By Mercedes Lilienthal
I was at the 2015 Portland International Auto Show last week and was able to check out the new Jeep Renegade. I snapped a few photos and took a walk-around video to give you an idea of the vehicle's dimensions, character, and style.
Size wise, it was bigger and taller than I first thought. It has a solid, rugged, yet sophisticated look. Exterior wise, some of the bodylines felt a bit soft compared to its angular ancestors of years past. The styling is more in line with the current rounder Cherokee, for example, than the older, squarer Cherokee.
The font end feels cohesive from a design perspective. It features the traditional seven-bar Jeep grille yet still feels modern.
I feel like people will have a love/hate relationship with the taillights. I for one love them when viewed from a rear three-quarter angle; I don't know if I love them from a dead-on perspective, however. They look a bit like an applique to me.
It's all in the details: One of many Easter eggs in the Renegade—a hidden little icon and a nod to the original Jeep.
I didn't get a chance to sit in the back seat, but Andy tells me it's quite comfortable. He sat in the Renegade's back set at the 2014 SEMA Show.
Jeep has masterfully created a competent contender in the compact crossover segment. They'll probably sell boatloads of these. I think they have a hit on their hands, but only time will tell.