The public of the Jeep is no longer made up only of “hard & pure” but has discovered that they are sensitive to the environment and not at all hostile to electrification, so much so that today one in every three American brand cars sold is hybrid. And the credit goes above all to the success of the plug-in 4xe versions of the Renegade and Compass, since the Wrangler 4xe is a niche model and the Grand Cherokee 4xe has just been announced and does not yet have commercial weight.
The penetration of the hybrid versions, however, is destined to rise considerably thanks to the arrival of the Renegade and Compass e-Hybrid which entail, with the same equipment, a saving of over 7 thousand euros compared to the 4xe sisters. The price difference is due to the fact that these are light hybrid models, which can be classified as mild-hybrid according to current criteria. But for some they could also be registered as full-hybrid, since they have the ability to move in electric-only mode, albeit for short distances.
Unlike the 4xe, the e-Hybrids have only front-wheel drive and the battery from 0.8 kWh to 48 volts is recharged by the energy recovery system during deceleration and does not require connection to the grid. According to Jeep, however, the system allows a reduction in consumption of 15% compared to those of the normal 1,300 petrol engine.
The powertrain, which also equips the brand new Alfa Romeo Tonale and the Fiat 500 X and Tipo, consists of a 1,500 turbo petrol engine combined with two electric motors. The first starts the engine but also generates current, the second, which is located inside the new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, delivers 15 kW, that is something more than 20 HP, and contributes to the running of the Renegade and Compass. As anticipated it does not guarantee an important autonomy with “zero emissions”, but it can move the cars for a few hundred meters, in congested queues and in maneuvers. While driving, however, it adds its thrust to that of the internal combustion engine when the driver makes an extra request for power. In addition of course to recovering energy in deceleration.
In all, 130 hp are available (compared to 190/240 for the 4xe plug-ins), and this results in fairly casual performance, especially in the case of the more compact Renegade, which weighs about eighty kilos less. In normal driving, the thermal and electric engines combine homogeneously. When you push the accelerator, the additional thrust of the electric motor is felt, but the transmission loses some fluidity. However, it has the advantage of avoiding the annoying speed surges of the continuously variable ratio systems used by the Japanese-made hybrids. The engine noise is quite present: on the Renegade, which has a more youthful and sporty character, it is not out of place, while on the more bourgeois Compass it is more noticeable.
For all Renegade and Compass hybrids, therefore for both e-Hybrids and 4xe, the Jeep then adds the special Upland equipment which is placed in the upper middle area of the range, immediately below the S and Trailhawk versions. It has a dedicated blue color, black roof and part of the bonnet, some external and internal bronze finishes and coatings with materials made with a mix of natural fibers and plastic recovered from the sea and recycled.
Jeep Renegade and Compass e-Hybrid, the card
What are they: They are the Renegade and Compass with a lighter hybridization than that of the already known 4xe plug-in versions
Renegade size: length 4,236 meters, width 1,805 meters, height 1,684 meters, wheelbase 2,570 meters.
Compasss dimensions: length 4,404 meters, width 1,874 meters, height 1,629 meters, wheelbase 2,636 meters.
Rivals: Alfa Romeo Tonale, Citroën C5 Aircross, Fiat 500 X, Ford Kuga, Honda HR-V Hyundai Kona and Tucson, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-30, Mini Countryman, Nissan Qashqai, Opel Grandland, Peugeot 3008, Renault Captur, Seat Tarraco , Subaru Forester and XV, Suzuki Vitara and S-Cross, Toyota Yaris Cross, VW Tiguan
Motor: 1,500 turbo petrol 130 hp with 48 Volt mild-hybrid system.
Benefits: Reduced consumption compared to the non-electrified 1300 engine, good supply of driving assistance, accurate finishes
Defects: Gearbox not very prompt and without paddles on the steering wheel, noticeable noise, trunk not very large.
Production: Melfi (PZ).
Prices: The price list of the Renegade e-Hybrid starts at 32,200 euros, that of the Compass e-Hybrid from 36,200 euros