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Unreliable Vehicles to Avoid: Jeep Renegade

BY: Adam Karner
Jeep off-roading in the desert

When you think of Jeep, most people’s minds go directly to the off-roading, mud-slinging Wrangler that Jeep is so well known for. For those thinking about comfort and spacious interiors, many look at the Grand Cherokee. This has made the Jeep Renegade a lesser-known vehicle, but it has gained popularity over the years due to its size and price point.

Here, we will look at the Jeep Renegade and explore the many issues that Renegade owners have faced during ownership.

About the Jeep Renegade

The Jeep Renegade is a unique vehicle that resembles a cross between the Wrangler and Cherokee. As a subcompact crossover SUV, the Renegade offers off-road capabilities in a comfortable, 4-door SUV. Although the Renegade is the smallest vehicle in Jeep’s lineup, it is big enough to comfortably fit four passengers while still having rear storage space.

Jeep debuted the Renegade in 2014, giving consumers the choice of a front-wheel drive or all-wheel drivetrain and a few different 4-cylinder engine options. As of 2023, Jeep has continued to improve on this SUV, improving its power and capabilities year after year.

For those who wanted a more eco-friendly Renegade, the conservative 1.4L allowed for great daily driving capabilities without worrying about MPGs. If you wanted a more powerful Renegade, the 237-horsepower Tigershark I4 engine was available for higher-trim models.

Reported Issues With Jeep Renegade

Engine Issues

Unfortunately, one of the most reported issues with the Jeep Renegade revolves around the engine. Many Renegade owners have reported issues regarding stalling, loud engine noises, and hesitation during acceleration. The 2015-2017 Renegade models were among the most notorious for engine issues.

Among these issues, the 2.4L Tigershark engine seemed to be at the forefront of problems. Jeep has issued a few recalls and service bulletins, but many owners have still not found a satisfactory solution to the problem.

Transmission Problems

Jeep has been well known for creating off-road capable drivetrains that can take the abuse of harder driving styles. However, transmission issues have been reported on the Renegade, making it a concern for many potential owners. The Renegade’s 9-speed automatic transmission seems to have been the biggest offender throughout the years, with issues ranging from slow to shift and shift hesitation.

Many others have expressed concern with their Renegade transmission shuddering, jerking, and failing throughout ownership. Jeep has issued several technical service bulletins to address some of these issues, and some drivers have reported success after having their transmission software updated or replaced. However, the transmission issues on Jeep Renegade continue to concern some owners.

Issues With Electrical System

Along with ongoing engine issues, some Renegade owners also reported issues with the vehicle’s electrical system. From looking at consumer reports, many owners experienced a sudden loss of power, engine stalling, and malfunctioning dashboard lights. Judging by past repairs, the electrical issues seem to stem from faulty wiring or defective electronic components. Left untreated or undiagnosed, an electrical issue can cause significant damage to your vehicle and, in some cases, an electrical fire. Electrical issues should be resolved by a professional mechanic to ensure the safety of your vehicle.

Suspension Problem

Throughout the last few years, Renegade owners have reported issues with their suspension components, leading to uneven tire wear, poor handling, and decreased stability. These issues mainly involve 2015-2017 year models and have been linked to problems with suspension bushings. While Jeep has not issued a recall for these issues, owners are encouraged to bring their vehicles to their local dealership for repairs if they are experiencing any problems with their suspension.

Engine Consumes Excessive Oil

Jeep offered the Renegade with various engine options, raising the probability of issues across the board. One of the most common issues that Renegade owners have reported is that their engines consume more oil than normal. While Jeep has addressed these concerns with some updates and improvements, the oil consumption issue remains a discussion topic among Renegade owners.

Recall History of the Jeep Renegade

According to, there have been 11 recalls on the Jeep Renegade. These recalls include:

Rear Camera Image Stays on Display

A software error can cause the rearview camera image to remain displayed after the vehicle has been shifted out of reverse. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 111, “Rearview Mirrors.”

Right Rear Brake Caliper Cracks and Fails

Chrysler (FCA US LLC) recalled certain 2020 Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X vehicles. The right rear brake caliper could have been fractured during the casting process. A cracked right rear brake caliper can fail, reducing braking performance and increasing the crash risk.

Air Bags Incorrectly Deploy During Frontal Crash

Chrysler (FCA US LLC) recalled certain 2019 Jeep Renegade vehicles equipped with the Upland trim package. The Occupant Restraint Controller (ORC) may have been incorrectly calibrated.

Passive Safety Features Disabled in Error

Chrysler (FCA US LLC) recalled certain 2019 Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X vehicles. Incorrect software may cause the occupant restraint controller (ORC) module to disable certain passive safety features.

Engine Stalls From Lack of Fuel Pressure

Chrysler (FCA US LLC) recalled certain 2017-2018 Jeep Renegade 4X2 flex fuel/E85 vehicles equipped with a 2.4L engine. In certain operating conditions, such as high power demand in conjunction with high altitude and/or high ambient temperatures, a manufacturing error in the fuel pump assembly may result in a loss of fuel pressure.

Engine Stalls and Fails to Start

Your vehicle’s Powertrain Control Module (PCM) may have been manufactured with a suspect voltage regulator chip on the electronic circuit board. If the powertrain control module fails, you may experience a no-start, a start-and-immediate stall condition, or an engine stall while driving. An engine stall while driving, resulting in loss of motive power, can cause a vehicle crash without warning.

