Skip to main content

For years, the Jeep Renegade has been an excellent option for drivers who want Jeep-brand style and capability in a compact, commuter-friendly package. But after the better part of a decade on the market, the Renegade is starting to show its age. According to one ranking, the Jeep Renegade is dead last among the market’s compact SUVs. 

Renegade ranked 16th best small crossover

Forbes ranked 16 new small SUVs from the 2023 model year, from the Volkswagen Taos to the Ford Bronco Sport. The 2023 Jeep Renegade ranked last among them. Forbes used criteria ranging from safety tech to ride quality and cargo space to determine its list. The publication also limited its list to SUVs less than 177 inches long. 

Notably, the 2023 Jeep Renegade isn’t the only small Jeep on the list. The Jeep Compass fared a bit better, sitting in the middle of the pack at rank 7. Forbes praises its off-road capability and upgraded infotainment system. 

Held back by engine options 

An orange 2022 Jeep Renegade in front of a waterfrall.
2022 Jeep Renegade | Jeep, Stellantis

According to Forbes, the Renegade’s powertrain is its most significant drawback. 

Subcompact SUVs are leaning into their roles as more efficient alternatives to trundling gas guzzlers. Smaller engines and electrification are boosting efficiency in the segment without detracting too much power. According to Forbes, the 1.4-liter engine in the Renegade simply doesn’t compete. Its 210 pound-feet of torque is respectable, but the engine only achieves 27 mpg combined. Others in the segment achieve at least 30 mpg.  

Jeep Renegade is expensive

Forbes also looks at the Renegade’s price as a pain point. Jeep offers a starting price for the small SUV at over $25,000. That’s a high base price compared to many small crossovers that start well under $25,000. However, Forbes also points out that the Renegade doesn’t seem to suffer from as many dealer markups as some of its competitors.  

Renegade wins at capability 

The bright spot for the Renegade is its capability. It’s not just a crossover with Jeep styling but a small SUV with some legitimate off-road chops. The Renegade offers an available all-wheel drive system and high ground clearance, allowing considerably more all-terrain capability than most rivals. Plus, the Renegade is rated to tow up to 2,000 pounds. 

Is the Jeep Renegade a good compact SUV?

According to Forbes, the 2023 Jeep Renegade is one of the worst new compact SUVs. Elements like fuel economy and price aren’t particularly competitive with competitors. However, some drivers are looking for more than just good value and efficiency. 

Even though the Renegade hasn’t been redesigned in many years, it still offers one of the more rugged appearances of the segment. From its seven-slot grille to its boxy body, the Renegade sure looks like an authentic Jeep. Some legitimate off-road capabilities back those looks up. It’s no Wrangler, but the Renegade can go much further than your typical small crossover with the right features. 

It’s not the best compact SUV for every driver. But the Renegade is an excellent option for those seeking a more rugged crossover that’s equally at home in the city and on the mountain.