2023 Jeep Avenger e "1st Edition" EU-spec 516
Superhero. Heroically named baby EV turns out to be a marvel.
The Avenger’s ingredients do not sound authentic: it’s a front-wheel-drive electric city car. One based on the Stellantis group’s electric bits that underpin the revised DS 3.
But it’s been re-engineered, with revised crash boxes to shorten the overhangs, 200mm of ground clearance (30mm more than a Peugeot e-2008), and mud, snow and sand modes to manage power delivery on tricky terrain. This off-road capability isn’t far off a Range Rover Evoque’s, as the Avenger demonstrates hauling itself over some offset ramps with just one wheel providing traction at moments. Our test isn’t on any slippery stuff but on winding Alpes-Maritimes roads.
The Avenger oozes with sophistication: the cockpit is borderline silent (up to dual-carriageway speeds), the quiet, supple suspension – struts up front, torsion beam rear – ruffled by only the most malicious craters. We start in Normal mode, which yields 80kW (107bhp) and 162lb ft. Given that’s delivered instantly, the Avenger feels plenty quick enough for the cut and thrust of town traffic. And if you kick down, Sport mode’s 115kW max power (154bhp) adds pep. The steering feels nicely meaty off the dead-ahead, but light and languid at urban cornering speeds: I prefer the heft and consistency of Sport. Corners are despatched by plenty of front-end grip, even ones with nasty mid-corner bumps, and when craggy straights jostle the Avenger left and right there’s very little head toss. Impressive. The official range is 248 miles, so drivers should get 200 miles out of the 51kWh battery. Jeep says it’s the most efficient iteration of the eCMP architecture, with revised cells, a new e-motor and standard heat pump. Throw in a design that looks pure, boilwashed Jeep but is cleverly aerodynamic and there’s a 12 per cent efficiency improvement compared with the DS 3. More fantastic function comes from the plastic body protection, which offers a 360˚ lip around vulnerable painted bodywork. The interior’s classy too, with materials that look nice and (largely) feel nice, and lots of storage. Expect to pay around £34,000 for an Avenger, with deliveries in the spring.
If you’re an environmentally conscious but slightly careless urban driver, this tough, likeable little SUV is just for you ★★★★★
THE FIRST HOUR
- 1 minute The cockpit’s lovely serenity is overwhelming
- 4 minutes Steering feels responsive, but too light in corners
- 16 minutes I launch the Avenger at a speed bump: surfs it with controlled finesse!
- 33 minutes Fans of one-pedal driving will find B mode too mild
- 57 minutes Trip says 3.78 miles per kWh: that’s good. Boot is 355 litres, rear space tight – but then this is a 4.08-metre car
- PLUS Impeccable ride and civility; classy cockpit; decent efficiency
- MINUS Not much to moan about
FACTFILE 2023 Jeep Avenger e «1st Edition» EU-spec 516
- PRICE From £34,000 (UK est)
- POWERTRAIN 51kWh battery, electric motor, front-wheel drive
- PERFORMANCE 154bhp, 192lb ft (Sport mode), 9.0sec 0-62mph, 93mph
- ON SALE Order January, spring deliveries
- WEIGHT 1536kg
- EFFICIENCY 5.0 miles per kWh (3.8 tested), 248-mile range, 0g/km CO2
Bonnet and wheelarch bulges help airflow