• Jeep's all-new Renegade compact SUV will go on sale later this year
  • Renegade features unique Jeep styling and smaller proportions
  • Renegade will offer 4-cylinder engines and available 4-wheel drive

The all-new Jeep Renegade compact SUV will likely go on sale sooner than first thought. That's the latest from New York Auto Show officials, who report that the Renegade will reach dealers "by the end of the year," sooner than initial estimates of an early 2015 on-sale date.

While Jeep has not yet confirmed an official on-sale date, we think "by the end of the year" likely means the Renegade will hit showrooms sometime in the fourth quarter. That's sooner than early predictions from journalists, who thought the all-new Jeep wouldn't be ready until early 2015.

The earlier on-sale date is good news for shoppers interested in a compact SUV, since the Renegade adds a more modern option to Jeep's compact-SUV lineup. After all, the Renegade is all new from the ground up, representing a major departure from the brand's current compact SUV, the Patriot, which initially made its debut for the 2007 model year.

On the outside, the Renegade boasts an entirely new look that combines funky, modern design language with traditional Jeep styling. There are large, almost cartoonish front fenders, for instance, and eye-grabbing bright colors. But the Renegade also includes serious Jeep styling cues, such as twin circular headlights and several horizontal grille bars.

Inside, the Renegade also boasts a totally new look thanks to a modern cabin that manages to combine style and functionality. There's a large center-mounted touchscreen, for instance, along with several body-colored interior panels that bring the exterior color inside the car. There's also a highly useful thin-film-transistor display between the gauges that lets drivers keep an eye on important vehicle functions.

Under the hood, the Renegade will offer two engines. Base models will use a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that's good for 160 horsepower, while drivers looking for a little more muscle can upgrade to a 184-hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder. Although shoppers who want a V6 will have to step up to Jeep's larger Cherokee, the brand says that drivers looking to go off-road won't have to stray from the Renegade, as it will be available in both front- or 4-wheel-drive guise.

What it means to you: Start saving now if you like the look of the all-new Jeep Renegade, as the compact SUV is expected to go on sale later this year.

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Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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