At last! It is almost here. The Jeep Renegade 4xe is the manufacturer’s first plug-in hybrid and it launches September 2020 in the UK. This is the 4x4 enthusiasts have been craving. Why? Because it has the strengths typically associated with the brand such as exceptional off-road performance – but its hybrid propulsion system adds a choice of ‘drive mode’, very low fuel consumption, and zero emission motoring. Let us explore it further.
Hybrid power system
The Jeep Renegade 4xe is powered by a 1.3 litre, turbocharged, petrol engine that comes with different outputs depending on your vehicle’s trim. Pick the 130hp (Longitude and Limited trims), or the 180hp (Trailhawk). Either way, there is also an electric motor that drives the rear axle and adds 60hp. The motor is fuelled by a 11.4 kWh battery. So, what are the strengths of this hybrid system?
The hybrid power system enables you to choose the ‘drive mode’ that best suits the conditions via a series of buttons close to your gear stick. Choose ‘Electric’ mode, for example. The vehicle is now only propelled by its electric motor so it cannot use any petrol. That saves you money. In this mode, the carbon emissions are zero too. Maximum range is 26 miles before the battery is flat.
‘Hybrid mode’ enables the vehicle to switch between engine propulsion only, electric motor propulsion only, or both simultaneously depending on various factors. These include how much charge the battery has and how fast you want to accelerate. Expect 123 to 134mpg and carbon emissions of 50g/km. Such figures impress.
The Renegade 4xe can be recharged in various ways. ‘E-Save’ mode lets the engine – sometimes in combination with a second motor bolted to it – to charge the battery. Also, regenerative braking captures energy that would otherwise be lost while the vehicle slows down, and transfers it to the battery. Finally, you can connect the Jeep by a cable to a public charger (or a home socket).
The Jeep Renegade 4xe has further strengths. These include its:
- Selec-Terrain system that optimises the behaviour of various components to best suit the terrain, e.g. snow, sand/mud, rock
- 40cm wading depth
- 6-speed automatic transmission (no manual option)
- rugged, imposing, off-road styling that is modern yet pays homage to the vehicle’s illustrious predecessors
- useful equipment that includes a wi-fi router, sat-nav, rear camera, and park assist that automatically steers into bays
- prices start from £32,600 on the road.