Rental Car Impressions: Jeep Renegade Diesel – Hola Desde Espana

We are in Spain this week, visiting our daughter who is studying abroad.

We flew into Madrid, and picked up our Hertz rental. Since there would just be two of us in the car, I booked the smallest 2 door hatchback class. It would be about 120 Euros a week, unlimited miles, which was pretty darn cheap (about $135.00 USD a week).

When we arrived at the Hertz counter, they had upgraded us several classes to a “Large SUV”, which is this Jeep Renegade. It is actually roomier inside than I imagined. And though I have always found them to be a little homely looking, it has quite grown on me.

The interior seems like an airy affair, largely because the windshield is upright and therefore far away. It doesn’t make a lot of wind noise, like I thought an upright screen would. The car rides and handles quite nicely, which may be a partly due to the Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tires on the Jeep. Quite a different setup from a North American sample, I would imagine.

For a European rental, it is quite well equipped with nav, the whole nanny suite (lane departure, collision mitigation, park sensors front and rear, etc.), dual zone auto climate control, etc. It’s pretty well broken in with almost 80,000 km on the clock or about 49,000 miles. It has Spain tags, but several highway vignettes (toll stickers) including Austria, so it gets around.

From Madrid, we drove to Granada for a couple of nights, and now we are in Seville. Here is Christopher Columbus’ tomb, inside the Seville Cathedral which is in our lead picture as well (the orange trees are in the courtyard at the Cathedral).

The Jeep has a 1.6 liter 4 cylinder diesel with a 6 speed stick. I think it is the same powertrain (and actually the same basic car) as the Fiat 500L diesel stick shift we drove across much of Europe in 2014. It is a wonderful drivetrain and it’s too bad we can’t get it in the U.S. The speed limit has been 120 kph, or about 76 mph, most all of our route so far. We have covered about 500 km and averaged 5.0 liters/100km, which by my math works out to just under 47 mpg. The engine pulls up moderate hills just fine in 6th gear, and feels downright peppy in city traffic.

Diesel has been 1.25 Euros a liter, or about $5.35 USD a gallon.

I do sometimes wish I had the small 2 door hatch I had ordered…..while the Jeep is a steal at the 120 Euros a week, this is a typical street we have dealt with staying in the older parts of Granada and Seville. This is the street to our Seville hotel, and yes, it is a two way street!

Back to Madrid tomorrow and then fly back home Sunday. Adios por hora!