April 7, 2015
Smaller in size but lacking nothing in heart, the all-new 2015 Jeep® Renegade is a go-anywhere, do-anything vehicle that shares far more than a name with its legendary Jeep brand counterparts. With available best-in-class 4×4 capability complementing iconic Jeep brand styling, this small, light SUV is ready for any road, built to handle rugged terrain yet agile enough for everyday city driving.
It’s that kind of versatility that makes the Jeep Renegade so appealing to people like Amy Smiley, a longtime Jeep fan from Muskegon, Michigan, and the very first person in the U.S. to purchase a Renegade.
One on One with Amy Smiley
The Jeep Blog: In general, have you always been a fan of Jeep brand vehicles?
Amy: Yes, I have always loved the Jeep brand. In my teenage years I knew someone with a CJ-7 and we used to ride around in it all the time. Then when I was on my own years later I was able to purchase my own Wrangler. I love the feel, the ride and the excitement of Jeep vehicles.
TJB: Do you remember when/how you first became aware of the Jeep Renegade? Was it love at first sight?
Amy: I was leasing a sedan and my lease was about to end. I started researching online, looking at Jeep brand vehicles first, of course. But I wanted something to haul my young grandsons in so I started looking at small SUVs. I knew I wanted a 4×4 and something sporty-looking but I could not find anything with the wow factor I wanted. Then one day I came upon the 2015 Renegade. Right away I stopped looking at other vehicles. I knew this was what I wanted. I love that Jeep look, the front end and hood especially, and I like the shorter back (compared to Liberty). So yes, it was love at first sight. The only problem was going to be deciding on a color. I LOVE IT.
TJB: What does it mean to you to be the first person in the U.S. to own a Renegade?
Amy: I am flabbergasted. I had no idea that I would be the first to own one in Michigan let alone the U.S. It is very exciting. I tell everyone. All I want to do is outfit my Renegade so everyone knows and sees me coming and I want to buy all the Jeep clothes I can. I am probably obsessed with the whole thing now. I will have no other vehicle but a Jeep brand vehicle from here on out.
TJB: Now that you’ve been driving the Renegade for a few weeks, what is your overall opinion of the vehicle?
Amy: I love it. I have over 700 miles on her already. I love the space inside. It is so comfortable and the seats are amazing. I feel big and strong driving it and looking out onto the hood I know I am in a Jeep vehicle.
TJB: Is there a particular feature or aspect of the Renegade that surprises you, that you did not expect to enjoy or use so much?
Amy: The power, definitely. I am still getting used to it. She has quite a lot of get up and go. I also love how soundproof it is from outside noise. I don’t hear the wind or someone else’s radio next to me while driving.
TJB: If a friend or neighbor were in the market for a new vehicle, how would you convince him/her that the Jeep Renegade was the right vehicle to buy? What would you say?
Amy: Oh, I already have been bragging about the Renegade. My friends who say they are in the market for one, all I have to do is take them for a ride. Everyone should own one. It is a great vehicle.
TJB: If you could describe your Renegade in three words, what would they be?
Amy: Comfortable. Stylish. Cute.
TJB: Thanks for your time, Amy!
More insights from Amy
Two months after placing her order, Amy was finally able to drive her Jeep Renegade Latitude off the dealer’s lot on March 17 and, as it turns out, right into Jeep history as the first Jeep Renegade owner in the U.S. She told us via Skype from her home that it’s an honor she’s still savoring.
Amy’s love of driving her Jeep Renegade has already translated into more than 700 miles logged in less than a month and, she says, many more fun trips are yet to come.
The above article is a compilation of blog posts which first appeared in The Jeep® Blog under the title “Jeep Renegade: Interview with an Owner,” and the FCA US LLC blog, Objects in the Mirror under the title, “Michigan mom makes Jeep history,” written by Betty Newman.