Jeep Renegade is small but fun

I’ll say this about the Jeep Renegade: don’t judge a book by its cover. Pardon the mixed metaphor, but that’s the best way I can sum up this little rig.

The Jeep Renegade is little. There’s no getting around that. It’s tiny. I’m used to a four-door, full-size, three-quarter-ton pickup, and I’m pretty sure you could put the Renegade in my truck’s bed. And probably have room to cram in a few hay bales, too.

And the Renegade is kind of homely. It’s not as bad-looking as a lot of the vehicles on the road today – compared to the Kia Soul, the Renegade is a work of art. But it still looks like something a kid would draw in Kindergarten art class.

Despite its tiny size and the fact that it looks like a clown car, it’s an impressive piece of machinery. The size is actually one of its strengths. Because it’s small, it’ll go places a larger vehicle can’t go. The TrailHawk version, like the one I drove, has on-demand four-wheel-drive, and it sits about 9 inches off the ground. With the short wheelbase, unless you’re crawling rocks at Moab, that’s more than enough ground clearance.

The size allows it to get great gas mileage, too, and the nine-speed transmission probably comes into play, as well. I was getting about 25 miles to the gallon when I was driving it.

The Renegade has four seats, though the back seats are not incredibly roomy for a full-grown adult. But if you don’t need to stick any people back there, you can lay the seats down and have a surprisingly large cargo area. With the back seats in seat mode, the cargo area is a bit tight. With the seats folded, you could get a good-sized dog crate and a cooler in there without any trouble.

I couldn’t own one, though. I’d get into trouble. It handles like a go-cart, and it just screams to be driven like one. I better stick with my slow old pickup.