The Jeep Renegade and its siblings might be consumer favorites, but most critics don’t share the sentiment. Sure, these cars are fun to drive off the beaten path, but most of them don’t behave well on civilized roads. When combined with poor safety ratings and iffy reliability scores, you have a potential disaster waiting to happen.
Unfortunately, that applies to the 2022 Jeep Renegade. Had it not been for one other vehicle, Consumer Reports would have called the Renegade the worst vehicle in its segment.
The 2022 Jeep Renegade isn’t that great
The Jeep Renegade sits near the bottom of the Consumer Reports subcompact SUV ratings, primarily because of its horrible ride quality. When Consumer Reports gave it a road test, drivers found themselves only comfortable on smooth stretches of highway. Otherwise, the suspension is too stiff and lets even the smallest bumps unsettle the cabin.
The Jeep Renegade is also slower than many of its rivals, needing nearly 10 seconds to reach 60 mph. The 2022 model has 177 horsepower on tap, and the turbocharged engine comes paired with a nine-speed automatic gearbox.
Turbo lag reportedly gets annoying very quickly, and the transmission clearly needs some fine-tuning. Fuel economy is also weak, as the 4WD Renegade only earns 26 mpg combined city/highway.
The interior is mostly furnished with functional rubber and plastic components, with a few soft-touch surfaces added as afterthoughts. It might have been forgivable if it weren’t for the hard seats, which offer limited adjustment options. Drivers also have horrible visibility, thanks to the Renegade’s thick roof pillars.
The Jeep Renegade even has a terrible owner satisfaction score, which is usually an area where Jeeps excel. That’s likely because, as CR discovered, it doesn’t have as much off-roading prowess as its siblings.
One positive is the Trailhawk trim, which offers some adventuring features, like low-range gearing and better ground clearance. However, these small additions prompt a $7,000 premium cost.
Consumer Reports hated the Fiat 500X the most
Like the Jeep Renegade, the Fiat 500X is unreliable and offers little appeal as a regular commuter vehicle. Its small size makes it easy to park, but Consumer Reports says you’ll dread getting to and from your destination.
The 500X suffers from an unsteady suspension, a clunky transmission, and pronounced noise levels. There’s also always some level of vibration whenever you’re idling. CR testers praised the Fiat 500X for its eagerness around corners, but that’s marred by its finicky brake pedal and dull steering.
None of its seats are very supportive, and tall passengers will have difficulties getting situated in the back row. Small door openings limit overall access, and it’s also hard to find a comfortable position in the driver’s seat.
These two Jeeps are even worse than the Renegade
If you must own a Jeep, Consumer Reports definitely doesn’t recommend the Wrangler. It suffers from many of the Renegade’s sins, like a stiff suspension and elevated noise levels.
It gets even worse gas mileage: the four-door model with 4WD only earns 19 mpg combined city/highway. On the positive side, the Jeep Wrangler is a historically great off-roader with a high owner satisfaction score.
Consumer Reports liked the Jeep Gladiator slightly better but still warns consumers about its unruly handling and poor fuel economy estimates. It still appeals to buyers with its strong V6 engine, which helps this midsize pickup tow 7,650 pounds with the right equipment.
While the Jeep Gladiator and Wrangler have some undeniable flaws, both have rugged characteristics to compensate. Aside from some obvious Jeep styling inside and out, the Renegade largely fails to live up to its namesake.