Let’s begin with three crucial issues value mentioning about Jeep’s Avenger. One, that is Jeep’s very first absolutely electric car. Two, it has already been named European Car of the Year for 2023. Three—and considerably staggeringly, contemplating these first two important particulars—it is not occurring sale within the US.
Why? Jeep thinks it is not large enough for the Americans. “While the B segment, in which the Jeep Avenger competes, is popular in markets such as Europe, the US consumer tends to favor vehicles in the midsize and large SUV segments,” a Jeep model spokesperson tells WIRED. “This is why we are launching other all-electric vehicles, such as Wagoneer S and Jeep Recon, which will compete in the midsize segment globally, including the US.”
This would possibly go some approach to explaining why the Avenger is a Jeep, however not as you understand it. For a begin, it is front-wheel drive. While Jeep will rush to show the EV’s rugged expertise by pointing on the Selec-Terrain traction management system—with its sand, mud, and snow modes—and speaking about hill-descent management and a surprisingly respectable break-over angle afforded by stubby overhangs, even the corporate will ultimately admit that that is an on-road, urban-oriented EV. The Rubicon path isn’t the place it is at for the Avenger, however it can mountain-goat over any school-side curb and velocity bump that you simply care to throw at it.
This about-town focus is not any dangerous factor. In reality, one in every of WIRED’s favourite issues in regards to the Jeep Avenger is that it’s a small automobile. At 4,084 millimeters lengthy and 1,776 millimeters large, it’s not a lot larger than a VW Polo, even when the bluff styling and better experience top give extra presence on the highway.
And, regardless of the city-friendly dimensions, it’s bought respectable sufficient room within the again seats for an average-size grownup to comfortably sit behind one other within the entrance. The lack of a middle rear armrest may be very annoying, sure, however the largest challenge is with the rear seats. That door aperture is slender, and the sill you must step over is excessive, so it’s straightforward to journey as you get in.
Access niggles apart, the Avenger’s inside roominess is best than within the Vauxhall Mokka-e, and is roughly on par with options just like the MG4. Even the Jeep’s 355-liter boot, with shallow underfloor cable storage, will probably be as much as lugging most households’ on a regular basis stuff round, although it’s value declaring that the VW ID.3 and Cupra Born are larger and fairly a bit extra spacious (if not as nicely outfitted) regardless of being an identical value.
We ought to level out that Jeep is a part of the huge constellation of Stellantis manufacturers, which implies it parts-shares with Peugeot, Citroen, Vauxhall, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, DS, and extra. Many of those additionally make compact, electrical household SUVs just like the Jeep. So isn’t it simply the identical because the e-2008, DS-3 e-Tense, and Mokka?
Yes and no. The Avenger is likely one of the first Stellantis fashions to get a brand new, closely up to date model of the corporate’s eCMP platform. Called, predictably, the eCMP2, this platform holds a much bigger, 54-kWh NMC lithium-ion battery that delivers 51-kWh usable capability and has the cells arrayed in a different way (largely underneath the entrance and rear seats) to supposedly permit for higher packaging.
The Avenger additionally will get a brand new, 154-bhp everlasting magnet electrical motor. Dubbed the M3 motor, it’s extra environment friendly than these utilized in earlier eCMP vehicles, plus there’s a warmth pump as customary—reward be, as it is a dear possibility on some rivals.
All of this combines to provide the Avenger a WLTP vary of 249 miles, and my day’s testing urged that it’ll get near that in summertime real-world driving. Over a wide range of free-flowing nation roads and a few clogged-up city stuff, I managed 4.4 m/kWh, even with a spot of spirited Sport mode utilization thrown in. Good for a real-world vary of 224 miles, so not dangerous.