Compact SUV is company’s first electrified model; plug-in hybrid Compass and Wrangler also in the works
Jeep has launched its first electrified SUV in the UK: a plug-in hybrid version of the Renegade, which will arrive in showrooms in September, with prices starting from £32,600.
The Renegade 4xe is the first of several electrified models promised by Jeep, including a plug-in hybrid Compass and Wrangler that will also wear the 4xe badge, as the American firm seeks to become the “greenest, most sustainable SUV company in the world”.
Three trim levels are offered on the Renegade 4xe: Longitude (from £32,600), Limited (from £34,500) and Trailhawk (from £36,500). Jeep says the Trailhawk is more oriented for the extreme off-road, while Limited and Longitude offer a set-up more suited to urban driving. All three models are available to order now.
Visually almost identical to other Renegade variants, the 4xe gains an electric motor mounted on a modified version of the 4WD Renegade’s rear subframe, plus a 1.3-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine.
The powertrain offers two outputs: the Longitude and Limited models get a total of 187bhp, while the Trailhawk receives 237bhp.
The battery – which is good for an electric-only range of 31 miles at speeds of up to 81mph in ideal conditions – has been mounted in the floorpan’s centre tunnel and takes up some space under the rear seat. The fuel tank – also under the rear seat – has been reduced to a capacity of 39 litres.
All three versions are claimed to accelerate from 0-62mph in around 7.5sec, reaching a top speed of 124mph and producing 199lb ft of torque.
As expected, given Jeep’s off-roading pedigree, every 4xe variant has four-wheel drive, with the firm claiming the new Renegade offers the “best performance and driving dynamics of any Jeep SUV ever”.
Power is transmitted to all four wheels through a six-speed automatic gearbox. Meanwhile, an updated Selec-Terrain rotary control with eAWD modes (4WD Lock, 4WD Low, Hill Descent Control) engages several different driving modes, including Auto, Snow, Mud & Sand, Rock and, new for the 4xe, Sport.
On the outside, the 4xe is further distinguished from its conventional petrol and diesel siblings by blue highlights, blue badging and a charging port push cover.
In addition, buyers can choose from up to 18 different exterior paint colours, including granite, available on the entry-level car. Those opting for the Limited or Trailhawk trims gain extra orange shades, while a further green is exclusive to the Trailhawk.
Inside, a 7.0in TFT colour display and Uconnect Nav system with an 8.0in touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a DAB radio come as standard. Black accents trace the air vents, speakers and centre console bezels on the Longitude and Limited models, while the Trailhawk is distinguished by ruby red accents.
Former Jeep CEO and now Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chief Mike Manley said in 2018 that there would be four EVs in Jeep’s portfolio by 2022. However, since the executive team has been extensively reshuffled since Manley’s statement, this plan may have since been altered.