The Jeep Renegade was introduced in 2015. It’s offered as an entry-level option for those looking to get a car with a Jeep badge. It helps that it’s quite stylish for a subcompact crossover SUV with an affordable price.
The Renegade is known for its impressive off-roading capabilities. The Trailhawk trim gives drivers an extra bit of confidence when driving in rougher terrain. With a variety of engine, transmission, and drive configurations available, the Jeep Renegade has quickly become a seller for Fiat-Chrysler.
From the efficient 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder to the 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir2 engine, the car gets up to 180 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque in this little SUV. A smaller 1.3L turbocharged unit also comes as an option. It also comes with a choice of a 6-speed manual or 9-speed automatic transmission, and it’s available in both front-wheel and four-wheel drive versions.
Unfortunately, the vehicle has revealed some of its faults. Here are some problematic Jeep Renegade model years that you should avoid if you’re looking to buy one.
2015 Model Year Jeep Renegade
The 2015 Jeep Renegade was a popular one, and it boasted some great features, such as an optional MySky removable dual-panel sunroof and improved interior materials.
However, this model is known to have some electrical issues, including faulty airbags and power windows that won’t stay up. It’s also been reported to have transmission problems with the 9-speed automatic transmission, as well as various interior accessory problems.
The average cost to repair these issues can range from a few hundred dollars for minor repairs to upwards of $1,500 if you need to replace the entire transmission. So while the 2015 model year of the Jeep Renegade may look like a decent value proposition because of its features and price point, it might not be worth the hassle in the long run.
2016 Model Year Jeep Renegade
The 2016 model year saw some minor updates, such as a refreshed exterior and improved fuel economy. Unfortunately, it shares many of the same issues as the 2015 model, including engine problems, interior accessory issues, and electrical problems.
The Renegade’s engine is quite notorious for excessive oil consumption due to valve issues and possibly faulty piston rings. Some Renegade owners also report having their check engine light go on.
What’s worse is that the average cost to repair these components can be quite high like upwards of $2,000 or more for major repairs. So if you were thinking of buying a 2016 Jeep Renegade, think again. It might not be worth all the money you’d have to spend on repairs.
2018 Model Year Jeep Renegade
This model year of the Jeep Renegade carried over many of the same problems that had plagued previous generations, including electrical problems that affected the functionality of airbags, power windows, and infotainment system and engine issues like heavy oil consumption.
On top of these, the 2018 Renegade also retained transmission issues that started to plague the previous model year. The 9-speed automatic transmission has been known to fail, and replacing the entire unit can cost upwards of $3,500, likely more. So if you’re looking for a 2018 Jeep Renegade, consider yourself warned. It could end up costing you more than you bargained for.
Another concern is the frequency of defective piston rings, which is related to the excessive oil consumption. The average cost to repair this problem is around $500. However, other drivers with this transmission problem report paying more than $3,500 to fix the defective rings.
While there are some troubling issues reported that put the Jeep Renegade reliability in question, those reports are sporadic and not necessarily indicative of a trend. Jeep hasn’t been worried enough to issue recalls.
Rather, it’s the primary issues that we want to highlight here—the ones that get the most attention from Jeep Renegade owners. Namely, we’re talking about the many engine problems, such as excessive oil consumption, engine stalling, and loss of acceleration.
There are also numerous reports of electrical problems, like overheating batteries, the vehicle refusing to turn over, and burning smells and a rattling noise coming from the heated seats.
As for the commonly reported interior accessories issues, these mainly have to do with Apple CarPlay acting up in a variety of ways. So while some issues aren’t as costly to repair, it’s still a good idea to be aware of them before you buy.
Which Jeep Renegades Are the Best?
When looking at Jeep Renegades, stay away from the earlier model years due to their common reliability issues and costly repairs. Stick with the newer Jeep models or look into other brands instead if you’re looking for something reliable and cost-effective.
Jeep’s 2019 to 2022 models have so far received good reviews. We picked the 2022 model year to be the best year for the Jeep Renegade. These would be a worthy investment if you’re looking for something reliable and feature-packed. Buying more recent model years means you’ll have warranty coverage in the event of any problems, and you’ll likely get better performance, too.