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Andy Harris
Motoring and Property Editor
@ytimesmotoring
1:53 PM 9th October 2023
cars

Jeep’s First EV – The New Avenger Driven

 
The Jeep name is known the world over and many use it as a generic name for an off-roader or 4x4. I’ve spent many an hour on some tough trails, putting their vehicles through their paces. One memorable event in the Lake District saw a convoy of Wranglers scale a rocky hillside that even the most experienced rambler would have struggled with.

I therefore needed to approach my first drive of the new Jeep Avenger from a different angle so to speak. Here was Jeep’s first fully electric vehicle, aimed perhaps at the less adventurous motorist. Would it be more suited to mounting a pavement outside Waitrose or was there more to the Avenger than first met the eye. The UK media launch event was my chance to find out.

Jeep is of course now part of the Stellantis Group and therefore platform sharing is the name of the game. The same underpinnings can be found on the Vauxhall Mokka Electric and the Peugeot e-2008, which in itself is no bad thing as they are now tried and tested.

Atop however, the look is very much unmistakably Jeep, with design cues such as the slatted grille, horizontal bonnet, and chunky wheel arches. Black plastic covers the lower part of the bodywork which should help protect the painted body from knocks and scrapes, whether off-roading or coping with the cut and thrust of urban life.

Ground clearance is good and although the Avenger is front wheel drive, it does come with a hill-descent control and various selectable off-road modes (mud, snow, and sand). A demonstration was laid on by Jeep, which ably demonstrated that as long as one of the two front wheels was on the ground, the Avenger would claw its way forward.

I did venture into a muddy field briefly, but the surface was firm enough not to present too much of an obstacle to forward motion. For those in need of more traction, a four-wheel drive 4xe model is due to arrive in 2024.

The Avenger is designed, built, and developed for the European market. It is also aimed at a younger audience than the traditional Jeep customer. Whether traditional ‘Jeepers’ warm to the Avenger will remain to be seen, but Jeep has confirmed that it will be a 100% electric brand by 2030.

The Summit edition I drove was the range-topper and its kit-laden interior will be sure to delight all. Space up front is ample, but taller rear passengers may find legroom is a tad limited. There’s 341 litres of usable interior storage and boot space is a fair 355 litres. There’s a reversible cargo floor, should you be carrying a messy load.

A 10.25-inch touchscreen takes care of the usual functions and gives access to the TomTom navigation system. I was pleased to see separate physical climate control switches. Plastics are shall we say robust, rather than tactile, but should prove durable.

My drive through the Cotswolds was uneventful, the roads not the most exciting. There are three drive modes. Select ‘Eco’ and just 81bhp will be available, fine if pottering around town. ‘Normal’ ups the ante to 108bhp, whilst if you need to get a shift on, then ‘Sport’ unleashes a heady 154bhp.

The Avenger is no ball of fire in any mode, with a leisurely 0-62mph sprint time of 9.6 seconds, but of more interest to would-be customers is the projected range of 249 miles, or 342 if remaining in the confines of the city. My drive was not long enough to fully assess the range, but 200 miles or thereabouts in everyday driving would seem about right. Of course, selecting ‘Sport’ mode does see an immediate drop in projected range.

Jeep tells me that plugged in to a 100kW charger, the 54kWh battery can be topped up from 20-80% in just 24 minutes. Most buyers will doubtless use a far more affordable home charger to replenish the battery and if you opt for a specific EV tariff from your energy company, costs will be modest.

Ride comfort is generally fine, though there is a little fidget at lower speeds. It’s smooths once out in the countryside and in this environment, handling is quite nimble, aided by compact dimensions and a relatively light kerbweight.

Three models of the Avenger are available to order now, with the Longitude costing £35,700. This rises to £37,400 for the Altitude version, whilst at the Summit, your invoice will be for £39,600. Most will be bought on a PCP, with Jeep deals with an APR of 7.9% available now, though with a substantial deposit of £8,325 and monthly payments from £349.

Given the choice of the Stellantis EVS, I would happily choose the Avenger over its stablemates, the attractive styling being one of the main factors. It will undoubtedly lead to a raft of new customers who up until now would not have considered the Jeep brand and therefore it undoubtedly does what its maker intended.

Fast Facts
Jeep Avenger
Priced from £35,700
3 trim levels
Electric motor/54kWh battery
154bhp
Front wheel drive
0-62mph in 9.6 seconds
Top speed 93mph
On sale now!