" Niecie's new ride is one cute ute "

Niecie’s new Adventuremobile

When life gives you lemons, you don’t make lemonade, you buy a Jeep and run over those stupid fruit and say, “to hell with lemonade.”

Joking aside, the last few weeks haven’t been the easiest for Niecie. About three weeks ago she totaled her car in an accident while on her way to visit her mother.

Thankfully, no one was hurt and the other party drove away with only minor damage, but Niecie’s little red Ford Fiesta, while drivable, was totaled. The Bingo, as her brother had named it, was dead.

The good news, Niecie’s insurance took care of everything and after about a week and a few dozen phone calls, she was handed a fat check to cover at least some of the cost of replacing her beloved mile-muncher.

Last weekend, we found a new, more adventurous mode of transport.

Meet the “K-Ute”


Make & Model: Jeep Renegade
Trim: Trailhawk
Engine: 2.4L Tigershark i4 180HP 175 FT/LB
Transmission: 9 speed automatic
Curb weight: 3,532LBs
Wheelbase: 101 inches
Tires: Falken Wildpeak H/T
Drive Train: Front biased 4WD
Ground Clearance: 8.7-inches
Water Fording: 19-inches

Niecie’s new adventuremobile is a used 2016 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk in her signature red. With just 19,800 miles on the clock, it was practically new.

Much her to displeasure, I’ve taken to calling it the K-Ute because there’s no denying it, it’s a cute little ute.

Don’t let its cute exterior fool you, this little Jeep has some real off-road chops.

Jeep’s Active Drive Low four-wheel drive system and easy to use Selec-Trac terrain management system, make mild off-roading a no brainer.  Add in a set of Falken Wildpeak all-season tires, and those shiny red tow hooks, and you’ve got one of the most capable small SUVs on the market.

As capable as the Renegade may be, you’re more likely to find us bombing down a sand track in it, then rock crawling. That’s not because it can’t, rather that’s not why Niecie bought it. She wanted a vehicle that was good looking, with plenty of ground clearance, adequate cargo, and a solid four-wheel drive system. The Renegade just happened to check all those boxes.

Her next adventuremobile could have easily been a small pickup if she hadn’t insisted on driving up to test drive a Renegade. Up until then, she’d had her heart set on a Nissan Frontier or a Chevy Colorado. After looking at so many trucks, I was convinced she wouldn’t be happy with the limited cargo capacity of the compact crossover.

I was wrong. She walked away with a smile on her face. She’d found exactly what she wanted. It didn’t have a pickup bed, but it had everything else she wanted and in the same compact package she was used to.

So, here’s hoping the Renegade will inspire an even more adventurous lifestyle for Niecie, the same way the Wrangler did for me.

Want to learn more about the Renegade?

You’ll be seeing plenty about the Renegade in the coming months as Niecie is introduced to the Jeep community and takes her first steps off the pavement.

In the meantime, Fred Williams over on Dirt Everyday put the Renegade Trailhawk to the test on Black Bear Pass while welcoming his good buddy Joe to the Jeeping community.

In Memorium

May you rest in pieces, Bingo, you will be missed.

Further Reading

Check out these other awesome posts we think you’ll enjoy:

Please comment and share

So tell us in the comments section:

  • What’s your adventure mobile and why?
  • What do you want to know about the Renegade?

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  • usathroughoureyes

    Wow Niecie, great looking wheels and with a dual purpose of on and off road. We sure are glad you are okay from the accident! We always miss the old but this new is nice.

    July 21, 2017 - 12:07 pm Reply
    • Shanice McTeer

      Thank you so much, it was an ordeal, but I got a great vehicle out of it. The only thing I truly miss about the Fiesta is that great fuel economy! I almost ran out of gas with this Renegade on my way back to La Crosse, as I am not used to filling up so frequently. Oh well, thanks again for your response and take care!

      July 21, 2017 - 3:29 pm Reply
      • usathroughoureyes

        You sure did. You’ll figure out the routine quickly we’re sure.

        July 21, 2017 - 3:37 pm Reply
  • Cary

    I have a good deal of respect for the Renegades. I had an opportunity to spend a little time with one for work last year, and I came away impressed with the ride quality and fit-and-finish. I wasn’t able to take it off-road, but there are plenty of videos proving that it handles trails very well for what it is. As my build progresses, I wouldn’t mind picking up a Renegade Trailhawk as a more fuel-efficient daily driver. Congrats on the new ride. But, about that name … 😉

    July 21, 2017 - 2:22 pm Reply
    • Shanice McTeer

      Cary, I must admit I am a little nervous to take it off road, but I’m sure I will work up to it. I have a lot of researching and training before that occurs. Thank you for your comment and believe me, I am working on a new name. Maybe you guys and gals can suggest a few. Happy trails!

      July 21, 2017 - 3:25 pm Reply
  • Boots on the Trail

    Looks like the ideal ride given your specs. We went back and forth between an SUV and a pick-up before settling on a Tacoma. I love it as much as the Tropper I drove for 22 years on/off-road all over the desert SW. But you can’t put 2-3 yards of horse manure compost in an SUV (well, I suppose you could but…) while you certainly can in the Tacoma. “K-ute” is cute but I think the owner should get the naming honors (which is why the LovedOne’s Mini is name “LuLu” and not “that midget car”). 🙂

    July 21, 2017 - 4:53 pm Reply
  • Jordan Gerard

    I am so glad you’re okay!!! We need to hang out again. Miss you guys. New car looks great!

    July 21, 2017 - 9:35 pm Reply
  • dawnkinster

    Glad you are OK. I’m sad about Bingo…but happy you found the perfect replacement.

    July 22, 2017 - 6:45 am Reply
  • Mary Raymond

    Glad everything worked out ok. Enjoy your posts.

    July 22, 2017 - 8:04 am Reply
  • Mack Paradowski

    Glad she was OK! Now, off to find a “Certified Smart” T-shirt.

    July 27, 2017 - 1:35 pm Reply

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