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Subaru XV Crosstrek vs Jeep Renegade – Best Small Off Road SUV

Subaru XV Crosstrek vs. Jeep Renegade

UPDATE: Read our comparison of the 2016 Jeep Renegade vs Subaru Crosstrek.

Jeep Renegade Overview

Engine: 1.4L or 2.4L
Horsepower: 160 or 180
Fuel Economy: 24 City / 31 Hwy
MSRP: Starting at $17,995

Inside the 2015 Jeep Renegade:

The Renegade is a new vehicle from the Jeep camp that falls in the new and booming vehicle class of subcompact crossover SUV. This small, affordable vehicle packs the technology we love from Jeep inside a frame that still maintains 2,000 pounds of towing capacity and gets the best fuel economy of any of the Jeep offerings at 24 city and 31 highway miles per gallon. The 2015 Jeep Renegade is available in four trim options between the base Sport model, Latitude, Limited and Trailhawk. The Renegade is available in two drivetrain options between the 1.4L turbo 6-speed C635 manual transmission and 2.4L 9-speed 948TE automatic transmission.

The interior of the Renegade is surprisingly roomy given its subcompact vehicle class. Adventure seekers also need not worry as the rear of the vehicle has 50.8 cubic feet of cargo room when behind the front row. The Jeep Renegade is available in two 4×4 options: the Jeep Active Drive on Sport, Latitude and Limited and Jeep Active Drive Low on the Trailhawk model. An available option to aide in the fun is the My Sky open-air dual panel roof. Instead of the standard sunroof, you have the option to retract the panels back or remove them and store safely in the rear cargo area for an open concept with the outdoors. The Uconnect® infotainment center comes in a black and white 3in display on the standard model and the premium 6.5in touchscreen display is available on all other models.

Subaru XV Crosstrek Overview

Engine: 2.0L
Horsepower: 148 (160 on hybrid option)
Fuel Economy: 23 City / 31 Hwy
MSRP: Starting at $21,595

Inside the 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek:

The Subaru XV Crosstrek is an off-road ready compact crossover SUV that was introduced in America with the 2013 model. Despite the relatively new concept, Subaru added a hybrid option in 2014, the first in any Subaru vehicle, and continued to improve the XV Crosstrek design by adding a new, more affordable base trim option. In total, the XV Crosstrek is available in five trim options which include the 2.0i, 2.0i Premium, 2.0i Limited, Hybrid and Hybrid Touring. The combustion engine is a 2.0L 16-valve Subaru BOXER engine with 148 horsepower. The hybrid has a combined horsepower of 160 and increases the fuel economy from 23 city / 31 highway to 34 city / 30 highway.

While the exterior of the XV Crosstrek manages to make a wagon look sporty and cool. The interior however, is lackluster at best with no interior color options besides an upgrade from a cloth to leather package in the 2.0i Limited. Much like the Renegade, this vehicle comes with a large amount of rear cargo room with 51.9 cubic ft. behind the front row and 22.3 cubic ft. of that behind the 2nd row. Standard in all Subaru XV Crosstrek models is the 6.2in multimedia touch screen STARLINK system with 4 speaker system. Available on all upgrade models is the premium 7.0in STARLINK Plus system with 6 speakers and SiriusXM radio.

Our Pick for Winner:

Base Model: Subaru XV Crosstrek

Subaru recently added a new base model to make the XV Crosstrek more affordable. They did this while also adding a standard rearview camera and a 6.2in STARLINK infotainment center. Voice activated controls are also included whereas the base model Jeep Renegade Sport, includes a black and white display with no hands free technology.

Upgrades: Jeep Renegade

While the Subaru XV Crosstrek does offer a hybrid option, the additional cost doesn’t make it worth the gas mileage which only improves in city driving situations. The 9-speed, 2.4L upgraded Jeep Renegade is a much more impressive option, as well as the improved acceleration.

Overall Winner:

Jeep Renegade

As with many of our Carsforsale.com Vehicle Matchups, there are tradeoffs between the two vehicles and with the Subaru XV Crosstrek vs Jeep Renegade, we saw an overwhelming amount of tradeoffs. While the base model Subaru come with a better infotainment center, the Jeep come with a far superior sound system. While the off road 4×4 capabilities get the advantage with the Renegade, the available Subaru EyeSight Driver Assist technology is more impressive.  When deciding an overall winner, we had a few concerns with the noisy engine in the XV Crosstrek and liked the lower price point on the Renegade, which helped it pull away with the win today.

2015 Jeep Renegade

Dustin "Dusty" Rhodes

A fan of nice round numbers and working on tiny European cars, Dusty is the proud owner of a '58 Lloyd 600, a '50 FIAT 500, and is currently on the hunt for a Vespa 400. And, despite all that repair work, he still finds time to write about cars. 

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  1. Avatar
    Curt December 1, 2015

    This “comparison” is really terrible. Very little actual information, and I think you got it completely wrong.

    The lower price jeep is FWD, whereas the Crosstrek is AWD. To get a 4WD jeep, the price is higher than the comparable Crosstrek. The Crosstrek does have an upgrade for sound, which would put them back at parity for price.

    The Crosstrek has 8.7″ of ground clearance vs. (6.7 for FWD) or 7.9 for the 4WD version. That’s HUGE and helps a lot off road. So I wouldn’t give offroad to the Jeep as quickly as you did. A Jeep nameplate does not automatically make the Renegade good offroad.

    The Crosstrek also is a subaru, which are famous for long life. Whereas anything not an old wrangler has the exact opposite reputation from jeep. So reliability should be taken into consideration.

    Also, Jeeps (as a brand) are more likely to flip and kill you than any other modern car. The safety record is atrocious, and a quick google search will show you videos and reviews. The Crosstrek however has a 5 star safety rating, and subaru does not have a reputation for flipping and killing passengers.

    Real complaints of the Subaru are that it is underpowered and the interior is bland without some of the features you expect on a modern car (power seats). Please do a real review next time.

    1. Avatar
      Bob April 8, 2018

      The clearance height for the Renegade Trail hawk is 8.7″ which is the same as the Crossteck. You also have to look at the departure, break over and approach angles when going off road which are probably better on the renegade than the Crossteck. Additonally does the crosteck have skidplates like the renegade trailhawk does to protect senstive areas off road ?
      The trailhawk comes with a high and low 4 wheel drive range. The other renegade versions come with a 4 wheel drive high system. Both versions allow you to lock it in before you start slipping.. I believe suburaus you can’t pre-lock the AWD system. When off roading you want to engage 4 wheel drive before the mud not while your’e in it.
      Also the trailhawk version of the renegade comes with tow hooks which are helpfull off road.
      so the renegade is definitly the better choice off road
      Now for speed and re-sale value i would definitly say to go with the crossteck

  2. Avatar
    blocked_five_times December 10, 2015

    Wrong. Crosstrek all the way!

  3. Avatar
    best offroad April 14, 2016

    I think both has unique features. They have different shape and different use.

  4. Avatar
    Athens by Car November 10, 2017

    I love Jeep Renegade, the best car for traveling.

  5. Avatar
    s0me60dy December 25, 2020

    To be honest, I really don’t like Subaru…


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