suited for highways and city roads, more so than trails and off-road terrain. The AWD system does allow for safer and more secure handling in rough or slippery conditions, but the Select-Terrain™ knob gives the Trailhawk a distinct advantage as the system allows the driver to set the drive system of the vehicle according to terrain. This means that the driver can set the vehicle for auto, snow, sand, or mud, and most notably rock mode for the best off-road performance. This, paired with a higher ground clearance, makes it inarguable that the Trailhawk offers better off-road handling and performance than the Latitude.


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

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

[3] A. B. Kuczek, "Avian Attractiveness to Vertically Polarized Light," 2021. bard.edu

[4] D. Narayan, "Evaluation of the Impact of Microclimatic Parameters on Energy Performance of ZEN with BEPS.," 2021. ntnu.no

[5] J. Hardley, "Mobile media and the urban environment: embodied perceptions of space, place and safety," researchrepository.rmit.edu.au, . rmit.edu.au

Jeep Renegade: Trailhawk vs. Latitude

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