Best Cold Air Intake for Jeep Renegade
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Best Cold Air Intake for Jeep Renegade Review

How many off-road-friendly subcompact SUVs do you know? Exactly! And that’s what makes the Renegade so valuable. Introduced back in 2014, it offers a perfect balance of an everyday vehicle and a free-spirited off-roading beast. With five trim levels to choose from, it’s arguably the most flexible Jeep on the market. The powertrain isn’t that impressive, though.

There are lots of engine-transmission combinations available, but they’re not very strong in terms of HP/torque, acceleration, and mileage. The good news is – if you invest in the Best Cold Air Intake for Jeep Renegade, it will greatly increase the SUV’s performance. I’m talking about powertrain gains, of course, along with an airflow boost. So, if you’re ready to check out my top-2 air kits that are best for the Renegade, let’s get right to it!

Best Cold Air Intake for Jeep Renegade (Updated June, 2024)

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Editor’s Choice

K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower

1) K&N 77-1565KS

  • Best Features:
    • Brick-strong filter protection against contaminants
    • Provides a solid boost in mileage
    • Backed by K&N’s longevity guaranty
  • Power Increase: Estimated Horsepower Gain 9.49 HP @ 5100 RPM
  • Fits Models: Jeep Renegade 2.4L L4 (2015-2020)

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AEM 21-769C Cold Air Intake System

2) AEM 21-769C

  • Best Features:
    • Designed and dyno-tested for the Renegade
    • Easy to install with a set of basic tools at hand
    • Made in the USA using local materials
  • Power Increase: Estimated Horsepower Gain 6.6 HP @ 6200 RPM
  • Fits Models: Jeep Renegade 2.4L L4 (2015-2020)

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Best Cold Air Intake for Jeep Renegade Review

1. K&N – Best Cold Air Intake for Jeep Renegade 2.4L

K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower

You can never go wrong with K&N, especially if you’re driving the 2.4-lit Renegade. First of all, you’ll get premium protection against debris, dust, and pretty much any contaminants. That’s right: off-roading trips can be quite hazardous for the engine unless you’ve got a proper filter to keep the motor safe. Another big pro of the K&N cold air intake is the boost in mileage. You can expect 1-2 extra MPG.

In a couple of years, that will save you 200-300 US dollars for a new air kit. Last, but not least, this product is protected by the company’s famous longevity guarantee (10-year/10-million mile). As for the cons, the installation will probably not be a bolt-on, direct fit. You might have to cut the tube a bit for the kit to fit into the mounting holes. Plus, the heat shield is a bit too big and the temp sensors need extra bolts to be properly mounted.

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Pros & Cons
Excellent protection against contaminants
Improves fuel efficiency by 1-2MPG
Covered by a generous warranty deal
The installation can be a bit tricky

Verdict
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Market-leading anti-contaminant protection, a decent boost in the MPG ratio, and K&N’s strong warranty deal turn this cold air kit into a must-have. Keep in mind, however, that unless you know your way around aftermarket gear, it would be best to pay a mechanic to handle the installation.

2. AEM – Best Cold Air Intake System for Jeep Renegade Trailhawk

AEM 21-769C Cold Air Intake System

Moving on, we’ve got another big name in the industry – AEM. And, the big question is: should you pick it over K&N, or not? Let’s talk facts: the AEM cold air intake system was specifically designed for the Renegade. It was built and dyno-tested for optimal performance on Jeep’s subcompact SUV. This is a 100% US-made product, by the way, and it went through numerous evaluations to prove its worth.

As a result, we get a smooth, simple, and intuitive installation. Even if this is your first time installing an air kit, you’ll be done in no time with minimal effort. The included instructions aren’t very clear, but they’ll still be of help. The only downside – (minor) issues with quality assurance and control. Some deliveries lack the necessary bolts, clams, and even sensors. Other than that, this is one of the best third-party cold air intakes for the Renegade.

