Jeep has announced new ‘mild-hybrid’ versions of its Renegade and Compass SUVs, with prices starting at £31,130 and £32,895 respectively. The new e-Hybrid powertrains combine a 1.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor to improve efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

In essence, the engine is a relatively unremarkable 1.5-litre, 128 bhp petrol unit, but built into the engine bay is a 20 bhp electric motor that can power the car at low speeds and for very short distances. Jeep claims it’s enough to park the car or pull away from the lights, but not enough to drive long distances at any speed.

Perhaps more to the point, Jeep says the system will reduce fuel consumption by an impressive 15 percent, and it’ll have the same impact on CO2 emissions. However, the system can only drive the front wheels through its seven-speed automatic gearbox, so neither car has the off-road credentials of the 4xe plug-in hybrid models.

Jeep Renegade e-Hybrid

As well as introducing the new powertrain, Jeep has also launched a new mid-range trim level for the Renegade and Compass models. Dubbed the Upland, it’s marked out by its Matter Azur paintwork, black contrast roof and glossy black alloy wheels. It also comes with bronze trim on the grille and rear skid plate, and there’s a dedicated decal on the bonnet. Inside, the Upland trim (which is also available on 4xe plug-in hybrid versions of the Renegade and Compass) has Seaqual recycled fabric upholstery, which is made partly with plastic taken from the sea.

In Renegade Uplands, there are some black plastic panels and interior components that are also derived from recycled materials – specifically from plastics previously used in a vehicle’s headlamps – while the cabin is also adorned with bronze finishes on several bezels. The Compass Upland, meanwhile, has recycled plastics in the door trim, while there’s bronze trim across the whole dashboard.

In the Renegade range, the Upland represents the cheapest e-Hybrid model available, coming in at £31,130. However, the powertrain is also available on the more luxurious S version, which costs £1,000 more.

For Compass customers, the Upland sits somewhere in the middle of the pack. The Night Eagle is the cheapest e-Hybrid option, at £32,895, with the Limited costing £1,000 more. The Upland comes in at £35,895, while the S tops the range at £36,895. As before, the Trailhawk model is still exclusive to the all-wheel-drive 4xe.

Gallery: Jeep Renegade and Compass e-Hybrid