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Does the facelifted Jeep Renegade offer enough to be a credible SUV?

Traditionally, Jeep has never been known for small cars. The brand itself becomes a byword for what many others may technically refer to as an SUV – large hulking objects of steel powered by multiple-litre engines. However, the rapid dilution of the SUV genre, coupled with a growing adoption of the body style, has seen Jeep experiment with smaller offerings. The Renegade spearheads this push to convert car users into Jeep-lovers, while offering an alternative for hard-core enthusiast to get their day-to-day driving fix.

Like it’s sibling, the Jeep Compass, it’s based on the Fiat 500X platform, and shares a low-capacity, tax-friendly 1.4 engine from the Italian stable. However, the only Italian influence you’ll find in the styling is a small inscription of a spider proclaiming “Ciao”, just inside the fuel-cap. This “easter-egg”, as Jeep calls it, is one of many dotted around the car and the rest revolve around Jeep’s heritage.

As such you’ll find an original Willies Jeep ascending a small hill in the corner of the windscreen, as well as the signature Jeep grill and headlight combination dotted in inconspicuous locations inside and out. You could be mistaken for thinking that the American brand may be overcompensating for the less-than-traditional basis of the Renegade, but they needn’t do so: The Renegade can hold its own as a fully-fledged family member, at home taking the kids to school as it is crossing a muddy field.

If you’re expecting trail-blazing heroics, you may need to look elsewhere, but the AWD variant features several modes to deal with various terrains. That’s so long as you remember that a Wrangler or Cherokee this is not.

Towing the line between utilitarian and family friendly, the Renegade offers an almost “my-first-Jeep” approach to the small crossover-SUV genre, and blends attributes from both to make it appeal to a broad spectrum. Take the interior design for instance. Its fairly flat-faced facia features durable materials, chunky grab handles, and knobs and buttons that can easily be operated with gloves on, lending it a touch of ruggedness expected from a Jeep.

Yet the improved infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple Car Play ensures that modern conveniences aren’t sacrificed. The seating position offers the commanding style appreciated in SUVs, even if the Renegade itself is less than imposing from the exterior.

The smallish dimensions and compact packaging actually lend well to piloting around city streets, although compromises are found in the load capacity and seating – if you’re looking for either a load luger or something that can take more than four adults comfortably, you may need to look at other options in the category.

But as far as small-SUVs go, the Renegade stands out as a rather compelling option due to its unique take on a segment that has seen it all.

By retaining the Jeep-like qualities that many enthusiasts appreciate, and making the entire package as car-like as possible, the Renegade neither alienates conventional car users, nor disappoints thoroughbred purists. As an alternative to the norm, it ticks the right boxes to be taken seriously.

Priced at LKR9.9 Million rupees on the road, the Renegade is around the same price as it’s sibling the Compass, and basically in the middle of the crossover pricing spectrum in the Lankan market.

All-wheel-drive and visual appeal gets it the nod over the similarly-priced 2WD Compass (The AWD model coming in pricier), but really, you can’t go wrong with either of them.


Specifications

Engine: 1.4 litre, 4-cyl, turbo, 170bhp
Transmission: 9-Speed Automatic
Performance: 200kmph
Fuel Economy: 13km/l

Sam D. Smith is the Editor-in-chief of BBC TopGear Sri Lanka, and a contributor to Echelon, EconomyNext’s sister magazine

(Colombo, February 03, 2020- Update II)

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Sri Lanka’s discussions with bondholders constructive: State finance minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan authorities continue to engage all debt restructuring negotiations in good faith, within principles of equitable treatment among creditors, and with maximum transparency within the norms of such negotiations, State Minister of Finance, Shehan Semasinghe has said.

“It is standard practice, when a representative group of bondholders is formed, to entertain confidential discussions with such group and its appointed advisors. In the case of Sri Lanka, the Ad Hoc Group of Bondholders represents holders controlling more than 50% of the bonds, which make them a privileged interlocutor for Sri Lanka,” Semasinghe said on X (twitter).

“It is well understood that given the price sensitive nature of the negotiations, and according to market regulations, discussions with the Group and its advisors are to be conducted under non-disclosure agreements. This evidently restricts the ability of the Government to unilaterally report about the substance of the discussions.

“The cleansing statement, which was issued on the 16th of April, at the conclusion of this first round of confidential discussions with members of the Group, aims at informing the Sri Lankan people, market participants and other stakeholders to this debt restructuring exercise, about the progress in negotiations. It provides the highest possible level of transparency within the internationally accepted practices in such circumstances.

“As informed in this statement, confidential discussions held in recent weeks with bondholders’ representatives proved constructive, building on the restructuring proposals presented by both parties. During the talks both sides successfully bridged a number of technical issues enabling important progress to be made. Sri Lanka articulated key remaining concerns that need to be addressed in a satisfactory manner.

“The next steps would entail further consultation with the IMF staff regarding assessments of the compatibility of the latest proposals with program parameters. Following these consultations, we hope to continue discussions with the bondholders with a view to reaching common ground ahead of the IMF board consideration of the second review of Sri Lanka’s EFF program.”

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Sri Lanka rupee weakens at 301.00/302.05 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 301.00/302.05 to the US dollar in the spot forex market on Tuesday, from 299.00/10 on Tuesday, dealers said. Bond yields were broadly steady.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed stable at 11.30/35 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed at 11.90/12.05 percent up from 11.95/12.00 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2028 closed at 12.10/20 percent down from 12.10/15 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.07.2029 closed at 12.25/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.03.2031 closed at 12.30/50 percent. (Colombo/Apr17/2024)

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Sri Lanka Treasury Bill yields down across maturities

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Treasuries yields were down across maturities at Wednesday’s auction with the 3-month yield moving down 7 basis points to 10.03 percent, data from the state debt office showed.

The debt office sold all 30 billion rupees of 3-month bills offered.

The 6-month yield fell 5 basis points to 10.22 percent, with 25 billion rupees of bills offered and 29.98 billion rupees sold.

The 12-month yield dropped 4 basis points to 10.23 percent with 18.01 billion rupees of bills sold after offering 23 billion rupees. (Colombo/Apr17/2024)

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