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Specifically designed and tested for the Renegade
Fast, simple, straightforward installation
A 100% US-made air kit
Minor quality control issues

Verdict
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Despite the minor problems with QA and QC, the AEM air intake kit is a bargain. Manufactured for the Renegade SUV, it will take you 2 hours tops to replace the factory system with the new gear. And don’t hesitate to contact support if you don’t get the necessary hardware with the package.

Buyer’s Guide

There’s a wide range of different cold air intake systems available for the Renegade. And, they each have their strong sides and weaknesses. Some brands try to make their kits as fuel-efficient as possible. Others focus on boosting the airflow and the HP. So, what should you be looking for in a new air intake? Here are the most important factors to consider – pay close attention!

The Airflow

Best Cold Air Intake for Jeep Renegade When it comes to aftermarket cold air intake systems, the #1 thing to look for should always be an increase in the airflow, regardless of your vehicle’s make, model, and year. Without that, a brand-new air kit will be pretty much useless. This is mostly achieved through a mandrel-bent, aerodynamic intake tube.

Crafted from high-grade aluminum, stainless steel, or plastic, it can improve the airflow inside of the engine compartment by up to 50%. That, in turn, keeps the temperatures at “comfortable” levels for the motor, preventing overheating. The average third-party air kit will guarantee a 20-30% boost – a decent result. However, if off-roading is your biggest hobby, I strongly recommend investing in a more expensive unit that will give you that +/-50% increase.

Performance Filters

Best Cold Air Intake for Jeep Renegade The factory paper filters aren’t very effective against contaminants on the road and can’t fully protect against dirt, sand, and debris. A performance filter, in turn, traps even the tiniest particles of dust, pollen, and everything else in between. Thanks to the conical design, it is quite impressive in real-world situations. If you want your engine to be well-protected against “outside threats”, look for a five-layer, cotton-gauge media filter.

I also recommend oiled filters over dry ones, as they’re very efficient at catching contaminants. More good news: while the stock filters need to be replaced every 10-15K miles, a proper performance filter can last for up to 60K miles, or more, depending on the brand and how well you maintain it. And that’s not even the best part: with a little bit of washing and re-oiling, you can put that filter back in and continue using it!

Powertrain Boost

Once you’re happy with the airflow gains and the filter, we can move on to the powertrain. Here are the most important things to keep in mind:

Mileage. Who doesn’t want to improve the fuel efficiency and burn less fuel, right? Well, it’s very well possible to achieve that with a new cold air intake. Don’t expect any dramatic changes in this department, of course, but, as we already learned with the AEM kit, even 1-2 additional MPG can go a long way. You can’t really tell how efficient the air kit will be in terms of mileage by just looking at it. So, make a habit of checking the specs for this.

Raw Power. I’m talking about horsepower and torque – the most popular way of describing an engine’s power capacity. Here’s what you need to know: by boosting the air filtration and flow, cold air intakes “open up” the engine, lift the restrictions and allow it to live up to its full potential. As a result, you get an extra 10-15 HP and torque. With some performance-oriented gear, the increase can be even more impressive (up to 30 HP/torque).

Best Cold Air Intake for Jeep Renegade

Acceleration. This works similarly to the power boost. When operating at the risk of overheating, the engine tends to struggle a lot. An aftermarket air intake keeps it cool 24/7 and improves the throttle response. For an off-roading SUV, strong acceleration is a very critical component, especially when you mostly drive on muddy, snowy, or dusty terrain at low speeds. In that’s the case, the throttle response will be more important than mileage.

Conclusion

If you’re the proud owner of a fast and nimble Renegade that’s a bit too “civilized” to conquer off-roading trails, a cold air intake can help you fix that. First of all, it will protect the engine from overheating; secondly, the built-in filter will keep dangerous contaminants from entering the engine chambers and wreaking havoc. As a bonus, you’ll get all-around powertrain improvements (better acceleration, mileage, and raw power – HP and torque).

Now, both K&N and AEM are popular and respected manufacturers of aftermarket Jeep gear. So, you’ll be in good hands no matter which air kit you choose from today’s list. Can’t seem to make the right pick? Take a quick look at the Buyer’s Guide: it will help you figure out exactly what you’re looking for in a new cold air intake.

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