Strap on your Camelbacks, lace up your North Face boots, and zip up your Eddie Bauer pants. Today, we’re comparing pricing, specs, design, performance, safety, efficiency, and features of the 2016 Jeep Renegade vs Subaru Crosstrek. The Renegade offers a fresh option in the segment, while Crosstrek is a steady, proven CUV option. Which vehicle will fit you best? Find out in today’s vehicle matchup.
Jeep Renegade Overview (base)
Engine: 1.4L 4-cylinder
Fuel Economy: 24 City / 31 Hwy
MSRP: From $17,995
2016 Jeep Renegade Review
The 2016 Jeep Renegade remains the cute, small, and rugged upright SUV that first charmed us in 2015. While some die-hard Jeep fans may scoff at the progressive styling, the Renegade has captured the hearts of many. This boxy car is the smallest Jeep vehicle available. Despite its revolutionary look, it’s still laced with touches of classic Jeep styling all over. Other notable design features of this 4-door SUV include circular headlamps and square X tail lamps.
Inside, the Renegade maintains the circular/rounded theme of the exterior. Buttons and gauges are simple and practical. For the price, the quality of interior trim and materials is good. Expect quality to increase as you climb up the trim and price ladder.
There’s no denying that the 2016 Jeep Renegade is small, but it makes good use of the space available. The rear seat can be snug for taller passengers. Front seats are quite comfortable and spacious. Cargo room is minimal with rear seats up, but folding the rear seats down creates over 50 cu. ft. of space.
The base engine in the 2016 Renegade is a 1.4L turbo-charged 4-cylinder engine that produces 160 hp. If you want more power, there is a 2.4L 4-cylinder engine that produces 180 hp. 4×4 is standard on the Trailhawk trim, and optional in all other trims. The 1.4L is commanded by a 6-speed manual transmission, while the 2.4L utilizes a 9-speed automatic transmission. Driving enthusiasts may find these engines to be tepid, but they will satisfy the majority of drivers. Handling and steering is quite agile, and off-road capability is great, especially in the top Trailhawk trim.
Base Renegades achieve 24 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. Upgrade to the 2.4L engine, and you can expect 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. The 2.4L engine with AWD achieves around 21 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.
This SUV hasn’t been crash tested yet by the NHTSA or IIHS. Seven airbags and stability control come standard. Most models come with a rearview camera. Other optional safety features include rear cross-traffic alerts, lane-departure warnings and correction, blind spot monitors, forward-collision alerts, auto braking, and more.
Standard features include 12-V outlets, power windows, power locks, power mirrors, and a height-adjustable cargo floor. In 2016, BeatsAudio sound system is optional, as is Bluetooth, WiFi, navigation, 6.5-inch touchscreen. Backup camera, MySky sunroof, USB, heated seats, parking sensors, leather-wrapped steering wheel, Uconnect infotainment, and much more.
Subaru Crosstrek Overview (base)
Engine: 2.0L 4-cylinder
Fuel Economy: 23 City / 31 Hwy
MSRP: From $21,595
2016 Subaru Crosstrek Review
While the 2016 Subaru Crosstrek has remained largely unchanged since 2013, the Crosstrek is still a small, sporty hatchback with a strong Subaru identity. This vehicle is a lot like a rugged version of the Subaru Impreza, with additional ground clearance. In 2016, Subaru has added slight alterations to the grille, headlamps, and bumper.
Inside, the Crosstrek has a slightly refreshed cabin, with additions like orange stitching, LED illumination, and more silver & black trim on the dash. Interior design still bows to utility before luxury. Buttons and gauges are straight-forward and practical.
Cargo space is great for the overall size of the vehicle. The 2016 Crosstrek has 60/40 split rear seats to assist in carrying longer items. Four adults should fit comfortably inside, but the interior may be too short for taller passengers.
The only gasoline engine available is a 2.0L 4-cylinder that produces 148 hp. Every Crosstrek comes with AWD, a huge selling point for the adventurous and those in colder climates. You can choose between a 5-speed manual transmission and Subaru’s CVT. Performance of the 2016 Subaru Crosstrek isn’t overly exciting or dynamic. However, this CUV is great at handling a variety of climates and conditions.
Those seeking max fuel efficiency can choose the Crosstrek Hybrid, which achieves and estimated 29 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. With a manual transmission, the Crosstrek can achieve around 23 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. The CVT achieves approx. 26 mpg city and 34 mpg highway.
Safety is a strong-point of the Crosstrek, receiving 5 starts from the NHTSA. The IIHS calls this CUV a 2016 Top Safety Pick +, the highest possible IIHS ranking. The Subaru Eyesight suite is optional on the Crosstrek, and encompasses most active safety features available in modern vehicles. Subaru Starlink is a new option in 2016, providing safety and convenience services.
Every 2016 Crosstrek receives keyless entry, a roof rack, rear cargo tray, power accessories, voice commands, USB, iPod connectivity, and more. Upgrade options include heated seats, leather upholstery, auto climate control, backup camera, power moonroof, heated mirrors, 7-in touch screen, navigation, and more.
Pros and Cons:
2016 Jeep Renegade
- Off-road ability
- Progressive styling
- Impressive handling
- Bare-bones base model
- Tight interior
2016 Subaru Crosstrek
- Standard AWD
- Great handling
- Top-notch safety, especially with Eyesight
- Utilitarian interior
- Slow engine
2016 Jeep Renegade vs Subaru Crosstrek Conclusion
When comparing the 2016 Jeep Renegade vs Subaru Crosstrek, both vehicles largely accomplish their purpose. While Renegade doesn’t have the room for big outdoor toys, it’s offers great off-road performance in a tiny, less expensive package. The Crosstrek offers value and rugged utility, but won’t impress those looking for a luxurious interior or blistering speed.