How Reliable Is the Jeep Renegade?

The Renegade is a newcomer to Jeep’s lineup, first released in 2015. While it’s not as popular as the Jeep Wrangler, this subcompact SUV still performs well in most driving situations. You can also expect to have some fun off-roading adventures inside the Renegade if you purchase the Trailhawk trim.

One thing you can’t expect from Jeep cars is a stellar reliability rating. According to Consumer Reports, Jeep was one of the least reliable car brands for 2019. This doesn’t mean you should avoid Jeeps altogether, but it’s definitely something to consider while buying one. Some Jeeps, like the Renegade, are more reliable than others.

The 2019 Renegade’s reliability

Both the 2020 and the 2019 Renegade have a predicted reliability score of 2.5 out of 5 from J.D. Power. Consumer Reports predicts the lowest possible reliability rating for the 2020 model. Although the Renegade is a fun off-roader, it does have many weak points. 

CR reviewers stated that it was a shaky ride that provided little comfort. They also weren’t fans of the nine-speed automatic transmission. The guys at Car and Driver weren’t impressed with the Renegade’s engine. 

The standard motor is a four-cylinder engine capable of 180 hp. C&D noted that it was way too slow, with a 0-60 mph time of 9 seconds. The optional 1.3-liter turbocharged engine makes less horsepower, but it slightly improves the Renegade’s speed.

The least reliable Jeep Renegade

Consumer Reports cites 2018 as the least reliable year for the Jeep Renegade with a score of one out of five. Users reported many problems with the structural integrity of the Renegade, including excessive cabin noise, leaks, and cracked seals. The A/C system was also noted to be untrustworthy in the long term. 

The 2018 Renegade also has no standard safety features besides a rearview camera. For more advanced functions, like lane-keeping assistance and forward collision warning, you’ll have to buy a more expensive trim. 

Which Jeep Renegade is the most reliable?

The 2017 Jeep Renegade has the best reliability rating: three out of five from Consumer Reports. It’s still not the best rating compared to other SUVs in its class, but certainly good for the Jeep brand. In comparison, the 2017 Jeep Wrangler only scored two out of five for reliability.

However, the 2017 Renegade doesn’t get the best gas mileage. With the base engine, it scores 24 mpg on city roads and 31 mpg on the highway. If you get one with four-wheel drive, these numbers drop to 21 and 29, respectively.

Low buyer appeal

Despite it being the most reliable model year, the 2017 Jeep Renegade has the lowest possible owner satisfaction score. According to CR survey data, less than half of the customers who bought a Jeep Renegade were likely to buy one again. Poor handling and an uncomfortable riding experience were the most common issues reported.

Customers were much more satisfied with the Jeep Gladiator and the Wrangler. The Gladiator also has a higher predicted reliability score and performed much better in CR’s road test. 

Is the Jeep Renegade safe?

While its owner satisfaction score has stayed at rock bottom, the latest Jeep Renegade got impressive crash test scores. The previous model year had a “poor” headlight rating and an “acceptable” small overlap score. The 2020 Jeep Renegade now boasts an “acceptable” headlight rating, plus a “superior” rating in front crash prevention.

It still doesn’t have any advanced safety features in the standard version. The good thing is that even the standard Renegade can drive over rocky roads as long as four-wheel drive is added. If reliability is a huge concern, you may want to opt for a used Jeep Renegade over the newest model.