Myth 2: They can’t go off-road.
The tiny Jeep Renegade Trailhawk is built in Italy on the bones of Fiat’s 500X, but that doesn’t mean the most challenging passage it can handle is a cobblestoned street in Florence. In fact, unless your idea of fun is picking over petrified Moab sand dunes with a wheel or two off the ground, the Trailhawk (from $26,990) has all the off-road capabilities you’re likely to need. Five no-bullshit drive modes (auto, snow, sand, mud, and rock) are at the ready on a console-mounted dial, and alter throttle response, gear selection, torque distribution, and more. An “active drive low” mode enables it to crawl extremely slow in first gear (great for climbing even the hairiest gravel drive). But the best feature of the Renegade? Unlike its brawnier stablemate, the Wrangler, it acts refined on the highway, with less wind noise. Better aerodynamics and a nine-speed automatic lift the Trailhawk to 29 mpg highway, compared with the Wrangler’s 21. And a pair of novel pop-out roof panels let you drive in open air. So pack a picnic — maybe a bottle of verdicchio and soppressata — and hit the trail.Back to top