Reviews

LAST UPDATED:  March 16, 2021

Jeep Renegade Reliability

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

Entering our 7th season of /DRIVE on NBC Sports, and with millions of YouTube and Facebook followers, The Drive is a leading authority of all things automotive.

The Drive on NBC The Drive on YouTube The Drive on Facebook

The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.

PUBLISHED ON March 16, 2021

2020 Jeep® Renegade Limited
FCA US LLC

The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.

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 hand-out. And that branding has been hugely successful, to the point that Jeep is one of only a few of the profitable newly minted Stellantis nameplates. 

More recently, however, it has tried its hand at building something far 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.

What that means 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-dandy guide.

So let’s talk about the Jeep Renegade.

EXTENDED WARRANTY COVERAGE MORE … FOR LESS

Endurance

Save $350 on an Endurance warranty plan with coupon code: DRIVE350

Going with a factory extended warranty is a good option for basic protection, but you can get more and save more with Endurance, ranked the top extended warranty provider by Consumer Advocates, Consumer Affairs, and Retirement Living.

Get a Free Quote

Save $350 with coupon code: DRIVE350

<br>

CarShield

CarShield — USA’s #1 Auto Protection Provider

CarShield pays claims directly to a US or Canadian ASE-Certified® repair facility of your choice. Our contracts have low or no deductibles to prevent stress to your wallet at a critical time. Never worry about being stranded somewhere after a breakdown. All of our vehicle repair contracts include towing services to transport you and your vehicle to a safe repair facility.

Get a Free Quote

<br>

Carchex

Nationwide coverage for cars new and old

CARCHEX has something for everyone. Have an old car? No problem. Live in California? Not an issue. CARCHEX 's plethora of warranty plans includes options for cars up to twenty years old with up to 250,000 miles, regardless of any existing or expired warranties. Click below or call 1-877-207-3304 for a free quote.

Get a Free Quote

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 the 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’s legendary reliability in the minds of consumers for decades. Lexus spent 15 years creating the perfect paint, for goodness’ sake. 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

Short answer: 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 (if you have one), 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 like regular oil changes, fluid flushes, tire rotation, and fuel system cleaners, along with keeping the exterior and underside of your car clean, will all 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.

And lastly, keeping the Mario Andretti driving antics to a minimum will keep your brakes, engine, tires, and chassis under-stressed and happy for far longer compared to hitting every trip to the grocery store like it’s the Indy 500. 

Jeep Renegade Specs

Vehicle Type: SUV

Doors: 4

Engine options: 1.3 L GSE T4 I4, 2.4 L Tigershark I4

Total internal combustion range: 305 miles

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.

The Renegade’s NHTSA History

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

2021

Recall: NA

Complaints: 0

2020

Recall: Rearview Image Can Remain on Display/FMVSS 111, Fractured Right Rear Brake Caliper Can Fail

Complaints: 6

2019

Recall: Rearview Image Can Remain on Display/FMVSS 111, Incorrect ORC Calibration, ORC module May Disable Safety Features

Complaints: 15

2018

Recall: Loss of Fuel Pressure, Voltage Regulator may Fail and Cause Stall

Complaints: 214

2017

Recall: Loss of Fuel Pressure, Oil Pump Housing Crack may Cause Engine Stall, Incorrect Software Combination/FMVSS 101

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 automotives 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 shut down. Owners have experienced the defect in nearly new models.

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

“FIAT CHRYSLER KNEW ABOUT OIL OVERCONSUMPTION

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

“In the issued document, FCA acknowledged the high oil consumption rate of a quart every 750 miles. But the TSB suggests – and owner forums confirm – consumption rate can be higher. This rapid consumption causes vehicles to unexpectedly shut down more frequently.”

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 52K 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 (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 nothing they can do.” 

2015 Model Year Squealing Brakes

Repair Costs: $NA, 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: $NA, 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 a 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 LLC, which is now known as FCA US LLC.

“In November 2015 there was a settlement, but a vehicle purchased a month later is not part of the settlement. I now have over 95,702 miles on the car. The transmission software has been updated in April and May 2020. I have driven over a thousand miles since and the transmission continue 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: NA/100

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: How Many Miles Does a Renegade Last?

A: According to Consumer Reports, new cars are all designed to exceed 8 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 not. 

Video

EXTENDED WARRANTY COVERAGE MORE … FOR LESS

Endurance

Save $350 on an Endurance warranty plan with coupon code: DRIVE350

Going with a factory extended warranty is a good option for basic protection, but you can get more and save more with Endurance, ranked the top extended warranty provider by Consumer Advocates, Consumer Affairs, and Retirement Living.

Get a Free Quote

Save $350 with coupon code: DRIVE350

<br>

CarShield

CarShield — USA’s #1 Auto Protection Provider

CarShield pays claims directly to a US or Canadian ASE-Certified® repair facility of your choice. Our contracts have low or no deductibles to prevent stress to your wallet at a critical time. Never worry about being stranded somewhere after a breakdown. All of our vehicle repair contracts include towing services to transport you and your vehicle to a safe repair facility.

Get a Free Quote

<br>

Carchex

Nationwide coverage for cars new and old

CARCHEX has something for everyone. Have an old car? No problem. Live in California? Not an issue. CARCHEX 's plethora of warranty plans includes options for cars up to twenty years old with up to 250,000 miles, regardless of any existing or expired warranties. Click below or call 1-877-207-3304 for a free quote.

Get a Free Quote