Jeep Avenger SUV review
“The Jeep Avenger is a refreshing take on the small electric SUV, that also looks like good value”
- Chunky styling
- Strong tech offering
- Off-road capability
- Could do with more power
- Some rivals have more range
- No entry trims yet
Verdict - Is the Jeep Avenger a good car?
Jeep’s first SUV designed for Europe is practical and good to drive, with a distinctive character that’s sorely lacking in some of its electric SUV rivals. The Avenger also appears competitively priced, with the well-equipped ‘1st Edition’ model undercutting the entry-level DS 3 E-Tense from its sister brand, while the top Summit edition might look pricey, but is loaded with kit. The Avenger even has some off-road features befitting its Jeep badge and bundles of tech that will no doubt appeal to the rafts of small SUV buyers. For those not looking to make the switch to an EV, a petrol engine will also be offered in due course.
Jeep Avenger range
For most of us, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody mentions ‘Jeep’ will be high-riding, impractical off-roaders with gas-guzzling engines. It may then come as a surprise that the American brand has just released its first-ever electric car, coming in the form of a small road-going crossover called the Jeep Avenger.
Strip away the new Jeep Avenger’s chunky, yet funky exterior and you’ll find the same underpinnings used in the Peugeot e-2008 and Vauxhall Mokka Electric, because the brands now all sit under the same Stellantis umbrella. At launch, there’s only one battery option available: a 54kWh unit (51kWh usable), providing a range of up to 248 miles on a single charge – a bit behind the Hyundai Kona Electric, but competitive nonetheless. With front-wheel drive, the Avenger also has little off-road prowess to speak of.
Compared to the full-fat Jeep Wrangler with its punchy 268bhp petrol engine, the Avenger’s single electric motor setup may seem a tad underwhelming. However, given electric powertrains produce an inherently large amount of torque, it feels more substantial than you might suspect. A dual-motor, all-wheel-drive model is due to arrive in 2024, with greater off-road and all-weather ability, while at the other end of the spectrum, a more affordable 1.2-litre petrol will also be offered with a price tag of around £26,000.
That’s not to say that Jeep has abandoned its off-road heritage for the standard Avenger entirely; the American brand’s first EV boasts 200mm of ground clearance and comes with a slew of off-road driving modes – Mud, Sand and Snow – meaning it is more capable than you might expect. However, it’s clear that the Avenger has been designed first and foremost for city streets and this is highlighted by the small SUV’s comfortable and smooth drive.
On the inside, the new Jeep Avenger takes much of its technology from the range-topping Jeep Grand Cherokee. The marque’s latest UConnect infotainment dominates the dashboard and is paired with a fully-digital instrument cluster; all of this makes the Avenger truly feel like a Jeep from the future, with the system itself offering an ergonomic interface and snappy responses to your inputs.
As is increasingly the case with new cars, the only model available to UK buyers at launch is the limited-run Jeep Avenger 1st Edition. This comes fully loaded with equipment and costs £36,500, which appears to be good value considering it undercuts the entry-level DS 3 E-Tense and the Peugeot e-2008 in Allure Premium+ trim. More affordable variants will almost certainly be offered in the coming months.
In mid-2023, Jeep announced that a petrol-powered version with parent company Stellantis’ 1.2-litre PureTech engine will be coming to the UK after all. It will be a much more affordable version of the Avenger, costing from just over £25,000.
Range, charging & running costs
As previously mentioned, the Jeep Avenger shares its platform with the Peugeot e-2008 and Vauxhall Mokka Electric and is the first to debut a new 54kWh battery (51kWh usable) which is set to come to those cars in the near future. Although available solely as an EV from launch, the Avenger is set to get the petrol-powered 1.2-litre PureTech engine used in the Peugeot 2008 and Vauxhall Mokka – in these cars it achieves around 50mpg, so expect a similar figure for the petrol Avenger.
On a single charge, the Avenger is said to achieve 248 miles on the combined WLTP test cycle. This is slightly less than the 281 miles possible in the slightly larger Kia Niro EV, although it’s still more than the DS 3 E-Tense and should be sufficient for most city-based buyers.
In our brief time with the car we were able to get around 220 miles on a single charge – even in cold, wintery conditions, thanks to the handy addition of an energy-efficient heat pump. One useful feature is that you’re able to increase the strength of the regenerative braking function, meaning more charge should be retained over the course of a journey.
As standard, the Jeep Avenger gets access to 100kW DC rapid charging. If you’re able to find a compatible charger, this will charge the small soft-roader from 20-80% in just 24 minutes. Of course, a much cheaper (yet slower) alternative is to charge using a 7kW home wallbox, which should take around four and a half hours for an equivalent charge. Plugging into a standard three-pin socket will take significantly longer.
Insurance groups have yet to be announced for the Jeep Avenger; the Vauxhall Mokka Electric spans groups 21-23 out of 50, meaning the mechanically similar Jeep should be just as reasonable to insure. When the petrol version arrives, it's likely to have a fuel-efficiency figure of just over 50mpg and CO2 emissions of 126g/km.
Electric motor, drive & performance
At launch, all Jeep Avengers come with a single front-mounted electric motor, although its output depends on which of the several drive modes you are in. In ‘Normal’, the Avenger outputs 107bhp, which drops further to just 87bhp in ‘Eco’ mode to preserve range. Both of these feel somewhat sluggish once up to speed, although instantly available torque means the Avenger still feels relatively nippy when darting between traffic lights in town.
