During a year in which Chevrolet (?2%), Ford (?3%), and Nissan (?6%) have all seen declines, Jeep (+20%) has posted the strongest gains of any major brand. Surging sales of the Wrangler, Cherokee, and Compass have been driving that progress.
However, with sales of SUVs and crossovers at an all-time high, you will find strength up and down the Jeep lineup. One of the few exceptions is Jeep Renegade, which has actually posted minor losses (?6%) this year.
Maybe you can blame that on added competition in the subcompact crossover segment, but it might also be a normal decline for a four-year-old model. Regardless, Jeep made sure to upgrade the 2019 Renegade in several ways. Here’s everything you’ll find new for this model year.
1. The new turbo engine
If you check in on the engines for the current Renegade, you’ll find a 2.4-liter Tigershark (180 horsepower) and a 1.4-liter turbo (160 horsepower) as your options. For 2019, Renegade is dropping the smaller engine in favor of a 1.3-liter turbo model.
This new engine will produce 177 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque, making it more powerful than the Tigershark. As a result, it will be the standard powerplant in Limited and Trailhawk models and be available as an option in lower trims.
It will work with the nine-speed automatic transmission and add stop-start as well as active grille shutters on every model but the Trailhawk. In a statement, Jeep said these functions will improve fuel economy and reduce emissions.
2. Exterior styling changes
Besides the new engine, consumers will find plenty new in the exterior design and general appearance options. That includes a revamped front fascia and grille surround as well as new aluminum wheels. In Latitude and Limited trims, 19-inch aluminum wheels painted in Granite Crystal will be an option.
Meanwhile, there are three new colors for 2019: Bikini, Slate Blue, and Sting Grey. These will arrive later in the model year (i.e., closer to 2019) and make a total of 10 colors to choose from.
3. Safety and tech upgrades
While it once may have been unthinkable in models like the Wrangler, advanced safety tech is now common for the Jeep brand and even expected in a less rugged crossover like Renegade. For 2019, buyers get even more options, including adaptive cruise control, front park sensors, and Park Assist Plus (to help the parallel-parking challenged).
Meanwhile, the new LED Lighting Group will address one of the Renegade’s weak spots in safety evaluations for prior years. This package will bring LED headlights and taillights along with daytime-running lights and cornering fog lamps. Trailhawk and Limited buyers can add this option.
4. Fuel economy and safety ratings
The EPA has yet to weigh in with an estimated fuel economy rating for the new 1.3-liter engine, so we’ll have to wait on that one. As for the 2.4-liter Tigershark, economy will hold at 25 mpg combined for two-wheel-drive models and 24 mpg combined with four-wheel drive.
Safety ratings will also be headed for a revision. The new headlight options should improve Renegade’s rating in that department. Also, adaptive cruise control could bump up front-crash prevention scores. But we’ll have to wait for the IIHS to release its findings later in the year. Given the current crash-test ratings, a Top Safety Pick is unlikely.
Pricing will follow later in the fall (likely, in October) in anticipation of the 2019 Renegade arriving in dealerships.