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Nissan Juke Vs. Jeep Renegade: Compare Cars

Believe it or not, the Jeep Renegade and Nissan Juke are in the same category of small SUVs. But they could hardly be more different. The Renegade is Jeep’s littlest SUV, with square-cut styling and genuine off-road prowess. The Juke, on the other hand, is a style-first urban warrior whose all-wheel-drive option is more for on-road traction than anything even in the neighborhood of rocky trails or mountain climbing.

New in 2015, the Renegade is the first vehicle developed from the ground up for global sale by the combined Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. While it’ll likely sell well in North America, its minimal dimensions make it best-suited to bring the Jeep brand to more crowded and less affluent markets in Europe, Asia, and South America. Its design is every inch classic SUV, with oversize lights and other details for visual interest.
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The interior is straightforward, modern, and contains a number of Jeep-brand reminders in the form of “Easter Egg” design elements. The Renegade’s front seats are comfortable, but there’s not that much room in the rear unless rear-seat riders bargain aggressively with those in the front. The seats are comfortable and nicely bolstered, and the Renegade is clearly wider than other AWD entries, meaning the shoulders of the two front-seat riders are suitably separated.

The Juke, on the other hand, has been with us since the 2011 model year. Its wild-style design is polarizing: You either love for it for its in-your-face, tall, haunched, bug-eyed appearance or hate it for the same reasons. A light restyle for 2015 has made it, if anything, even more mean-looking. The Juke’s layout and switchgear are straightforward even if the motorcycle-inspired gauges, shiny nylon upholstery, and colorful inserts give it far more design edge.

Interior space is adequate in the front, with a somewhat upright seating position, but quite cramped in the rear–and the Juke has less cargo space to boot, just 36 cubic feet with the rear seat folded down (which is how we expect most Jukes will be driven), against 51 cubic feet for the Renegade. In the end, the Jeep is simply far better at the utility jobs that many people need: hauling people and stuff.

The Jeep Renegade comes with two powertrain options. The base model is propelled by a 160-horsepower turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed manual gearbox. If you don’t want to shift for yourself, you’ll move up to the 180-hp 2.4-liter four, which uses the new nine-speed automatic transmission that’s increasingly common in new Chrysler, Jeep, and Fiat products. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive optional for both engines.

The Nissan Juke is powered by a 188-hp, 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, with either front- or all-wheel drive, and a continuously variable (CVT) transmission. The CVT makes it somewhat sluggish around town unless you drive it hard, when it tightens up and offers more fun. Performance fans, however, will go for the Juke NISMO or NISMO RS—both offering a manual gearbox. The NISMO RS gets a top-performance version of the same engine, boosted to 215 hp. The NISMO versions also get more than 100 upgrades to suit their hot-hatch personae.

While the NISMOs are in a separate category–they’re smaller competitors to cars like the Subaru WRX and VW Golf GTI–the conventional Juke powertrain just isn’t as direct or enjoyable to drive as the Jeep’s pair. Not to mention that the AWD Juke gave us truly atrocious fuel economy during a test several years ago–only slightly more than 20 mpg.

The Juke’s safety ratings are mixed–not unexpected for an older design–while the Renegade hasn’t yet been rated for crash safety by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The 2015 Renegade comes in four trim levels: the base Sport (starting at $18,990 for the base 2WD version), the mid-level Latitude ($22,290), and the top-of-the-line Limited ($25,790). All-wheel drive is a $2,000 option. Then there’s the Trailhawk model ($26,990) with its greater off-road capability, which only comes with all-wheel drive and the larger 2.4-liter engine with the nine-speed automatic. All prices above include the mandatory $995 delivery fee.

The 2015 Juke starts at $21,705 and rises to more than $30,000 for a top-spec NISMO model. Even the base Juke S includes Intelligent Key with push-button start, a backup camera, and the NissanConnect system with Mobile Apps and a text message assistant. The mid-range Juke SV adds a moonroof; a rearview camera system; push-button start; satellite radio; the I-CON system; automatic temperature control; and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The top-trim Juke (other than NISMO models) is the SL, which layers on navigation; leather-trimmed seats; and an 8-inch Rockford Fosgate subwoofer with six upgraded speakers.

