Long-term tests

Jeep Avenger Summit long-term test: a cleverly engineered electric SUV

First report: the small Jeep Avenger electric SUV joins the fleet in top-spec Summit trim

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4.5 out of 5

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Verdict

We’re surprised how much of Jeep’s DNA has rubbed off on a car that is, in effect, a rebodied Peugeot E-2008. It’s more than the chunky styling, too; this is a very cleverly engineered piece of kit.

  • Mileage: 2,623
  • Efficiency: 4.1 miles/kWh

Maybe it’s the badge, but our latest fleet car has all the resistance of a three-year-old in wellies when it sees some muddy puddles lurking ahead of it. The Jeep Avenger may not be a true off-roader, but the appalling weather over the Christmas period has allowed it to settle in quickly by demonstrating the rugged (and rather mischievous) side of its character.

We have our tongue slightly in cheek here because, of course, the Avenger is designed as an urban runabout. It even shares plenty of its underpinnings with lots of models in Jeep's parent group Stellantis’s ecosystem – Peugeot’s E-2008, the Vauxhall Mokka Electric, even Citroen’s e-C4. It’s also pure electric for now, although Jeep did renege on its initial promise to keep it exclusively so, with petrol-based versions due to land in the UK shortly.

And yet there’s something distinct about the Avenger, a bit of Jeep DNA that has somehow made its way through and which sets it apart from those close relations. Perhaps it’s the chunky styling, with even shorter overhangs to help deliver best-in-class approach and departure angles.

Or it could be the softened-off suspension, which does a good job of soaking up urban potholes but also lollops happily about on rougher, unpaved surfaces. It’s almost as if you know for certain that this car couldn’t really do off-roading – and yet somehow it feels as if it might.

We’ve not pulled any punches on our particular example, which is a range-topping Summit. It gets the same electric powertrain as the rest of the range – a single, front-mounted motor producing 154bhp, and a 54kWh battery (51kWh usable) delivering a predicted range of up to 249 miles – or, Jeep claims, 342 miles if you’re pootling around town.

And that environment is already proving to be the Avenger’s natural habitat. This is an extremely small SUV, with a total length of less than 4.1 metres – so you really can think of it as a jacked-up supermini. Those short overhangs make
it easy to position when you’re squeezing through traffic or into a parking space, while instant EV power also means it feels nippy enough when it needs to.

Our car may face a tougher test on practicality, mind, because it’ll be used as family transport for my wife and me, plus our fast-growing son, Henry. He says he’s happy enough with the amount of space on offer, but then, he’s only been in the back seats for short trips so far; there could be a fresh verdict after he – and maybe some adults – have been on longer journeys while perched there.

Summit spec brings a fair kit list – as it should, with a starting price approaching £40k. You get 18-inch diamond-cut alloys, LED headlights and tail-lights, a 10.25-inch digital instrument panel, heated front seats, a heat pump (useful to keep this EV’s range realistic in colder weather), 11kW three-phase AC charging (less useful, unless your office or business has the right wiring), and another 10.25-inch screen for the Avenger's infotainment system, complete with wireless smartphone hook-ups.

Our car has a couple of Jeep-specced extras that nudge it to just over £42k, although the jury’s out on how worthy they’ll be. Leather upholstery (£900) seems luxurious in such a small vehicle (although it might shake off child-induced scuffs and stains more easily than fabric), while I certainly wouldn’t pay the extra £500 to add navigation to the infotainment system. Charging £25 for a puncture repair kit seems a little rich, too.

The Sun yellow paint and contrast roof option is well worth the £1,100 price, though, because it sets off the Avenger’s chiselled looks beautifully. We’ve already had plenty of admiring comments from locals who a) instantly recognised the car as a Jeep and b) weren’t too fazed by the idea of something this small costing quite this much. Let’s call it a good start.

Model:Jeep Avenger Summit
On fleet since:November 2023
Price new:£39,600
Engine:1x e-motor, 154bhp, 54kWh battery
CO2/tax:0g/km/£0
Options:Sun yellow paint and Volcano roof (£1,100), black leather upholstery (£900), Infotainment Pack (£500), puncture repair kit (£25)
Insurance*:Group: 25/Quote: £994
Mileage:2,623
Efficiency:4.1 miles/kWh
Any problems?None so far

*Insurance quote from AA (0800 107 0680) for a 42-year-old in Banbury, Oxon, with three points.

Editor-at-large

John started journalism reporting on motorsport – specifically rallying, which he had followed avidly since he was a boy. After a stint as editor of weekly motorsport bible Autosport, he moved across to testing road cars. He’s now been reviewing cars and writing news stories about them for almost 20 years.

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