2019 Jeep Renegade 1.3L Turbo Review

A subcompact crossover/SUV, the Jeep Renegade is the smallest of the Jeep family, but this little car holds it own. In fact, the Jeep Renegade is the 9th most popular vehicle in the rugged lands of Wyoming. I got to test drive the Renegade 1.3L turbo.

First introduced in 2014, the Renegade is no stranger to the road, but all-new for 2019 is the 1.3-liter turbocharged engine. I’m a huge fan of turbocharged engines, not just because they are used in sports cars but because at high altitude, they win. Due to lower air pressure at altitude, a naturally aspirated (non-turbo) car would typically lose power. A turbocharger, however, performs significantly better.

Luckily for me, I was in the perfect environment to test this…Ute Pass, near Pikes Peak in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

2019 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk Interior

The turbo in the Renegade isn’t like some kind of rocket that’s going to send you to the moon. What it will do, is steadily and resolutely take you up a steep incline at altitude without trepidation.

“As I climbed up the mountain in the outside lane, I passed several pickup trucks, campers, and other vehicles. I couldn’t help but talk to myself in the voice of Nelson from the Simspons, “ha ha”.

Pleasantly surprised by how easy it was for the Renagade, memories came flooding back of my first car (a Rover Mini) that never would have made it up that hill (or if it did, it would be in 1st gear).

Turbo lag (waiting for acceleration) is barely noticeable at all in the Renegade.

2019 Jeep Renegade orange 1.3

Fuel economy

Paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission, fuel economy is 2 mpg (combined) better than the 2.4L engine. I happened to be driving the Trailhawk trim which is the top of the line off-road version of the Renegade. Inherently, with off-road goodies in cars, it means less fuel economy, however, I noted that I averaged 28 mpg in the Renegade 1.3L Trailhawk 4WD. EPA ratings show it at 22 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway and 24 mpg combined. This may be the first time ever I got more mpg than the official ratings. Especially given most driving was uphill and on windy roads at altitude.

Non-Trailhawk models with the 1.3L engine and 4WD are rated for 23 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway and 26 mpg combined.


Which Renegade trims have the 1.3L turbo engine?

The 1.3L turbocharged engine with ESS (engine start-stop) is optional on the Sport and Latitude trims and comes standard in the Limited and Trailhawk models.


Technology and Infotainment

The UConnect Infotainment 8.4″ color touch screen is one of the best out there. It’s easy and logical to use. One of my favorite features in the system is the navigation system that not only displays speed limits on screen, but will also read them to you! Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also available on Latitude, Trailhawk, and Limited trim levels. It’s available as part of a package on the base Sport trim level.

One of the biggest improvement here in the last year with UConnect system is load times. It used to take a while (I’m still talking seconds here) to load various pages in the system, but that in the past. UConnect 4 is the latest version and load times are significantly faster.

Remote start is available as standard on the Limite trim and as part of a package in all other trims. Heated seats and steering wheel are also available as part of a package, such as the ‘cold weather group’.


What else is new for the Jeep Renegade?

2019 model year Renegades get some new exterior colors; Slate Blue, String Gray, and Bikini. The Bikini color is super fun! A new LED Lighting Group is available, and new wheel designs. 19″ Granite Crystal wheels are available as an option on Latitude and Limited models.

The Advanced Tech Group now gets Adaptive Cruise Control, ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist Plus and front park sensors. Front Fascia and grille design are refreshed.


Why is the Renegade 1.3L turbo a great car for the Rocky Mountain Region?

As previously mentioned, turbocharged cars have an advantage when it comes to altitude and not losing power. On top of that, a great 4WD system, high ground clearance, and the Selec-Terrain drive modes (as an added option) are fantastic aids for difficult terrain and weather; something us Rocky Mountain people know all too well!

With AUTO, SNOW, SAND, MUD modes you’re pretty much covered. Need something more extreme? Trailhawk models have added ROCK Mode and Hill Descent Control.

On top of that are the options of remote start ad heated seats/steering wheel.

All of the above are important factors when considering the best SUV for the Rocky Mountains. It’s not the biggest SUV by any means, but it has all the necessary equipment for some demanding situations at a budget-friendly price.


Renegade pricing in 4WD configuration starts at $23,775 MSRP.

If you’d like to know more about a Jeep Renegade 1.3L turbo, contact your local dealer and drive one for yourself! Find a Renagade 1.3L.


You might also like: Must Fuel Efficient AWD SUV’s 2020and SUV’s under $25,000 with AWD.