Jeep has introduced the new plug-in hybrid Renegade and Compass 4xe in Europe, both sharing the same electrified 1.3 litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine sourced from the FCA Global Small Engine (GSE) family. The engine alone is available in either 130 hp or 180 hp guises, with torque rated at 270 Nm.

The big news is the fitment of two electric motors, one on each axle. The front e-motor, which makes 60 hp and 250 Nm, is coupled to the engine, while the second motor at the back features a reduction gear and integrated differential, otherwise known as e-axle for short. The total system output is 190 hp or 240 hp, depending on the variant.

These electric motors draw power from a 400-volt 11.4 kWh lithium-ion nickel-manganese-cobalt battery pack, which is secured within a steel casing underneath the second row seats. It offers up to 42 km of pure electric driving, and comes fitted with a dedicated heating and cooling circuit to ensure optimal operating temperature. A separate module helps charge the conventional 12-volt battery, which in the case of both these SUVs is located in the boot.

As for charging, Jeep says it takes less than five hours to get a full charge when plugged into a 2.3 kW domestic socket at home (the charging port is on the rear left side of both cars), but customers can opt for the 7.4 kW easyWallbox that provides a full charge in under two hours. This PHEV setup doesn’t compromise on boot space, which means a spare wheel can still fit under the boot floor of the SUVs.

Jeep Selec-Terrain drive modes is standard on the 4xe models, offering Auto, Sport, Snow, Sand/Mud, and Rock, as well as 4WD Lock and 4WD Low. There’s also several electric drive modes such as Hybrid, Electric, and E-Save functions, while the eCoasting mode features two levels of energy recuperating intensity. Also on is a new six-speed automatic gear selector.

Despite being plug-in hybrids, Jeep says both cars are great off-roaders – the rear electric motor can release up to 2,500 Nm of torque (but only under very specific conditions), and is solely responsible for supplying rear-axle traction. There is no prop shaft, so both axles are separated, but Jeep claims that torque management is even better compared to a mechanical system. Learn more about a similar concept, here.

Jeep says all high-voltage electric components such as the control modules and the wiring between the battery pack and electric motors are completely sealed and waterproof. The Renegade 4xe also boasts a water wading depth of 400 mm, while the range-topping Renegade Trailhawk variant comes with steel skid plates for extra protection. The approach and departure angles are 28 degrees, whereas the breakover angle is 18 degrees.

There are three variants of the Renegade 4xe on offer, starting with Longitude, Limited, and Trailhawk. Up to 18 different exterior colours can be chosen, with Matte Green being exclusive to the top Trailhawk variant. There’s also four wheel designs to choose from.

Safety-wise, it gets Jeep’s most advanced advanced driver assist system, with features such as forward collision warning and lane departure warning plus, intelligent speed assist and traffic sign recognition, as well as front and rear parking sensors. Also part of the equipment list is the new Drowsy Driver Detection system, offered for the first time in a Jeep model.

Optional extras include blind spot detection, ParkView reverse camera with dynamic grid lines, automatic Park Assist and Keyless Go. The Jeep Renegade 4xe is built at the FCA Melfi Plant in Basilicata, Italy, and will go on sale in the UK this September. Prices start from £32,600 (RM177k).


GALLERY: 2021 Jeep Renegade 4xe

GALLERY: 2021 Jeep Compass 4xe