Jeep Avenger review: a desirable small SUV with buckets of charm
Jeep’s charming little SUV will win hearts with its looks alone, but it’s more than just a pretty face
Whether you choose the Jeep Avenger in petrol or all-electric forms, you’ll get an enticing small SUV with hidden depths beyond its attractive exterior. We’ve no doubt that a few examples of Jeep’s little bundle of joy will be sold based solely on how it looks, but the Avenger boasts a decent amount of boot space, much better tech than any of the brand’s previous offerings we’ve tested so far, and the EV version offers a usable range.
Sure, it’s not the Jeep you’ll want for tackling the Appalachian trail, but it feels right at home in the hustle and bustle of packed city streets, and is generally good to drive. The addition of petrol-powered models has also made the Avenger more accessible, not least by bringing the starting price down to under £24k. However, the limited space available for rear passengers will be a shortcoming that might rule this out for some potential buyers.
About the Jeep Avenger
In October 2022, the Jeep Avenger was unveiled to the world as the brand’s first electric car, and the chunky little SUV quickly became a runaway success, winning 2023 European Car of The Year and Jeep receiving more than 40,000 orders in less than a year after the Avenger was revealed.
Car group tests
The Avenger was also offered in certain markets with petrol engines from the get-go, whereas the UK only got the EV initially. That changed in late 2023 when the brand announced it had had a change of heart and would be bringing pure-petrol and mild-hybrid versions of the Avenger here after all.
The Avenger is based on the same CMP/e-CMP platform as the Peugeot 2008, Vauxhall Mokka, Citroen C4 and DS 3, and their all-electric counterparts. Underneath the floor in the EV version lies a 54kWh battery pack that’s used to power the single electric motor that drives the front wheels. Some die-hard Jeep fans will see this as being sacrilegious, but a 4xe version with all-wheel drive is due to arrive in 2024.
The pure-petrol models feature a turbocharged 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine and six-speed manual gearbox, while a mild-hybrid setup powers the Avenger e-Hybrid. This combines a 1.2-litre petrol engine with a 28bhp electric motor integrated directly into the six-speed automatic gearbox, and powered by a small lithium-ion battery. The hybrid setup offers the ability to drive at low speeds on pure-electric power but costs roughly £1,500 more than the regular petrol engine.
With a choice of petrol, hybrid and electric power, the Jeep Avenger has to compete with a vast array of small SUVs. Those include the best-selling Ford Puma, Renault Captur, Nissan Juke and Volkswagen T-Cross, plus smaller electric SUVs like the Smart #1, Kia Niro EV, Peugeot E-2008 and our own Car of The Year for 2023, the Hyundai Kona Electric. Because of how small and nimble it is, the Avenger also poses a threat to style-focused zero-emission city cars like the Fiat 500, Honda e, Mazda MX-30 and new MINI Cooper.
The trim structure for the Avenger is straightforward: e-Hybrid and electric models are available in Longitude, Altitude and Summit trim, while the pure-petrol version can only be had in either Longitude or Altitude specifications.
Entry-level Longitude models get 16-inch alloy wheels and automatic LED lights, plus a 10.25-inch central touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, a seven-inch digital driver’s display, rear parking sensors, cruise control and a handful of other safety systems. Several drive modes, including specific settings for Mud, Sand and Snow, and a hill descent system, are also standard, so the Avenger should be able to handle a bit of wet or slippery terrain if the occasion arises.
Stepping up to Altitude adds a larger 10.25-inch digital dash, 17-inch wheels, keyless entry, adaptive cruise control, a power tailgate, different interior upholstery, and an additional USB port in the rear. Top-spec Summit cars get level 2 autonomous driving tech, 18-inch wheels, heated seats and a 180-degree reversing camera, among other extras. Option packs can be added to all trims, packaging key bits of kit together.
Jeep Avenger Summit long-term test
Editor-at-large John McIlroy is running a top-spec Jeep Avenger Summit on the Auto Express long-term fleet and, although it’s still early days, he’s been impressed by just how much of the brand’s DNA has rubbed off on the all-electric SUV. He found this out over the winter period when tackling some tricky conditions, and the Avenger passed the test with flying colours.
Despite sharing plenty with Peugeot E-2008, Vauxhall Mokka Electric and Citroen e-C4, John really feels like the Avenger has an identity of its own, mainly due to the softer suspension which soaks up potholes and ruts. Combined with the chunky styling, it feels exactly like a baby Jeep should - and that’s a good thing. You can read the full long-term test here…
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingJeep’s charming little SUV will win hearts with its looks alone, but it’s more than just a pretty face
- 2Electric motor, drive and performancePrevious Jeeps have often compromised on-road manners for their ability off-road, but not the Avenger
- 3Range, charging and running costsThe electric Avenger’s range and charging speeds are decent but not class-leading; petrol and mild-hybrid models are reasonably efficient
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Jeep Avenger could be sold on looks alone, and features iconic Jeep design cues and ‘easter eggs’ young buyers will lap up
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe Jeep Avenger’s ability to carry more than two people depends largely on who’s up front
- 6Reliability and safetyThe Jeep Avenger uses tried-and-tested parts from the Stellantis family of brands, which includes Vauxhall, Citroen and Peugeot