JEEP'S funky Renegade small SUV arrived last October with good looks, flexible engines, decent cabin space and a mighty dose of personality.
All key selling points in this so-hot-right-now segment, but the little funster was stymied by what looked like a too high price tag, not least in the face of far cheaper (and very good) opposition.
And so it has proved.
FCA Australia has responded with savings of up to $2500 across the Sport, Longitude, Limited and Trailhawk range, with the entry level Sport manual now starting at $28,000, down from $29,500. And to keep things fair for current Renegade owners (291 were sold in 2015 after its October launch), cash-back cards valued at between $1500 and $2500 - equal to the savings on their model - are heading their way.
If we look at sales figures for last month, 87 Jeep Renegades found new homes (12 less than its Compass stablemate), equal to just over a 1% market share in the small SUV (under $40,000) class. Best seller for December was Mitsubishi's ASX with 2066 models sold, and Mazda's CX-3 the runner-up with 1207. These Japanese SUVs have variants starting at $24,990 and $19,990 respectively.
As for the Jeep, biggest saving with the new pricing is with the luxury-appointed Renegade Limited, reduced from $38,500 to $36,000, while the Trailhawk - the only all-wheel-drive in the range (and highly competent off road during our test) - is down to an even $40,000 from its $41,500 launch sticker price.
FCA Australia is showing more love with a $1,000 drive away offer on both the Renegade Sport manual and auto variants.
A move in the right direction that FCA Australia hopes will see more Renegades on our roads - no bad thing at all - but will the reductions prove to be enough?
Jeep Renegade New 2016 Pricing
1.6-litre Sport manual - $28,000 ($29,000 driveaway).
1.4-litre Sport auto - $32,000 ($33,000 driveaway).
1.4-litre Longitude auto - $33,000.
1.4-litre Limited auto - $36,000.
2.4-litre Trailhawk auto - $40,000.