Jeep Renegade

​Five years of the Renegade phenomenon in Brazil

Successful since its debut, Jeep Renegade is the best-selling SUV in the country and the most loved by consumers of this text

April 3, 2020 - A consolidated fact: a phenomenon in Brazil, the Jeep Renegade is the best-selling SUV in the country. With more than 250,000 units sold in five years of history, the first model produced at the Jeep Automotive Plant (Goiana, PE) — the most modern FCA factory in the world — collects accomplishments. It became a reference in the SUVs segment for its versatility, 4x4 capability and adventurous style. The model broke the monthly sales record among SUVs in its first year in the market, quickly reaching the list of the five best-selling cars in Brazil (unprecedented position for a vehicle in this category) which guaranteed Jeep the overall lead among the SUVs in the country, achieved in 2016 and maintained to this day.

All this success is also due to the nationwide Renegade fans, keen to express their love for the car, which is the first vehicle produced in Brazil to obtain five stars regarding the protection of adults and children alike in the program Latin NCAP collision tests. "For me, the Renegade is the SUV in its range that best combines the profile of urban use with off-road fitness. That alone would be enough to fully justify my choice for the vehicle", says Renato Braga, a resident of Belo Horizonte (MG) and owner of a Renegade Trailhawk 2018 2.0 turbodiesel.

Renato Braga with his Jeep Renegade TrailhawkOwner of a Renegade Trailhawk, Renato Braga enjoys the off-road bravery of the SUV.

"In addition, The Renegade brings the historic prestige of the Jeep brand, a unique and personal retro design, a refined finish and a lot of embedded technology," adds the 49-year-old university professor, who’s already purchased his second Renegade —his first was a Longitude 1.8 flex, purchased in 2016.

"My experience with this car was so good that when I got a new car, it was another Renegade. I always had the desire to have a vehicle of the brand, because I grew up riding in jeep. In the family, from my great-grandfather to grandfather and father, uncles and cousins, we’ve all owned some of the classic Jeep Willys and Jeep Ford, the CJ series, as well as other famous models in the history of the brand", explains Renato.

For Fernando Herrera, who still has his Renegade Longitude flex purchased brand-new in 2016, Jeep is a reference for comfort. "You can face any challenges with it, whether on the asphalt or on dirt roads, without giving up on you. I've gone on many wonderful trips with my Renegade; the last one was to Florianópolis (SC). I drove 3,000 kilometers with great pleasure and safety behind the wheel", says the 54-year-old businessman, who lives in Americana (SP).

Fernando Herrera with his Jeep Renegade Longitude 2016Fernando Herrera bought a Renegade Longitude flex in 2016 and says he’ll only change it for another Renegade.

Someone else who also loves to go on the road with his Renegade is the process control supervisor Edenilson de Souza, 46 years old from Barueri (SP). "I bought my SUV in February 2019 and a month later I made my first trip to Caldas Novas (GO)", he recalls. "It was very pleasant to drive more than 700 km on the highway in my Jeep. I was impressed that it was very quiet and comfortable even in some stretches of dirt road with many potholes", he adds.

Edenilson bought a Renegade Sport 1.8 flex for handicapped because of his son, Anderson Oliveira Souza, 21, who is also passionate about Jeep. "He loves to ride in the SUV. Just say we're going out that he's already in the car", says his father.

Edenilson and his son, Anderson, next to his Jeep Renegade SportEdenilson and his son, Anderson, love to travel with the Renegade.

In Fernando's opinion, the design and cost-benefit of the Renegade are other strong attributes of the model. "I don't see a more beautiful and more comfortable SUV than the Renegade these days. And it comes very well equipped as standard compared to its main competitors. I'm only going to sell mine if I can trade it in for another Renegade, which I intend to do soon", he says. The model's technology package includes items such as electronic parking brake, four-wheel disc brake and multilink rear suspension.

Even those who no longer own a Renegade don’t hide their passion for the SUV. "It was love at first sight, the best car of my life. And look, I've had many vehicles", says taxologist Naiara Delfino, 31, who had to switch brands because of the demand in the company she currently works for, which has another partner. "I had a Renegade Sport and a Longitude, both 1.8 flex. Besides being beautiful and imposing, it was an SUV that enchanted me because of its great stability and ideal size to park in difficult spots. It delivers what he promises!" reinforces Naiara.

A real SUV

Unlike its rivals, the Jeep Renegade is not derived from a passenger car. It was designed to be a real sport utility car, a segment that, incidentally, was invented by Jeep. The national SUV, which is exported to 12 other Latin American countries, such as Argentina, Uruguay and Chile — totaling almost 320,000 units produced — has a robust body, which allows it to have other exclusive items in the segment, such as turbodiesel engine, nine-speed automatic transmission, 4x4 traction with reduced, descent control and land selector, in addition to the independent suspension on all four wheels in all versions.

"At the time of its launch, I read specialized press publications, went to dealerships, saw the vehicle in detail, went on a test drive and soon concluded that the new compact SUV would be the next vehicle in my garage", says Renato. According to him, other factors that contributed to the purchase of the SUV were "versatility, high technology, national production and reasonable price for both acquisition and maintenance".

A recipe for success with a pinch of tradition

With several versions and special series released in these five years of history in Brazil, The Renegade - which underwent its first restyling in 2019 —already gave indications that it would become a sales phenomenon seven before its debut in the country, because of its legitimate SUV in its DNA and the tradition of the brand as well. "The Jeep brand is in the heart of Brazilians because it helped build the nation in the national automobile industry in the early 1950s. What other vehicle has debuted the immensity of this country by staying in everyone's imagination as synonymous with bravery, confidence and versatility, if not the Jeep?" asks Edilson Vieira, economics reporter at Jornal do Commercio, from Recife.

Journalist Edilson Vieira during jeep renegade launch tests in the United States in 2015Edilson Vieira was one of the first journalists to test the Renegade.

For the 52-year-old journalist — one of the first Brazilians to test the Renegade in early 2015 at the Jeep's launch in California (USA) for specialized media — Renegade proved to be a "legitimate heir" and occupied a place in the market where it was the only one. A compact SUV, truly off-road, but with the comfort and technology of a passenger vehicle. I remember the title of my story for the release of the Renegade which was almost a prophecy: 'It will shock.'"

Vieira says he has fond memories of the Renegade launch’s test drive. "It was in the city of San Jose, two months before its debut in Brazil. We drove about 200 km on highways and winding gravel roads to the Hollister Hill test track. When the car ahead sank in the first slough, I feared for my luck, but coming out whole and lepid on the other side, I began to abuse of my Jipinho’s confidence. Craters (that Brazilian roads aren’t capable of manufacturing), ditches, curves, erosions, and the Renegade without even skipping a beat as to what it encountered out there", he recalls.

The journalist Glauco Lucena, who was press manager of Jeep at the time of the launch of the Renegade and is now in Anfavea (National Association of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers), recalls that the first official appearance of the SUV in the country occurred at the Motor Show 2014. "It was the most anticipated release of that edition and was of great importance because it was not simply the debut of a car. Renegade was responsible practically for the relaunch of Jeep in Brazil, a brand hitherto very associated with old models or only luxury", he says.

Until its arrival in stores in Brazil, Renegade faced several launching stages. "It was presented first in Italy, then in California, it was in international shows and only then did it appear here, in 2014, at the Motor Show. It was a wonderful job to do, a story that today proves to be a winner", adds Glauco.

Words: Leandro Alvares

Pictures: Marketing / Personal Collections

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