Overall, the Jeep Renegade easily gets the nod here. When the Juke was the sole hot-hatch SUV on the market, it was a new and interesting way to get that capability in a smaller size than the usual compact crossover. But now that we have entries from not only Jeep but also Chevy, Fiat, and even Buick, the Juke comes up short: It’s too small and cramped, and doesn’t offer the sturdy off-roading ability of the littlest Jeep.

Read more at: http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1098188_nissan-juke-vs-jeep-renegade-compare-cars?fbfanpage

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Jeep Renegade Vs. Chevrolet Trax: Compare Cars

The subcompact SUV segment is expected to really take off this year, and two of the highest-volume new entries are likely to be the 2015 Chevrolet Trax and the 2015 Jeep Renegade.

Offered by all-American brands, they’re smaller than their “compact” siblings, the Chevy Equinox and Jeep Cherokee, respectively. But they offer two very different approaches to designing, packaging, and equipping the smallest all-wheel-drive utility vehicles you can buy from each carmaker.

While the 2015 Trax has Chevy design cues at the front end, it’s otherwise almost the generic small SUV. It’s not bad, just bland. The littlest Jeep, on the other hand, uses oversized design flourishes–big headlights, big wheel arches, numerous Jeep logos–to underscore its toughness even in a small package, to the point where it’s almost cartoonish.

Both vehicles are impressive inside, however, with comfortable seats, quiet rides on decent pavement, and a roster of the latest infotainment and electronic safety systems that would have been seen only in luxury cars not so many years ago. Neither of these vehicles is likely to be used off-road all that much, with the possible exception of the Renegade’s toughest Trailhawk model, so they’re tuned for on-road finesse and comfort.

Each comes as a base model with front-wheel drive, and offers all-wheel drive as an option. The Chevy Trax has only a single powertrain: a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, making 138 horsepower and paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. The Jeep Renegade, on the other hand, has two powertrains: its own 1.4-liter turbo four, putting out a stronger 160 hp, but mated only to a six-speed manual gearbox, or a 180-hp 2.4-liter four paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Both Jeep powertrains offer all-wheel drive as an option.

The Chevy is adequately powered, but not particularly quick; the Jeep is more powerful, but also heavier, and Fiat Chrysler’s engineers seem to have tamed their temperamental nine-speed automatic at last. We found the manual-gearbox Jeep more fun to drive and lighter on its toes, but in reality, most buyers will opt for the automatic.

Fuel economy ratings for the Trax are 29 mpg combined for the front-wheel-drive version, dropping to 27 mpg if you add all-wheel drive. Final ratings for the Jeep aren’t out yet.

The two small utes differ quite a lot in their packaging, however. Rather to our surprise, the Chevy Trax can hold four adult-sized people in reasonable comfort. Five is a very tight squeeze, and rear-seat riders will have to stagger their shoulders, but it’s definitely possible. The Jeep Renegade, on the other hand, has a smaller rear compartment that’s tight on knee room, and fitting four adults into its cabin will require negotiations to get the folks up front to sacrifice some of their own legroom.

The Jeep’s interior conveys ruggedness in its materials, shapes, and surfaces, while the Chevy is straightforward, practical, and adopts a number of clever convenience features from the Sonic subcompact on which it’s based. The Trax in particular has lots of trays, bins, cupholders, and the like to hold your gear. Both have front seats that can fold flat to carry long items diagonally.

Chevrolet has achieved top safety ratings for the Trax from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which designated it a Top Safety Pick. It also earned five out of five stars overall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which gave it five stars in every category except rollover safety, where it received four stars. The Jeep Renegade hasn’t yet been rated by either group, though we expect it to get acceptable ratings at the very least.

In the end, both the 2015 Chevy Trax and the 2015 Jeep Renegade ended up with identical scores in our ranking system. The Jeep wins on styling and performance, the Chevy on features and safety. If rear-seat room is more important than styling panache, the Chevy is your choice; if toughness and design flair, plus optional off-roading ability (in the form of the Trailhawk model) are high on your list, the Jeep is it.

Either one is a modern and capable small utility that competes handily with any competitors of similar size. Both face a formidable challenge from the 2016 Honda HR-V, however.

Read more at: http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1096943_jeep-renegade-vs-chevrolet-trax-compare-cars?fbfanpage