The Ukranian LuAZ Takes On The New Jeep Renegade


Wes grew up around cars at the family business. He makes no attempt to hide his love of early 90s GM products, and still repents selling his sweet '94 Pontiac Sunbird a few years back.

The crisis in the Ukraine and the unveiling of the Jeep Renegade. Both were big news over the past week – although one is obviously more important in the grand scheme than the other. But however much of a stretch it may be, there is a small fiber holding the two stories together – at least in my strange world.

You see, there is a Ukranian vehicle out there that has a striking resemblance to the new Renegade – and its the LuAZ 1302. With some obvious Jeep inspiration, the LuAZ is a little dynamo in Ukraine – much like the Renegade intends to be here.

LuAZ 1302 vs Jeep Renegade

 LuAZ 1302Jeep Renegade
EngineWater-cooled Inline Four1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo
Ground Clearance11 inches8.1 inches
Carbon Monoxide in cabinYesTBD
Chances of Being EjectedGoodTBD

Don’t expect to buy a new LuAZ, as the company is on the verge of bankruptcy and is relegated to assembling cars that are produced by another company. But if you can find one, you can immediately take advantage of the 11 inches of ground clearance – 2.9 inches more than the Renegade! But just because you have the ground clearance doesn’t mean that you will actually be able to clear anything, as the LuAZ offers a meager 53 horsepower from its liquid-cooled inline four. Although this is better than the 34 horsepower offered from the air-cooled four its predecessor, the LuAZ 969, has under the hood.

In comparison, the smaller engine on the Renegade, the 1.4-liter four-cylinder, will offer output of 160 horsepower. The Renegade will also have the option of a 2.4-liter Tigershark that will increase output to 184 horsepower. The 1.4 is the same engine offered on the Fiat 500L and the 2.4 exists on the Dodge Dart.

jeep renegade

For those of you rooting for the Ukraine vehicle in this comparison, there’s this. From 1984 to 2002, only 67 people were killed from faulty exhaust systems on the LuAZ that allowed carbon monoxide to enter the cabin. Heck, that’s 18 years. Let’s see if the Renegade can go that long without some carbon monoxide leaks.

The LuAZ doesn’t have a great crash test rating. In fact, a Wikipedia entry implies that being thrown from the vehicle is a common occurrence. Apparently passengers were ejected more often in the 80s and 90s than Dennis Rodman. But again, we don’t have test crash data on the Renegade yet, so let’s not jump to conclusions on a winner.

In all seriousness, the 2015 Jeep Renegade looks pretty awesome and the LuAZ 1302 was, is and always will be garbage. But I guess when you live in the Ukraine, you take what you can get.


View Comments (3)


  1. wasio

    Nov 26, 2014 at 6:37 am

    dude, are you serious?

  2. Jason

    Nov 10, 2015 at 11:10 am

    Well I own a new renegade and sadly I have not been ejected yet so the luaz has one up on my jeep

  3. karlzorn

    Apr 27, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    actually the Luaz is a much more better choice for a 4×4 that the jeep renegade.

    regardless of the fact that the luaz is much cheaper and less impressive that the jeep, it has better performances for a lot of reasons.

    These vehicules were manufactured for the USSR army more than 30 years agoand were very cleverly designed the same the USSR space rockets still lead the way !

    I have tested several luaz in real extreme conditions, in some sort of mug that you probbaly only find in Russia and in Ukraine and they worked extremely well… that jeep renegade I have no idea how it would behave, I would expect to behave like these range rovers designed for women… unable to move when they encounter some serious mug in the path!

    yes these ‘modern’ machines are pretty and expensive… yet they are the real garbages when it comes to real extreme usage.

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