Malfunction Warning Lights Illuminate in Error

Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling certain 2017 Jeep Renegade vehicles. Due to a software issue, multiple malfunction indicator lamps may illuminate on the instrument panel when no malfunction exists. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 101, “Control and Displays.”

Trailer Hitch Not Securely Fastened to the Vehicle

Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling certain model year 2015-2016 Jeep Renegade vehicles manufactured from August 25, 2014, to June 25, 2016, equipped with a factory-installed optional trailer hitch package. The trailer hitch assembly may have been attached with only one fastener per side, not three per side as required.

Transmission Shifts to Neutral Unexpectedly

Chrysler (FCA US LLC) recalled certain model years: 2014-2015 Jeep Cherokee and 2015 Chrysler 200, Jeep Renegade, RAM ProMaster, and 2016 Fiat 500X vehicles equipped with 9-speed automatic transmissions. The transmission sensor clusters may have insufficient crimps in the transmission wire harness, and as a result, the transmission may unexpectedly shift to neutral. On August 29, 2016, Chrysler added the 2016 Fiat 500X vehicles to this recall.

Vehicle Can Be Controlled Remotely By Third Parties

Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling certain model year 2015 Jeep Renegade vehicles manufactured from September 18, 2014, to June 25, 2015. The affected vehicles are equipped with radios that have software vulnerabilities that can allow third-party access to certain networked vehicle control systems.

3 Alternative and Reliable Vehicles

If you want a more reliable car or something with fewer problems, there are a few great alternatives that you can choose from that closely mimic the Renegade.

Kia Soul

One of the most popular Jeep Renegade alternatives is the Kia Soul. The Soul is one of Kia’s compact SUVs that was introduced in 2008 and is still produced to this day. With a spacious interior and powerful four-cylinder engine, the Soul is perfect for those looking for a smaller SUV with great Kia technology. With a price tag that made it very affordable for consumers, the Kia Soul remains one of its class’s most affordable compact SUVs.

Mazda CX-30

If the Jeep Renegade was a little too small for you, the Mazda CX-30 is a comparable alternative with more legroom and storage space. Introduced in 2019, the CX-30 perfectly blended the CX-3 and CX-5. The CX-30 is offered in a front-wheel and an all-wheel drivetrain with a wide selection of 4-cylinder engines for great fuel economy. The CX-30 also scored exceptionally well on safety tests, making it a great candidate for those wanting a safer SUV.

Honda CR-V

In terms of reliability, it is hard to beat a Honda vehicle. The Honda CR-V is another top-notch competitor to the Jeep Renegade that offers more space while retaining a fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engine. The CR-V, or Comfortable Runabout Vehicle, has been produced since 1995 and has consistently gotten better, leading up to the latest, most technologically advanced CR-V Honda has ever produced. While the CR-V boasts a larger price tag, you get a much more reliable vehicle that will outlast the Jeep Renegade.

3 Tips For Purchasing a Reliable Vehicle

When purchasing a used or new car, several key factors must be considered. The following tips will help you make an informed decision when investing in a vehicle.

1. Research the Vehicle

Researching the vehicle you want to purchase is one of the best things you can do as a consumer. Check for reviews, safety ratings, and customer feedback to learn more about the vehicle’s issues, pros, and cons to make a more informed purchasing decision.

2. Get a Carfax Report

When you have narrowed your search to a few different vehicles, getting a Carfax report on each vehicle is important. A Carfax vehicle history report will tell you everything you need to know about a vehicle, including previous owners, maintenance records, repairs, and car accidents. This report will tell the car’s history when dealerships or the current owner may not know.

3. Take It for a Test Drive

Taking a vehicle for a test drive is another very important thing when purchasing a vehicle. Test driving a car will not only give you real-world experience on any issues the car may have, but it will allow you to determine whether or not the vehicle is a good fit for you. If possible, have your mechanic check over the vehicle during the test drive to get a good look at any issues you may not be able to see.

Check Over the Vehicle’s Maintenance History

Another item to request from a dealership or the current owner is a copy of the maintenance history. A well-maintained vehicle will usually last longer and have fewer issues than those not properly maintained. You can look this up by researching the vehicle’s VIN number.

Purchase From a Reputable Dealer

Lastly, you will want to ensure that the vehicle you purchase is from a reputable dealer. Some dealerships simply purchase and sell vehicles without inspecting them for any issues. You want to purchase a vehicle from a dealership with a multi-point inspection process and a good reputation. You can review a dealer’s reputation by visiting the BBB website or looking for consumer reviews online. This will paint a picture of the first-hand experiences customers have had in the past.

How Endurance Can Help Keep Your Car Reliable

If you are a Jeep Renegade owner or a future Renegade owner looking to protect your vehicle from unexpected breakdowns, an extended warranty (more accurately called a vehicle service contract) from Endurance can help keep you covered.

With various levels of protection to choose from, you can easily find an Endurance plan that meets your specific needs and budget. Each plan includes 24/7 roadside assistance and a one-year subscription to Elite Benefits (with a small activation fee). Our Elite Benefits include great perks such as coverage for up to four tire repairs or replacements per year, total loss protection of up to $1,000, and more. With Endurance, you can enjoy peace of mind like never before.

Speak to our award-winning customer service today by calling our dedicated team at (800) 253-8203 to request a FREE quote. Want to shop online? Visit our online store for an instant price preview to help you shop with confidence.

Read more on our extended warranty blog about NHTSA recalls, Jeep and Toyota comparisons, DIY oil change tips, and more things automotive.

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