Jeep Renegade Reliability

It may be the smallest Jeep around, but is it reliable?

byThe Drive Staff|
Jeep Renegade Reliability

Since World War II, Jeep’s brand has been about brash, middle-weight off-roaders. It’s in every TV ad, every poster, and every dealer brochure. That branding has been hugely successful, to the point that Jeep is one of only a few of the profitable newly minted Stellantis nameplates. We're looking at you, Chrysler.

More recently, however, it has tried its hand at building something smaller than its Wrangler and Grand Cherokee bread and butter. Enter the Jeep Renegade, a compact crossover SUV based on Fiat’s 500x platform. And although you’d expect Jeep’s customers to recoil from such heresy, people bought them in droves and surprised just about everyone, including many automotive journalists who were rather harsh on the baby Jeep. 

What this means, however, is that there’s a lot of information on the Renegade’s reliability, average maintenance costs, and serious and minor issues that have arisen in its short tenure. Understanding those variables is key to making good purchasing decisions, which is why The Drive’s editors pulled together all of this information in this handy guide.

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What Makes a Reliable Brand?

Reliability depends on a host of variables, but the two biggest structural supports are the development and manufacturing of a vehicle. When auto manufacturers spend time and money developing a car and its manufacturing line, a car tends to last longer. Hastily designed, poorly manufactured, and cheaply constructed materials will all reduce a car’s longevity and reliability.

There’s also a work ethic variable that cannot be ignored. Honda and Toyota’s cultures of reliability over all embody that ethic and have thus kept each company’s legendary reliability in the minds of consumers for decades. Lexus spent 15 years creating the perfect paint, for instance. Add longer-than-normal warranties and good customer service, and it’s easy to see why these Japanese companies have enjoyed their strong standings for so long.

Yet, once a car leaves the dealership lot, outside factors impact a car’s durability.

What Impacts a Car’s Reliability

The short answer is you. The longer answer is a car’s reliability and longevity are inextricably tied to how you take care of your vehicle, your maintenance schedule, your conservative or brash driving habits, and whether or not you live in climates where extreme weather could affect the car’s construction.

Preemptive maintenance such as regular oil changes, fluid flushes, tire rotation, and fuel system cleaners along with keeping the exterior and underside of your car clean will increase the life expectancy of your car. Keeping it out of the harsh desert or tropical sun as well as away from the rust-inducing salted roadways of winter will also extend its life.

Also, keeping the Mario Andretti driving antics to a minimum will keep your brakes, engine, tires, and chassis happy for far longer than pretending that every trip to the grocery store is the Indy 500. 

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Is the Jeep Renegade Reliable?

As detailed above, reliability is generally something that depends on the person, the car, and the situation, so we can’t make a definitive statement that the Jeep Renegade is reliable or unreliable. To better assess its reliability, however, we’ve assembled several data points from numerous sources to present you with as much information as possible. Let’s start with common problems, as told by comments listed in the Renegade’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) archives.

Jeep Renegade Specs

Vehicle Type: SUV

Doors: 4

Engine options: 1.3 L GSE T4 I-4, 2.4 L Tigershark I-4

Total internal combustion range: 305 miles

The Renegade’s NHTSA History

As collected by the NHTSA, these are the Renegade’s issues throughout the years.


Recall: N/A

Complaints: 0


Complaints: 6


Complaints: 15


Complaints: 214


Complaints: 374

Jeep Renegade Class-Action Lawsuit

Per the class-action lawyer’s website:

“Hagens Berman has filed a class-action lawsuit based on consumer complaints that various Fiat Chrysler automobiles routinely over-consume oil, causing costly maintenance. The oil overconsumption also reportedly leads to low oil pressure, triggering a defect in the affected Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, and Ram vehicles to spontaneously shut off while in operation. This can occur in the middle of intersections or even on the freeway. According to vehicle owner reports, there is no indicator to show actual remaining oil life to warn drivers of potentially sudden shutdown. Owners have experienced the defect in nearly new models.

