2015 Jeep Renegade – Have we met before?

Jeep Renegade

Jeep is screaming at the top of their lungs about the new Renegade.  Oddly enough, it seems familiar.

It’s not the full independent suspension.  That’s completely new and going to cause all sorts of revolts from the Jeep purists.  (It is based off the Fiat 500 after all.)

It’s not the size.  It’s roughly the same as the square head-lighted, YJ Wrangler, but the four doors changes the feel dramatically.

It’s the look!  I’ve seen that look before.  No.  Not on a Jeep.  I’ve seen it somewhere else.  Oh, that’s right.  The International Scout II.

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The Scout II was International’s attempt to compete against the popular Jeep CJ-7.  They made it a little bigger to carry people in the back more comfortably and give a little more storage space behind them.

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Never heard of them?  They started out making competitors to the Chevy Suburban and worked there way down in size.  They never had a lot of sales, so they eventually went bankrupt in the Eighties.

Now Jeep brings out this little runabout and I can’t help  but notice the similarities.

Same round headlights

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Same upright grill

Same boxy look

And same kick up in the bottom of the rear side window.

It’s a modern Scout  to me.  Possibly getting a diesel option for it doesn’t separate the idea either.  International threw diesel engines in the Scouts back in the day as well.

But then, Jeep doesn’t really have to worry about people like me noticing the look. They aren’t aiming this at me.  They aiming at the people who have Soul.  Kia Soul that is.

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Yep.  They built this to go after Kia.  I didn’t know the urban commuter was so important to Jeep.  You sure wouldn’t know this from their commercials.

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To compete against the Soul, The Renegade will have the same interior mood lighting and techno gadgets galore.  To one up Kia, Jeep will offer a double sunroof as an option.  It’s called a sky roof and will let a lot of sunlight in to wash out the touch screen on the dash quite nicely.

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As you can bet, the hardcore religious Jeep worshipers are going into hysterics over this.  They are crucifying the Renegade and anyone who defends it with a passion that would make any political party envious.  “Ugly” and “Fiat Panda wannabe” are among the few comments I can repeat here.  Most are far worse.

There is a chance for Jeep to get a marketing win out of this though.  The know it’s not a Wrangler.  They don’t want to try to sell it to Wrangler buyers.  They want to sell it to Kia owners.  So they need to make their commercials for this market.  This give them a chance to spoof themselves.  Using an overly dramatic voice they could talk about conquering deadly potholes, splashing through the torrents of the neighborhood sprinklers, and narrowly avoiding the rampaging large SUV wildlife on the road while snagging the tight parking spot right next to whatever hangout is popular at the moment.  Don’t think it will work?  It did for Suzuki (until Consumer reports killed it)

 

Now if Jeep wants to get crossovers from their own brand there’s only two ways of doing this.  Camping and Ralley.

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Mini Countryman mud

Either way it’s going to be an interesting time for Jeep – even with a 30 year old style.

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8 thoughts on “2015 Jeep Renegade – Have we met before?

  1. Good call on the Scout II looks! I still don’t know about that front end, though… :/

    As for going after Kia? I may be mistaken, but the Renegade is really just a Fiat Panda in outdoorsy clothing. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I have high hopes for FCA and they’re my automotive stock pick for the next year or two. I expect them to outperform Ford by a little and GM by a lot.

    • I think beating GM is going to be easy this first year given the recall. The next year will be the teller.

      You’re right. The Renegade is a rebodied Panda and not a bad thing given the market. The reason why they picked Kia as there target is that Kia has the highest sales in that segment.

      As for the front end, all I can do is offer the sage advise Bob Lutz gave the President of Ford when he handed over a picture of the soon to be made Taurus. “Look at daily until it becomes normal.”

  2. I think the Jeep Renegade will be a huge success because of it’s size. Guys and gals going hunting or doing a little fishing need something agile to get them where they’re going, like that small stream no one else knows about or behind that clump of bushes. Suburbans are nice but they easily bog down crossing fields and take an acre to turn around in. You could easily zip in and out of a space in a crowded parking lot in the Renegade. I’d like having one, with the diesel and towing package please.

  3. Fishing makes sense, but they’re going to have to throw that eight point buck on the roof to get it home. It’s too big for the interior and the carpeting wouldn’t like it anyways.
    I will say that Jeep should have come out with this a year sooner. The Renegade would’ve sold like gangbusters this winter.

    PS: I like your options. I’d want it in the Trailhawk model. (Just not orange.)

  4. I’m not sure how they one up the Kia Soul by having a double sunroof, my panoramic sunroof on my 2015 Soul is quite nice!

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