Oftentimes, when people are shopping for a vehicle on a budget, they opt for a base model because they think it’s all they can afford. But that’s not always the case.
The truth is, if you’re smart about the way you build your vehicle of choice, you can actually get a lot more for your money. To prove this, we used the configurator on Jeep’s website to build a 2016 Jeep Renegade for under $28,000 that’s far from basic.
2016 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk (starting MSRP $26,745)
The Trailhawk might be the most expensive trim for the Renegade, but we felt it was worth the extra money. Unlike the lower trim levels, which have a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine, the Trailhawk has a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated in-line four. Both units produce the same 180 horsepower, and despite an extra liter of displacement, the Trailhawk’s engine only gets 2 mpg less than the other trims’. Plus, the Trailhawk is the only variant that comes standard with Jeep’s nine-speed automatic transmission. It also comes with premium cloth seats, a leather-wrapped shift knob, a 7-inch color display, a six-speaker stereo system, a free 1-year subscription to SiriusXM, 17-inch aluminum wheels and all-season/off-road tires. The Trailhawk’s four-wheel drive also has a low-speed setting for extra traction while hauling, and Jeep’s Selec-Terrain system that allows you to toggle between Auto, Snow, Sand, Mud and Rock modes.
Packages: Passive Entry Keyless Enter ‘n Go ($125), Interior Protection ($250)
We chose the keyless go package so that the key will never have to leave our pocket. To get into the car all you need to do is touch a button on the door handles, then put your foot on the brake pedal and press the engine start button. The other package we selected comes with Mopar all-weather floor mats, door guards and a cargo tray.
Options: Remote Start System ($125)
With the money we had left in our budget, we opted for the remote starter to make our lives even easier.
The total MSRP — including $995 destination charge — of our 2016 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk in Omaha Orange: $27,990.
All photos via Fiat Chrysler Automobiles