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Road tests

New Jeep Avenger Summit review

The all-new Jeep Avenger electric SUV opens up a new chapter for the US firm in the UK

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

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Verdict

If you can live with the relatively small rear seats, then the Jeep Avenger is a great little electric SUV. It offers head-turning looks and a long driving range, while the compact dimensions mean it’s more suited to the cut and thrust of urban driving than the overlanding trails that Jeep is synonymous with. This top-spec Summit edition looks pricey, but it’s packed with kit.

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It’s not far off the mark to say that the Jeep Avenger is a significant model for the US firm. While the company is known for its off-road exploits, the Avenger is tasked with changing perceptions of the brand as an electric car maker.

If this was to be achieved by its looks alone, then the Avenger would be on to a winner. This is the first Jeep to use all-Stellantis running gear, courtesy of the eCMP platform that’s shared with cars such as the Peugeot e-2008 and Vauxhall Mokka Electric, but it’s been draped in a body that’s unmistakably Jeep.

The Avenger features short overhangs front and rear, chunky wheelarches and boxy lines that pay homage to Jeep’s heritage, while 200mm of ground clearance mean it should be able to cope with some off-road action: while the Avenger is only front-wheel drive at launch, it comes with off-road drive modes and hill-descent control, and a four-wheel drive 4xe is due to arrive in 2024.

One area where the Avenger differs from other eCMP models is in terms of its size. At 4,084mm, it’s nearly 220mm shorter than an e-2008, and compares more favourably with conventional superminis than rival small SUVs. Still, the car’s packaging means that there’s good space up front, while only tall passengers will be asking for more legroom in the back. Boot space is a respectable 355 litres.

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The cabin layout is pretty funky, too. There are hard plastics, but these have been used in the Avenger’s favour, and give it a rugged feel that’s becoming of Jeep’s off-road heritage. Storage is good, while the flip-top lid for the central storage bin is a neat addition. More disappointing is some of the Stellantis-sourced switchgear that’s used in places, such as the window switches and column stalks. There’s nothing wrong with the way they work, it would just be nice to have some bespoke controls instead.

Under the skin, the Avenger uses the latest 54kWh battery that Stellantis is rolling out across many of its small EVs. It’s good for a range of 249 miles in the Avenger, and is connected to a 154bhp electric motor.

On the move, the Jeep Avenger is a decent performer. The electric motor responds well, with enough low-speed acceleration to sprint away briskly from the lights, although performance does tail off the faster you go.

If you need sharper responses, then Sport mode offers maximum power, but it introduces a snappy throttle that’s harder to modulate. Sport mode also trims around 11 miles off the car’s range.

The tall ride height gives a good view out, and the suspension has been set up to limit the amount of pitch and roll the Avenger exhibits. However, this doesn’t have a negative impact on the ride. There’s a little bit of fidget at low speeds, but things smooth out the faster you go, and overall the Avenger is pretty comfortable. A kerbweight of 1.5 tonnes means this electric SUV is relatively light, so it offers pretty nimble handling. Combine this with its compact dimensions, and an exterior that’s been designed to take knocks and bumps in its stride, and the Avenger makes a strong case for itself as an urban runabout.

The top-spec Summit model driven here comes with plenty of kit, but has a price tag nudging £40k before options. That’s similar to the more spacious Peugeot e-2008, but less than you’ll pay for small premium EVs from the likes of Audi, Mercedes or Lexus.

Model:Jeep Avenger Summit
Price:£39,600
Powertrain:1x e-motor/54kWh battery
Power/torque:154bhp/260Nm
Transmission:Single-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
0-62mph:9.6 seconds
Top speed:93mph
Range:249 miles
Size (L/W/H):4,084/1,776/1,528mm
On sale:Now
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Senior test editor

Dean has been part of the Auto Express team for more than 20 years, and has worked across nearly all departments, starting on magazine production, then moving to road tests and reviews. He's our resident van expert, but covers everything from scooters and motorbikes to supercars and consumer products.

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