Over the last year I’ve received one question several times, from several different people who know absolutely nothing about cars. These people couldn’t tell a Honda Civic from a piano bench; a Mitsubishi Eclipse from a tape dispenser; a Lincoln MKZ from a capuchin monkey. Apparently, these people are infants.
The question was: "What’s that new car with the square brake lights with Xs in them?"
This is a good question, largely because I’m able to instantly provide the answer: You’re talking about the Jeep Renegade, the new boxy subcompact crossover from Jeep, which takes its boxiness to the extreme with those square taillights and built-in Xs. People seem to be pleased when they hear this answer, because now they know what car it is, and they can rush out and buy one.
And, admit it: You kind of like them, too.
In the world of automotive taillight design, not all that much changes. There are some cool ones; there are some not-so-cool ones; we see them come out, we get familiar with them, and life goes on. Then Jeep debuts a box-shaped car with Xs in the box-shaped taillights. That’s kind of cool. What else could you really ask for in terms of taillight design?
Actually, there are a few things I’d ask the Renegade for. For instance, I wish the little "X" was functional; it isn’t, and appears to be there just for style. I also wish the Renegade had separate brake lights and turn signals; I can’t believe car companies are still allowed to combine the two in 2017. But mostly, I can forget all that and just appreciate how these things look. They’re cool, and they’re distinctive, and they’re way better than any other subcompact crossover’s taillights.
And yes, this entire post was about the Jeep Renegade’s taillights. Find a Jeep Renegade for sale
Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.