Is luxury off-road driving a thing? Of course, we know that there are certainly vehicles with luxury features that also have some decent off-road capabilities, just as there are some off-road vehicles that aren’t too shabby in the design department. But can a vehicle be both a true all-terrain vehicle and a true luxury vehicle? To better answer this question, let’s make a comparison of 2022 Ford EcoSport vs 2022 Jeep Renegade. Ford is known for doing pretty much everything well but has a specific taste for luxury design (Ford is responsible for the Mustang, after all), while Jeep is arguably known as the all-terrain brand. So do any of these vehicles do luxury off-roading, or do they offer one thing while pretending to be the other?
Before we delve into the finer details, I suppose it’s worth thinking about the incentive behind such a vehicle. Many people wouldn’t want to take the vehicle they dirtied up on the trail for a night on the town, much less want to pay extra money for luxury features that may not be relevant if the point is to be off-road. Likewise, many in the luxury car market may not want to hit the trails anytime soon and are just looking for something nice to cruise around in. But why wouldn’t you want to broaden your automotive experience?
Some people may have the option of owning separate vehicles – one for off-roading, one for commuting, nights out and so on. But if you can get the whole job done with one vehicle, why spend the extra money and take up extra space, if that’s an option at all? For those who only have one vehicle, however, it can be difficult to choose between the possibility of excitement and a luxurious experience in the vehicle. The off-road ability affects drastically driving experience, while luxury design drastically affects the ride experience. So if you can have a luxury SUV, then you can have the ultimate driving experience.
The 2022 Ford EcoSport gets its off-road drive from its intelligent 4WD system. This drive system goes beyond the average 4WD system because it is intelligent after all. But how is that intelligent? Well, it monitors both your driver input and the road itself to make sure it distributes torque as best as possible for the circumstances.
But when you’re off-road, it doesn’t do much good if your vehicle can only monitor road conditions, since there is no road. So the intelligent 4WD system reacts accordingly by including the Ford Terrain Management System, which makes itself highly flexible for different terrains, including mud, ruts, sand, snow, gravel and grass. It covers a wide range of scenarios, depending on where the trail takes you, so you definitely won’t be hurting for dynamic off-road handling in the 2022 EcoSport.
Now, it probably won’t surprise anyone that the 2022 Renegade cleans up the off-road sector. It’s a Jeep after all, and if there’s one thing Jeep does well, it’s off-roading. If you want to maximize the off-road capabilities of the Renegade, the Trailhawk is the trim to look at, as it has achieved official Trail-rated status after rigorous testing.
Traction and clearance are the names of the game when it comes to the Renegade Trailhawk, thanks to its exclusive Jeep Active Drive Low 4X4 system. The big advantage of the Renegade’s off-road capability is its water-carrying capacity. Because the vehicle has sealed its electrical connections and all open segments are moisture resistant, the vehicle can trudge through significant amounts of water.
So, yes, the Renegade is a serious off-roader. But there is nothing frivolous about trudging through mud, ruts, sand, snow, gravel and grass. Water fording probably isn’t something you’d want to do much of in an SUV like this anyway, so its inclusion doesn’t detract from the EcoSport’s off-road ability. And, of course, off-road capability is only half of achieving luxury off-road driving.
We are releasing Renegade first this time. Obviously, any Jeep will be fashionable with its iconic round headlights and plated grilles. But you’re spending your time inside the vehicle, so let’s see what’s inside. The Renegade can really be stylish, especially in Trailhawk trim. With sleek black paint contrasted by optional red stitching and Trailhawk embroidered seats, you’re sure to ride in style. The red and black combination cultivates a fierce and athletic vibe that will get driver and passenger pumped up for an off-road adventure.
Overall, however, the Renegade’s design is primarily focused on performance and athleticism, putting practicality over luxury. There are some great features, such as a heated steering wheel and heated outside mirror, but not necessarily features to compete with leading luxury cars. It’s not that the Renegade isn’t a luxury vehicle, but I think you’ll understand my hesitation when we take a look at the 2022 EcoSport.
The 2022 EcoSport really goes out of its way to give the driver and passengers not just a refined in-vehicle experience but an elevated in-vehicle experience. Lighting is possibly the most important component in setting the mood, which is why the EcoSport comes with available ambient lighting. This alone, apart from all the other shining luxury features, really gives the vehicle an elegant feel. But elegance isn’t the only mood the EcoSport can create because you set the mood; these LED lights can change colors according to your input. With seven color options (red, blue, purple, orange, aqua, white or yellow-green), the EcoSport has many moods, and you’ll be ready for any occasion. And the ambient lighting is just the beginning!
With the SE Appearance Package, the EcoSport can provide even more stunning luxury features, including cloth seats with orange copper accents and orange instrument panel applications. This is a luxury car like you’ve never seen before. Between the ambient lighting and these applications, the EcoSport truly understands the importance of beauty, color and lighting in creating a desirable in-vehicle experience. Both the Renegade and the EcoSport have some great luxury features, but there’s no doubt which one is bigger.
Who is winning?
So it seems the Renegade excels in off-road driving and the EcoSport excels in luxury design. This is actually true in a strict but distinct sense; it’s not that one excels over the other, but they both excel in their own way. While Jeep is known for its off-road prowess, the Ford EcoSport offers very capable off-road capabilities in the intelligent 4WD system, and there is no doubt which vehicle has the best luxury features.
Both of these vehicles are capable off-road, but the EcoSport stands far above the Renegade when it comes to styling and design. So if you’re looking for a true luxury SUV, between these two vehicles, the EcoSport is probably the way to go. With stunning ambient lighting, beautiful and intricate design features and Intelligent 4WD, the vehicle provides a complete and well-rounded driving experience.
This is not a battle between good and evil. Both the EcoSport and Renegade are great cars, and I can’t imagine drivers will complain either. But the facts don’t lie, and the EcoSport has the ability and the style. We recognized that the incentive is to have a vehicle that can get the job done, whether you’re on the trail or in town, and this is what the EcoSport delivers.