“The affected FCA vehicles have 2.4L TigerShark MultiAir II engines."

Documents issued by Fiat Chrysler to dealerships via technical service bulletins indicate that the automaker has been aware of the rampant issue of oil overconsumption since at least 2015.

Common Jeep Renegade Problems and Repair Costs

As with other car brands, not all Renegade models are built to the same exacting standards. Here’s a quick rundown of problematic Renegade offerings, including the issues, customer complaints, and repair costs that will help you make the best decision when purchasing your next car.

2015 Model Year, Check Engine Light Issues

Repair costs: $1,640, according to CarComplaints.

Customer complaint: “Problem 7 of 12: Just before a year was up, so approximately 52,000 miles on the odometer, the car cut out on the way home from work. The check engine light was on. I called the dealership. They said if it was a steady light, it was probably OK to drive it to them (and not so, if it was blinking). It was steady, and I drove home. First thing in the morning, I drive to my local Goodyear shop where I have a credit card. The dealership had me convinced that nothing was covered ever again, so why even take the car that far away, and If I have to pay for this, at least I can finance it. The Goodyear shop said that it never had a known code and reset the check engine light. 

“However, they stated that it was a 'permanent code,' so the dealership should still be able to see what was wrong. I got it to the dealership within the hour ,and they couldn’t find anything wrong. Code was gone, so there was nothing they can do.” 

2015 Model Year, Squealing Brakes

Repair costs: N/A, according to CarComplaints

Customer complaint: “Mentioned the squealing brakes to the dealership, and I was told that it was because I didn't park my vehicle in a garage. That was a load of crap. I have parked my previous vehicle outside for 12 years and never had an issue.”

2015 Model Year, Transmission Issues

Repair costs: N/A, according to CarComplaints

Customer complaint: “In December 2018 I purchased the car with 50,000 miles. Ever since, I have had repeated problems with the transmission not shifting properly on an intermittent basis. I purchased the car in Virginia and asked Jeep dealers in Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada, about the problem. No recommendations. The repair history now reflects complaints of issue. It has come to my attention, after the fact, that this DFH-9Speed 948TE automatic transmission has been cited in an amended class-action lawsuit with The Chrysler Group, which is now known as FCA.

“In November 2015 there was a settlement, but a vehicle purchased a month later is not part of the settlement. I now have more than 95,702 miles on the car. The transmission software has been updated in April and May 2020. I have driven more than a thousand miles since, and the transmission continues to hesitate between gears on a random basis. I should not have to tolerate the intermittent hesitating when accelerating from stop. I want buy-back credit or an extended warranty on this transmission offered in November 2018.”

JD Power Consumer Reliability Score

According to JD Power, this score “measures the level of defects, malfunctions, and design flaws experienced by vehicle owners. Covers the entire vehicle from engine to infotainment system. A higher rating means fewer problems.” 

2021: 78/100

2020: 78/100

2019: NA/100

2018: NA/100

2017: 75/100

2016: 75/100

2015: N/A/100

Looking for a New Jeep Renegade? Look No Further than Carvana

If you're looking for a new Jeep Renegade, or new to you Jeep Renegade, look no further than Carvana. One of the best new and used car websites around, you're sure to find your next car with Carvana. Click here to start searching.


FAQs About the Jeep Renegade

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: Is the Renegade expensive to maintain?

A: Due to it sharing a platform with a handful of other Stellantis products, parts aren’t expensive. 

Q: Is a Renegade high maintenance?

A: No, but there is a regularly scheduled maintenance flow you need to follow.

Q: For how many miles will a Renegade last?

A: According to Consumer Reports, new cars are designed to exceed eight years or about 200,000 miles. However, individual mileage may vary based on, as stated above, how you treat your car. 

Q: Are repairs expensive on the Renegade?

A: As with all repairs, it depends on the part affected. If it’s deep within the engine, it could be quite expensive. If it’s a loose body panel, likely it will not be.