The 2021 Jeep Renegade is a pocket-sized SUV that has an endearing, almost comical look to it. It’s small and boxy, with headlights like wide set eyes. Yet is the Renegade really a Jeep, or is the Jeep Renegade really a Fiat? You may be surprised to learn just how much these two vehicles have in common.
Both the 2021 Jeep Renegade and 2021 Fiat 500X are made in Italy
Maybe you thought that the Renegade is made in Jeep’s factory in Toledo, Ohio. If you did, you’d be wrong. Similarly to the 2021 Fiat 500X, the 2021 Jeep Renegade is made at FCA’s plant in Melfi, Italy.
In fact, the Jeep Renegade has never been built in Ohio, or even the United States. Since the first Jeep Renegade was made in 2014, it’s been built in Italy, Brazil, and China.
Both crossovers are nearly identical mechanical twins
If you were to strip away all of the “Jeep” and “Fiat” exterior clues, you may not be able to tell the difference between the Jeep Renegade and the Fiat 500X. In fact, they’re both built on Fiat Chrysler’s 4X4 Small-Wide platform.
What does it mean to be built on the same platform? Being built on the same platform means that both the Renegade and the 500X are made on a common base which shares many of the same mechanical properties.
The 2021 Jeep Renegade has a 2.4-liter, 180-hp four-cylinder engine and a nine-speed automatic transmission. The 2021 Fiat 500X has a 1.3-liter, 177-hp four-cylinder engine. The Fiat also has a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Consumer Reports says, “Like its Jeep Renegade cousin, the 500X is annoying even when standing still, with an idle vibration that chatters through the steering wheel and seat. It’s enough to make you want to shift into neutral at traffic lights.”
Despite being so mechanically similar, the Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X are actually pretty different
Even though they share so much mechanically, they’re actually pretty different. They certainly don’t look the same. The 2021 Jeep Renegade is taller and more outdoorsy-looking. The Fiat, on the other hand, is sleek and petite. It’s also less boxy than the Renegade. The Renegade is also covered in the Jeep logo, just in case you forget that you’re in a Jeep Renegade and not a Fiat 500X.
You might take the 2021 Jeep Renegade off-roading, but you’d never want to venture out into the woods with the 2021 Fiat 500X. Although the interior of the Renegade is fairly well-done, the 500X is nicer. Consumer Reports notes, “Unlike its rugged Jeep cousin, the 500X’s interior feels as if its designers spent some time among the couture shops of Milan. The layout is stylish and possesses some flair, with body-color panels and whimsical — though cheap-feeling — buttons, knobs, and switches.”
So if you’re thinking that the 2021 Jeep Renegade is really a 2021 Fiat 500X, you’re not far off. With their nearly identical mechanical designs, they certainly have quite a bit in common. Yet their exteriors are so different, they likely don’t appeal to the same buyers, even with their similar attributes.