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!
I am amazed at the inroads Jeep has made in Europe. It seems that they have done a good job of making powertrain changes for local conditions.
My sister had an 05-ish Liberty with the turbodiesel. It was a real unicorn around here.
That same car is sold in Uruguay (made in Brazil) with a 1.8 and a 6 speed, or a 2.4 and an automatic (don’t remember how many speeds), all gasoline. Save for the grille, in a country where Fiat was for many years in the lead for sales, the fact that it really looks like a Fiat is not too much a liability….save for those who think in Jeep terms. Those don’t like it.
If that was a “large SUV”, I wonder what they would call a Wrangler or a Grand Cherokee?
While I was in the Navy, I did spend some of that time in Spain. A beautiful country, and yes, got down to the Seville area, though it was 45 years ago so barely a memory.
I was gonna say: forget the US, this is one of the smallest new 4-door SUV/CUVs you can get anywhere.
The powertrain is typical peak-diesel Europe, but that will start to change. Diesel market share has really dropped there, especially in Germany. Italy still has the highest diesel market share.
I doubt the suspension tuning is any different than the US version. Possibly, but I suspect not.
I’d assume the only real difference would be “summer” rather than all-season tires.
I generally don’t care for vehicles made after 2005, but one thing that would motivate me for a new or newer vehicle would be a turbodiesel backed by a manual transmission. Unfortunately our options in the USA are few and far between compared to Europe.
I was surprised to find that Jeep Renegades sold in the US are made in Italy, but it quickly made sense due to it being an Fiat Chrysler Automobile car. It looks like these Renegades are used by Italian law enforcement like the Carabinieri and Polizia. I’ll be headed to Italy in April, so I hope I can get lucky with an upgrade to a Diesel-powered Renegade :-).
This and the Compass are among the few shining stars in the FCA galaxy today.
In fact, Jeep outsold Alfa Romeo and Lancia by a wide margin in 2018 (Europe). x
Apart from a 500 based range, the Tipo and the upscale Stelvio and Giulia, there’s little else left. No bread and butter sedan, no family cars, no minivans. The venerable Freemont /Journey was withdrawn from the market in 2015 without explanation.
These compact CUV /SUV models are making their way into company fleets and law enforcement agencies as well.
I do agree the 1.6 Mjt diesel is a very balanced car in keeping with our voracious tax system, though I prefer the 2 liter automatic.
The war on Diesel is not helping, but we’ll see if the new generation 1 liter and 1.3 liter gas engines will help.
I realized that my first statement about the Compass and the Renegade is incorrect as I forgot to mention that it applies to Europe and not to the worldwide market.
The worldwide success of the whole Jeep RAM range is out of discussion.
I drove the US version with 2.4 MultiAir and 9 speed automatic as a rental for a week. No issues at all. I appreciate the near vertical windshield alluded to above. Made ingress and egress very easy.
I hope you enjoyed mi city! the weather has been very nice.
Jeep is making very good business here. They´re making the right car in the right moment, in the middle of this SUV/crossover fever.
Is it just me or does this euro-spec version seem to be riding lower than the US version? I’ve ogled a few of these over the last couple of days and the ones over here seem (to me) to have at least an extra inch of ride height. (Looking at the pic of our subject vehicle parked in the no parking zone).