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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all!

I've noticed that the majority of you are from the US, and so probably have yet to see the Renegade in the flesh, let alone drive one, so I thought I'd share my experiences of my two test drives. I realise that the choice of engines and transmissions are going to be different in the UK/Europe and US markets, but I hope this is useful anyway.

I arranged test drives of a 1.4 petrol and 1.6 diesel, both six-speed manual transmission, shortly after the Renegade hit UK dealers 3-4 weeks ago. Both were red and featured the black Longitude trim with electric panoramic sun roof (not MySky or whatever it's called).

In terms of interior comfort, I found this to be excellent in comparison to my current car (Dacia Sandero Stepway). You have a real myriad of adjustment options in terms of both the seat and steering wheel, and remember that this was just the Longitude trim, not Limited which I believe goes a step further. The seat feels supportive and firm, so long drives shouldn't be too much of an issue.

I found the black interior just a little too dull and samey for my liking (hence choosing the grey/brown in my own Renegade). The 5" UConnect display also felt noticeably small in comparison to the current 7" display that I have in the Dacia. Internal storage was also a little disappointing with small door bins and very few useful cubbies for storing things like phones, wallets, etc.

That said, most noticeable inside is the sense of space you get thanks to the car being quite squared. Head height is great for someone like me (6' 2") and so forward visibility is also enhanced for taller people.

The sense of space extends to the outside as well and, depending on the colour, the car has a really beefy and imposing appearance. The darker colours tend to get lost in the crowd (I saw both the solid black and carbon black in the showrooms) while lighter colours such as white accentuate the overall large feeling of the car. You wouldn't think it, but the black or silver grille makes a really noticeable difference to the appearance of the car, I found, hence swapping out the black grille for the silver one with the help of my dealer.

When it came to driving, I found the 1.4 petrol to be a little sluggish. Acceleration up to about 40 mph was good, but from 40 to 60 the car felt noticeably stretched, regardless of the gear. Beyond 70 mph, even in sixth gear, the car felt like it had had enough. The manual transmission, however, was a delight in both versions. Smooth, short, and easy. My only gripe would be that the spacing between 1st and 2nd in the diesel seemed to be very short, so quick getaways would need some planning and fancy footwork.

The 1.6 diesel seemed generally punchier and more capable than the petrol, but by no means astonishing. A good all-rounder I would say, making it and a compromise between performance and efficiency (hence choosing it for myself).

In both models, I found the steering to be well-weighted and light around town. Some reviews have complained about the lack of feedback, but in urban environments I don't think this poses much of an issue. Features like the electronic handbrake and keyless entry/start are, in my opinion, nice to have but generally unnecessary when their manual counterparts have been doing the job perfectly well for years (call me old fashioned... no wait, I'm 27).

Anyway, overall I was left impressed by the car and convinced it was the one for me... so my Alpine White 1.6 MultiJet Longitude will be a welcome arrival in 10 weeks' time!

I'm happy to answer any questions any of your have about my experiences, so feel free to get in touch! :)

Richard
 

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Good stuff! I'm hoping our 1.4L motor is better since it looks like the only 1.4L Europe gets with a manual is 140hp vs our 160hp; not sure what the difference in torque is.

How is the size in person? It seems like it's pretty small (which I want) but the only picture I've seen of it next to other cars it looked much bigger. Any comments?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Regarding the size, I would say it's medium sized rather than small, at least by UK standards. It seems to be quite close in size to a Qashqai, for example.

In terms of centre console storage - there's a good size cubby within the armrest and two cup holders, but not a lot else unfortunately. The glove box is also quite small, I found.
 
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