As a rule, 4x4s tend to breeze the hill-start test but can struggle with the lane-change manoeuvre. With the Jeep Renegade, it was the other way around.
Although the electronic parking brake held car and caravan still on the 1-in-6 slope, it took a lot of clutch slip to reach the top and there was a hot smell from the clutch at the end of the test.
In the lane-change, though, the Renegade had the caravan firmly under control on all but the fastest run. Even when the caravan began to slide a little, the Jeep always pulled it straight again.
It took the Renegade a while to get up to speed (accelerating from 30-60mph needed 17.2 seconds), but once up to the legal limit, the Jeep felt stable. However, once above 60mph it wasn’t as secure as its best rivals.
Our practicality testers were impressed by the handy reversing camera, but less taken with the surprisingly low noseweight limit of just 60kg. There’s not a lot of luggage space, either. There’s just 351 litres to fill with the rear seats upright, which wasn’t enough for all our holiday luggage.
In everyday driving, the Renegade is pleasant to drive with balanced and composed cornering. The ride feels rather bouncy, though.
So, the Jeep Renegade is a reasonably capable tow car, but there are more polished all-rounders for similar money.