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Taking on Tough Mudder in a Jeep Renegade

Taking on Tough Mudder in a Jeep Renegade

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Jeep has released a special edition Renegade Tough Mudder; Jack Evans was invited to undertake a Tough Mudder inspired course behind the wheel of Jeep’s limited edition Renegade.

Tough Mudder races are all the rage; you, your friends or colleagues may well have competed in one to raise money for charity.

In essence it’s an endurance event over a variety of distances, starting at 10k; it pushes participants to their limits as they run, jump and leap over a series of gruelling challenges, with lashing of mud thrown in for good measure.

It’s not an undertaking for the faint hearted, with some Tough Mudder events incorporating electric shocks; it’s a real challenge designed to test a person’s physical and mental strength.

But, what would it be like to try out such a course from behind the wheel? To celebrate the launch of its limited edition, Renegade Tough Mudder, Jeep invited us to do just that.

Jeep Renegade tackles Tough Mudder

Powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine, the Jeep Renegade Tough Mudder doesn’t initially look capable of tackling extreme inclines and deep mud, but thanks to 4-wheel-drive, relatively low body weight and a low-range gearbox, it should be better on the rough stuff than its looks would have you believe.

We’d get to test out that theory on a variety of challenges, ranging from near-vertical ascents to chassis-bending rock climbs – just like a real Tough Mudder.

Jeep Renegade at Tough Mudder

The Tough Mudder Renegade also gets a series of special features, including exclusive body decals and a chunkier front bumper all adding up to a more rugged, off-road-ready look. It’s also limited to just 100 units, so it’s rare, too.

The Renegade is fitted with Selec-Terrain, which gives better traction on tricky surfaces. The car’s Hill Descent Control would also be put to good use; this allows you to descend a steep gradient in a smooth and controlled fashion, no matter how slippery the surface. It’d certainly come in handy during our first challenge, which was a steep incline followed by an equally sharp descent.

Jeep Renegade tackling Tough Mudder

Going up, the little Renegade never faltered; scrabbling at the surface, it pulled up the rise eagerly, making the summit in next to no time; coming back down, it remained composed. There’s always the temptation to use the brakes in these situations – though the systems work at their best when left to their own devices and applying the brakes can often just confuse them.

A deep section of muddy water was the next challenge; to be fair we were thankful that we didn’t have to run through it wearing shorts and a t-shirt like Tough Mudder runners do! In fact the only discomfort came when the Renegade’s air-conditioning blew a little too much cold air into the cabin – it’s a hard life! 

Jeep Renegade taking on mud at Tough Mudder

Thankfully, the little Jeep remained water tight, despite the quagmire, and faultlessly pulled through to the other side. For such a small car, its level of off-road capability was truly impressive.

It continued to barrel over a series of gravelly sections, before we carried on to a deeply wooded area, tree roots littered the course, threatening to rip at the car’s underbody and mangle its suspension.

Surprisingly enough, the Renegade remained light on its feet. Had we been out on the course on foot, we’d have slipped around a lot more than the sure-footed Jeep did. An axle-bending rocky section proved no match for it, though we did hear the odd scrape as boulders collided with the car’s undercarriage. Thankfully, the Renegade is fitted with metal skid plates designed with just this situation in mind– so we weren’t too worried about damaging the car’s undercarriage.

As we rolled through the finish line, it was clear that the Renegade Tough Mudder had proved us wrong. Far from being some boxy soft-roader, it is in fact a truly capable car on difficult terrain – one which rightly lives up to the challenge set by Tough Mudder.

For us, it was a real benefit to see what a Tough Mudder challenge is all about, from the warmth of a car and minus the mud the electric shocks!

Jeep Renegade taking on Tough Mudder

Tough Mudder runs are coming up shortly in Manchester – at Heaton Park, and Cheshire – at Cholmondeley Castle.  If you're taking part, let us know!

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