When placed into the ‘Sport’ setting, the Avenger will produce its maximum output of 154bhp and will crack 0-62mph in nine seconds. While this doesn’t sound exactly mind-bending either, the pickup from 0-30mph feels faster than the numbers suggest, plus there’s very little whine from the electric motor, making the car feel incredibly refined. We do feel a more powerful dual-motor model would be a fine addition to the range, however.
A petrol-powered Jeep Avenger is now also expected to join the lineup, using the same 1.2-litre engine found in other cars under the Stellantis umbrella, such as the Vauxhall Mokka and Peugeot 2008. These cars are offered with power outputs of 99bhp, 128bhp and 134bhp. They also get the option of a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission, so we’d expect the same for the Avenger when it makes its debut.
On a twisty road, the Avenger suffers from minimal body lean for a boxy crossover, and it’s relatively light and small for a crossover EV, helping to boost its agility. The car’s steering is nicely weighted and as a result, the Avenger feels a lot more fun to drive than its Stellantis Group cousin, the Vauxhall Mokka Electric.
Other than those previously mentioned, the Avenger also offers three more driving modes that are specifically designed for slippery conditions: Mud, Sand and Snow. Despite only being front-wheel-drive, clever software means the Avenger can deal with much trickier terrain than other cars in its class. An increased ride height also helps Jeep’s EV to glide over larger obstacles, while a special hill descent mode allows for controlled movement down a steep decline.
Brake regeneration when you take your foot off the accelerator isn’t enough for ‘one-pedal driving’, but it does slow the car noticeably and Jeep claims it can extend the car’s range to 360 miles in stop-start traffic.
Interior & comfort
Thanks to lifted suspension, the Jeep Avenger is well-equipped to deal with bumpy, pothole-laden British roads. While we are yet to try the car on British tarmac, our only complaint thus far is that there is a little bit of wind noise when driving over 60mph, no doubt due to the Avenger’s boxy shape.
The Avenger’s bigger brother, the petrol-powered Jeep Renegade, has long felt outdated compared to the raft of other small SUVs on sale. Thankfully, the Avenger represents a step forward for the brand’s mainstream models, taking technology and design cues from the larger and more expensive Jeep Grand Cherokee.
As you’d expect from a Jeep, the Avenger’s interior is highly functional. There’s plenty of storage cubbies dotted around and there are some physical buttons too, which are easy to press when driving and/or wearing gloves. While the overall design isn’t the most inspiring, everything feels solid and a handful of body-coloured accents help the whole cabin feel bright – it’s an especially neat touch when matched to the car’s exterior paint colour.
The highlight of the interior, however, is the Avenger’s UConnect infotainment system. Mounted on the top of the dashboard, the responsive central touchscreen measures 10.25 inches in diameter and comes as standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. If you’d rather not use your phone, the Avenger also has built-in TomTom sat-nav, and the system overall is slick and easy to use. We also appreciate the piano-style buttons under the display for operating the climate control.
Alongside the main touchscreen is a digital instrument cluster that’s mounted behind the steering wheel; this measures seven inches on base cars and 10.25 inches on top-spec models.
At launch, UK buyers only have one model to choose from: the range-topping and limited-run 1st Edition. This comes fully loaded with LED headlights, the top infotainment setup, 18-inch alloy wheels, heated seats, a heated windscreen, wireless mobile phone charging, ambient lighting, a 360-degree camera system and a powered bootlid.
Entry-level Longitude models get 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen and climate control. Altitude increases the size of the digital instrument display and adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a powered tailgate, upgraded interior trim and a USB port for rear occupants.
The Summit model is more luxurious, with heated seats and a reversing camera, along with ‘Level 2’ driving aids and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Practicality & boot space
Being the smallest model in the Jeep range and measuring 216mm shorter than the equivalent Peugeot e-2008, you’d expect the Avenger to offer very little in terms of passenger and cargo space. However, thanks to some clever packaging, this is not the case.
Unlike some small SUVs such as the Hyundai Kona Electric which struggle to carry four adults in comfort, the Avenger can do so easily. Headroom is especially generous for a crossover, even for adults over six-feet tall, and legroom in the back impresses too. Jeep has also managed to cram 34 litres of storage cubbies around the front of the Avenger’s cabin, and we found the one beneath the infotainment screen particularly useful. Hidden behind a magnetic cover, it’s surprisingly deep and can hold a wireless charger.
The Avenger’s boot is also larger than Hyundai’s offering, measuring 355 litres in capacity. While this is still less than what you’d find in a Skoda Kamiq or even a Ford Puma, it’s understandable given the Avenger’s compact dimensions. The adjustable, washable boot floor also makes it fuss-free to carry pets, and it’s easy for them to hop in, or load bulky objects thanks to its one-metre-wide opening.
Reliability & safety
Jeep did not appear in our 2023 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey as the American brand does not sell its cars in great enough numbers here in order for us to receive a sufficient response. All are built to withstand the most rugged off-road conditions though and with the inherent simplicity of electric powertrains, the Avenger should be relatively painless to own. Jeep even estimates that the durable plastic cladding fitted to the Avenger’s lower extremities could save owners up to £880 in body and paintwork repairs over the car’s lifetime.
Jeep isn’t exactly known for its top-rated safety scores – the Wrangler off-roader could only muster one star when it was tested by Euro NCAP – but thanks to the latest technology shared across its Stellantis siblings, the Avenger should score well when it undergoes safety testing. As standard, the 1st Edition car comes with Level 2 autonomous driving capability, including lane-keep assist and adaptive cruise control.